Tag Archives: food

Buns!

I’ve done several recipes of gluten free buns. All of them tasted great, but they were usually lacking in the consistency department. There was the time I attempted my own baking rings and had bread mass versus rolls. There was another time my rolls became more of this big giant pull-apart thing. You get the idea. Wet dough = crappy roll.

I wanted to fix sloppy joes yesterday, but the store was out of gluten free buns. So, once again I turned to the internet, but I can’t help tweaking things so mine was slightly different than the one I found. I really liked this one as the process was simple. Some recipes call for multiple rises, which is more than I care to do for a quick dinner.

Gluten free buns

  • 1.5 c brown rice flour
  • 1/2 c sorghum
  • 1 c tapioca
  • 1 tbs yeast (I used bread machine yeast as that’s what I had)
  • 1 tbs xanthum (Yes, that is a lot, but you really do need a firmer dough for buns)
  • 1 tsp onion powder and 1 tsp thyme (optional or could use any herb mix you like)
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar or honey (I used honey)
  • 3/4c warm water
  • 4 eggs (warmed to room temp)
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • optional onion seeds, sesame, or poppy seeds pressed into top of buns

Mix all the dry ingredients. In a mixer bowl, crack eggs, beat well, and add the rest of the liquid ingredients. Add the flour to the liquid and mix for 2 minutes using a paddle attachment. If the dough is dry add up to 1/4 more water, but dough should not be wet, just a bit sticky.

Grease a cookie sheet or use parchment paper to line. Coat your hands in oil and scoop up roughly 1/4-1/3 cup and roll into a ball. Do this until you have ~8 buns and (redistribute as needed). Then, flatten the balls, gently pressing the onion seeds or other decorative seasoning into the top.

Let the buns sit in a warm place to rise for about 45 min. (I let them rise a good 10-15min longer than recipe called for). Preheat oven to 400 while buns are rising. When they have risen, back for 10-20 min. They are done when they are golden brown.

dough before rising

dough before rising

Buns!

Buns!

They had an excellent taste, cut well even when hot, and stood up to the massive amount of sloppy joe ground beef slathered on them.

Bake and enjoy my fellow GF peeps and if you like, here’s the original recipe!

Black Hole in Residence

The upside of kids being out of school is that I can sleep an hour later. Ah, sleep, how I love thee. Seriously, I could wax poetic about sleep for awhile. I’ll stop now, though.

The downside? Fourteen year old boy, at home, with ready access to the refrigerator.

Granted, his sisters can eat a healthy amount too, but Mr. Smarty-pants has officially entered the phase of puberty known as the “black hole”. What? That isn’t a term? Pft. I’m a scientist. It is now.

In an effort to save money I got a membership to Costco. The problem with buying in bulk, is that he eats in bulk.

  • 54 single serving bags of chips? DEVOURED!
  • Gallon of milk? GUZZLED!
  • Gallon of ice cream? OBLITERATED!
  • Giant box of gogurt? SQUISHED OUT OF EXISTENCE!

That’s just the beginning of his food destruction. It doesn’t even touch on the 2 entire packages of hot dogs he ate in 2 days the week before. Oddly, all the frozen vegetables appear safe from his carnage.

One Step Forward…Two Back

The downside of being gluten free, aside from the complexity of eating out and cooking, is that there are people bound and determine to prove it is just a “fad”. I will grant that gluten sensitivity, and likely Celiacs as well, is a complicated pathology that involves more than just the gluten trigger.  This makes it no less real than say, schizophrenia, bipolar, major depression, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, or any number of diseases with complicated, hard to test pathology.

There’s currently articles going around claiming that non-Celiac gluten intolerance does not exist based on a paper published by a Dr. Peter Gibson who decided his prior published work was suspect and so repeated it, which reversed the results.

As a scientist, I’d like to point out a few things. His sample size was 37 individuals. Those individuals were divided into four groups and each got a different diet. Their diagnosis was mostly self-diagnosed and confirmed via questionaire. So basically, 37 people who maybe are gluten intolerant but could also have something else going on (yeast overgrowth, food allergy, parasites to name a few) were picked. On one hand it demonstrates the need for a definitive method of diagnosis, but also, that the experimental setup is questionable.

That’s a whopping nine folks in each category. What measures were taken to ensure patient compliance? Anyone who has attempted a GF diet knows how hard it is to avoid gluten. Also, two-weeks is not enough time for severe inflammation to reduce and for the body to heal. It often takes MONTHS. Wikipedia explains the whole FODMAP thing. Do some of the things on that list bother me? Yes. Do they send me into days of gastric distress like gluten and casein do? Nope. Many Celiacs and GF sensitive individuals, due to the nature of inflammation, have problems with many other foods that can exacerbate inflammation.

Were some of those patients likely not GF sensitive? Quite likely. This does not mean that gluten is not a problem for some people.

The important point is that non-Celiac’s gluten intolerance is not a new thing.

Read here or here for starters.

If you aren’t sick, don’t buy the hype. GF is not a fad diet. It isn’t the next new awesome weight loss trick. It’s a lifetime commitment required out of necessity.

I felt like puking up my guts for a solid year and at my worst was curled up in bed with debilitating migraines and intestinal cramps. My GI doctor told me to eat more fiber since I wasn’t a Celiac. Yeah, that didn’t really help. Trust me, if there’s a problem, you WILL know, as your body will make it pretty darn clear.

If you eliminate foods and find that you feel drastically better, don’t be afraid to trust what your body tells you, no matter what research gets shared around the internet.

I’m becoming my mother

Yes, I said it. It’s happening. I’m turning into my mother. I don’t mean the whole, “If you don’t quit making that face, it’ll freeze like that.” I never bought that line, so I don’t sell it. I just tell them it’s annoying or they look stupid.

No, I’m referring to recipe tweakification. (That’s not a word? I’m an author. I henceforth declare it a word.) When I was little, my mom almost never followed recipes. Oh, for baking she’d have some, but even then would add some of this and a little of that. She began cooking solo in her early to mid-teens. I didn’t break out to solo sauteing adventures until I was about  nineteen. It’s one thing to assist as sous chef and another to man the whole operation.

My first foray into cooking involved lots of Lea and Perrins. What can I say? I loved the stuff. Eat food tasting like it long enough, and even the most die-hard fans will want other seasoning. I bought some Indian cookbooks, and then ventured into tried and true American classics, and then I discovered baking. My very first baking project was a pumpkin pie. I think I ate it all myself because the ex didn’t like pumpkin pie. It turned out well, even if I was sick of pumpkin pie by week’s end. I then tried cookies, and cakes, and found that brownies were my kryptonite. I was hitting my stride when gluten intolerance struck (and dairy intolerance).

I didn’t quite go all the way back to square one, but there was definitely a learning curve in regards to the many flours and starches used in GF baking. I still use recipes, especially if it’s a new dish, but I’m not afraid to venture beyond the ingredients list.

On Easter Sunday, I made some lovely dinner rolls. Granted, I didn’t let them rise long enough, and they may have needed a bit more flour to maintain a rounder shape, but the texture and taste were lovely. A guest asked, “There’s no gluten in these? At all?”

That, my internet denizens is a sign of GF baking success. I had been worried, because I essentially cobbled together a couple of different recipes. Soup king asked what I put in it, and I started listing ingredients and the additions to the recipes. He expressed frustration that I never exactly follow a recipe anymore. I commiserate. I had the same frustration once with my mother.

 

What’s on the menu?

We all enjoy our comfort foods. Who doesn’t like a nice bowl of creamy mac ‘n cheese, or fried chicken, or warm pie a la mode*? As toddlers, each of my kids went through phases where they latched onto a specific food and demanded it at every dinner. Of course, they didn’t get their way. I too have my favorite foods, but I enjoy stepping outside my normal dinner plate and trying something new. I grew brave a few months back and tried sushi. I now have a new favorite. 🙂 I have one child who will try almost anything and always has been the least picky, one who has gone from non- picky, to picky, and now brave, and another that finds new and entertaining ways to negotiate her way out of mysterious new meals.

Just as we have favorite foods, many of us have favorite genres. Once I graduated into “chapter books” I gravitated towards mysteries. Then my mother introduced me to old classics. For years, if it wasn’t a classic or Nancy Drew mystery, I hesitated to check it out of the library. I remember one day my brother called me to his room and handed me a book he had checked out. I don’t recall the title anymore, but it was a fantasy tale about a boy and a dragon. I cocked an eyebrow, wondering if something my little brother picked out could be worthy of my interest. I stepped out of my reading niche and tried it. Not only did I like it, I proceeded to read the entire series. Bit by bit, I found new genres as people suggested titles or boredom and lack of selection drove me to try an unlikely pick.

Just because it isn’t your usual fare, don’t be afraid to read or write in a new genre, or try that interesting recipe you saw online.  Maybe you won’t like it, and that’s okay. On the other hand you just might discover a brand new favorite!

*As a person with Celiacs, I can no longer eat any of these traditional foods. I endeavor to find awesome replacements.