September 30, 2007

Cinnamon Rolls - Gluten & Dairy Free

A Daring Baker's Challenge

The Daring Baker's have graciously allowed me to join their ranks. The idea behind the Daring Baker's is that we all make the same recipe, without any changes in order to challenge ourselves as bakers. There are certain exceptions to not making any changes though and the one that applies to me is needing to make changes in the ingredient list for a medical condition, allergies or intolerances, etc.

Many people who can't eat gluten have other health issues as well, such as allergies, other food intolerances, diabetes, thyroid problems, and more. As for me, I do fall into the category of having other health issues, such as an intolerance to dairy and soy, a mild intolerance to nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers) and a new challenge in reactive hypoglycemia. For my first Daring Baker's challenge, I needed to make a few changes in the recipe, first I used agave syrup in the dough to reduce the sugar content, I used lite coconut milk instead of cow's milk, I used 2 packages of active dry yeast (gluten free), guar gum as a binder and I used a combination of gluten free flours.

This month's recipe challenge was for Cinnamon Rolls or Sticky Buns which comes from Peter Reinhart's book The Bread Baker's Apprentice. It is considered to be a classic on bread baking and was named a cookbook of the year in 2002 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the James Beard Foundation. Peter is a baking instructor for Johnson & Wales University and was a co-founder of Brother Juniper's Bakery in Sonoma, California. He has a new cookbook that came out in August called, Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor.

Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns find their origins in our ancient past beginning with the Egyptians, the Greeks and Romans, continuing into Medieval Europe and present day America. Modern day cousins to these ancient breads can be found in coffee cakes and galettes or with doughnuts and fritters. According to Dr. Ronald Wirtz from the American Institute of Baking, believes that cinnamon rolls owe some of their history to the English Chelsea Bun and German Schnecken.

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Hebrews and Romans all knew and prized cinnamon which was considered fit for a royal gift. Where cinnamon came from was a mystery to the western medieval world, as it was brought to Egypt by Arab caravans. From there it was purchased by Venetian merchants who held a spice monopoly in Europe. When the trade routes were disrupted by the rise of other powers in the Mediterranean, many Europeans began the search for other ways to obtain spices. By the end of the fifteenth century Portuguese traders found Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and began a monopoly on the production of cinnamon that lasted one hundred years. By 2005, most of the world's cinnamon now comes from Indonesia. In the United States most of the cinnamon you purchase in a grocery store is actually cassia, a cousin of cinnamon.

Cinnamon rolls and cinnamon are part of our shared food history. When you make this recipe, you think of nothing other than their warm spicey goodness that is infinitely satisfying.


4 1/2 Tb Agave Syrup
1 Tsp salt
5 1/2 Tb vegetable shortening
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp grated lemon zest of 1 lemon
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp guar gum
2 packages gluten free active dry yeast
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 lite coconut milk

Cinnamon Filling

1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 Tb granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)

Fondant Glaze

4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon or orange extract
6 Tb to 1/2 cup warm lite coconut milk

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the vegetable shortening, agave syrup and salt. Pour in the beaten egg and the lemon zest. Stir until the mixture is smooth.

2. Slowly add the gluten free flours, guar gum, yeast and coconut milk. Stir until the the dough forms a ball. Then cover and allow it to sit at room temperature for approximately 2 hours.

3. Lay out a large piece of parchment paper on the counter. Pour out the dough into the center of the paper. Place another piece of parchment paper over the top of the dough. Using a rolling pin roll out the dough until it is in a rectangle (about 12 x 14 inches) that is 2/3rds of an inch thick. Don't roll the dough too thin or the rolls will break apart while they are resting and they will be a bit tough and chewy.

4. Slowly peel the top piece of parchment paper off the dough. Then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar recipe over the the rolled dough. Lift a long edge of parchment paper and ease over the edge of the dough until it begins to make a curl. Then slowly continue easing up the parchment paper until you have a long roll. Slowly peel back the parchment paper and using a sharp knife cut the dough with the seam side down into 12 to 16 pieces. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the rolls on the paper so that they are close, but not touching.

5. Allow the cinnamon rolls to rise for about 45 to 60 minutes or until it appears as though they won't rise anymore.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20 to 30 minutes. Allow the rolls to cool for at least 10 minutes before glazing them so that the fondant doesn't melt off the rolls.

7. Fondant Glaze: Sift the powdered sugar into a large bowl. Add the extract and slowly add 6 Tbs to 1/2 cup of warm lite coconut milk. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the fondant is a thick smooth paste.

8. Using a spoon scoop out the fondant and slowly drizzle it over the cinnamon rolls.

What did my family think of the cinnamon rolls? All of us enjoyed the flavor of the rolls. The flavor of the fondant wasn't a hit with my kids. They would have preferred it to be flavored with vanilla. My husband said the next time I make these rolls, he'd prefer just a little drizzle of fondant. I agreed with him and decided that I'd make much less fondant the next time. In the end, could I eat the cinnamon rolls? I couldn't eat too much of the ones I had put fondant on, there was still too much sugar. However, I could eat a lot more of the ones without the icing.

September 28, 2007

Tepary Bean & Beef Stew - Gluten Free

Native American Day

The fourth Friday in September is Native American Day. In celebration of my family's Cherokee and Chickasaw heritage, I wanted to make a dish that was inspired by our Native American ancestors. After flipping through my copy of The Art of American Indian Cooking and a looking at a bag of tepary beans that I purchased from Native Seeds/SEARCH, I decided on a stew. I created a variation on the traditional recipe for White Tepary Stew which is filled with white tepary beans from the Tohono O'odham Reservation, beef, carrots and spices. My Tepary Bean & Beef stew is a soothing and hearty dish guaranteed to satisfy any hunger pangs.

The Tohono O'odham people reside primarily in the Sonoran Desert. Once known as the Papago, a name given by the Spanish conquistadores which means tepary bean eater. Their traditional lands lie in the United States and stretch into northern Mexico, where they grew cotton, beans and corn. Their traditional lands were divided in half when the United States purchased southern Arizona in 1853 with the Gadsden Purchase. They live on one of the largest Native American reservations and still speak their native tongue and live with their traditions.

Modern life has brought it's share of challenges for the Tohono O'odham. The tribe is stricken with poverty with unemployment around 42 percent and 40 percent living below the poverty level. The largest employer is the gambling casinos where about half of the employees are O'odham. They are working to provide post high school education and training opportunities to help stem the tide of young people dropping out of high school, which is currently around 48 percent. The modern American diet has brought health challenges with half of the adults living with diabetes, which is spurring a return to their traditional crops in an effort to halt the progression of the disease.

With their traditional lands lying on both sides of the border, their once quiet life in the desert has seen a dramatic change since the mid-1990s with the flood of illegal immigrants and smugglers coming through their lands. The impact on the daily lives of the Tohono O'odham has been dramatic with the number of people moving across their lands and the work of the Border Patrol or National Guard. Theft is a daily problem and anything that can help someone move north is at risk of being stolen. Many while attempting to cross the Sonoran Desert leave many of their own possessions behind or ditch stolen vehicles. The tribe's solid waste management program removes tons of trash from around the reservation and hundreds of abandoned vehicles each year. They were once hospitable to the few that braved a desert crossing, but now the tribe's resources are stretched thin with expenses in the millions for emergency services, trash removal, coroner and services from the police.

In an effort to revitalize their health and build opportunities for a sustainable economy, an independent grass roots organization was born called Tohono O'odham Community Action (TOCA). Their current programs are the Basketweavers Organization, a community arts and culture, youth & elder outreach, and a community food system.

The brown and white varities of tepary beans they grow can be purchased from Native Seeds/SEARCH. White tepary beans are mild and slightly sweet in flavor and can be substituted in any recipe that calls for beans. The TOCA group has a brochure of recipes that comes with their beans. It has recipes for the Tepary Bean Stew, Refried Tepary Beans, Tepary Tamale Pie, Tepary Bean Dip and Sonoran Desert "Hummus."


1 1/2 cups dried white tepary beans, rinsed & picked through
10 cups water
1 cup diced carrot
1/2 diced white onion
1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
3/4 tsp black pepper or to taste
3 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into cubes
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup corn flour
olive oil for cooking meat

1. In a crock pot dump in the tepary beans, water, salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme leaves, carrot and onion. Begin cooking the beans and liquid on low heat.

2. In a medium sized bowl with a lid, pour in the rice and corn flour then dump in the chopped stew meat. Put the lid on the bowl and shake vigorously until all the meat is coated in flour.

3. In a large preheated skillet, pour in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Place the cubes of stew meat into the skillet and brown. Keep turning the pieces until all the sides have been browned. Drain the cooked meat on a paper towel covered plate.

4. Scrape the roux from the pan and place it into the crock pot. Then dump in the browned pieces of stew meat. Stir to blend the roux and meat into the stew liquid.

5. Cook the stew until the beans are tender. Cooking times will vary based on your crock pot. I started my stew around noon and served it for supper.

What was the family verdict on Tepary Bean & Beef Stew? At first my children thought there were way too many beans although they liked the flavor. The next day when we had left overs, they said the beans didn't bother them anymore. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the stew. The white tepary beans are mild with a hint of sweetness and were wonderful in the stew. This recipe is a keeper.

September 23, 2007

Sourdough Pizza - Gluten Free

For thousands of years people around the globe have been eating flat breads with a variety of toppings or fillings. The Indians have paratha, the Germans have flammkuchen or tarte flambee for the French, but flat breads like pizza come from the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The ancient Etruscans, Greeks, Romans, Persians, and Turks all had their versions of flat bread. In the remains of Pompeii, archaeologists found the remains of shops that look like the modern pizzeria.

The most important innovation which led to the modern pizza was the addition of a fruit from the New World, the tomato. Brought back to Spain, the tomato was originally considered to be poisonous, but by 1540 it was in cultivation. The Spanish helped to spread the tomato across Europe, the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

By the late 18th century the poor people of Naples added tomato to the yeasted flat bread, creating the first pizzas. With the migration of Italians, the United States saw the first pizzas in the late 19th century. They were sold from street carts in Italian neighborhoods in large cities such as San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. By the end of World War II the popularity of pizza spread across the United States by returning veterans from the Italian campaign who developed a fondness for the bread.

Pizza was the first thing I thought of when I received my diagnosis for gluten sensitivity. My first attempts at making a gluten free pizza were not memorable. Time and experimentation have led to more successful gluten free pizza recipes, although to date this one is the best. The sourdough lends a soft and slightly tangy taste to crust. The crust turned out a crisp bottom that will allow you to hold and eat a slice of pizza. The gluten free flour combination and agave syrup provide a healthier crust that is also lower on the glycemic index.

Crust Recipe

1 1/2 cup Sourdough Starter
1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 cup Corn Flour
1/2 cup Arrowroot Starch
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tb Olive Oil
1 Tb Agave Syrup
1/2 cup Water (dough may need 1 or 2 Tb more)
1 1/2 tsp Kudzu Powder, dissolved in the Water

Pizza Toppings

Pizza Sauce
Fresh Basil
Mozzarella Cheese
Sage Sausage
Any Topping You Like

Equipment Needed: A plastic or wooden spoon, a large glass, plastic or wooden bowl, pizza pan or pizza stone.

1. If you have a sourdough starter already, bring it out and let it come to room temperature. If you don't have a sourdough starter, then follow the directions on making a sourdough starter which is on my post for Sourdough Waffles.

2. In a large glass mixing bowl, dump in the first six ingredients and stir together.

3. Pour in the agave syrup and slowly start adding the water until the dough forms a moist soft ball. Depending on your baking conditions, you may need to add one or two tablespoons of water more to the dough.

4. Cover and place in a warm location for 1 hour to rise.

5. Cover a pizza pan with parchment paper. Pour out the pizza dough into the center of the pizza pan. The dough will be very soft and bubbly. Sprinkle corn flour over the top of the dough and dip your fingers into the flour to keep them from sticking. Pat out the dough into a circle using the corn flour as needed.

6. While the dough rests, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and gather your pizza toppings.

7. Spread the pizza sauce over the top of the dough then sprinkle with fresh basil sliced into fine strips. Then place the mozzarella cheese around the top and sprinkle with sage sausage.

8. Bake for 15 minutes or until the top is slightly brown and the cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool and then slice.

What did my family think about this pizza? They all thought that this was the best gluten free pizza I had ever made. I agreed, the crust was light and soft and the bottom crisp. The slices held together beautifully while you held them to eat. This is a keeper.

September 20, 2007

Strawberry Cornbread - Gluten Free & Dairy Free

A native American fruit, strawberries are were known as "heart berries" by the tribes that harvested them. In Thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest, the first full moon in June became known as the Strawberry Moon by many Native American tribes.

Strawberries are known as the fruit of forgiveness, kindness and respect. Cherokee folklore says that the First Woman and First Man were angry with each other and harsh words were said. The First Woman said she was leaving and began to quickly walk away. Regretful for his anger, The First Man began to follow her, but the First Woman was walking too quickly. He appealed for help from the Creator to slow her down. The Creator hearing his plea and recognizing his remorse, placed a variety of different berries along the way, but she didn't slow down. So the Creator went to his garden and picked up some strawberry plants and placed them in front of the First Woman. The strawberries were so beautiful, that the First Woman had to stop and try them. Forgetting her anger, she began picking berries and began to wish for her husband. Turning around she began walking towards home. The First Man hurrying after his wife, was surprised and delighted to see her returning. Smiling, the First Woman shared a beautiful red strawberry with her husband. The First Man gave thanks to the Creator for helping him. The strawberries reunited the First Man and First Woman and remind us to be kind, loving and forgiving.

Corn was staple food among Native American tribes and during the strawberry harvest, the delicious berries would be added to the batter. One way the Iroquois tribe made cornbread was to make up a corn meal and boiling water batter and add strawberries. Then they would shape loaves and boil them in water until they were done.

The strawberries and corn have been abundant at my local vegetable stand this season. I wanted to create a recipe that would celebrate both of them and our Native American heritage. This recipe is gluten and dairy free, then sweetened with agave syrup rather than sugar.

The strawberry cornbread muffins are delightful served for breakfast. Served with a dollop of lemon curd and a hot cup of Rooibos tea, they are a fabulous way to start the day.

Would you like to participate in the Gluten Free Bread Baking Bonanza in honor of the World Day of Bread and National Celiac Awareness Month? What you need to do is bake a bread, take a picture and send your blog link to gluten a go go at gmail dot com. by October 1st. I'll post a round up of all bread recipes several days later. Happy Baking!


1 1/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup + 2 Tb corn flour
2/3 cup + 2 Tb brown rice flour
2/3 cup sweet rice flour
1/3 cup almond meal
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 tsp kudzu powder, dissolved in coconut milk & water
2/3 cup coconut milk
1 1/3 cup water
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 cup strawberries, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and on a cookie sheet set out 24 silicone muffin cups or line a muffin pan with paper liners.

2. In a large measuring cup (4 cup), dump in the coconut milk and water. Stir to blend and use the spoon to break up any solid pieces from the coconut milk. Then add the kudzu powder and stir. Allow the mixture to sit and allow the kudzu to soften.

3. In a large bowl, place the first eight ingredients and stir together. Then add the vegetable shortening. Working the vegetable shortening into the dry ingredients until small crumbs form.

4. Stir the coconut milk, water and kudzu blend. Make sure the kudzu powder has dissolved into the liquid and there aren't any lumps left. Then pour in the eggs and agave syrup. Gently stir the liquids together.

5. Slowly add the liquid mixture in the large measuring cup to the flour blend in the large mixing bowl. Stir the mixture together. Then fold in the chopped strawberries. (Note: If you would like to have some plain cornbread muffins, make the recipe and don't add the strawberries. Pour the cornbread batter into 12 muffin cups. Then add the chopped strawberries to the remaining batter and then follow the rest of the recipe.)

6. Using a small measuring cup, scoop out the corn bread batter and dump into the muffin cups. Fill the cups until they are 2/3rds full.

7. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 27 minutes. Makes 24 cornbread muffins.

What did my family think about the muffins? My children voted for the plain cornbread muffins as they weren't crazy about the flavor of cooked strawberries. My husband and I thought they were fabulous. What a tasty way to start the day.

September 16, 2007

Sourdough Oat Waffles - Gluten Free

I have a gluten free sourdough starter sitting in my refrigerator and it likes to be fed about once a week. Since it was feeding time and my new Villaware waffle iron arrived, it was time to start baking. I wanted to have a more robust style of waffle with grains in it, so I chose to use gluten free oat flour and rolled oats.* The waffles turned out fluffy and delicious, with a hint of sourdough flavor.

The process of making sourdough starter and the sourdough waffle batter will take some time. Try making your starter several days before you want waffles. Then put together the waffle starter the night before you want to make them.

Waffles, pancakes, and crepes can all be part of the Bread Baking Bonanza for World Bread Day and National Celiac Awareness Month. Follow the link to find out how to participate and bake along with us.

Sourdough Starter Recipe

Equipment Needed: Plastic or Wooden Spoons and Glass, Plastic or Wooden Bowl

1 cup water
1 1/2 cup brown rice flour*
2 packets RiZE yeast or other gluten free yeast

1. In a medium sized glass, plastic or wooden bowl, pour in the water and heat it until it is between 110 & 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Dump in the yeast and brown rice flour, then using a plastic or wooden spoon stir until the ingredients are combined together.

3. Cover and place in a warm location for 1 1/2 to 3 hours. If you don't have a warm location, preheat your oven for about 5 to 10 minutes or until it is slightly warm, but not warm enough to cook. Then place your starter in the oven to rise.

4. When the starter is ready to use and you remove some for your recipe, it will need to be fed. To feed it, pour in 3/4 cup of water and 1 cup of brown rice flour.

Now you are ready to make the sourdough oat waffles recipe and have a starter that will make other wonderful gluten free sourdough breads.

Sourdough Oat Waffles Recipe

Equipment Needed: Plastic or Wooden Spoon; Plastic, Glass or Wooden Bowl

1 cup Sourdough Starter
1 cup lite coconut milk
1/2 cup oat flour**
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/4 cup rolled oats**
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tb agave syrup

1. In a medium sized bowl, dump in the sourdough starter, coconut milk and 1/2 cup oat flour. Stir together and then cover.

2. Put in a warm place to ferment for 8 to 24 hours. The longer this batter has a chance to sit the stronger the sourdough flavor will become.

3. When you are ready to cook the waffles, add the next seven ingredients. Stir to combine and then allow it to sit for a few minutes.

4. Preheat the waffle iron, when it is ready pour in the recommended amount of waffle batter for your type of waffle iron. Spread the batter to the edges and cook until a golden brown color.

5. Remove the waffle from the iron. Serve with your choice toppings. Makes 4 Belgian waffles.

What did my family think of the sourdough waffles? Everyone thought they were great, especially when served with warm maple syrup.

*You can use other gluten free flours to make your starter and other flours to feed it. If you are allergic to rice or you do not have permission to eat oats, feel free to substitute another gluten free flour.

** If you have your doctor's okay to consume oats, you can find certified gluten free oats at: Bob's Red Mill, Cream Hill Estates, Gifts of Nature,,, and

September 4, 2007

Cinnamon Carrot Muffins - Gluten Free

To kick off the Gluten Free Bread Baking Bonanza, I've made Agave Carrot Muffins. I'm holding the blogging event in honor of World Bread Day (October 16th) and October is National Celiac Awareness Month. Starting September 10th and going through October 1st, anyone may bake a gluten free bread, such as yeast, quick, popover, pizza, bagels, lefse, matzo and crackers. Take a picture, write a post about it on your blog and then send the link to gluten a go go at gmail dot com. I'll post a Bread Bonanza roundup message on Gluten A Go Go.

An update (9/13): If you would like to participate, but don't have a blog or web page, send your picture and recipe to gluten a go go at gmail dot com. I'll post your recipe on the blog.

If you are inspired, hold a gluten free bread event for charitable giving or fundraising for your favorite charity or the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). Wrap your breads and include a copy of the recipe you used before giving them away, that way the person who enjoys your bread can make it for themselves. If you would like to have a fundraising event for the NFCA, you can also have a Gluten Free Cupcake Party with help from Pamela's Products.

Here are some wonderful gluten free recipes from last year's World Bread Day to help you get started, Brandon at Something in Season baked a delightful pumpkin bread, Hippy RN over at Food is Yummy! baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, and Rachel of Rachel's Recipe Box made a loaf of delicious gluten free bread.

This recipe was inspired by Bette Hagman's Spicy Carrot Muffins in Living Well Without Wheat. These are tasty muffins that are delightful for breakfast with tea or coffee.


1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/4 cup rice bran
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup grated carrot
2/3 cup orange juice
2 tsp tapioca granules
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup agave syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and place 12 silicone muffin cups on a cookie sheet.

2. Measure out the orange juice in a measuring cup and dump in the tapioca granules. Place in the microwave cook on low heat for approximately 30 seconds. Allow the orange juice mixture to sit while you put together the other ingredients.

3. In a large bowl, dump in the first ten ingredients and stir together.

4. In a medium sized bowl, pour in the orange juice, coconut oil, agave syrup, eggs and stir together.

5. Pour the liquid mixture into the carrot flour mixture and stir. Take care not to over mix the ingredients. Then spoon the muffin batter into the 12 muffin cups.

6. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

What did my family think about the muffins? My son didn't really care for the muffins, because carrots belong in things like chicken noodle soup. My daughter thought the muffins were okay, but she too wasn't so sure about carrots in bread. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed them and thought they were the best served warm with butter.

World Day of Bread & National Celiac Awareness Month - A Gluten Free Bread Baking Bonanza

I am hosting my first gluten free bread baking bonanza in honor of the World Day of Bread on October 16th and for the National Celiac Awareness Month, which is the month of October.

Starting on September 10th and going through October 1st, bake any kind of original gluten free bread recipe or an adaption of another recipe (with credit given), take a picture (if you can), and write a post about it on your blog.

Once you are done, send your name/online name and the URL of your post to me at glutenagogo at gmail dot com. If you are so inspired, feel free to participate more than once. I will post a roundup of all the entries after the bread baking bonanza ends.

For those who want to have a charitable bread giving party for the World Day of Bread or for National Celiac Awareness Month, you will have a wide variety of luscious breads to choose from and time to plan your get together for the month of October.

Note: The World Day of Bread image is from the World Day of Bread Group and the Celiac image is courtesy of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign.