Accepting the challenges in creating a gluten free household

Archive for the ‘Bread’ Category

Hot Cross Buns

It is Easter weekend.  We were invited to bring Paska (Ukranian Easter Bread) or Hot Cross Buns for a coffee time after church tomorrow.  I tried a GF Paska recipe last week, and though it smelled delicious (even tasted good according to my hubby) – it looked awful.  It fell as it cooled, so the inside was rather gooey-looking.

I also had a Hot Cross Buns recipe to try, so this morning I made them, and put them confidently into the oven.  So far, so good.  But I didn’t watch them carefully enough and they got too brown.  Which made them very thick-crusted.  The insides looked wonderful.  That was enough encouragement to try again.  I knew exactly what I’d done wrong.  I tried again.  Success!!  Here’s the Hot Cross Bun recipe I used, the way I made them.  The recipe is based on one by Rebecca Reilly, author of  Gluten Free Baking.  I love the flour blend.  The original recipe is here:

1 cup bean flour
2/3 cup tapioca starch
2/3 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup arrowroot starch
⅓ cup sugar
2 tablespoons rapid-rise yeast
½ cup skim milk powder
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup warm water
¼ cup light olive oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup raisins
Grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons melted butter, for brushing

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl.  Add grated lemon zest.

In a smaller bowl, mix water, oil, eggs and vinegar, add to dry ingredients and beat for 5 minutes.  Mix in raisins.

Using an ice cream/cookie scoop, scoop out dough and place on cookie sheet with a bit of space between each bun.  Brush the buns with melted butter and cut an X into the top of each bun. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 20 to 30 minutes.

Place buns in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a rack. When the buns are cool, drizzle icing over the scored X.   Makes 15 buns.

1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla

Whisk powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together until smooth. Add more milk if icing is too thick.


Grain Free Flatbread

The original recipe that I’m using comes from  I am experimenting with various flours, and mine may not always be grain free, but for now, this recipe is grain free.

I was intrigued with the idea of making one bun at a time.  Anyone who has eaten gluten-free knows that baked products are best fresh.  But I can’t make just one… I usually quadruple the recipe to make a whopping four buns!

I LOVE the short list of ingredients.  If you’re like me, and spend most of your grocery-shopping time reading ingredients, you know that you ought to be given a degree at the end of many lists just for successfully pronouncing all the ingredients.  What is all that stuff!! If I can’t pronounce it, I don’t think I want to eat it!!

I love how quick this is.  No kneading, no rising.  I can decide we need buns and have them in less than ½ hour.

We like coconut in this house.  There is a coconut taste to these buns.  I haven’t tried them with NO coconut flour, but I have tried them with half coconut flour and half quinoa flour.  I have also added a few herbs to make it more savory.


  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix coconut flour, sea salt, and baking powder together until combined. Add egg and melted coconut oil and mix well. Let better sit for a few minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquid. Put half the batter on parchment-lined baking pan and use a spatula to spread batter into a circle the size of a bun. Repeat using the rest of the batter. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: The Coconut Mama suggests that you can replace 1/2 Tbsp of coconut flour with 1 Tbsp of almond flour.  I haven’t tried that, but did replace 1/2 Tbsp of coconut flour with quinoa flour this morning, with good results.

Brown Bread

Brown Bread

I have had too many failures lately.  So when I found this recipe again with the notation “good” from 2009, I knew I had to try it again.  When it was cooling in the kitchen my hubby realized the house was smelling real good.  I picked up my cooled bread and showed him… “What’s wrong with this!!”  (It wasn’t really a question… rather an exclamation that I finally had bread that looked and smelled like bread again.)  He only heard the question, and, of course, needed to answer.  Not wanting to appear to be ignorant, he guessed, “It’s too brown?”  I shouldn’t have asked…  I sighed.  “Look, it didn’t fall, it looks and smells like bread!!  He agreed and was happy to help me out by taste testing.  It passed.The recipe is adapted from 125 Best Gluten-Free Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt.

1¼ cups brown rice flour
½ cup sorghum flour
½ cup cornstarch
½ cup rice bran
1 tbsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp bread machine or instant yeast
1 ¼ tsp salt
1 cup warmed water or milk (I used almond milk)
1 tsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 tsp liquid honey
2 tbsp fancy molasses
3 eggs

In a large bowl or plastic bag, combine all dry ingredients.  Mix well and set aside.
In your mixer bowl, combine all liquids with paddle attachment.
With the mixer on lowest speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the honey mixture until combined.  With a rubber spatula, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.  With the mixer on medium speed, beat for 4 minutes.

Spoon into prepared pan.  Let rise, uncovered, in a warm, draft-free place for 60 – 75 minutes or until the dough has risen to the top of the pan.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread

Most of the bought GF bread I have tried tastes a bit like sawdust.  There are those who have learned to
make good gf bread, and I have tried a number of good recipes. Occasionally I forget which recipe I liked best, but I had taken some pictures on February 17, of a bread I made and liked. Fortunately, I scribble (or type) notes onto my recipes and so was able to figure this one out by the date on the pictures and the date on the recipe. This is another recipe from The Baking Beauties. (Seriously, every thing I’ve made from Jeanine’s site has turned out well.)

In place of the xanthan gum, I tried this substitution: substitute 1 ½ tsp ground chia seeds and 1 tsp ground flaxseed mixed with 5 tsp boiling water – mix well and allow to cool.

Made with substitutions on February 17, 2011… looks and smells yummy!!

Brenda’s Soft White Bread

After tasting the available bought gluten-free breads, I knew I needed to bake.  One of the first ones I tried was my friend Brenda’s bread recipe and it was very good.  Brenda’s husband was diagnosed over a year ago, and she, too, looked at it as a challenge.  She made amazing bread and cookies prior to the diagnosis, and wanted that to continue. Check out her blog for the recipe: