Gluten-free Allergen-free Baking: Baked Amaranth Meal Cracker Flatbread Recipe

December 20th, 2009 yum Posted in Amaranth, Baked Goods, Bread, Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Dairy Free, Easy, Egg Free, Flatbread, Gluten Free Crackers, JM friendly, Nut Free, Rice Free, Soy Free, TED Elimination Diet, Vegan, potato allergy 12 Comments »

amaranthpizza

Picture a little round seed that looks like it belongs in a bird feeder or could be the start of a Chia pet. Imagine this seed surrounded by a million of its friends in a plastic clear bag from Bob’s Red Mill labeled “Amaranth Grain.” On my allergy rotation diet, this seed has become a staple, but not one that particularly thrills me. In the morning I’ve been having it boiled into a porridge with lemon olive oil, honey, nutmeg and raisins. I add all these things to mask the earthy, savory nature of the seed. Boiling it creates this gel-like stuff that seems only appropriate for an astronaut meal.

After eating this gloppy porridge one too many times, I started daydreaming about things I could do to give it a better texture. Somehow I came up with the idea of spreading it out like a pizza on parchment paper and baking it into a tasty flatbread that could be used as a pizza base or crackers. And- miracle of miracles, this technique worked and transformed my martian-gel porridge into this amazing cracker bread that rivals flax crackers for crunch and has amazing flavor too! So lately, I eat my morning glop but leave half of the stuff plain, chill it and bake it later. When I enjoy this gluten-free crunchy, salty cracker flatbread with tasty veggies, it’s hard to remember that it is the same stuff that I eat for breakfast, transformed thanks to the magic of the kitchen.

The baked seed pops in your mouth a little and the high protein count means you don’t even miss t he missing dairy, egg or soy in the recipe- it is simply fabulous, and fabulously easy. I hope the next time you find yourself facing a big bowl of amaranth gruel that you will consider transforming it into some lovely salty flatbread.

And, if like me you need to avoid nuts and dairy, you may enjoy topping it with a lovely pumpkin seed basil pesto and roasted red peppers and calling it pizza. I’ve been experimenting with both pumpkin seed and sunflower seeds… as rare allergens they seemed like a good bet, and they don’t seem to bother Baby Yum. To my delight, pumpkin seed pesto is just as tasty as I could have hoped- and I don’t miss the dairy or nuts in the slightest! What are your favorite ways to cook with pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds? Share in the comments and you just might inspire my dinner!

Gluten-free Amaranth cracker recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup whole amaranth grain (not flour)- i use Bob’s Red Mill brand
1 1/2 cup water
salt to taste

flavored olive oil (lemon or basil)

fresh basil, torn into pieces to garnish (optional)

Directions
Boil amaranth with water for 20-30 minutes, or until you have a thick porridge like consistency. Cool and place in refrigerator and thoroughly chill.

Preheat oven to 425F.
Line pizza pan with parchment paper and baste with olive oil.

Remove chilled amaranth and spoon onto your parchment paper into a thin, round disk, much like a pizza. Baste top with olive oil (flavored olive oil is ideal) and sprinkle with plenty of salt.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bottom of crust dries out and edges start to get crisp like a cracker. Carefully peel off parchment paper and turn crust over, basting with olive oil if desired.

Bake until you get desired crispiness on both sides of cracker. Remove from oven, slice into pizza shapes and use as flatbread, cut into crackers (if you get it really crispy), or top and bake a little more in oven.

Vegan Dairy-free Pumpkin Seed Basil Pesto Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
olive oil (start with 1 tbsp. and add more as needed to form paste)
1 small bunch fresh basil (or more, to taste)
salt
Directions
Lightly toast pumpkin seeds in a dry pan on low heat, turning as needed. Combine pumpkin seed with olive oil and basil in a small food processor and blend. Stir as needed and add more olive oil as necessary until you get a nice texture. Add salt to taste and enjoy!
Notes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepita

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Gluten-Free Olive Herb Focaccia Flatbread Recipe

May 18th, 2008 yum Posted in Bette Hagman, Bread, Flatbread, Mediterranean, herbs 15 Comments »

olivefocaccia.jpgI don’t know about you, but every time I see a bakery stand at the Farmer’s Market, or the bakery section of a gourmet grocery store, and see some beautiful herb-encrusted flatbread, I can’t help but get a little jealous. Bread can seem a little boring when it’s just plain, unflavored bread- oh, still yummy, but it doesn’t necessarily have the flavor kick to stand on its own as a meal. (I do love me a good vegetarian sandwich, though… with hummus, fresh basil, tomatoes and sprouts, maybe some cheese if I’m doing dairy- oh so good.) So that’s why I was inspired to create this olive herb flatbread for a recent gluten-free support group get-together. We have members with multiple allergies, so I made the recipe as allergen-friendly as possible, with no soy, dairy, eggs, bean flour, or nuts involved. I was inspired jointly by a Bette Hagman recipe in her “Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy” and a recipe for olive herb flatbread in my The Best 50 Olive Recipes (Best 50) cookbook. Basically, the balance of flour to liquid is the only thing similar to the Bette Hagman recipe, but it was helpful and I’m sure the original recipe (with rice and tapioca starch and seasoned with fennel and onion) would be good as well. However, for my creation I wanted a more healthful flour blend with some help from one of my favorite whole-grain gluten-free flours, teff. According to one online source, teff “contains 11% protein, 80% complex carbohydrate and 3% fat. It is an excellent source of essential amino acids, especially lysine, the amino acid that is most often deficient in grain foods. Teff contains more lysine than barley, millet, and wheat and slightly less than rice or oats. Teff is also an excellent source of fiber and iron, and has many times the amount of calcium, potassium and other essential minerals found in an equal amount of other grains.” These researchers were not well versed on the gluten-free diet, but uncontaminated, gluten-free teff flour can be found through Bob’s Red Mill or The Teff Company. I like teff for the whole-grain nutty brown flour flavor it imparts to baked goods, as well as its high fiber and protein, but I think it works best combined with other flours as it is in this recipe. So, why not give this fancy flatbread recipe a try, and see how you like it. Or, better yet, come up with your own fancy flavor combination, test it out, and tell me all about it in the comments? :)

Want more whole grain bread recipes?
Try Adeena’s Gluten-Free Rosemary Teff Dinner Roll Recipe
or my South American Socca Recipe
or this Apple Onion Fetta Socca Recipe
Or my Allergen-free Buckwheat Crepe Recipe

BytheBay also has a lovely recipe for Gluten-Free Kalamata Olive Rosemary Artisan Bread that looks very promising.

Got any other favorites? Share in the comments!
*Note- I was making other pizzas in the oven at the same time and the oven door was something of a revolving door, so the bread sank a little. However, it tasted great and the texture was very good, so I think it should be fine as long as you don’t overproof it and don’t open the oven while it’s baking!*

Soy-Free Dairy-Free Egg-Free Nut-Free Vegan Gluten Free Olive Herbed Focaccia Recipe
Ingredients
2 tsp sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup teff flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 ener-g foods egg replacer egg or 1 real egg if desired
1 tbsp. high quality olive oil
scant 3/4 cup chopped kalamata olives (use 1/2 cup in the dough, the rest for garnishing to taste)
1 tbsp. fresh oregano
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt or black salt
Directions
Prepare a jelly roll pan by spraying it with non stick cooking spray or oiling it with olive oil and using parchment paper.

Combine sugar with water, add yeast. Combine dry ingredients (up to salt) in a medium bowl. In the bowl of your kitchenaid mixer, combine the “egg” with the olive oil. Add your proofed yeast water. Mix and then add your dry ingredients to your mixer, including 1/2 cup of your olives if you haven’t added them already. beating on high for two minutes. Pour into the prepared pan, spread it with a frosting knife, and add any additional fresh herb sprigs, chopped olives, and salt to the top. Baste with a little more olive oil.

Cover and let rise for 40 minutes or so, while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes and tear off pieces to enjoy with high quality olive oil, or on their own.

Notes
This flatbread was very good. It did deflate a little after rising, perhaps due to the egg replacer egg. Still- Yummy! I’ve always wanted to make an olive flatbread like this.

The olive seasonings idea came from a little book called “The Best 50 Olive Recipes.”

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