Gluten-free Jowar Roti or Sorghum Flatbread Tortilla Recipe

March 8th, 2010 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Indian, Indian Flatbread, JM friendly, Karina Friendly, Nut Free, Rice Free, Sorghum, Soy Free, TED Elimination Diet, Vegan, tapioca starch free 29 Comments »

The first time I heard of Jowar Roti was when I was on a trip to India and staying in Bangalore. I read in a blog that the “Jolad rotti oota” in Kamat Minerva (at Minerva circle) in Bagalore was absolutely amazing. The Jowar Roti there might even be gluten-free- but I didn’t have time to go and investigate. Once I returned to the States i didn’t think much about it, but I’d filed away the thought of single flour, gluten-free roti. Once I had to go on a rotation diet for baby Yum, I remembered those breads and set to work perfecting them at home. First, I came up with a yummy millet flatbread recipe. The sorghum one was considerably harder. When it has worked, the results have been spectacular, but it has been hit or miss, with quite a few impromptu “pizzas” made with the failed dough. However, recently I finally stumbled upon a winning technique that seems to work every time. It requires a roux whisk- but you should have one of those anyway! It is by far my favorite whisk, perfect for making gluten-free vegan gravy. If you don’t have one, I have a backup technique, but it doesn’t work half as well and you may end up eating pizza. Surprise.

While I love the mild flavor of the millet roti, the sorghum roti is amazingly flexible and can be easily wrapped around fillings without cracking. They taste the best hot off the griddle. For a dry, crackly bread, just leave them on the griddle until dark spots appear. For a soft, pliable tortilla, make them a little thicker and/or only keep them on the griddle until a few light brown spots appear. I love this roti with vegetable fajita filling or an Indian curry. It has more whole grain personality than millet, which I personally like, and is definitely more versatile. Best of all, it naturally does not need eggs, dairy, baking powder, xanthan gum or any other ingredient that may be problematic for the gluten-free, allergic baker. Let’s hear it for naturally simple gluten-free baked products! Let me know what you think when you try it. It has become a favorite menu staple at our house. *Also, if you have any great gluten-free vegetarian curry recipes that would go well with this roti, share in the comments and I’ll add links to the post!

Jowar Roti Sorghum Flatbread Tortilla Recipe
2 cups sorghum flour (for pretty, cream colored roti like those pictured, use Authentic Foods Sorghum flour. For a more rustic greyish roti use Bob’s Red Mill)
2 cups water

salt to taste

Put your flour container near the stove and measure out one cup of sorghum flour to have ready next to the burner. You will either need a heavy roux whisk OR a food processor and lots of patience. You will also need a sturdy wooden spoon and strong arm muscles for this recipe (or the ability to fake it, like me).

Bring your water barely to a boil in a saucepan. Add your 1 cup of flour gradually but steadily, using the roux whisk to whisk the stream of flour into the water continuously. Reduce heat to low. Moving quickly, measure out the second cup of flour and grab your wooden spoon. Stir in your second cup of flour into the dough in the pan. This is the part that requires arm muscles. Ouch. Let’s just say this was a workout for me. A skin of dough should have formed on the bottom of the pan, leaving you with a ball of dough that becomes increasingly rubbery the longer you have it on the stove. I keep it on the stove, mixing and moving the ball of dough around, for around two minutes, or until the dough attains a really nice rubbery texture. (Trust me, it is a good thing.) Remove dough to a heat resistant bowl and leave for five-ten minutes or until cool enough to handle. Form into small balls and place in a bowl.

Take a quart size freezer safe ziploc bag and cut out the sides.

For wimpy, no rolling method, put the bag into a tortilla press. Place a ball of dough in the press between layers of plastic. Press.

For rolling method, simply roll out dough inside your ziploc bag, with rolling pin on the top outside of the bag.

Either way, peel your tortilla from plastic and place on a plate. These tortillas handle well, so no worries.

Heat cast iron skillet to medium and toast your flatbread until its texture changes, and if you like, until it gets light brown spots. Turn it and toast the other side. Sometimes they will puff up with internal air pockets, which I think signifies a lovely, tasty flatbread. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Try to refrain from immediately slathering your flatbread with soy-free, dairy-free margarine immediately off the skillet. Or not. Its up to you. :) I usually gobble a few before dinner gets anywhere near the table.

*IF you don’t have a roux whisk and still want to make this recipe, you can try whisking your first cup of flour with a regular whisk or large serving fork. If it seizes up and gives you unpleasant flour pockets, try those arm muscles and stir the heck out of it- follow the above directions as best you can but after heating for a few minutes on low, throw the dough into your food processor and blend that dough into smooth submission. I had mediocre success with this method. Read *Warning* in the notes, along with suggested usage of failed dough.

A blogger who tried my millet roti recipe commented that she preferred the flavor/ texture of flatbread rolled out by hand. Personally I think if you work the dough enough AND press it in the tortilla press multiple times to get a really nice thin flatbread, it shouldn’t matter. If the tortilla puffs up nicely and creates a pretty air pocket, that is good enough for me. But then, I’m just too darned lazy to roll out my flatbread. And I hate my rolling pin, which weighs more than Baby Yum and is harder to handle.

*WARNING: IF you don’t have a roux whisk… get one! You can however try making this without one if you have a food processor. The recipe CAN fail using the food processor method, though. If you wind up with sticky dough, you can always make a yeast-free pizza flatbread by throwing the darned stuff onto a sheet of parchment paper, drizzling with oil or a little water and pressing out into a pizza shape. Bake in the oven until crunchy. It will taste “gluten-free” but is edible and at least the flour won’t go to waste.

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Gluten-free Vegan French Bread Recipe

March 1st, 2010 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Rice Free, Soy Free, TED Elimination Diet, Vegan 48 Comments »

It makes me mad when I hear relatively recently diagnosed Celiacs talk about how they haven’t had pizza or bread since diagnosis… or that when they have had it, they didn’t enjoy it. It is not that I am mad at them- far from it! No, I’m mad at a society that equates bread products with gluten, and mad at companies that create allergen-free bread completely lacking in taste or appeal that scar these poor souls so dreadfully that they vow off bread entirely.

Oh, I know there is a school of thought that says breads are over-rated, and what we all need to do is go back to the basics. Protein, Vegetable, Fruit, crunchy grain that looks like bird seed (preferably boiled). I suppose that might be healthy and good for the body, sometimes. And this diet certainly simplifies life when you are first overwhelmed by a bewildering new diagnosis. But all the time? Forever and ever? No! Just say no, I say. Because toothsome, luscious, crunchy bread and supple, seductive pizza is something I would never want to live without… and all of us gluten-sensitive people don’t have to. And… furthermore, let me tell you a secret. Even if you can’t have dairy, or eggs, or soy- you can still have amazing bread that kicks all those lead weight gluten-free breads to the curb.

I’ve finally gotten to the point with my darling baby Yum where I can have enough ingredients to make some really tasty baked goods. Karina the gluten-free goddess showed me the ropes there, to the joy that is rice-free, dairy-free, egg-free baking. But glorious and abundant as her site is- there are still things I want to eat that haven’t been created yet. And so, this week I turned my sights to french bread. Ah, french bread. I’ve long had an affair with Bette Hagman’s classic white rice-tapioca rapid rise french bread. But, its reliance on eggs, flirtation with dairy, and rice-heavy base just doesn’t work for me these days. My spiced basil-balsamic dipping oil recipe was getting dusty… and so, I wiped off my beloved Kitchenaid and started experimenting. This loaf was the incredibly satisfying result.

We took this loaf on a car-picnic to the drive-in movie with Baby Yum. Basil dipping oil? Check. Caraway and fresh Beet vinaigrette salad? Check. And the bread? With its crunchy exterior and soft center, it was wonderfully rippable, and made up for my long lost rice french bread big time.

Gluten-free Sorghum Rosemary french bread recipe
Special equipment *french bread pan- worth every penny!
spectrum shortening (or other palm oil shortening, or coconut oil)
Millet grits (or cornmeal if corn is not an issue for you)

1 1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1 cup tapioca flour (or, for a more delicate bread, arrowroot starch)
1 tbsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. egg replacer
2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 tbsp. rapid-rise yeast
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 Ener-g foods Egg replacer “eggs” (4 1/2 tsp. egg replacer whisked with 6 tbsp. warm water)
1 tsp. vinegar (i use cider)

melted Soy-free dairy-free earth balance margarine
crushed rosemary
kosher salt (flaked is perfect)

Preheat oven to 375F.

Grease TWO SIDES of french bread pan with shortening or coconut oil and sprinkle with millet grits or other gritty gluten-free substance like cornmeal. (Recipe makes two french bread loaves) Do NOT line french bread with aluminum foil or anything like that- the holes are there for a reason and the dough is thick enough that it will not leak out the bottom.

Combine dry ingredients (through 1st egg replacer) in a medium mixing bowl of a standing mixer and fold together. Put sugar and lukewarm water in a small bowl and add yeast. As it starts to puff up, add the yeast water to the medium mixing bowl. Add olive oil, egg replacer “Eggs” and vinegar and mix on medium for 3 minutes.

Carefully scoop out your dough and make TWO bread shaped ovals in your french bread pan. Baste with melted margarine and make a few slightly slanted decorative slices in the top. Sprinkle with crushed rosemary and flaked kosher salt.

Let rise for 20-30 minutes or until about doubled in size.*

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bread sounds slightly hollow when you tap it and is a nice brown color.

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