What Life Dishes Out A Gluten Free and (almost) Vegetarian Cooking Blog

August 7, 2010

A Camping Necessity – Gluten Free Graham Crackers

Tonight, we’ll be camping out for the first time this summer.  We’re not really going anywhere, since we rarely like to leave The Compound, so we’ll instead be setting up our tent right here in the yard. 

No camping experience would be complete without a bonfire, and no bonfire would be complete without S’mores!

So, today I’m making Gluten Free Grahams for our S’mores.  Would you like to join me?

You’ll need:

2 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour*

1/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour

1/2 Cup packed Brown Sugar

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum

7 Tbsp Butter

3 Tbsp Cold Water

3 Tbsp Honey

1 tsp Vanilla

Sugar

*Note: I normally use a blend of 2/3 Cup Garbanzo Flour, 2/3 Cup Tapioca Starch and 2/3 Cup Corn Starch, but I was out of the Garbanzo Flour so I substituted 2 Cups of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, which is a Garbanzo based blend.  I didn’t notice any difference in the result!

 

What to do:

Line 2 Cookie Sheets with Parchment Paper and spray the paper lightly with Cooking Spray.

Combine Flours, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Xantham Gum in a large bowl with a wire whisk.

Cut Butter into small pieces.

Using a Pastry Cutter, cut butter into flour mixture. 

I usually give up and start using my hands to combined the butter and flour mixture.  Then, I finish up by using a wire whisk again. 

When ready, it should look like this:

Now, pour in water, honey and vanilla and using a wooden spoon stir ingredients until the mixture is well combined and forms a ball. 

You may need to add a bit more Water, or more a bit more Brown Rice Flour if your dough is too dry or too sticky.

This is what you are going for:

Divide dough into two parts, wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.  I actually skipped cooling the dough today, but it does make it a bit easier to work with.

You can form your Graham Crackers (my kids say they should really be called Graham Cookies!) a couple different ways. 

Using another lightly sprayed piece of Parchment, roll the dough into a large rectangle on the cookie sheet between the paper.

Carefully peel off the top layer of parchment, and using a knife, score the dough into squares. 

Remove the rough edges of the dough  (you can save the scraps to form more crackers).

Using a serving fork, prick a few rows of holes in each cracker.  Then sprinkle lightly all over with Sugar.

Alternatively, for round crackers, you can roll 1 inch balls of dough and place on lightly sprayed parchment. 

Using another sprayed piece of Parchment and a flat bottomed bowl, press each ball into a circle.

Prick with a fork and sprinkle with Sugar.

This is also a great way to use up those rough edges you removed from making the square crackers.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  The individual round cookies will take less time that the large sheet.

Remove from oven and re-score along your previously cut lines by pressing straight down with a knife.

Remove to a wire rack to cool.

The edges are going to be crisp, but the centers remain a little soft, which I actually really like, especially for the S’mores because they don’t crumble apart when you bite into them like traditional gluten-filled boxed cookies.   If you prefer a crispier cracker, you can roll them thinner and/or bake them a bit longer. 

My Gluten-Intolerant friend took some of these Grahams to her workplace to share and even the Gluten-eaters were asking for the recipe! 

If you  – by some miracle – have any of these Grahams leftover, you can throw them in the freezer to save for making Graham Cracker Pie Crusts.  I actually have a bag in my freezer from a previous batch which I am expecting to soon turn into a Gluten-Free version of  The Pioneer Woman’s Blackberry Cheesecake .  Doesn’t that just look dreamy???

June 27, 2010

Back To The Grind

Filed under: Tips & Tricks,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:28 am

I’m out of my favorite Gluten Free Flour Mix again.

Time to get out the heavy artillery.

We ordered this grinder last year, just a couple months after going Gluten Free.  We figured that  although it was expensive, it would pay for itself over time since GF Flours are not cheap. 

We purchased it online at:

http://www.fernsnutrition.com/

We buy our brown rice in bulk at Costco.  This bag runs about $13.  It’s organic, too!

We grind about 8 cups of rice at a time, which translates into about 12 cups of flour.  This amount of flour will last us at least a few weeks depending upon how much baking is done.  I’m convinced that grinding our own rice makes a big difference in the outcome of my baked goods. 

I just store the flour in ziploc freezer bags in my cupboard or refrigerator, depending on how quickly I think it will be used.

The process itself is easy.

Pour the rice into the hopper.

Place the lid on and turn on the machine by moving the lower knob clockwise. 

The lower knob adjusts the rate at which the grain falls.  Smaller seeds (amaranth, quinoa) would require the knob to be closer to the “fine” side, but with larger grains, like the short grain brown rice, it’s necessary to turn closer to the “coarse” end or else the opening in the bottom of the hopper will not be large enough for the grain to fall into the grinding mechanism.

This is how we keep it adjusted for our brown rice flour:

This gives us a nice, fine grind.  If you do grind the flour too coarse, your baked goods will be gritty.  This is a problem with many of the commercial rice flours on the market. 

It’s going to take some time for the rice to be ground.  The machine is VERY loud and there will be some dust created.  If this is a concern to you, the grinder can be moved into the garage our outside to run.  Just keep an eye on it, so you know when all the rice has moved through.  The machine will start to whine a bit when the hopper is empty.  The 8 cups of this type rice takes about 10-15 minutes to grind.

When the milling is complete, you should have nice fluffy, powdery flour:

Package it up, or mix it with starches to make an all-purpose flour mix. 

This is my favorite mix:

Annalise Roberts Brown Rice Flour Mix

from www.foodphilosopher.com

2 parts Brown Rice Flour

2/3 part Potato Starch

1/3 part Tapioca Starch (aka Tapioca Flour)

Whisk the flours together and store in an airtight container.

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