Thursday, 22 September 2011

Cinnamon Scrolls (with egg free and milk free suggestions)

Low-Oxalate, Gluten and Lactose/Dairy free Cinnamon Scrolls
My friend Kathy made home made cinnamon scrolls today, and I was so damn impressed with them (and her) that I went home to see if there was a gluten free alternative. I found this recipe but I made a few adjustments so I thought I'd add it to the blog.

Pastry Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter or Margarine (I use lactose free butter that I have made at home, by turning cream lactose free using Lactase drops, then churning butter in my Thermomix)
  • 1/3 cup of castor sugar
  • 2/3 cup of milk at room temperature (I used lactose free buttermilk, left over from making all that butter. Could easily substitute with soy milk)
  • 1 table spoon of yeast
  • 1 egg (optional, others have tried this successfully with no egg)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of potato starch (potato starch is amazingly low in oxalates due to the process undertaken to create it)
  • 1 cup of Tapioca Flour or Arrowroot Starch
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of baking powder (I use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Powder)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons xanthum gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Milk to thicken

Okay folks, hold onto your hats, here is where it gets a bit complex. Now I made my first batch of these in the Thermomix and to be honest they came out a bit wet and difficult to work with, so I suggest only using your super expensive blender for the first step, and to make icing sugar, and do the rest by hand. 
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Cream the butter/shortening and the sugar. 
  3. Proof the yeast in the room temperature milk, then whisk it through. 
  4. Add the milk, and the rest of the ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix well to remove any lumps.
  5. Lay out some cling wrap on the bench, so that it is about 33 cm by 33 cm (perhaps a bit longer) and lightly flour with the potato starch then sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of castor sugar.
  6. Dollop the dough onto the clingwrap and using powdered hands make into a ball. Lay another sheet of cling wrap, the same size over the top and press into a square with your hands. Then use a rolling pin to flatten so that the dough is also about 33 cm, by 33 cm. This step is quite tricky, and you'll have to work hard to keep the dough from getting caught under the plastic wrap, or spilling out the sides. 
  7. Mix filling up with your fingers, remove top layer of plastic wrap, then sprinkle evenly on the dough, leaving 2 cm's sugar free on the edge closest to you.
  8. Now, using the plastic wrap, slowly roll the scroll up, removing the plastic as you go. Once you have a cinnamon log, cut into 3 cm slices, and using  a spatula (it is quite a wet mix) flip into a greased casserole dish/glass pie pan.
  9. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until brown and scroll like.
  10. Meanwhile, mix icing sugar and vanilla together, adding milk to your desired thickness.
  11. When scrolls are ready, remove from oven and pour glaze over in a pretty pattern. Leave them to cool down for ten minutes, then serve still warm.
This makes for a very soft, light and fluffy delight. Very sweet, the original recipe suggested 1 cup of brown sugar for the filling, but I think you could use as little as half a cup and it would be fine. Adding stewed red apple might also be nice. (Or an onion/capsicum and sweet chilli sauce for a savoury scroll) You can leave the pan in the fridge over night before you bake it, making this a very portable, tasty treat that can be cooked up at your convenience. Makes quite a large scroll, so splitting into two servings works well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Amazing Bread

Home made low-oxalate gluten free bread has proved to be nigh on impossible.  Most recipes have an ingredients list a mile long, and turn out crumbly and sour tasting. Usually I buy Country Life gluten free bread from Woolies, or Coles, but at six bucks a pop (for a tiny loaf) it gets expensive. Enter:

Based on a recipe from 'Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day', Hertzberg and Francois, I found this bread on Jo Whitton's thermomix blog  Quirky Cooking. She advertised it as bendy bread, which to all you non-gluten free people means very little... To us fighting for gluten freedom? Stumbling upon bendy bread (the kind you can use in a sausage sizzle) is like finding gold in your veggie patch. And to discover that bread can be easily converted to low-oxalate? Well I'm staking a claim.

Now, don't be put off by the amounts, this recipe will easily make two largish bread loaves (if not more). I've tried halving and it didn't work as well, I think the sticky goodness from all those eggs needs to permeate throughout your dough. If you are intimidated by the drawn out method, then you can try adding a couple of teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to counteract the yeastiness. Your bread will not rise quite as well, or be as springy but it still makes for a very edible, slice-able loaf--and you can make it on the same day you mix the batter. I will be trialing a yeast free alternative next week, I'll keep you updated on the success.


Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups of white rice flour (300 grams of white rice if milling in a Thermomix, I use Basmati rice because it's lower GI)
  • 1/1/2 cups/220 grams of Sorghum flour  (Also known as Jawar Attar flour, can be found at an Indian Grocer, they have it at Crunch Munch on Cambridge St, Wembley)
  • 3 cups/380grams Tapioca Flour (Also known as Tapioca starch, or arrowroot flour)
  • 2 Tablespoons of yeast 
  • 1 Tablespoon of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of Xantham Gum (Can substitute Guar Gum, but I find it doesn't work as well, and I'm a bit suss on it's oxalate freeness)
  • 2 Teaspoons of Psyllium (Not in original recipe, but I find bread rises better when it's included)
Wet Ingredients
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2 2/3 cups/670grams of lukewarm water
  • 1/3 cup/65 grams of olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons/30 grams of honey

1. Whisk together dry ingredients, or blend in Thermomix on speed 5, till well combined. Set aside in large bowl or plastic container. (Preferably something large with a lid)

2. Whisk the eggs, and dump onto the dry ingredients. If using a Thermomix weigh all the wet ingredients, including the eggs in the TM bowl, then mix on speed four.
3. If you haven't already mixed the oil, honey and water together, do so now, then slowly pour in to the dry ingredients, stirring as you go. Don't add all the liquid at once, or it will be lumpy. 

4. Now here is where it starts to get complicated. Once the 'batter' is thoroughly combined, cover (not airtight) and set aside to rise for about 2 hours. 

5. The recipe says to then place the dough in the refrigerator over night.  I found that when I cooked a loaf straight away it was very yeasty. However the third batch I made, I added 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to the wet ingredients. The loaf didn't rise quite as well,  but it definitely counteracted the yeastiness. (Which if you have gut problems is well worthwhile) Even second day dough was still a bit yeasty for my liking.

6. When you are ready to bake, grease a loaf tin with butter or margarine. Using wet hands take out two grapfruit sized balls, and place them next to each other in the tin. You can smooth the loaf over using wet fingers. Then cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for about 90 minutes in a warm place. (Sometimes I put the bread in the oven on low for forty minutes first just to give it a kick start).

7. While the bread is rising, pre-heat your oven to 230 degrees, and place a cake tin on the bottom tray. The bread will not rise much in this time it will just get a bit fluffier. When the bread is ready to cook, make about four quarter inch slashes across the top with a knife. Place bread in oven, on top rack, and pour 1 cup of hot water into the cake tin below. Close the oven immediately.

8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until you've reached your desired level of golden crunchyness. Test to see if it's cooked by tapping on the top. If it sounds hollow, it is done! Remove, from tray and leave to cool on a wire rack for five minutes.

I wrap my bread in a tea-towel until it is cooled down then place it in an air-tight plastic storage container, to keep it fresh. You can make a loaf each day, or make several loaves at once, slice and freeze. I find this bread doesn't toast up that well but when you toast it from frozen it will be just like it's fresh out of the oven. 

As I said it is quite a yeasty bread, so if you have candida or yeast problems it might not be the way to go. But stay tuned, because I am going to attempt a yeast free version, and I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, 19 September 2011

I can't believe it's not tomato sauce...

The thing I miss most? Tomatoes. Pizza, lasagna, spaghetti...*sigh.* Until my best friend Esther came up with a more than excellent alternative to tomato sauce. Introducing:



Two to three large red capsicums (sweet red bell peppers for all those non-aussies)
1/2 a carrot
1 onion diced
Small tin of apricots (can substitute with plums or a mango)
1 Tblsp of oyster sauce
1/2 Tsp crushed garlic
1/2 Tsp Oregano
1/2 Tsp Basil
1 Tblsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Grill, roast or fry the capsicum until it is charred and soft
2. Fry onion and carrot (optional) until caremelised
3. Blend fruit, capsicum and the remainder of the ingredients until you have reached the desired consistency. (Anywhere from a salsa to a smooth liquid sauce) Makes about 500 mls.

Voila, it tastes as much like tomato as anything completely tomato free can! Great for pizza toppings, pasta dishes, lasagna, anything that takes your fancy. I also substitute tomatoes with pureed capsicum and stone fruit, or capsicum and mango chutney for curries and soups.

(Thanks to Cat Timms for the picture