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Easy as gluten-free pie!

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Easy as gluten-free pie!

I found that the expression “easy as pie” holds true for gluten free crusts as well. My first experiment was with a peach pie this summer and since then, I’ve made all kinds of pies every week. I eat them for desserts, for dinner, for breakfast! Pies are very versatile. Apple, strawberry rhubarb, lemon, lime, quiche, salmon, beef, chicken and the list goes on. It’s an easy recipe that will be the base of many delicious creations.

Before last month, I had never made a pie in my life and I had no clue where to start. Fortunately, I came accross this amazing recipe and I was totally hooked! It seems the secret for a perfect crust is butter. I was actually a bit shocked at how much flour and butter was required for it, so I tried to cut down the quantities a little bit. Having to spend over $4.00 on butter (I never use vegetable shortening) everytime I make a pie did not seem cost effective. Here is what I came up with: (the recipe is for a double pie, top and bottom. If you only need the bottom crust, cut the recipe in half. Still use a full egg, just no egg wash and less water)

My very first pie: peach!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup amaranth flour
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup millet flour
  • 1/3 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 sticks cold butter
  • 3 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 egg (+1 egg wash)
  • 8-10 Tablespoon ice cold water
  • White rice flour (for rolling)

The first step is to mix in all the dry ingredients and cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender until it looks like coarse corn meal. If you don’t have a pastry blender, two forks will also work: it just takes a little while longer.

Cut in the cold butter.

Be patient, it’s worth it.

Make a well in the center and add the egg and lemon juice. Mix and fold. Now, add water, little at a time, until the consistency is just right. It should leave the sides of the bowl and not be too sticky. You can adjust with more water if it doesn’t stick together or white rice flour if it’s too sticky. Make a ball out of the dough, sprinkle with white rice flour, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.

Make sure to use enough flour so the dough doesn’t stick on the plastic wrap.

Two hours later! Cut the dough in half: one for the bottom, one for the top. Dust a clean dry work surface (I like using parchment paper) and your rolling pin with white rice flour so the dough doesn’t stick. Pour about 1/4 cup of white rice flour on your work surface and slowly start rolling the dough. Keep flipping it to be sure it doesn’t stick and that the dough is evenly coated in white rice flour. Roll it to the size of the pie and carefully, with both hands, pick up the dough and slide it on your pie pan. Cut off the extra pieces of dough. If you’re like me and don’t like wastes, you can use the extra dough to make cute mini pies in a muffin tray!

Amaranth is now one of my favorite gluten free flours!

Trim the extra dough and don’t forget the egg wash!

Pour in the desired pie filling (or if it’s a pie with no top crust, you may need to precook it, just follow the instructions for your recipe), cover the pie with the second half of the dough and brush egg wash on top so it’s nice and golden when cooked.

Bake according to your pie recipe. And there, you have it: easy as pie.

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The perfect gluten free pizza crust

Posted on
The perfect gluten free pizza crust

“Hmmm, pizza!” I think all of us gluten-free folks have craved, at one point or another, a delicious, doughy and tasty pizza crust. Well you know what? I found a way to satisfy that craving and I eat pizza at least once a month now! It all started when I found this recipe this summer. I’ve made it many times since then, and I’ve tweaked it and adapted it to my liking.

The end result. Yum!

The end result. Yum!

Dry Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/3 cup millet flour
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup chickpea flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon brown sugar

Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

The dough will be like batter. No fancy stretching and spinning around!

The dough will be like batter. No fancy stretching and spinning around!

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 egg white (save the yolk for later)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the olive oil, rice vinegar and egg white. Mix in the dough, then add water. Mix some more.

Sprinkle the baking soda on top and add the lemon juice. Let it bubble and fizzle for a moment, then fold it in the dough. This is what I use instead of yeast to make the dough rise. By the way, the dough is not going to feel like regular pizza dough. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to be sticky. It should feel like wet Play-Doh. Oh, don’t forget to preheat your oven to 200F.

Take a spatula and dump the dough on a greased (use butter) 12-inch pizza pan. Get a glass of water because your hands need to be constantly wet to spread the dough on the pan.

Keep your hands wet or the dough will stick. Spread it evenly on the pan.

Now, it’s time to let it rise. So stick it in the oven (again, 200F) for 15 minutes. While it rises, take the egg yolk that wasn’t used earlier and mix it with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. You can put any spices you like in the mix. I use a little salt, thyme and red pepper flakes.

After 15 minutes, brush the wash mixture on top of the dough. It will give it a nice color and taste when it bakes. Put the pizza back in the oven, on 400F, for 10 minutes. Do not over cook.

Here’s what the crust looks like after rising and after cooking.

Tada! All done! Now just put some sauce, cheese and toppings on there, broil it for 5 minutes and enjoy your hard work, like so:

Nomnomnom!

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