Thin & Crispy Pizza Crust | Bob's Red Mill

Thin and Crispy Pizza Crust

by Cassidy Stockton in Recipes

Growing up, homemade pizza was a rare thing. We lived in a small town and ordering a pizza for delivery was pretty novel. I distinctly remember when a second pizza place opened and it became a battle between family members on which restaurant would get our Friday-night order. When we did have homemade pizza, it often came in the form of French bread pizza or a prepared crust. And it’s really no wonder- pizza takes time and time is not usually something you have extra of when you’re thinking of pizza.

Since becoming a bona fide adult who actually derives pleasure from scratch baking, finding that perfect crust recipe has been a challenge. Sure, I can order pizza, but I want to make it myself. I’ve tried ‘perfect’ recipes, whole grain recipes, no-knead recipes, overnight recipes… some better than others. But after all the work to mix, knead, and raise that perfect dough, I’ll take one bite and think it would have just been better to order delivery. I’ve read articles and asked my chef friends for tips, but short of putting in my own wood-fired oven, the solution is invariably just a good recipe (and a pizza stone).

Thin & Crispy Pizza Crust | Bob's Red Mill

Note: If you are really interested in the best crust you can make, a pizza stone is one kitchen implement that will help you take your pizza to the next level. Truly. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds. If homemade pizza is a rare indulgence, don’t bother. No one needs a huge hunk of stone laying around their kitchen that they aren’t using often.

This recipe was a game-changer at my house. Easy, reliable and, most importantly, delicious. Note that I did not say ‘quick’. Homemade pizza is rarely quick. From my experience, those recipes that are quick do not yield the same texture as one that has to rise. The upside of this? Turns out, overnight pizza dough is amazing. Overnight is not required, but it’s a great way to cut down on time. Make the dough on Sunday, let it rise, then stick it in the fridge. Monday night, your dinner is as simple as spreading the dough and popping it in the oven. Dough that rests overnight will have a slight sourdough tang to it the longer it rests and it will be a bit chewier.

At my house, we like thin, crispy pizza. If you tend toward the thicker, deep dish pizzas, this is not the recipe for you. I’m grateful to have found my go-to recipe. Now I just have to figure out how to top it.

Thin & Crispy Pizza Crust | Bob's Red Mill

Thin and Crispy Pizza Crust

STEP 1 Combine the water and yeast in a large bowl. Add flour and salt and mix until a shaggy dough forms.

STEP 2 Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead until smooth, elastic and slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. If dough is too sticky, knead in more flour until smooth, one tablespoon at a time. Place dough in oiled bowl and turn to coat. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Dough can be used immediately or refrigerated for up to 3 days.

STEP 3  Heat oven to 500ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough and form each piece into a disk. Place disks on prepared baking sheets. Working from the center of each disk, gently press and stretch dough to 1/4-inch thick.

STEP 4 Top with favorite sauce and toppings.

STEP 5 Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the crust is golden-brown. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Makes two pizzas.

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No-Knead Artisan Bread from Bob's Red Mill. Easy

No-Knead Artisan Bread

by Cassidy Stockton in Recipes

No-knead bread isn’t exactly a new concept, but if you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out. It really doesn’t get much easier to make bread and it yields a loaf that will have you wondering why you haven’t tried this sooner. Mix the dough. Let it sit overnight (or 10 hours). Rise. Bake. Eat the crusty, artisan loaf you’ve been craving. Sure, you have to plan for the 10 hours and the rise time, but I’ll take that over kneading dough any day! I can mix this in the morning, go to work and have fresh baked bread with dinner. If I’m really on top of things, I can throw some chili in the slow cooker on my way out the door and take a night off!

High Protein Artisan Bread Flour from Bob's Red Mill

We used our new Artisan Bread Flour with this recipe because it has a higher protein content than all purpose flour and that makes for a well-risen, chewy loaf. That said, if you can’t get your hands on this type of flour, regular All Purpose Flour will work just fine. If you’re gluten free, we highly recommend checking out Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François. We tested it and the loaves are equally as amazing as this one.

No-Knead Artisan Bread from Bob's Red Mill. Easy

 

No-Knead Artisan Bread

STEP 1

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and yeast. Add water and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature for 10 hours.

STEP 2

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Place Dutch oven without lid into oven for 30 minutes.

STEP 3

While Dutch oven heats, turn dough onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball with floured hands. Cover dough loosely with plastic and let rest for 30 minutes. With floured hands, place the dough into heated Dutch oven.

STEP 4

Cover Dutch oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 12 minutes more.

STEP 5

Remove loaf from Dutch oven and cool completely before slicing.

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Gluten Free Dairy Free Fried Chicken | Bob's Red Mill and The Non Dairy Queen

Gluten Free Fried Chicken and Glazed Doughnut Holes

by Sarena Shasteen in Gluten Free, Recipes

The way to my Southern mens’ hearts is definitely with a plate of fried chicken. I’m pretty sure I could get my guys to do anything I want them to do if I make them fried chicken. I like to call this culinary leverage…

In truth, this is a bit of a process. I will assure you though, your efforts will be rewarded with fried chicken that’s super crispy on the outside while remaining moist and tender on the inside. I like to cook this outside since I feel like fried foods tend to make the house smell like grease for quite awhile after they are cooked. Just thought I would share my preference on that one just in case you are like me and don’t like some food smells to linger in the house.

Also, have I mentioned out phenomenal this gluten free 1 to 1 flour is? The flavor, texture and ease of use are all perfect! I was really impressed with how well the coating stayed on the chicken too! This flour is definitely a time saver in the kitchen for us gluten free cooks.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Fried Chicken | Bob's Red Mill and The Non Dairy Queen

Since the fryer was already going, I went ahead and made doughnuts! The flour worked like a charm here too! I just substituted the two flours in my original recipe with the 1 to 1 flour. It was nice to not have to mix my flours this time. Again, the doughnuts were nice and crispy on the outside with a cake-like crumb on the inside! I would also recommend cooking the doughnuts first so they don’t taste like chicken.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Fried Chicken | Bob's Red Mill and The Non Dairy Queen

Gluten Free Dairy Free Fried Chicken

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1-1/4 cups Almond Milk; reserve 1/2 cup
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • Peanut Oil

In a shallow dish, combine 3/4 cup almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Loosely wrap the chicken breasts in plastic wrap. Pound each breast to thin out and tenderize. Place the breasts in the almond milk mixture and soak for 2 hours or up to overnight. I soaked mine for 2 hours flipping a few times during that time.

Heat enough oil to 350 degrees in an electric skillet or frier to cover the chicken pieces.

Cut the chicken breasts in half or strips. Generously salt and pepper the chicken (I think this is a key component along with the double flouring).

Mix the eggs and 1/2 cup of almond milk in a bowl and set aside. Place the flour, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder in a separate bowl.

Dip the chicken in the flour, then dip it in the egg mixture and then back in the flour to evenly coat each piece. Place on a sheet pan while your oil comes to temperature and all the chicken is coated in flour.

Place chicken in the hot oil and cook until it reaches 180 degrees on an instant read thermometer (your best friend while cooking meat). Flipping halfway through. It took about 25 minutes for a half chicken breast and about 15 minutes for strips. Place on a paper towel lined platter and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Doughnut Holes | Bob's Red Mill and The Non Dairy Queen

Gluten Free Glazed Doughnut Holes

(makes about 24)

Glaze

  • 1-1/2 cup Powder Sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp Water (1 Tbsp at a time)

Combine the water, butter, salt and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stir to combine. When butter is dissolved, add the flour and baking powder, stir to bring together into a ball. Turn off the heat and allow the dough ball to sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Add eggs one at a time to the dough ball and stir to combine completely before adding the next egg.

Heat oil to 350 degrees.

I used a small cookie scoop to make these. You will scoop about 2 TBSP of dough into to the oil (carefully). Do this in batches, but don’t over crowd the pot. Turn the doughnuts over when the downside is slightly browned. Cook until the opposite side is browned and remove from the oil. Place on a paper towel to soak up the oil. Allow them to cool slightly.

Combine the powder sugar and water one tablespoon at a time. You want the glaze to be thick so it sticks to the doughnuts.

At this point you can either glaze them or you can coat them in powder sugar.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Doughnut Holes | Bob's Red Mill and The Non Dairy Queen

Sarena Shasteen: The Non Dairy QueenSarena Shasteen has been an avid health food and fitness enthusiast from an early age. She holds a degree in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Atlanta, a certification in Fitness Nutrition and is a certified Fitness Trainer from International Sport Science Association (ISSA). Becoming a Personal Trainer and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition has been a lifelong goal of hers. Sarena enjoys helping others reach their health goals by teaching them that health and fitness are not only achieved in the gym, but also through fun everyday activities. Now a food writer, recipe developer, personal chef,  Personal Trainer and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, she enjoys sharing with others that healthy living can be fun and delicious. Keep up with her at The Non Dairy Queen and on Facebook and Twitter.

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Mujaddara | Bob's Red Mill || gluten free, vegan, whole grain

{Meatless Mondays} Mujaddara with Spiced Yogurt

by Cassidy Stockton in Gluten Free, Meatless Mondays, Recipes

Mujaddara is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that has deep roots dating back at least eight hundred years. It’s a simple dish of rice and lentils that are lightly seasoned. Originally billed as peasant food, this humble dish is my new favorite comfort food. It is so easy to make (if a little time consuming to cook the rice and lentils) and even easier to eat. It’s amazing warm, but also pretty tasty cold.

We’ve added a spiced yogurt to top this off if you want a little more flavor. This dish can really stand alone, but it can be paired with roasted cauliflower and warmed pita bread if you want to round out a full meal.

Mujaddara | Bob's Red Mill || gluten free, vegan, whole grain

Mujaddara with Spiced Yogurt

Prep Time:  15 minutes | Cook Time:  30 minutes | Yield: 4 servings

Mujaddara

Spiced Yogurt

  • ½ cup Greek Yogurt
  • ½ tsp ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground Coriander
  • ¼ tsp Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Chili Powder
  • 3 Tbsp chopped Mint
  • Juice and Zest of ½ Lemon
  • ¼ tsp Salt

Step 1

Sort and rinse Bob’s Red Mill Brown Lentils and Long Grain Brown Rice separately.

Step 2

Combine rice, 2 cups of water and ½ tsp salt in a medium pot.  Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until soft, about 30 minutes.

Step 3

Combine lentils with remaining 4 cups of water and ½ tsp salt in a medium pot.  Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

Step 4

In a large sauté pan, heat 2 Tbsp oil and butter over medium-low heat.  Add onions and remaining 1 tsp of salt and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.  Increase heat to medium and cook until very soft and brown, about 20 – 25 minutes.  When onions are well browned, add remaining 1 Tbsp oil and increase heat to high.  Cook, without stirring, until onions are crispy, 3 – 4 minutes.

Step 5

When rice and lentils have fully cooked, drain off water and combine cooked grains together.  Add fried onions and mix well.  Serve with spiced yogurt.

Step 6

For spiced yogurt, combine all ingredients and store, chilled, until ready to serve.

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Gluten Free Dairy Free Oatmeal Quick Bread | Bob's Red Mill

Oatmeal Quick Bread- Gluten and Dairy Free

by Sarena Shasteen in Gluten Free, Recipes

Who says you can’t have bread just because you can’t eat gluten? Not this girl for sure. Let’s just say I make a lot of bread around here for a family that’s gluten free. The breads I make range from kind of complicated to really easy. Today, I’m sharing a really easy recipe with you. I came up with this jewel out of a need for a quick hearty bread to go with our Sunday brunch, as well as, needing something easy that my husband can throw together when he’s needing bread with dinner. This oatmeal quick bread goes really well with a salad or bowl of soup. It has an amazingly crunchy crust on the outside with a beautifully dense chewy interior highlighted by a wholesome nutty flavor from the oatmeal. For brunch, we served it with butter and a drizzle of honey. It was delicious!

Gluten Free Dairy Free Oatmeal Quick Bread | Bob's Red Mill

Gluten and Dairy Free Oatmeal Quick Bread

(makes about a 1 pound loaf)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Mix well with a fork. Next add the cold butter to the flour mixture and cut it in with a fork until thoroughly combined and the mixture resembles a course meal. Next add the milk, eggs and vinegar to the flour mixture using a fork or a rubber spatula. Stir until well combined. Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. When the oven is ready, using the rubber spatula, form the dough into a ball and then dump it onto the parchment paper. Using the spatula, even out the dough ball to for a circle. Cut a cross into the dough and then sprinkle the top with the reserved oatmeal. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes or until slightly browned and the crust sounds hollow when tapped. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes then slice and serve.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Oatmeal Quick Bread | Bob's Red Mill

Sarena Shasteen: The Non Dairy QueenSarena Shasteen has been an avid health food and fitness enthusiast from an early age. She holds a degree in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Atlanta, a certification in Fitness Nutrition and is a certified Fitness Trainer from International Sport Science Association (ISSA). Becoming a Personal Trainer and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition has been a lifelong goal of hers. Sarena enjoys helping others reach their health goals by teaching them that health and fitness are not only achieved in the gym, but also through fun everyday activities. Now a food writer, recipe developer, personal chef,  Personal Trainer and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, she enjoys sharing with others that healthy living can be fun and delicious. Keep up with her at The Non Dairy Queen and on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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What is it Wednesday | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Wednesday: Popcorn

by Cassidy Stockton in What is it? Wednesday, Whole Grains 101

What is popcorn and what makes it different from ‘regular’ corn? Popcorn is quite simply, a variety of corn. Some corn is best for milling cornmeal, some corn is best for eating on the cob, some corn is best for feeding livestock and some corn is best for popping. Unlike these other types of corn, popcorn is the only variety of corn that will pop when exposed to heat.

What is the difference between white, yellow, red, blue and all the other colors of popcorn? The color of the hulls is the primary difference between the different colors of popcorn. That shiny outer layer of a popcorn kernel is the hull and will be different colors depending on the variety of popcorn. The white part we associate with popcorn is generally white (I have yet to see one that is truly another color) regardless of the hull color. I have noticed that blue popcorn tends to be very white, while yellow is a bit more creamy. No matter what, though, they all have pretty much the same corn flavor and nutritional profile.

Is popcorn a whole grain? Yes, all popcorn is whole grain. Whether you buy the chemical-laden packets from the store or choose a simple bag of unpopped kernels like ours, all popcorn is whole grain. This makes it an ideal snack. We prefer the simple popcorn to the junky versions, but in the world of snacks, popcorn is far superior to convenience foods. It has a healthy dose of fiber, is very low in calories and pretty darn tasty, too!

What is it? Wednesday: Popcorn | Bob's Red Mill non-gmo, gluten free, healthy

Is Bob’s Red Mill popcorn gluten free? Popcorn is naturally gluten free. At this time, our popcorn is not certified or tested gluten free. We plan to add gluten free testing and our gluten free symbol in a few months. If gluten is a concern for you, be sure to look for our gluten free symbol on the packaging.

Is Bob’s Red Mill popcorn non-GMO? Yes! Bob’s Red Mill yellow and white popcorn were the very first Non-GMO Project verified items in our line. They will be the first products to proudly display the Non-GMO Project logo.

What is it? Wednesday: Popcorn | Bob's Red Mill non-gmo, gluten free, healthy

What is the best way to make it? Do you need a popper? There is no single right way to make popcorn. Anyway that yields a healthy amount of popped corn is right in our book, however, you don’t need a popper and you don’t need a fancy packet to make a quick batch of popcorn in the microwave. Check out this post for a handy, easy-to-follow microwave method using only popcorn and a paper bag. (These instructions will start appearing on our packaging soon.) Works like a charm, trust us.

Our favorite ways to enjoy popcorn are:

 

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Nooch Crackers | Bob's Red Mill gluten free, dairy free, paleo friendly, vegan

Nooch Crackers

by Cassidy Stockton in Gluten Free, Meatless Mondays, Recipes

I’ll be the first to admit that I was skeptical about nutritional yeast (aka nooch) crackers. I thought they would be bland or fake tasting. I’ve never been so delighted to be proven wrong. These crispy little crackers don’t taste like those name brand cheese crackers you can buy in a box. Instead, they taste like an artisanal cheese cracker that someone lovingly made in their home kitchen. They are crisp, but have a little bit of give to them, as only a homemade cracker will.

Combined with almond meal, nutritional yeast makes these crackers as rich as their boxed brethren, but the ingredient list is so much cleaner (not to mention they’re gluten free, dairy free, vegan and paleo-friendly). I am pretty sure I could eat an entire batch of these in one go, they’re THAT good. These are perfect on their own and will be equally at home in a lunchbox or at a fancy dinner party, if they even make it off the sheet tray they were baked on.

Nooch Crackers | Bob's Red Mill gluten free, dairy free, paleo friendly, vegan

Nooch Crackers

Prep Time:  15 minutes | Cook Time:  25 – 30 minutes

Yield: approx. 50 crackers

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Step 2

In a small bowl, combine golden flaxseed meal and water.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, combine almond meal, nutritional yeast and salt in a large bowl.  Add melted coconut oil, lemon juice and flaxseed meal mixture and mix until a dough forms.

Step 4

Transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper and cover with a second piece of parchment paper.  Roll dough between parchment paper, removing and replacing the parchment as needed, to 1/16-inch thickness.

Step 5

Remove top sheet of parchment paper and transfer crackers on bottom sheet of parchment paper to a sheet tray.  Cut into 1 ½-inch squares or desired shapes.  Dock each cracker with a fork and sprinkle generously with kosher or large flake salt.

Step 6

Bake in preheated oven until deep golden, about 25 minutes.

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Nacho Cheez Dip | Bob's Red Mill vegan, gluten free, paleo friendly

Cashew Cheez Sauce

by Cassidy Stockton in Gluten Free, Recipes

Whether you avoid dairy for health reasons or simply choose not to include it in your life, you may find yourself occasionally missing some of the more indulgent forms dairy can take, like cheese sauce for instance. This simple recipe uses our nutritional yeast to mimic the flavor of cheese for those times when you just want to dip your chips in cheese sauce.

This ‘cheese’ sauce is wonderfully creamy and thickens up quite nicely. It’s perfect on nachos, as a dip for just about anything (fondue anyone?) and makes a stellar non-dairy mac and cheese. If you like things spicy, try kicking this up a notch by adding some hot sauce. It’s kind of the perfect Friday night recipe. Make a batch, grab some chips and veggies and watch some form of sports ball or that show you’ve been trying to catch up on… and if you eat the whole thing, we won’t tell.

Nacho Cheez Dip | Bob's Red Mill vegan, gluten free, paleo friendly

Cashew Cheez Sauce

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Yield: approx. 2 cups

Step 1

In a food processor or blender, process cashews to a very fine powder, adding a small amount of water if needed.

Step 2

Add Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Yeast, salt and garlic powder and mix to combine.  Add lemon juice and water and process until smooth.

Step 3

Serve warm or at room temperature.  Gently reheat over very low heat.

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steepedF

Green Tea Granola + Steeped Giveaway

by Cassidy Stockton in Contests, Recipes

It’s not everyday that a cookbook built around tea comes across our plate. Okay, let’s be honest, it’s never happened. When Annelies Zijderveld, of The Food Poet, reached out about her first book, Steeped, we jumped at the opportunity and we’re so glad we did. Steeped is a lovely book that covers the history and intricacies of tea consumption with recipes to fuel your experimentation. The book is broken out into recipes that are appropriate for Morning tea, Midday Tea, Afternoon Tea, High Tea and Sweet Tea. Steeped has a guide for what should be in your tea cabinet, as well as a section that sorts the recipes according to which type of tea you want to use. Recipes range from beautiful parfaits and smoothies to more complicated breads, muffins and desserts to main dishes, salads and sides- all made and flavored with tea. Many of the recipes are accompanied by beautiful photography and lovely tea-inspired quotes.

Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea by Annelies Zijderveld

Additionally, Zijderveld recommends whole grain spelt flour for most of her baked goods, which made us swoon with delight. Spelt is an underrated, but incredibly nutritious whole grain flour that mimics wheat flour perfectly. While it is technically a type of wheat, many people with wheat allergies can tolerate spelt. It’s very easy to digest and has a pleasant flavor.

All around, Steeped is a beautiful book. It would be a delightful gift for the tea-lover in your life or a food enthusiast who is looking for their next adventure. We’ve partnered with Andrews McMeel Publishing to giveaway a copy of this lovely book to one lucky winner. We’ll pair a copy of this book with two packages of our spelt flour. If you want to grab a copy for yourself, snag one on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or visit your local book store. To enter, simply follow the prompts below. We’ll select one winner at random from all who enter by 11:59 pm on 4/19/2015. 

Green Tea Granola from Steeped by Annelies Zijderveld | gluten free adaptable.

Green Tea Granola

Makes 2 quarts

I serve these with lychee chunks, crisp Asian pear, and labneh, with a wake-up grating of fresh ginger to pull it all together. You can make your own labneh, or use store-bought (my favorite brand is Karoun), or Greek yogurt instead.

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 4 teaspoons amaranth
  • 2 tablespoons loose or 4 bags (cut open) Dragon Well green tea
  • 6 tablespoons safflower, grapeseed, or other neutral oil
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup golden raisins

Preheat the oven to 275°F. Place a sheet of parchment paper onto an 18-inch sheet pan. Stir together the oats, walnuts, and sesame seeds in a medium bowl.

Heat a small fry pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles. Pour in ½ teaspoon amaranth, cover, and pop like popcorn for 30 seconds or until popping slows. Listen carefully! Amaranth pops quickly and will burn just as fast. Move the popped amaranth from the pan to the bowl and repeat with the remaining amaranth, ½ teaspoon at a time.

In a small saucepan set over low heat, combine the tea, oil, maple syrup, cardamom, and salt. Stir until heated through and combined. Stir the tea and oil into the oats to coat.

Pour the green tea granola onto the baking sheet, spreading evenly in a single layer. Bake for 32 minutes or until golden brown, stirring three times or every 8 minutes. Cool the granola to harden on the baking sheet and stir in the raisins.

From Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea by Annelies Zijderveld, Andrews McMeel Publishing

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Garbanzo Fava Bean Flour

Flours: A Primer

by Sarah House in Gluten Free, Recipes, Whole Grains 101

The world of flours seems to be growing year after year.  Long gone are the days of two options:  white flour and whole wheat flour.  By my count, Bob’s Red Mill carries fifty-four different flours and meals.  And these range from gluten-free to gluten-full, light to white to whole-grain, single grain flours and flour blends.  Is anyone getting overwhelmed yet?  How in the world does one pick a flour to use?

As many people are aware, there are flours that contain gluten (a protein found in wheat and similar grains and flours that are gluten-free (contain no gluten proteins but therefore aren’t able to create structure as easily as gluten-based baked goods).  Gluten-full grains provide great structure and delicious flavors that can be enjoyed by anyone who is not affected by Celiac disease nor has gluten intolerance.  Gluten-free grains may be enjoyed by anyone and provide many unique flavors, colors, and textures that many gluten-eaters haven’t yet discovered.

Bob's Red Mill Flour Primer: gluten free, high protein, low carb, whole grain- we have it all and we'll tell you how to use it. #bobsredmill

If you aren’t affected by food allergies, eat any and every grain flour you can!  There is a whole wide and wonderful flour-full world out there.  Grains and flours that contain gluten include:  wheat & semolina, barley, Kamut®, rye & pumpernickel, spelt, and triticale.  All-purpose, bread, pastry, and cake flours are typically varieties of gluten flours with differing amounts of protein that correspond to their specific purpose.

If you maintain a more strict diet, don’t fret, your options are far more expansive than you can imagine:  nuts, beans and peas, amaranth, buckwheat, coconut, corn, flax, millet, oat, potato, quinoa, rice (white and brown and sweet), sorghum, soy, tapioca, and teff.  All of these products are inherently gluten-free but they are not always tested for or processed in certified gluten-free facilities, so if you follow a gluten-free diet, make sure to check the labels.

Most gluten-containing flours are available as whole-grain flours (meaning they contain the bran and germ along with the standard endosperm) and white or light versions.  Classifying flour as “white” or “light” indicates that all or most of the bran and germ have been removed.  Why choose one over the other?  Whole grain flours contribute rich flavor and color to a baked item as well as affects the texture (and don’t forget about all the fiber and vitamins and nutrients!).  The gluten and starches in the grains’ endosperm create wonderfully pillowy structures that give us our much-loved sandwich breads, ciabattas, baguettes, cakes, and cookies.  The bran and germ, when included (or not excluded), cut into the endosperm’s structures, thereby creating items with a bit less height and a more defined texture.

The best way to pick your gluten flour is to think about the finished texture.  The lightest and most delicate items should be made with Super-Fine Cake Flour or Unbleached White Pastry Flour.  Hearty heavy-duty breads work best with whole-grain flours like Organic Ivory Wheat Flour and Organic Dark Rye Flour.  Most other items fall right in the middle and can use blends of any light, medium, or heavy flours.  Coarse meals like Organic Pumpernickel Dark Rye Meal and Graham Flour can be added for extra texture and a coarser crumb.

Bob's Red Mill Flour Primer: gluten free, high protein, low carb, whole grain- we have it all and we'll tell you how to use it. #bobsredmill

Super Light

Light

Medium

Heavy

Extra Special Add-Ins

If you are new to whole grain flours or just aren’t in the mood for 100%, try swapping out a portion of your standard white flour for some whole grain.  An easy exchange is 25%.  Use a blend of 75% Unbleached White Fine Pastry Flour and 25% Whole Wheat Pastry Flour in you next pie crust, or try Spelt Flour as a quarter of the flour in your next sandwich bread.  Or just go for it and whip up a batch of whole wheat chocolate chip cookies!  (see recipes below)

Just because you may not follow a gluten-free diet, don’t turn your back on all those gluten-free flours or you will be missing out.  Gluten-free flours run the gamut in terms of flavors and textures.  Gluten-free flours rarely work as stand-alone flour and the typical flour blend consists of two gluten-free flours and one starch.  A good jumping off point is 1/3 of each, but as you become more comfortable and familiar with gluten free baking, you’ll run across and be able to create blends that better suit your personal tastes (more info is available here

Including links about how to use binders).  To incorporate gluten-free flours with gluten-full, swap out the same 25% as you would whole-grain flours.

The most popular gluten-free flours are made from rice and sorghum and rice is milled as both whole grain and white.  These grains contain enough protein to aide in structure and have mild flavors that don’t detract from the ideal finished product.   For yeasted breads, bean flours are often used due to their high protein contents.  Be forewarned, some people may notice a distinct bean flavor and aroma in raw doughs but it will dissipate after baking.

Using gluten-free flours are a great way to change up flavors and textures.  Amaranth and quinoa add savory grain flavors while buckwheat, corn, millet, and oat can walk the line between both sweet and savory.  Teff, buckwheat, and green pea and black bean flours can change up the color along with incorporating unique flavors.

Almond, hazelnut, and flaxseed meal, and coconut flour are all unique ingredients that require a bit more practice and information.  All can be added as an extra addition and almond and hazelnut meal work well as stand-alone flour in certain applications (think macarons, flourless chocolate cakes, and paleo-centric baking).  Flaxseed meal and coconut flour are a bit tricky.  Flaxseed meal combined with water makes a gel-like substance that is a great substitute for eggs when used as binders and is wonderful to add to any baked good for a fiber boost.  Coconut flour is extremely high in fiber and using it as the main ingredient in an item will call for using unique recipes unlike any traditional bakers have seen before.  Adding a tablespoon or so of coconut flour to your recipe will help with liquid absorption and will add a delicate coconut undertone to the flavor.  Before you go adding any more than that, check out some recipes designed especially for coconut flour.

Bob's Red Mill Flour Primer: gluten free, high protein, low carb, whole grain- we have it all and we'll tell you how to use it. #bobsredmill

Creating a Gluten Free Flour Blend:

  • For an all purpose flour blend use a ratio of 1/3 light flour and 2/3 heavy and/or medium flour.
  • For a pastry flour blend use a ratio of 2/3 light flour and 1/3 heavy and/or medium flour.

Substituting Gluten Free Flours for one another:

  • As a general rule, substitute gluten free flours within the same “weight” group cup for cup.
  • By substituting flours, you may experience a change in flavor and texture.

Heavy Flours

Medium Flours

Light Flours

Gluten free flours are classified based on their protein content. Heavy flours assist in creating the structure of your baked goods, as do medium flours. Light flours aid in binding and moisture retention.

These recommendations should help you set out on your foray into whole grain baking.  As you become more comfortable and as you investigate other resources, more and more ideas and flour blends will come your way.  Some excellent new whole grain baking books have come out in the last few years, some even earing award nominations!  Pick up a bag of whole grain flour that piques your interest and start baking!

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Sarah House Google: Sarah House
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