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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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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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!

WholeWheatChocolateChipCookies2s

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Sarah House Google: Sarah House
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Gluten Free Flour Tortillas | Bob's Red Mill vegan, gluten free

{Meatless Mondays} Gluten Free Flour Tortillas

by Sarena Shasteen in Gluten Free, Meatless Mondays, Recipes

To be perfectly honest, when you live with a restricted diet due to food allergies and intolerances, it really is tough in the beginning and you eventually learn to just live without sometimes. Now, while I love getting creative in the kitchen, there are a few foods that I really just let go of out of ease. A flour tortilla is one of them. Our family just kind of resolved to not being able to have them and so we just gave in to buying corn tortillas instead. Though we do like corn tortillas, there are times when you really want the soft chewiness of a flour tortilla, ya know?

Gluten Free Flour Tortillas | Bob's Red Mill vegan, gluten free

I will admit, these tortillas do take a little bit of time to prepare, but I assure you they are so worth the time. They are soft, yet durable enough to hold all the goodness you want to put in them! I have used them for soft tacos and quesadillas! They soften up when heated either in the microwave for about 15 seconds or heated in a skillet briefly. They also crisp up really well for quesadillas. I’m also happy to say that we had a few left over and they stayed fresh for up to three days sealed in a container on the counter!

Gluten Free Flour Tortillas | Bob's Red Mill vegan, gluten free

Gluten Free Flour Tortillas

makes 20 small or 10 large

In a large mixing bowl, combine the gluten free 1-to-1 flour, baking powder and salt; mix well. Then, add the carbonated water (start with 2-1/4 cups and add more as needed), olive oil and apple cider vinegar to the flour mixture. Combine all of these together and allow the mixture to sit for an hour. The dough should be thick, but slightly sticky to the touch. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Using a large cookie scoop*, scoop out one or two scoops of dough per tortilla. With wet hands, press out the tortillas to make a thin circle. Place the pans in the oven and bake the tortillas for 5 minutes, then flip the tortillas and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes.

*Since gluten free doughs need to be slightly wetter than their gluten counter parts, I use my large cookie scoop when I need to scoop out even sized things like rolls or tortillas. It keeps things a little cleaner and insures that I can bake things evenly through.

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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Sarena Shasteen Google: Sarena Shasteen
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Hot Cereal 2

Hot Cereal: Thinking Outside the Bowl

by Sarah House in Whole Grains 101

Hot cereal is a great way to start your day, especially with the variety of styles available:  flakes, farinas, grits and meals.  The possibilities of whole grain goodness are almost endless.  But, have you ever thought about making something other than your usual hot pot of breakfast cereal for you and the family?  If not, then you should.  Hot cereals are so much more than just for breakfast.

Hot Cereal F

Our flakes and rolled cereals (think oats, barley, rye, spelt, triticale and wheat) are perfect candidates for home-made granolas, crisps, and cookies.  Try swapping out the usual rolled oats in your favorite fruit crisp topping or oatmeal cookie with barley or wheat.  If you want to take it a step further, try incorporating rolled flake cereals into biscuits or breads.  Since the cooking time (think “how long it takes for the flakes to hydrate and soften”) is relatively short for rolled flake cereals, they are great candidates for additions to quick cooking items like biscuits and scones and they work great mixed-in and sprinkled-on yeasted breads and rolls.  The texture and décor they provide when incorporated into a loaf of bread or sprinkled on the top of rolls is an excellent way to personalize a recipe.  I like to add up to ½ cup rolled flakes into my single loaf bread recipes.  As a topping décor, anywhere from 2 Tbsp to ¼ cup usually gets the job done.

bread w oats

If you are aiming for a muffin or bar with a more delicate and chewy texture, farinas, grits, and meals are what you are looking for.  The amount of liquid necessary to fully hydrate the cereal will vary depending on the particular grain (wheat, corn, rice, millet, buckwheat, and many, many blends) so make sure to take note of the liquid amounts recommended in the basic preparation instructions before making a final choice.  Adjust the liquids in your recipe accordingly (or try soaking and then draining the cereal before using) otherwise, you may find some crunchy bits in your baked goods!

Finely ground cereals like farinas, grits, and meals release more starch than flakes or larger grind cereals.  This extra starch will contribute to softer textures and increased chew and also works well as a binder.  Try using a starchy cereal like Brown Rice Farina in place of a panade in your next meatloaf or to help hold together a batch of veggie burgers.

When incorporating farinas, grits, and meals into baked breads, their small grind and subsequent starchiness can cause a significant effect on the crumb similar to flours.  Using this style of cereal to replace some flours as opposed to “in addition to” will produce a better loaf.  For satisfying texture and flavor, replace up to 20% of a recipe’s flour with cereal; anymore and you’ll be looking at a shorter, heavier, and dense loaf (which isn’t always a bad thing).

Now, let’s say you cooked a big pot of porridge for breakfast and there is still a fair amount left over in the pot.  Did you know…you can bake that leftover hot breakfast cereal into your next loaf of bread?  As if you were adding nuts or seeds to your bread dough, try adding some cooked flakes or granular cereals.  Start small, about ¼ cup per loaf.  Once you know what the outcome is, adjust the amount and type of cereal to your liking.  I won’t go into specifics here and instead direct you to the master artisan bakers at Tartine in San Francisco, in particular their book Tartine Book No. 3.  If you are serious about bread baking, this book and all their other bread books are a goldmine of information and creative inspiration.

If you are feeling totally overwhelmed by the myriad possibilities of incorporating cereals into your recipe repertoire, just step back and take a breather.  Cook up a pot of good old-fashioned hot cereal and choose one of our unique topping combos for any easy and impressive spruce-up.

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Sarah House Google: Sarah House
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Chia Seeds BRM

How-to Replace Eggs and Fat in Recipes with Flax and Chia

by Sarah House in Health, Recipes

When the calendar flips over to a new year, we are often driven to change things up for the better. Quit some things, start doing others, improve what we’re doing and do it better. More often than not, these changes often involve some tweak to the food you eat. Maybe it’s the excess of the holidays that drive us to want to eat healthier, but I think there is something about a new year that makes us want to be better than we were. A chance to start over.

If some major changes are underway for your diet (say you’re going vegan or cutting back on fat or cholesterol) seeds are an excellent substitute for many animal-based proteins commonly used in baking and can increase the nutritional value of your baked good. Simple, easy swaps for a healthier you.

Flax

Eggs are easily replaced with Flaxseed Meal or Chia Seeds, which is a great way to reduce cholesterol or transition towards a plant-based diet.  Use either of the substitutions below and, after they’ve had a chance to sit for 5 minutes, add the whole mixture just as you would the eggs in a recipe.  Just remember that seeds won’t provide leavening power like egg whites.  So, if your recipe is devoid of yeast or chemical leaven (baking powder or soda) or heavy on the eggs, try adding ¼ – ½ tsp of baking powder or soda to your recipe.

1 egg = 2 tsp Chia Seeds + ¼ cup water (let sit for 5 minutes)

1 egg = 1 Tbsp brown or golden Flaxseed Meal + 3 Tbsp water (let sit for 5 minutes)

If you are looking to cut back on fats, use the ratio of 3 parts Flaxseed Meal to replace 1 part fat.  Chia Seeds work, too, but in a slightly different ratio (explained below).  Now, you won’t want to replace ALL of the fat.  Fat is an important factor in flavor, mouthfeel, and helping you feel full.  You don’t want to eat three fat-free (but still sugary) cookies and feel unsatisfied when one cookie with at least half the fat would have done the trick!  So any time you plan on substituting fat, only sub half.

Chia seeds1 Tbsp fat = 3 Tbsp brown or golden Flaxseed Meal + 1 Tbsp Water (let sit for 5 minutes)

1 Tbsp fat = ½ tsp Chia Seeds + 1 Tbsp water (let sit for 15 minutes)

Yes, the volumes of these fat subs aren’t identical but the thickening abilities of the seeds even out with these amounts.  Substituting these seed mixtures for fat often causes baked goods to brown more rapidly and most success has been found with recipes which contain small amounts of fat such as muffins and pancakes.  You may want to experiment with reducing the baking temperature by 25°F and increasing the baking time.  If the crust starts to darken too fast, tent the top with tin foil.

One thing you don’t want to do is substitute BOTH the eggs and fat in a recipe with all seeds.  You will most definitely NOT end up with something close to what you were expecting.  Instead, use the seed swap for eggs and rely on other fat substitutes like applesauce or pureed banana, avocado or prunes.

If you’re happy with your egg and fat consumption, you can still incorporate seeds into your baked goods for some major health bonuses and some great new flavor and texture profiles!

Flaxseed Meal can replace 10 – 20% of the total flour in a recipe.  If you want more texture and opt for whole Flax Seeds, combine them with the liquid called for in the recipe and let the whole thing sit for 30 minutes first.  Baking with Flaxseed Meal can make the texture of an item chewier and sometimes a bit dry.  If you find that to be the case, add a bit of extra liquid next time.

Not only are Chia Seeds an excellent and more nutritious substitute for poppy seeds but they also act as a great food extender that lowers calories and doesn’t affect the flavor!  Use a ratio of one part chia seeds (you may grind them after measuring if you want) to nine parts water.  Let this mixture stand for 10 minutes and then use in your favorite soups, smoothies, dips or spreads.  The exact amount of gel to use depends on the specific recipe you are using so adjust to your liking.  This mixture keeps, refrigerated, for up to two weeks.

Seeds are so much more than a last-minute garnish or muffin mix-in.  Alongside all the unique flavors and textures, Chia and Flax boost nutrition and spark tons of creativity in the kitchen.  Have fun!

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Sarah House Google: Sarah House
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FlaxseedandMeal F

5 {Easy} Ways to Add Flax to Your Diet

by Cassidy Stockton in Whole Grains 101

Flaxseed is considered to be a super food for two main reasons- it delivers quality plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and ground flaxseeds (as opposed to the oil) are a good source of dietary fiber. There are many other wonderful health properties that are attributed to flax, but we’re not doctors and you can read the claims elsewhere- like this great WebMD article. If you want to know more about flax, read our What is it? Wednesday post. I’m not really here today to tell why should include flax in your diet. No, I’m here to tell you just how easy it is to include flax. We’ll assume you already want to eat more flax.

5 {Easy} Ways to Add Flax to Your Diet | Bob's Red Mill
Here are five simple, easy and DELICIOUS ways to make sure you get a little more flax in your life.

1. Drink it down- version 1. Okay, this one might not be all that delicious, but I can tell you that it is a common practice in our office and you can see this method being used on any given day here because it’s easy and it gets the job done. Here’s what you do- pick your beverage of choice- we recommend water or juice and mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of flax. Just mix it up and drink it down. Don’t let it sit too long or you’ll have a very thick drink. Yes, kind of unappealing, but if you just want to get it in, this is a quick and relatively painless way to do it.

2. Drink it down-version 2. This is my preferred method. Add flax to your smoothie. If you don’t have smoothies on the regular, it might be a fun way to mix up your breakfast routine. We put together 10 of our favorites in this post if you need some inspiration.

5 {Easy} Ways to Add Flax to Your Diet | Bob's Red Mill
3. Mix it with your oatmeal. Or any hot cereal really. Just add your flaxseed meal after you’re finished cooking. It adds a nutty flavor that won’t overpower the dish. If you like your hot cereals with sugar, you’ll probably never even notice the flax.

4. Add it to your baked goods. This is a great option for those of you who want to eat more flax, but don’t like the flavor and/or texture. Muffins (pictured below), quick breads, pancakes, brownies, cookies, bread– nearly anything can take a little flax without altering the flavor and texture of your baked good. To get started, I recommend following a tried and true recipe, like these Date and Apricot Muffins from Spiced or these Blueberry Banana Muffins from The Lemon Bowl. The only downside of eating flax this way is that you’re not guaranteed to get a full serving with each serving of the baked good. The upside is that you won’t notice the flax. Heck, your picky kid probably won’t notice the flax (although I’m convinced mine would notice if I breathe funny on his food). You can feel better about eating said baked good and know that you are getting the benefit of flaxseed. *You can also use flax to replace eggs. We’ll dive in deeper on this topic tomorrow.

5 {Easy} Ways to Add Flax to Your Diet | Bob's Red Mill

5. On Toast. This is a funny one that a customer recommended to me a long time ago and, once I tried it, I was hooked. It’s definitely my second favorite way to enjoy flax. Slather a piece of toast (although it could really work with any bread-like substance from muffins to pancakes), with honey, peanut butter, jam, whatever as long as it’s sweet and/or flavor masking, sprinkle flax on top, mix it in a little bit and chow down. A good multi-grain bread with peanut butter and honey is my go-to. The bread and the topping cover most of the flavor and texture.

That’s it. Five easy ways to get more flax in your diet. For recipes and inspiration, visit our recipe collection at bobsredmill.com or check out our Super Seeds board on Pinterest. Be sure to check back later in the week to find out how to use flax to replace eggs and fat in your baked goods.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Baguette F

Gluten-Free Baguette {Giveaway}

by Cassidy Stockton in Contests, Gluten Free, Recipes

I bet you’re probably beginning to think I love all cookbooks. Rest assured, that’s not the case. If I don’t think it has some merit, we’re definitely not wasting our time talking about it here. I’ve been excited about a lot of gluten free cookbooks this year because so many of them are making waves with gluten free ingredients by using techniques and ingredient combinations that are new and innovative.

GF Artisan Bread in Five

Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day from Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François is a game-changer for a few noteworthy reasons.

1. It is built on the principal of the famous no-knead bread recipe. It works well with gluten and it works superbly for gluten free bread. After all, gluten free bread does not really need to be kneaded at all. It really just needs to be mixed. Kneading activates gluten. When you don’t have gluten, you don’t need to knead. (Yep, ridiculously pleased with myself for that little gem.)

2. The book features two basic flour blends– all purpose and whole grain- and uses them for everything under the sun- from crusty baguettes to gooey monkey bread to ciabatta to chocolate ganache filled brioche. All that from one flour blend!

3. The trickiest ingredient is ground pysllium husk and that is becoming increasingly easy to find and it’s optional!

4. This is a mix it and leave it method. You mix up your ingredients (no kneading!), let it rise and stick it in the fridge. On baking day, you take out a chunk, form a loaf and let it rise for an hour. Then, you bake. You have to admit, it’s much faster than traditional bread baking.

On top of this, I’ve been using one of their previous books, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, for years and it works. It’s reliable and always turns out wonderful breads. As due diligence to write this review (and an excuse to enjoy fresh baked bread), I had the test kitchen bake up a loaf of the classic boule. It was the best gluten free bread I have ever tried and I’ve tried a lot of less-than-stellar gluten free bread. I don’t need to be gluten free, but I figured I should taste this bread if I was going to try to sell you on the book. The loaf was crusty, had a lovely crumb and, above all, had a wonderfully wheat-like flavor.

Our friends Jeff and Zoë, and the folks at St Martin’s Press, have generously offered a copy of this book for three lucky winners. We will pair it with the winner’s choice of the ingredients to make the all purpose flour blend or the whole grain flour blend. To enter, simply comment on this post and tell us what type of artisan bread you miss the most since going gluten free. We’ll select three winner at random from all who enter by 11:59 pm on 11/24/14. If you can’t wait or want to give this as a gift (this would be an awesome gift for a gluten free loved one) you can buy it here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, iBooks and Walmart. I’d bet that your favorite local book seller will also have a copy.

Gluten Free Baguette from Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day | Bob's Red Mill

Gluten-Free Baguette

Recipe adapted from Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and used with permission
©2014, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François

Makes eight ½-pound loaves. The recipe is easily doubled or halved.

This beautiful and crispy loaf is the symbol of France. Our gluten-free version is just as gorgeous and delicious.  We brush the top of the loaf with egg white wash to create a glossy crust, but in a pinch, water will do.

Ingredients

  • 6½ cups of Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (see GFBreadIn5.com/GFmix)
  • 1 tablespoon Granulated Yeast
  • 1-1½ tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar or Honey
  • 3¾ cups lukewarm Water (100°F or below)
  • Cornmeal or parchment paper, for the pizza peel
  • Egg White Wash (1 Egg White plus 1 tablespoon Water), for top of loaf
  1. Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and sweetener in a 5- to 6-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
  2. Add the water and mix with a spoon or a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle.
  3.  Cover (not airtight), and rest at room temperature until the dough rises, about 2 hours.
  4. The dough can be used immediately after rising, though it’s easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 10 days. Or freeze for up to 4 weeks in 1-pound portions and thaw in the refrigerator overnight before use.
  5. On baking day: Dust the surface of the dough with rice flour, pull off a ½ -pound (orange-size) piece, and place it on a pizza peel prepared with cornmeal (use plenty) or parchment paper. Gently press and pat it into a log-shape with tapered ends, using wet fingers to smooth the surface. Allow to rest for about 40 minutes, loosely covered with plastic wrap or a roomy overturned bowl. During this time, the dough may not seem to rise much, which is normal.
  6. Preheat a baking stone near the middle of the oven to 450°F (20 to 30 minutes), with an empty metal broiler tray on any shelf that won’t interfere with rising bread.
  7. Brush the top with egg white wash, and then slash, about ½-inch deep, with a wet serrated bread knife.
  8. Slide the loaf onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until richly browned and firm.
  9. Allow to cool completely on a rack before eating.

The authors answer questions at GFBreadin5.com, where you’ll also find recipes, photos, videos and instructional material.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Ciabatta Bread F

Baker’s Dozen: Essential Tips and Tricks for Baking Success

by Stephanie Wise in Featured Articles

In my five years of baking and blogging about bread, I’ve acquired a few bits of knowledge on the subject along the way. This doesn’t mean I don’t have oh-so-much more to learn – believe me, I do, as I am often reminded by a recipe fail – but thanks to these handy tips and tricks, I’m much better off than I used to be (sayonara, loaves of bricks!).

Because I want everyone in the whole world to know how to bake a good loaf of bread because there are few better things to bake and eat from scratch, in my opinion, I’m going to share some of those tips and tricks with you – a “baker’s dozen” of handy knowledge, if you will – along with a few delicious recipes from me and other Bob’s Red Mill bloggers that can help you get started!

  1. Know the difference between active dry and instant yeast. Instant yeast can be directly added to the dry ingredients in your recipe, while active dry yeast most often needs to be activated before it can be added to the remaining ingredients. To activate active dry yeast, dissolve the yeast in a bowl of warm water (sometimes with some sugar or honey, too) and let it sit until foamy. The amounts of these ingredients should be indicated in the recipe, for example, in this recipe for Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread with Caramelized Onions from The Roasted Root. Some people like using instant yeast because you can skip a step, but I prefer to use active dry yeast in most of my recipes so I know the yeast is fresh.
  2. Some flours cannot be substituted for another. Sometimes, yes, they can, but when you come across a situation when they can’t, you’ll know it. For instance, in my recipe for Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread, it’s best to use the ratio of all-purpose flour to whole wheat flour called for so you don’t end up with the aforementioned “brick loaf.” Whole wheat flour needs more water to absorb to yield the same result as all-purpose flour with less water, but even with some tweaking of the recipe, it doesn’t always work. That being said, I will sometimes substitute up to 75 percent of the all-purpose flour called for in a recipe with whole wheat flour, but no more. The same goes for bread vs. all-purpose flour – bread flour has a higher gluten content, so when a recipe calls for it, it’s probably because it will give the bread the extra shape and sturdiness it needs. In those cases, I often suggest just sticking with whatever the recipe calls for.

  3. Check the expiration dates. This is a big one, because I think many of our recipe failures can be attributed to it. So be sure you have the freshest ingredients on hand: Baking soda, baking powder, yeast, nuts and even whole wheat flour can all lose their oomph over time. I like to keep my flours in the fridge to extend their shelf lives, and on my jar of yeast (which I also refrigerate) I’ll write the date six months from when I’ve opened it, which is when it tends to lose its freshness.
  4. How to make your own ingredients. You’ve got the oven pre-heating. You’ve got the mixing bowls set out. And then you realize you’re missing a key ingredient. Raise your hand if you’ve been there! Yeah, me too. That’s when knowing how to make your own ingredients comes in handy. Here are a few examples:
  • Buttermilk: Combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice to a scant cup of milk for every cup of buttermilk you need for the recipe. Let it sit for five minutes.
  • Cake Flour: Remove 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour for every cup you need for the recipe and replace it with cornstarch. Sift the ingredients together about four or five times.
  • Bread Flour: Remove 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour for every cup you need for the recipe and replace it with gluten additive. Stir it in.
  • Homemade Butter: Savory Simple has a fantastic tutorial on how to make your own!
  1. How to halve ingredients in a recipe. There are times when a recipe makes a double batch, or I just don’t need all of those muffins or pancakes, so I’ll halve the recipe. That’s when this nifty guide comes in handy.
  2. Keep fruit from sinking to the bottom of baked goods. Easy-peasy: Give the berries or pieces of fruit a good toss in one or two tablespoons of the flour called for in the recipe, then add them to the batter. This isn’t necessary for yeast breads, as the dough is sturdy enough to hold up the fruit. Here’s a great recipe for Blueberry Oatmeal Bread from The Lemon Bowl to give it a try on.

  3. Less is more. If there is nothing else you take from this list, let this be the one mantra you keep with you for baking. It never fails me, especially when it comes to working with dough. The less you play with the dough after it’s fully kneaded, the better. The less flour you add to it to make it a smooth, soft, pliable, elastic, tacky (but not sticky) dough, the better. The less flour you sprinkle on a surface to knead or shape the dough, the better.
  4. Know when bread is fully kneaded. Solution: The windowpane test. Once you’ve kneaded your dough, remove a small piece of it and stretch it out between your fingers to a thin membrane. If the dough breaks, it needs a little more kneading. If it stays thin and translucent, it’s ready.
  5. Make dough rise really well. If it’s the cooler seasons (meaning, it’s sub-70 degrees in your kitchen), I’ve found this trick works well to helping dough proof better: Wrap a heating pad in a thin towel, turn it on low heat and set it on a counter. Place the dough, in a covered bowl or loaf pan, on top of the wrapped heating pad. The little bit of added heat from the pad will help the dough along. Don’t have a heating pad? Place the bowl or loaf pan in the microwave or oven, turned off.
  6. How to test when a dough is doubled. I’m a big fan of eyeballing it, but for extra accuracy, place a strip of tape on the side of the bowl to gauge when the dough is doubled, or, lightly press two fingers into the top of the risen dough. If the indentations remain, the dough has doubled.

  7. How to tell when a loaf is fully baked. Take the loaf out of the oven and give it a tap on the bottom with your fingernails. If it makes a good “thwacking” sound, like it’s almost hollow, it’s probably done. But to be extra sure, insert an instant-read thermometer in the bottom center. For regular yeast breads, 210°F to 220°F is ideal; if it’s an egg or milk-based yeast bread – like this recipe for Apple Honey Challah from The Law Student’s Wife – or has a few extra ingredients in it (like nuts or veggies), aim for 200°F to 210°F. This does not apply to quick breads.
  8. How to store yeast breads. Crusty loaves store well in a paper bag and soft, milk or egg-based enriched breads store well in an airtight container or plastic wrap. Both can be stored at room temperature for a day or two before they get stale, but I like to refrigerate my breads to extend their lives (this is a huge no-no to some because it can alter the flavor of the bread, but I’d rather keep my bread around for longer). If you want to freeze bread, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then foil.
  9. Have great baking resources at the ready. Bob’s Red Mill has oodles of resources, products and articles that will help you along on your baking journey!

StephanieStephanie is the baker/blogger/babbler behind the blog, Girl Versus Dough, where she writes about her adventures in bread baking and other tasty, unique recipes. Her approach is friendly yet inspiring, down-to-earth yet adventurous. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, Elliott, her furry child-cat, Percy and a beautiful baby girl, Avery. Keep up with her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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Stephanie Wise Google: Stephanie Wise
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What is it Wednesday | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Wednesday: Artisan Bread Flour

by Cassidy Stockton in What is it? Wednesday

What is bread flour? Our Artisan Bread Flour is milled from high-protein US-grown red wheat and mixed with just the right amount of malted barley flour, which helps breads rise. The high protein content is great for gluten development, which is especially desirable for chewy baguettes, pizza crusts, dinner rolls, sandwich loaves, pretzels, bagels and more.

How much protein does Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour contain? Our bread flour averages 12-14% protein.

Why does protein (gluten) matter? The protein in wheat flour (aka gluten) gives baked goods structure and elasticity. For chewy breads and pizza crusts, you want to use a higher protein flour.

Gluten is sticky and stretchy (think of a balloon). When leavening reacts and produces gasses in your baked good, gluten creates pockets that expand around these gasses, causing your baked good to rise. More gluten and high-power leavening (yeast) will make beautiful artisan breads with lovely air pockets. Less gluten and tamer leavening (baking soda, baking powder), make smaller bubbles and smaller air pockets. When you’re striving to create a rustic artisan loaf of bread, you want big air pockets, making bread flour an ideal choice.

What is it? Wednesday: Artisan Bread Flour | Bob's Red Mill

How is it different from all purpose flour? Bread flour simply contains a higher amount of protein than all purpose flour. All purpose flour is designed to make fine cakes and chewy breads. Bread flour is made with bread baking specifically in mind. Using it will yield crusty loaves of bread and chewy pizza crusts.

Why would you use this instead of all purpose flour? Because you can. When you want to make the most perfect, rustic loaves of bread, the real question is why wouldn’t you want to use special ingredients? After all, fresh baked bread is just another way of saying “I love you.” In all seriousness, though, bread flour produces a chewier texture, better rise and crisper crust than all purpose flour.

Is bread flour gluten free? No. Bread flour is made from wheat and has a higher proportion of gluten than many other wheat flours, so it is definitely not suitable for a gluten free diet.

Is Bob’s Red Mill bread flour organic? No.

Is Bob’s Red Mill bread flour enriched? Yes, we enrich our bread flour to government standards. This includes adding malted barley flour (to improve the rise), niacin, iron, thiamin, riboflavin and folic acid.

Is Bob’s Red Mill bread flour whole grain? Nope. If you want a whole grain bread flour, we recommend our traditional Whole Wheat Flour or our Ivory Wheat Flour. Both are high in protein and made with 100% whole grain wheat.

Is there a substitute for bread flour? No, but you can replicate bread flour by using an all purpose flour and adding extra gluten to increase the protein content. We recommend an extra tablespoon of gluten per cup of flour.

Some of our favorite recipes using bread flour: 

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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What is it Wednesday | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Wednesday: Super-Fine Cake Flour

by Cassidy Stockton in What is it? Wednesday

What is cake flour? Cake flour is a low protein white flour made from wheat. Its fine texture makes it ideal for delicate cake baking. Unlike many other brands, our Super-Fine Cake Flour is simply highly sifted, finely ground wheat flour. Some brands add cornstarch to dilute otherwise high protein wheat flour (we call this a cheap trick around here). Instead of finding a low protein wheat, other manufacturers use the same high protein wheat and cut it with cornstarch. Our cake flour has not been bleached, another common practice among flour purveyors. While bleaching can help create perfectly white cakes and aid in the baking of a cake, our test kitchen produced stellar (and oh-so-delicious) white cakes. At Bob’s Red Mill, we think baking with chemically treated flours cut with cornstarch is a little yucky. No, thank you.

How is it different from all purpose flour? Cake flour is finer and contains less protein than all purpose flour. All purpose flour is designed to be just that- all purpose. All purpose flour is designed to make fine cakes and chewy breads. Cake flour is made with cake baking specifically in mind. It creates a lighter crumb that is perfect for delicate treats, soft cookies and airy cakes.

What is it? Wednesday: Cake Flour | Bob's Red Mill

Why does protein matter? Protein in wheat flour (aka gluten) gives baked goods structure and elasticity. For chewy breads and pizza crusts, you want to use a higher protein flour. Things like cakes and pie crusts need less elasticity, making cake flour an ideal choice.

Gluten is sticky and stretchy (think of a balloon). When leavening reacts and produces gasses in your baked good, gluten creates pockets that expand around these gasses, causing your baked good to rise. More gluten and high-power leavening (yeast) will make beautiful artisan breads with lovely air pockets. Less gluten and tamer leavening (baking soda, baking powder), make smaller bubbles and smaller air pockets. With a cake, you want tiny air pockets so that your cake melts in your mouth and doesn’t fall to bits.

Why would you use cake flour over all purpose flour? Because you can. When you want to make the most beautiful and delicious cake for a special occasion, why wouldn’t you want to use special ingredients? After all, a baked good is just another way of saying “I love you.” In all seriousness, though, cake flour produces a tender, more tightly packed crumb. It can be used for so much more than cakes, as well. It makes lovely cookies, delicate pie crusts and gorgeous pastries.

Is cake flour gluten free? Nope. It’s made from wheat. Even if it has less protein than other wheat flours, it’s still got plenty of gluten.

Is Bob’s Red Mill cake flour organic? No.

Is Bob’s Red Mill cake flour enriched? Yes. Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Cake Flour is enriched to government standards with niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin and folic acid.

Is cake flour whole grain? Absolutely not.

Is there a substitute for cake flour? Yes, while it’s not perfect, you can do what so many of us have done in a pinch- make your own. For every cup of all purpose flour, replace 1/8th of the flour with cornstarch. Blend together and sift, sift, sift. Joy the Baker has some good tips here.

Some of our favorite ways to enjoy cake flour: 

And some non-cakes…

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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