Monday, June 7, 2010

free at last!

Ok, anybody who is baking with gluten free ingredients hears all about the gum issue-xanthan vs guar, which is better and how they enrich the dough so that it can mimic the properties of gluten which we can no longer have. I have baked with both and I have been amazed at what they can do. I also am a little peeved sometimes at the gumminess of my crumb or an odd after taste. Previously, I reduced the quantity of the gum to see what that would do and then I would be happier with the finished product; after all, isn't that was gfree baking is all about, tinkering with this, fiddling with that in hopes of a kick ass recipe that will delight us and be healthy and taste good-not oh I-am-happy-you-made-this-for-me-fake-smile good, but omg!-I-don't-miss-anything-I-am-not-supposed-to-have good. Last week I had accidental progress, as I spaced putting in xanthan gum into my lemon cupcakes- and they still came out great! Inspired, I wondered what else can I do without xanthan gum? And on sale were blueberries, buy one get one free! Well, it was a sign! Especially since the last couple of batches or so of blueberry muffins I was not happy with. For my normal gluten with dairy muffins I use a hybrid of the recipes by Lisa Yockelson in her fabulous book Baking by Flavor and the recipe in James Peterson's Baking. James Peterson has some awesome food photography and everything is explained precisely in words and in a picture tutorial- the whys & wherefores, the things you need to know to bake, period.(I adore James Peterson for this reason and he does the same in his other books, Sauces & Cooking-both of which I also have). One might be asking, why would someone who is baking gfree and vegan care about regular cookbooks? Because you have to know how everything works with gluten; if you don't, you will find it hard to replicate that gfree. This recipe does have sugar and I know many who are tying to lessen the sugar or do without completely; sorry that I have yet to come up with a blueberry muffin recipe that uses something else. The first few attempts at using agave nectar resulted in blobs that threatened a hostile take over of my oven. I think evaporated cane sugar would work, and I would love to try palm sugar at some point; I was sadly out of both of those last night.

7/4/10 EDIT: I wanted to succeed in making these sugar free as well, so I have been quietly experimenting with these (praise be, we've had a glut of blueberries) and I think we have a winner! I used 1/2 cup of raw wildflower honey instead of the sugar and they taste great :) One caveat though-the first time I made these with honey, they fell apart as soon as they were peeled out of the paper liner. The next time, I added 1 tablespoon more of my g-free flour mix and a scant 1/8 teaspoon of xanthan gum-SUCCESS! At least we think so :)They honey makes them a really pretty deeper brown, but still gives a crunch to the top crust. And I will add the picture I took before they were devoured-as soon as I figure out how to label it :) thanks for being patient with me as I learn :)

I have also submitted this for June's Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free

This is also linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday :)

Gfree, Vegan Blueberry Muffins

1/2 coconut oil (or butter for you who can have dairy)
1 cup gfree flour mix (I am partial to Bob's Red Mills)
scant 1/2 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons brown rice flour (I am partial to Authentic foods)
2 tablespoons potato starch
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
scant 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup yogurt (I used coconut milk, but do as you will. the orginal recipe called for sour cream)
1/4 cup milk ( I used almond, as it was in the fridge and open)
1 pint blueberries
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon of cardamom
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degreesF. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. Now, you could do that grease&flour farrago, but gfree crumbs tend not to bind too tight- I think the cupcake liners help hold everything in, but do as you will.
Whisk in a medium sized bowl the flours, starches, spices, baking powder &soda. Set aside. Put the sugar in a large bowl and add coconut oil; mix together. I do this on medium speed in my Kitchen Aid. Add the flour mix, a little at a time to the sugar mix, reserving 2 tablespoons for the blueberries. Add the applesauce, yogurt and milk and mix well. Take your pint of blueberries and toss them with the 2 tablespoons of the flour mix, making sure they are coated. Now add the lemon juice to the batter and mix just til incorporated. Add the coated blueberries and fold them in by hand with a spatula. Try and do this all quickly, as the lemon juice is activating the baking soda for some lift. Drop 1/4cup mounds of dough into the prepared muffin tins. Bake for 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and a toothpick comes clean. Your kitchen will also smell divine. Makes 12 standard size muffins.


  1. Beautiful! I would love to try these with a few modifications to cover my other allergens. You describe it well..."not oh I-am-happy-you-made-this-for-me-fake-smile good, but omg!-I-don't-miss-anything-I-am-not-supposed-to-have good."

  2. Lovely muffins. I still enjoy digging in gluten cookbooks too, sometimes they spark and idea to fiddle with for gf and scd cooking.

  3. Gluten-free dish: thanks!:) i recently posted an update to make these with honey, if that helps you. Also, i think replacing the rice flour would be a breeze; i am thinking of experimenting with almond meal- would that help you?

    Mrs. Ed: thank you too! :) glad to know i am not the only one!