Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cinnamon rolls- step by step

Cinnamon rolls. Unfortunately, we can't just pop open a can of refrigerated biscuit or croissant rolls, spread some sugar on it, and call it a day.
Some days cinnamon rolls are worth the extra effort, some days they're not. Today, they are.

I've made cinnamon rolls many times, and have eventually streamlined the process.

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


2/3 c. milk
1 t. sugar
1 pkg fast-rising yeast

1 egg
1/4 c. oil (I use light olive oil. Vegetable or canola oil should be fine)
1 t. vanilla

1 3/4 c. gluten free flour**
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. xanthan gum
1/2 t. salt

2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 T. cinnamon

Mix the sugar into the milk. Warm it to 100-110 degrees. I use a thermometer because I have not yet mastered the art of being able to tell otherwise. You can get candy thermometers for a couple of bucks.
Mix in the yeast and set it in a warm place to proof. Meanwhile, grab two bowls: 1 small, 1 big.

Large bowl: Beat the egg. Add the oil and vanilla and mix well.

Small bowl: Mix the flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt.

Prepare your counter space by taping a piece of waxed paper to the counter at each corner. Sprinkle 1/2 c. gf flour onto the surface. You want it covered pretty well.

After about 10 minutes, check the yeast. It should have bubbled up and will smell yeasty. It will look like this:

You can see the original level of milk, and the bubbling from the yeast. If it hasn't bubbled, try it again.

Pour the yeasty mixture into the large bowl with the egg, oil, and vanilla. Mix well to get any lumps from the yeast out. A couple small ones are ok. Add in the flour mixture from the small bowl and combine well to form the dough. The dough will be very soft. It's okay. Don't panic.

Dump the dough onto the floured surface. Spread the dough into a rectangular shape using the back of a wet spoon. Warm water works best. Work slowly. If it sticks, dip the spoon back into the water and keep going.

Take your cinnamon/ brown sugar filling and spread it over the rectangle. Don't worry too much if your sugar has gotten lumpy in the bag; you will get little pockets of melted brown sugar goodness in the cinnamon rolls and, really, that's not a bad thing.

To roll the dough, remove the tape from the corners of the waxed paper. Start lifting one end of the paper, coaxing the dough into a tight roll as you go. I prefer to use this, but a large knife would work too.

If you've floured liberally, the dough should not stick to the paper, and gravity does most of the work.You will end up with a nicely rolled piece of dough.

Slice the dough: start in the middle and cut it in half, then cut each half in half again, etc. This will ensure even-sized rolls.

Place each sliced roll into a greased pan, placing the ends cut-side-down. This is an 8x8 pan, I think. A round pan works well, too.

Cover the pan loosely with a towel and place it in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise. I stick it on top of the preheating oven.

After 30 minutes, remove the towel. They will have risen and gotten fatter and higher.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops start to get golden brown.

For a simple glaze, mix:
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 T. milk
1/8 t. salt

(It makes these rolls very sweet)

Makes 8 cinnamon rolls.

**If you don't already have a flour mix on hand, mix 3/4 c. each brown rice flour, sorghum flour and potato starch. Use 1 3/4 c. in the dough, and use the remainder to flour your surface.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bob's GF Pancake mix & Cheese Danish attempt

First off, Bob's GF Pancake mix makes a pretty good pancake. Nothing spectacular, but a good pancake.

I used to love cheese danish back in the gluten days, and I've tried once to re-create it gluten free, without much success. I recently came across a recipe on Pinterest, and my interest has been renewed. So with that on the brain yesterday morning, I used the rest of the pancake batter in this.

Recipe Link. Sandwiched filling between two layers of pancake mix, baked at 350 for 35 minutes.

I knew the texture of the pancake batter wouldn't translate into danish-consistency, so it turned out like a cheese danish coffee cake. Not bad. The cheese part turned out perfectly, and I didn't use the egg in the filling.

Now to get the bready part perfect. Anyone got a fabulous gluten free croissant recipe? Mine all turn out dense and hard, not soft and flaky.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bob's GF Cornbread Mix

What I've been eating this week:

Super easy to throw together.

Makes quite a bit of cornbread for one person.
Been eating it as second breakfast with some honey, and with leftover beef stew at lunch.

Friday, January 6, 2012


How often do you clean out your fridge/ freezer? I happened to have a mostly empty fridge at the start of the new year, and thought it would be a good idea to eat everything, clean it out, wipe it down, and start fresh. Including the freezer. I have a ton of stuff shoved back in the freezer that just sits there while I replenish the stuff in the front. Then a year later I'll pull out a freezer-burned chicken breast that I didn't even know was in there.

The last time it was cleaned was when Ike hit and everything spoiled, so I figure it's time.

I also need lots of gluten free goodies to fill it back up with. Giant shopping trip, can't wait.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Little Aussie Bakery

It's been a while, and so much has happened.

I've been wanting to post about this AMAZING gluten free bakery/ cafe, but had an issue getting pictures. Now, I have them.

A few weeks ago, my Marine came home from Afghanistan. Actually, he came home a day earlier than I expected and surprised the heck out of me. We spent a weekend in San Antonio, kind of a mini-vacation.

Since he came home early, I didn't have time to google any gluten free places in San Antonio before we left. When he announced that he was taking me some place special for lunch, I figured it was something with a gluten-friendly menu. Imagine my delight when we pulled up to this:

Little Aussie Bakery and Cafe- 100% Gluten free! There is even a sign on the door forbidding gluten from entering the place. I had no idea this existed!

He looked it up while still in Afghanistan and planned to surprise me with it. There were a lot of surprises that weekend. There's a reason (among many) I'm marrying that man. Oh yeah, we totally got engaged!! 
(Now I -really- have to learn how to cook.)

But back to the food.

This place was beyond awesome. Fresh baked bread, rolls, sweets... they even have a Sunday brunch.

They set a bread basket on the table and I felt SOOO strange even acknowledging it-- usually bread baskets are off-limits. But this bread... oh my. Fresh. Baked. Bread. Delicious fresh baked bread. In my hands. And I'm allowed to eat it. Not just that, but it's really freaking good.

It's better than Udi's. MUCH better. My new #1 bread is the glorious stuff from this place.

We had lunch- It was also strange being able to pick anything I wanted off the entire menu, no restrictions. I ordered the chicken pot pie and Chris ordered the pizza. They serve bread with everything because they're so proud of it. And for a good reason. Everything was delicious.

Even the salad was good- a variety of greens with this really great dressing.

It was so good, we came back for Sunday Brunch. I was so excited to try my french toast that the picture came out blurry. It was amazing. I was in gluten free heaven.

He ordered the mushroom quiche or something. I don't remember. I was too into my french toast. He said it was good, though.

I bought some rolls and a loaf of bread to take home, and literally made meals out of it. Buttered bread, the rolls drizzled with honey, dipped in olive oil & herbs, sandwiches... my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I wish it was closer so I could go get more. It's the stuff gluten free dreams are made of!

We also bought quite a few slices of cake. Fancy cakes, too. Layer cakes. Chocolate and pecan cake with some sort of chocolate mousse layer, lemon cheesecake, vanilla sponge cake... it was awesome. AWESOME!

It's safe to say that if I ever find myself within a 50-mile radius, I'm going and having lunch, then bringing a ton of stuff home. And also if anyone I know is going to San Antonio, they're required to bring me back some bread.