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Gluten-Free Artisanal Loaf: Look at those air bubbles!!

Gluten-Free Artisanal Loaf: Look at those air bubbles!!

I just stumbled upon this gluten-free artisanal loaf recipe recently and decided to give it a whirl. I think it’s the best gluten-free bread recipe I’ve come across. I followed their directions to a tee, making a half recipe to start. The only change I made was to cook the loaf at 450° rather than their suggested 500°. I also disagree with their advice about waiting until the loaf cools completely to eat it. Wait about ten minutes for it to go from insanely hot to warm. But then dive in because it would be a cryin’ shame not to taste this bread’s spongy goodness while still warm. Oh, nellie. My belly!

I’m very lucky to have one of the nation’s leaders in celiac research right in my backyard. The University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center is a hotbed of research that has helped get celiac disease on the map. So naturally, when I had a question about how to introduce my daughter to gluten so she would minimize her risk of developing celiac disease in the future, they were right there with great advice.

To sum up:

1. Breastfeed for as long as possible. Try it for a full year. In addition to providing the best possible nutrition for your baby, breastfeeding has been shown to provide the best protection against developing celiac disease later in life.
2. Delay the introduction of gluten until after 4-6 months of age.
3. Introduce gluten while you are still breastfeeding.
4. Introduce small quantities of gluten at first. Don’t feed more than 1-2 teaspoons of gluten-containing foods per day.

Woohoo! I did it! Very respectable gluten-free hoisin sauce is mine, allllll mine. And yours, too. If you want it. Let me share.

Gluten-Free Hoisin Sauce... one step closer to Gluten-free Mu Shu!

So some serious googling returned the results that hoisin is made from fermented soy bean paste, among other things. Armed with my new-found knowledge I hit Chinatown and found me some of this alleged fermented hoisin magic. The label said the only ingredient was fermented soy bean paste, but I was suspicious. Fermented with what? Wikipedia, oh great fountain of knowledge, says the soy beans are fermented using either wheat flour, pulverized mantou, rice, or sugar. Hmm… what are the odds… BAH! Until someone develops a quick and easy at-home gluten test, I’m going to avoid the sketchball Chinatown bean paste and go with what I know.

Luckily, what I know is pretty dern good.

Gluten-Free Hoisin Sauce*

  • 1/4 c. sweet red bean paste (the smooth variety)**
  • 2 T wheat-free tamari
  • 2 t sesame oil
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • dash of white pepper
  • (optional) squirt of Sriracha chili (or “Freshred Chili” if you have it)

Combine all of the above ingredients in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a week.

*Before you get all sassy and tell me that Premier Japan makes a gluten-free hoisin sauce, I want to save you the disappointment of buying and trying it. Honestly, it tastes like orange-flavored BBQ barf. Not even close to hoisin. I’m not trying to be snobby here – bleeeeve you me, my heart skipped a thousand beats when I saw it on the grocery store shelf. But it really tastes absorootly nothing like any hoisin I’ve ever had. Sad, but less so because of the above recipe.

**If you can’t find smooth red bean paste in Asian specialty markets, sweet red bean paste is easy-po-cheezy to make at home. About.com has a recipe.