Sandwich Buns – Ninja Version

I had come to love my sandwich bun recipe and then I got my Ninja.  I LOVE my Ninja.  It can beat the tapioca to get the best properties without burning up your mixer.

The only change to the ingredients is that it takes 2 whole eggs instead of 1 egg and 1 yolk for the hand mixed version, but the mixing technique is different (and faster).

Ninja Version Grain-free Sandwich / Burger Bun Yield 12 Buns

Dry Mix (refrigerate until use)

192 g (1 cup) potato starch

120 g (1 cup) tapioca flour

110 g (2/3 cup) light buckwheat flour

37 g (1/3 cup) soy flour

14 g (1 Tbsp) potato flour

2 Tbsp flaxseed meal

2 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp salt

1 ½ tsp cream of tartar

¾ tsp baking soda

Remaining Ingredients

2 tsp dry active yeast, rapid rise or regular

2 eggs

2 tsp vinegar

63 g honey

427 g warm water (~110oF)

Directions Grease two 6-bun hamburger bun pans (I love my USA Pans mini-cake pans), or 12 english muffin rings and dust with buckwheat flour (see 6/28/13 update below).

Combine all ingredients for Dry Mix. (I mix 3 batches at a time in separate gallon zip storage bags to save time. Store in refrigerator.)

Fit Ninja with mixing bowl and dough mixing blade.

When you are ready to make the buns, add yeast to the dry mix and combine.

Measure honey into a small mixing bowl (2 ½ to 3 cup)  Add water and stir until honey is mixed in.

Add eggs and vinegar to mixing bowl. Blend until eggs and vinegar are well mixed.  Add honey/water mix.  Add dry mix with yeast.  Pulse 3 or 4 times to incorporate dry mix into liquid.  Remove lid and scrape down sides of bowl.  Replace lid and mix on Dough setting for exactly 25 seconds – no more, no less! Scoop ~¼ cup of dough into prepared pan or rings. Spread dough to make buns flat and smooth. Cover (I use wax paper) and let rise for 25-30 minutes for rapid rise yeast, 50-60 minutes for regular yeast. (I use rapid rise for this recipe with great results.) Bake at 350oF for 18 – 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Remove buns from pans and place on cooling racks. Allow to cool for ~5 minutes, then seal in zip storage bags (or wrap in plastic wrap) in batches of 6 (for easier handling) to finish cool down on the cooling racks (this keeps the buns from getting crusty on the outside).  When buns are cool, remove from bags and dry off any condensation that has collected on the buns.  Dry the bag and return buns to bag.

 

Storage: These buns are best stored at room temp in an air-tight bag for a few days. For more long term storage, freeze buns (still wrapped in plastic) as soon as they are cool. (I vacuum seal the frozen buns to improve the long-term storage, but a plastic zip storage bag works fine for a couple of weeks.)  To thaw, place frozen bun in a sealed plastic bag and leave out at room temp for a few hours.

Tip: To make english muffin rings, cut 12” x 1” strips of card-stock, and form into rings. Wrap rings in foil and place on a large cookie sheet. Be sure to grease bottom of cookie sheet before placing greased rings on sheet.

6/28/13 Update:

So I’ve recently noticed that as my pans age (which does not take long since I use them about every other day), I have to grease them more and more heavily to get the buns to rise round and pretty the way I like. This has made me unhappy with my buns because it leaves a greasy residue on the bottom that I can feel when I toast them. I thought I’d try dusting the pans with buckwheat to see if that helped any and the results were fantastic!! The buns rise better than ever – they are taller, rounder, and softer on the inside than when the pans were brand-new. I am thrilled and highly recommend that you try it to see for yourself. Happy baking!!

Advertisements

Fantastic Brownies

In my pre-grain-free days, I could never come up with a good brownie recipe and it always bugged me.  I got so discouraged that I quit trying.  Back at Christmas time this year I needed a dessert that could travel well, so I thought I’d go back and try brownies one more time.  It couldn’t be worse than the brownies I was making with wheat flour, so why not?  Well, wasn’t I surprised when they were absolutely fantastic!!  A few tweaks and the recipe below is the final result.  A little disclaimer, these brownies are not technically grain-free due to the sugar in the chocolate chips, but they are dairy-free if you use dairy-free chocolate.  I hope you enjoy!

 

Fantastic Brownies

 

6 Tbsp coconut oil – melted

1 cup beet sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

91 g Buckwheat/Almond Flour Mix

¼ cup natural unsweetened cocoa

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp cream of tartar

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp plain salt

¼ cup mini chocolate chips

 

Combine coconut oil and sugar in mixing bowl, add egg and vanilla.  Combine dry ingredients and add to mixing bowl and mix well.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Lightly grease a metal 8×8 pan and dust with buckwheat flour.  Spread batter into pan – it is very stiff.  Bake at 350 deg F for 30 minutes or until set.

For Brownie Bites – grease and flour mini-cupcake pan and bake for 17 minutes.

 

Grain-Free Pasta

Remember the days when pasta-night was an easy dinner??  I don’t know about you, but I have not yet found a safe pasta to buy.  I would if I could – we love pasta!  Even though it takes more effort than opening a box, this pasta is worth it just for the joy it brings to my family.  As a bonus, it also tastes REALLY good!

For each 2-3 servings use:

96 g Quinoa / Buckwheat Flour Mix

1/8 tsp xanthan gum

1 large egg

Bring all ingredients to room temp.  Combine dry ingredients and pour it into a deep-dish pie plate.  Make a well in the center and drop eggs into the well.  Gently mix eggs into flour mix, working into a “knead-able” dough.  When possible, start kneading the dough, working all the loose, dry bits into it.  Continue to knead until there is no more loose flour in the pie plate.  This is a very firm dough and takes a bit of “muscle” (for lack of a better term) to get it thoroughly kneaded.

 

Dough should not feel tacky to the hand, but may stick VERY slightly to the bottom of the pie plate.  If dough is too tacky, lightly dust pie plate with buckwheat flour and knead into dough.  If it feels dusty, put a couple of drops of water in the bottom of the pie plate and knead into dough.

 

When dough is thoroughly kneaded and smooth, divide into 4 pieces per egg used.  Wrap dough balls in plastic (or just put them in a zip storage bag) and let the dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature.

 

Using a pasta press, roll out to desired thickness and cut to desired shape.  Hang and dry pasta or place directly into boiling water.  Boil for 2 – 4 minutes, depending on thickness and moisture level.

Taco Seasoning Mix

We love tacos, but there are no safe pre-made mixes.  I mix up a few batches of this at a time so it is as handy as those envelopes you used to buy.  Next time your family is craving tacos, whip up this filling and serve on flour tortillas with all your favorite tex-mex veggies and condiments.

 

Taco Seasoning Mix

1 ½ Tbsp potato starch

1 Tbsp dried onion

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp beet sugar

dash cayenne pepper

 

Combine and store in air tight container

 

To use:

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add 2 breast halves of diced chicken (~1 lb) and cook until done.  Add seasoning mix and stir slightly.  Add ¾ cup chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Grain-Free Flour Tortillas

Tex-Mex food is awesome – but it doesn’t really work if you don’t have any tortillas.  These tortillas are a ‘make ahead’ item, so taco night in our house is almost like taco night in a “normal” house!

Grain-Free Tortillas

1 cup Quinoa/Buckwheat Flour Mix

1 tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp cream of tartar

1/8 tsp baking soda

1 tsp beet sugar

½ tsp salt

½ cup warm water

Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Add warm water and mix with hands.  Cover w/ plastic wrap and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes.  Divide dough into 8 parts and, using ample amounts of buckwheat flour, roll out each section as thin as possible.  Place paper towel between tortillas.  Bake @ 450 deg F for 4 minutes.  Stack on a plate and cover.  When cool, wrap in paper towels and place in a zip storage bag.  Before serving, wrap the stack of tortillas in a few layers of very damp paper towels then wrap in aluminum foil two times.  Bake at 350 deg F for 10 minutes.

Flour Mixes

I have a couple of basic flour mixes (I don’t like the taste of the pre-mixed options – they are all a little odd tasting, if you ask me…)  These flours should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and you’ll need to add the appropriate amount of xanthan or guar gum, depending on what you are baking.  I find that the high protein content of these flour mixes allows me to cut back on the gum from the recommended amount.

All-Purpose Flour Mix

Quinoa / Buckwheat Flour Mix

Grain-free Pie Crust

We love pie, I mean, who doesn’t??  Pie was of primary concern to our youngest daughter when we first started this journey, she was very anxious that we be able to have pie.  One advantage of gluten-free pie crust is that it does not get tough if you have to rework it.  If it doesn’t come out right the first time you roll it out, just squish it together again and you get a free “do-over”!  Enjoy having good pie again…

Grain Free Pie Crust

Ingredients

56 g (½ cup) quinoa flour

152 g (2/3 cup + 2 Tbsp) potato starch and some for dusting

80 g (2/3 cup) tapioca flour

112 g (1 cup) almond flour

¼ tsp plain salt

½ tsp beet sugar

2/3 cup shortening, frozen

2 large eggs

Instructions

In a food processor (or Ninja) add quinoa flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, blanched almond flour, salt and sugar.  Pulse a few times until well blended.  Add in frozen shortening and pulse until mixture resembles a crumbly mixture.  Add eggs and pulse until dough forms (if using Ninja, switch to dough blade for this step).  If dough is too soft or sticky, add a little more potato starch.

Divide dough into three.

Take one section of dough and press evenly into pie plate to cover dish.  (If making pre-cooked pie shell, prick dough with fork and bake at 375 oF for about 30 minutes.)

Dust some potato starch on two sheets of plastic wrap.  Place a section of dough on one piece of the dusted plastic wrap, flatten slightly with hand and cover with other sheet of plastic wrap.  Roll out the dough into a 10 inch circle.  Add filling of choice to pie plate.  Remove one piece of plastic wrap, carefully place the circle of dough over the filling and remove the plastic wrap.  Crimp the sides of the pastry to build up the sides a bit and seal the top to the bottom.  Slit top for venting.

Bake according to recipes instructions.

Freeze third section of dough for later use.

Note:  I find that tapioca makes a great thickener for pies – if recipe calls for flour, use the same amount; if recipe calls for cornstarch, use twice as much tapioca.