Gluten Free for my Friends

I have not only spoken with many people who suffer from Celiac Disease but I have a few friends who are intolerant of gluten. Because of the length of this column, I will keep this brief. You don’t have to forgo great tasting and textured sweets during the Holidays because of this disease. Try this great coffee cake recipe and you will understand.

Gluten-Free Tangy Orange Coffee Cake with Walnuts

1 cup softened butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup yogurt
Grated zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix, recipe below
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Topping, recipe below

1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Butter or use nonstick cooking spray(and as always, read the label) a bundt pan or 9 x 13-inch square pan. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. In another bowl, mix yogurt, orange zest and juice. Combine gluten free flour mix, cinnamon, xanthan gum, baking powder and soda in a third bowl. Alternately add flour mixture and yogurt mixture to creamed mixture, about a third of each at a time. Dough will be fairly stiff.
Spread batter in prepared bundt pan or a 9 x 13-inch square baking pan. Combine topping ingredients, evenly pour mixture over dough. If desired, buy yourself some large grained sugar to sprinkle over the top.  Bake at 350 °F for 35 – 40 minutes or when toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool 15 minutes and then invert onto a large plate or pan. Immediately re-invert onto serving plate.

After years of experimenting, here is my gluten-free flour blend I use in almost all my gluten-free recipes during the Holiday baking treats. I didn’t give you this recipe for the above muffins because it is a little expensive, but by all means give it a try. Whenever anyone asks me for a gingerbread cookie or gingerbread man recipe that is gluten-free, I give them this.

2 1/2 c. brown rice flour
1 c. white rice flour
1/2 c. cornstarch
1 c. potato starch
1 c. tapioca flour
2 t. xanthan gum

Sift all ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk to thoroughly blend. Place in a labeled, sealed container and refrigerate or freeze. That’s right, freeze! AS with flour, the fridge or freezer is routinely the driest place(just try that cake you have had in the fridge for a while…a little dry isn’t it?) Make sure to mix it up a bit before using. This recipe makes about 6 c. gluten-free flour blend.

Here is my recipe for a flour blend that is ideal for that special bread recipe. Bread is the hardest of all baked goods to get right when you can’t use wheat. It requires strength and protein, or it would never stand up on its own. So after an equally long period of time baking, throwing away, baking again, throwing away again, I have the perfect gluten substitute for any bread or roll recipe.Keep this flour blend dry(preferably in the fridge or freezer), well sealed and labeled and use in place of flour for all bread products. It gives you loaves that are moist, soft and very, very flavorful.

2 c. white rice flour
3 c. tapioca flour
2 c. amaranth flour
2 c. sorghum flour
1/2 c. superfine brown rice flour(blend in a processor or blender if needed)
1 c. gluten-free egg white protein powder

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk well. When needed, mix it up a bit before using.
Makes approximately 3 pounds