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Free From Fairy gluten free wholegrain plain flour

How to make gluten free bread - A Free From Life

I’ve been following the Free From Fairy’s blog for some time now. Having developed her own blend of gluten free flour that doesn’t contain rice flour, she’s used it to develop lot’s of scrummy looking baked goods, both savoury and sweet.

I’m not a fan of rice flour either, not just for the health concerns regarding its arsenic content, but also because I find it gritty and drying. I can see why it’s used in gluten free baking, but there are so many other lovely and tasty gluten free flours out there.

One of the first things I did when my son went gluten free, in addition to dairy, was to buy a bread maker. I can’t stand the commercial offerings and I knew I had to make something better. Oh boy, did I have some disasters – inedible bricks, poorly mixed loaves, too sticky, too crumbly, you name it. My kitchen was like a product development laboratory for a good few weeks until I found a combination that worked, but that combination was a good one and I’ve stuck to it.

Finally getting around to ordering some of the Free From Fairy’s flour, I decided to put it to the test with my recipe and do you know what? It worked a treat.

How to make gluten free bread - A Free From Life

In fact, I didn’t measure it (though was tempted) but it might have even come out taller than my own do (not that I’m obsessed with the size of my loaves or anything).

Anyway, this recipe is for a Panasonic S2500, though I’m sure it works with other Panasonic machines. I haven’t tried it with other bread makers, so I’m not sure if the recipe would need tweaking in order to work. I use the gluten free programme and the dark crust setting. If you don’t have the gluten free option, you can use a rapid bake setting. What this means, essentially, is that your machine will allow the bread to rise, then bake it off. The normal programmes include a rise stage, followed by another kneading called ‘knocking back’. If you do this to your gluten free loaf, you won’t get it to rise again.

Gluten free bread recipe:

  • 500g gluten free flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 2 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 80g olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 300ml water

Instructions:

  • Thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients.
  • Make a well in the centre and add the eggs.
  • Add the oil, vinegar and water.
  • Mix using an electric mixer with dough hooks until it forms a loose sticky dough. Note that it won’t be a workable dough as you would expect with bread. It should be wetter and stickier.
  • Pour into the bread machine pan and set the machine to the gluten free programme with dark crust.

If you happen to try this recipe in another bread machine, please let me know how you get on.

Baking

Chocolate Cake with Beetroot and Sweet Potato

Chocolate cake with beetroot and sweet potato - A Free From Life

We grow beetroot every year and thanks to my two younger children and their generosity when sowing the seeds, we have a lot of it. That’s not so bad because I make batches of nomato sauce to freeze and I love roasted beetroot, but I needed another way of using it, one that the kids would eat too.

I’ve made chocolate beetroot cake before, but I hadn’t made it gluten free. It was also quite dry and earthy and got the thumbs down from my taste testers. This recipe, on the other hand, was well received and so I can add it to my collection of cake recipes that include vegetables (I also have a chocolate courgette cake recipe and a courgette and carrot loaf).

Chocolate cake with beetroot and sweet potato - A Free From Life

Using ground almonds instead of flour means that this recipe is not only gluten free, it’s grain free too. The fat from the almonds keeps the cake moist and with the addition of the sweet potato and beetroot, it’s dense and more like a pudding than a light sponge. Using the sweet potato keeps the sugar levels down too.

Chocolate cake with beetroot and sweet potato - A Free From Life
Chocolate Cake with Beetroot and Sweet Potato
Print Recipe
A dense, moist chocolate cake, with a deep, rich, red interior.
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Chocolate cake with beetroot and sweet potato - A Free From Life
Chocolate Cake with Beetroot and Sweet Potato
Print Recipe
A dense, moist chocolate cake, with a deep, rich, red interior.
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix the cacao with the boiling water to form a paste
  2. Add the vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture, then add the grated beetroot and stir together
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the almonds, bicarbonate of soda and salt
  4. In a third bowl, whisk together the sugar, sweet potatoes, olive oil and eggs
  5. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg and sugar mix and continue to whisk
  6. Finally, add the dry ingredients and mix to make sure all is fully incorporated
  7. Pour into a greased 9 inch springform tin and bake at gas 3/170° for 50 minutes to 1 hour. When a toothpick or skewer comes out clean, the cake is done.
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Baking

Courgette and carrot loaf – gluten and dairy free

Courgette and carrot loaf - A Free From Life

We have a small vegetable patch in our garden and every year, one of our greatest successes is courgettes. With such an abundant crop, it would be easy to become fed up of eating them, which has happened in previous years. So I’ve had to become more inventive in how I use them up.

One of our favourites is a chocolate courgette cake and I also enjoy letting the odd one grow big enough to be marrow size, then baking it in the oven, halving, scooping out the middle and filling with a savoury rice, mince Bolognese or chilli. It’s such a hearty meal.

Courgette and carrot loaf - A Free From Life

Then I inherited a recipe for a courgette and carrot loaf that I thought I’d try out. I had to convert it to be gluten free and with the addition of sunflower oil, it’s dairy free too. What I love about this courgette and carrot loaf is that it’s packed with flavour and wholesome goodness.

Courgette and carrot loaf - A Free From Life

The ingredients work together so well, with the carrots providing some sweetness, the courgettes moisture and the nuts give just the right amount of crunch. A slice of this loaf will give you a tasty, satisfying mid-morning snack that will keep you going until lunch or an afternoon tea treat to last you until dinner.

Courgette and carrot loaf - A Free From Life

Free From Farmhouse
Link up your recipe of the week
Courgette and carrot loaf - A Free From Life
Courgette and carrot loaf
Print Recipe
A tea time loaf packed with vegetables and nuts for a tasty, satisfying and filling treat.
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
50mins - 1 hr
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
50mins - 1 hr
Courgette and carrot loaf - A Free From Life
Courgette and carrot loaf
Print Recipe
A tea time loaf packed with vegetables and nuts for a tasty, satisfying and filling treat.
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
50mins - 1 hr
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
50mins - 1 hr
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Weigh out the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and mixed nuts. Stir well
  2. In a separate bowl mixed together the beaten eggs, oil, lemon rind and grated veg.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together until well incorporated.
  4. Pour in to a greased loaf tin and bake in the oven at 180/gas 4 for 50 mins to 1 hour. Check with a tooth pick to see if it comes out clean. If so, it is done.
Recipe Notes

Leave to cool in the tin before turning out on to a wire rack.

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Baking

Almond Butter and Raisin Cookies – grain free, dairy free

Almond butter raisin cookies - A Free From Life

I adapted this recipe from a wheat based peanut raisin cookie recipe I had. The original recipe didn’t have peanut butter, but used coarsesly ground peanuts instead. As I discussed in my posts about converting your recipes to make them gluten free, you need to add more liquid, otherwise the resulting product will be too dry, so it made sense to add a nut butter instead of ground nuts. I replaced the flour with a mixture of ground almonds and fat reduced almond flour.

These cookies are very easy to make and the result is a delicious, crunchie cookie. I hope you enjoy them too.

Ingredients
100g dairy free butter alternative
50g sugar
2 tbsp coconut milk, or another dairy free milk
1 egg white
100g almond butter
200g almond flour (can be a mix of finer flour and ground Almonds)
2tsp baking powder
50g raisins

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 160/gas 3
– Cream the butter and sugar
– Add the milk and almond butter and whisk to incorporate
– Weigh out the almond flour and baking powder, then add these to the wet mix and whisk again
– Whisk the egg white separately until foamy, then add this to the rest of the ingredients
– Fold in the raisins

Form in to balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, evenly spaced. I made mine about the size of golf balls because I wanted a nice, substantial sized cookie.

Flatten into rounds with the palm of your hand and bake for around 15 minutes, or until golden.

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Baking

Almond, Coconut Squares – Dairy Free, Gluten Free

Almond coconut squares - gluten free, dairy free - A Free From Life

I don’t know about you, but with the warm weather we’ve been having, I keep finding that the bananas in the fruit bowl are overripe before I know it and I have to turn them in to something else so they don’t get wasted.

Once they turn brown and spotty, bananas are past their best for eating, but with all the starch converted to sugar, they make a great base for using in baked goods in place of processed sugar. I used up mine to make these almond, coconut squares:

Almond coconut squares gluten free, dairy free - A Free From Life

These little treats taste so good. They are packed full of protein and combine my favourite flavours of almond and coconut. I used this fab dairy free chocolate from Doisy and Dam for an extra hit of coconut, but you can use any chocolate you like.

Coconut & Lucuma Chocolate - dairy free - A Free From Life

Ingredients
2 large or 3 medium overripe bananas
3 eggs
50g coconut oil
130g almond butter
130g almond flour
3tbsp coconut flour
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4tsp salt
50g chocolate chips

Instructions
Pre-heat the oven to 180/gas 4 and grease or line a flap jack tin

– Mash the bananas in a large bowl
– Add the eggs, coconut oil and almond butter and mix well
– Add the almond flour, coconut flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and whisk until everything is well incorporated
– Fold in the chocolate chips

– Pour into the tin and spread evenly
– Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and firm to touch

What are your favourite ways to use up ripe bananas?

Free From Farmhouse
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Baking

Chocolate Teff Shortbread – Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Chocolate teff shortbread - A Free From Life

These cookies have the same short, crumbly texture as shortbread, but without the mountain of butter. This is the first time I’ve used teff flour in a sweet product (I normally use it in my bread recipe), but I was keen to come up with something that would enhance its rich malty flavour.

Figuring it would pair well with chocolate I had a go at making cookies. After a couple of attempts, I made these:

The addition of tahini compliments the strong flavours of the chocolate and teff, plus it means you add less butter too. I used a dairy free alternative to butter. I’ve named the biscuits after the teff flour because it is the predominant flavour that comes through.

Ingredients
65g rice flour
65g sorghum flour
120g tapioca flour
85g teff flour
15g raw cacao
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g unrefined sugar

100g butter (dairy free spread)
130g tahini
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla

Dark chocolate

Instructions
– Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients together
– In a separate bowl, measure out the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth and creamy
– Add the wet mix to the dry and stir until it forms a dough
– Take walnut-sized balls of the dough and place on to a parchment lined baking sheet, ensuring there is space in between each one
– Flatten the balls to form a round cookies shape
– Bake for 12-15 minutes at 180/gas 4

Leave the cookies to cool before dipping them in melted dark chocolate. I can’t confess to having a skill at doing this. I literally dunked them face first and it got a bit messy – could be a great job for a child helper, with the bonus that you get to lick your fingers when you’ve finished!

Free From Farmhouse
Baking

Apple Slice – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free

Apple Slice - A Free From Life

Apple Slice - A Free From Life

This recipe comes from the need to use up some apples that I had in the fridge. I used cooking apples, but when I made it a second time, I tried it with eating apples and it worked just as well. I also tried this recipe with both margarine and coconut oil. My preferred version is the one with coconut oil, but again, both work just as well.

Ingredients
– 250g gluten free plain flour. You can use a pre-blended version, but mine contained this mix:
150g tapioca flour
50g quinoa flour
50g sorghum flour

– 2 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 75g unrefined sugar
– 120g coconut oil or margarine
– 2 Bramley apples (medium) or 3 eating apples
– 50g raisins
2 tbsp dairy free milk (I used Koko Dairy Free coconut milk)

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 180/gas 4

– Measure out the flour, add the baking powder and cinnamon and mix well
– If using coconut oil, melt it first, then add to the dry mix. If using margarine, add in small cubes and use your fingers to rub in to the flour until you have a breadcrumb-like texture
– Stir in the sugar
– Use a blender to coarsely chop the apples into small cubes (you can do this by hand, but include a mixture of grated and chopped to vary the size of the pieces)
– Add to the mix with the raisins and stir until well incorporated
– Add the milk and stir until the mixture comes together like a sticky, loose dough

– Turn on to a lined baking sheet and form into a circle or rectangle of about two and a half centimetres thick
– Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes or until golden
– Leave to cool completely before cutting in to small pieces or squares

Apple Slice - A Free From Life

Free From Farmhouse
Baking

Lemon and Sultana Scones

Lemon and sultana scones - A Free From Life

The word ‘scone’ instantly reminds me of childhood holidays in Devon, where idyllic little teashops beckoned you in with the promise of homemade versions served with oodles of clotted cream. Of course, you can have a cream tea anywhere nowadays and why not? This simple little baked good, with its fruity and creamy companions, makes the perfect treat for a summer’s day.

As usual, my first attempts at making anything gluten and dairy free tend to come out dense, hard and often brick-like. Based on some of the things I’ve made in the past, I could quite easily go and work for the Ministry of Defence. I keep working on my recipes, though and I get there in the end. That’s the time to share them on this blog.

The scones in this recipe are no bricks, let me tell you. The result is light and fluffy with a lemony freshness. Unfortunately, clotted cream is a no-no for the dairy intolerant contingent of our family, but with the addition of my chia jam and some coconut cream, this makes for a cream tea to rival any traditional one.

Ingredients
200g ground almonds
100g tapioca starch
100g brown rice flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
120g dairy free alternative to butter
1 egg (beaten)
2 tsp honey
120g yoghurt (dairy free if required)
70g sultanas
Grate rind of 1 lemon
1 egg yolk

Instructions (makes 12)

Preheat the oven to 180/gas 4

– Mix the ground almonds together with the flour, starch and bicarbonate of soda
– Add the butter in cubes and rub in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
– Thoroughly mix in the egg, honey and yoghurt
– Fold in the sultanas and grated lemon rind

Don’t be alarmed if you have a soft and sticky mixture that’s more of a batter than a dough. You are not working with a dough that you roll out and cut, as you would if making traditional scones. A dough of this consistency, when baking gluten free, will result in a baked good that is dry and hard.

– Using a desert spoon, drop heaped spoonfuls of the mixture on to a lined baking sheets, making sure there is space in between each one
– Brush the tops with the egg yolk
– Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown

Vary this recipe by changing the sultanas for other dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries or cherries. You could also substitute the lemon zest for orange.

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