Gluten Free Baking & Living’s Crowdfunding Campaign

For me, the transition to living a gluten-free lifestyle hasn’t been particularly dramatic. I feel 100 times better, and a lot of my favourite foods (like rice, and oats) are naturally gluten free anyway.

GFBFlour-004There are things I miss though. Like baguettes, or deliciously chewy ginger biscuits. There are some things that just can’t be achieved with the gluten free flours currently available widely.

GFBFlour-063GFBFlour-019Which is were Gluten Free Baking & Living come in. Ian and Deborah, who are based in Harrogate, run gluten free baking courses throughout the country, and have developed their own range of amazing gluten free flours. They’ve just started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money so they can develop a couple more, and so they can be widely produced. I got to ask them a few questions, and find out a little bit more about it!

GFBFlour-012Could you tell me a little more about you, and your gluten free journey?

We’re Ian and Deborah Thackeray, the founders of Gluten Free Baking and Living. Ian was diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2012, and we began searching for gluten free products that were as good as we were used to eating before! We really struggled to find gluten free baked goods in the supermarket that were up to scratch, so started creating our own – and the rest is history!

GFBFlour-011Tell me a little more about your company, Gluten Free Baking & Living!

 We run gluten free baking courses in Harrogate, London and the Wirral, where we teach people how to make delicious GF cooking in their own home. We developed our flour blends through the courses to get the best results – and we think they’re great – so much so that we’re raising funds to develop the blends further.

What is your favourite gluten-free baking recipe?

 It’s so hard to choose a favourite! It’s got to be something sweet – cinnamon nut muffins have become a hit in our household.

GFBFlour-031What do you recommend baking with the flour?

 You can bake all your favourites with the flour – it’s the perfect base for great gluten free baguettes, bread, pastry, scones and cakes, through to béchamel sauce, crepes suzette, choux and puff pastry and all things in between.

GFBFlour-076What makes this flour different to what’s currently available?

 Our flour has a much higher protein content, and by using a blend of different flours, such as teff, sorghum and tapioca, we find our flour simply performs much better than what’s currently out there.

 What are your ambitions for the product?

We’re incredibly proud of the blends we’ve developed, and think others who are gluten free are going to love them too! We’d love to see the flours become commercially available in retailers soon, so that more and more people can enjoy them.

 You’re currently fundraising on Indiegogo. What will the money raised be used for?

We’re raising funds to develop a brown bread flour blend, and Italian stoneground gluten free flour – a first for the UK market. All the funds we raise will be invested in developing and marketing these blends, so we can get the range off the ground.

GFBFlour-021Sounds great! How can I get involved?

Please support our campaign – http://igg.me/at/gluten-free-flour-co/x/6324484 and visit us on Facebook, we’ve got some great perks to give away, including the flours themselves and recipe books. Thanks for your support!

Be sure to support Ian and Deborah’s crowdfunding campaign, and help their make dream a reality! Personally, I’m always in favour, and am passionate about promoting high-quality and delicious ingredients. They have some great incentives too!

Do you do any gluten free baking? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on  TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

Gluten-free Porridge Bread

I couldn’t let bread week on the Great British Bake Off pass me by without sharing my latest favourite recipe – a gluten-free porridge bread!

Islandbell Gluten Free Oat Porridge BreadMy grandmother made this for me for the first time, and it’s my new favourite bread recipe. It might sound odd, but it is absolutely delicious – the oats make it smell like hobnobs out of the oven, and it’s at its best eaten fresh with some butter and marmite.

Gluten-free Porridge Bread
 
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This bread has an absolutely fantastic crust on it - it's quite dense, but it's really comforting topped with some butter and is brilliant with soup!
Author:
Recipe type: Gluten Free
Cuisine: Baking
Serves: One Lb. Loaf
Ingredients
  • 300ml Yoghurt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Milk
  • 500g Gluten-free oats
  • 2 Teaspoons of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • ½ Teaspoon of Salt
  • Oat Bran (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Combine the yoghurt, eggs, milk, and oats with the bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  3. If you aren't a fan of a coarse textured bread, blend until fine in a food processor.
  4. Pop the mixture into a one pound bread loaf tin, and bake for 50 minutes.
  5. After 50 minutes, take the loaf out of the tin.
  6. Pop the loaf back in the oven for a further 10 minutes - this will create a really nice crust all over.
  7. Let cool, and eat with lots of butter!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 lb Loaf
The best part about this recipe for me is that it doesn’t taste like a sponge – which sounds odd, but a lot of gluten free bread is unbelievably bland and tasteless. This is anything but!

Islandbell Gluten Free Oat Porridge BreadIslandbell Gluten Free Oat Porridge BreadIslandbell Gluten Free Oat Porridge BreadIt’s fuss free, and once it’s a day old it’s definitely best toasted.

Islandbell Gluten Free Oat Porridge BreadIslandbell Gluten Free Oat Porridge BreadHave you ever tried porridge bread? Comment below, and don’t forget to follow me on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

Gluten-free Kinako White Chocolate Cookies

My mother is an excellent cook. I mostly got my love of cooking and food from her, especially when it comes to Japanese cuisine. I was lucky enough to grow up in New York, where there is an abundance of Japanese supermarkets, making sourcing ingredients like dashi (stock), tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) and nori (dried seaweed) really simple. When I went to Manchester for university, I found myself really stuck in terms of finding the basics I was so used to at home. Luckily, there are a few more options in London, like the Japan Centre in Piccadilly Circus or Atariya. They both have great selections, but they’re either completely rammed (Piccadilly is always horrendously crowded due to all the tourists) or quite far out (the end of the Northern line, for both Atariya locations), and getting home can be a massive hassle when you bulk buy rice and other basics, like I do.

Kinako White Chocolate Gluten Free CookiesSo I was completely thrilled when I was contacted by the lovely team from the Japan Food Hall, a Japanese online supermarket based in the UK. They have a great selection of products – everything from Japanese candies and snacks to sauces and mixes for dishes like sushi or hotpot. The website is clear, easy to use, and has great customer service (they even sent along a few snacks and treats with my first order!) It’s perfect for getting all the essentials, without the expense of lugging it all across town.

Kinako White Chocolate Gluten Free Cookies

One of the first items in my order was a bag of kinako, or roasted soybean flour. I love kinako, which is usually eaten with a little bit of brown sugar with roasted mochi, a Japanese rice cake. Kinako flour is gluten free, and has a rich, nutty flavour, which makes it great for incorporating it into Western-style desserts in new and interesting ways. I really like topping vanilla ice cream with it, or having it with some Greek yoghurt, honey and blueberries. For this recipe, I combined some of that nuttiness with some rich white chocolate, in a gluten-free and egg-free biscuit recipe that goes perfectly with a steaming cup of matcha tea.

Gluten-free Kinako White Chocolate Cookies
 
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Kinako flour is gluten free, and has a rich, nutty flavour, which makes it great for incorporating it into Western-style desserts in new and interesting ways. I really like topping vanilla ice cream with it, or having it with some Greek yoghurt, honey and blueberries. For this recipe, I combined some of that nuttiness with some rich white chocolate, in a gluten-free and egg-free biscuit recipe that goes perfectly with a steaming cup of matcha tea.
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Japanese Fusion
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 80g Kinako (roasted soybean) flour
  • 200g Crushed white chocolate
  • 200g Gluten-free flour
  • 125g Butter
  • 50ml Maple Syrup
  • 200ml Agave Syrup
  • Maldon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Matcha tea powder and hot water (optional, to serve)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flours until fully incorporated.
  3. Using a stand or hand mixer, fold the remaining ingredients with the exception of the chocolate.
  4. Stir in the remaining chocolate pieces with a spatula until evenly distributed.
  5. Using a baking tray lined with parchment paper, spoon out the dough.
  6. Leave space between each biscuit as these will spread!
  7. Top each biscuit with a pinch of sea salt, and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.
  8. These are crumbly when hot, so take care when placing these on a cooling rack.
  9. Let them cool – they should be quite chewy, with a creamy flavour.
  10. Serve with some matcha or Darjeeling tea.
Kinako White Chocolate Gluten Free CookiesKinako White Chocolate Gluten Free CookiesI absolutely love using traditional Japanese ingredients and using them to take a new spin on the classic British afternoon tea. For summer, I’ve been thinking of matcha cheesecakes, cucumber maki rolls instead of cucumber sandwiches and roasted hoji-cha tea – with some sparkling fruit sake, of course!

Kinako White Chocolate Gluten Free Cookies

Japan Food Hall have a great selection sure to get your creative juices flowing – and until May 31st you can get free UK delivery when you use the code ErinFreeDelivery3105. Japan Food Hall deliver throughout Europe, so if you’re outside the British Isles you can use the code to get £6 off your total order. To find their site, simply click on the link below, or find links to their social media site at the end of this post!

Let me know what you end up getting – I’d love to hear your ideas!

JFH_Logo_WhiteOnGreen

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This post was in collaboration with the Japan Food Hall – all opinions are fully my own, and I wouldn’t blog it if I didn’t love the service! What recipes and ingredients will you try? Comment below, and be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

The Cake and Bake Show 2014 [gluten free]

I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to the Cake and Bake Show 2014, which took place in the exhibition centre at Earl’s Court (thanks, Baking Mad!).

Cake and Bake Show 2014

The centre was filled stalls of every baked confectionery imaginable. Brownies, macarons, cupcakes, you name it – they had it. There were also the most tempting sausage rolls I’ve ever seen (blood pudding and apple, anyone?), as well as stands with the latest must-have culinary gadgets.

I was really impressed with a lot of the baking that I saw. I couldn’t really believe some of the things were cakes – not all of them looked particularly appetising, but they were certainly works of art. The subjects of the following pictures are all edible.

Scary cake - cake and bake show 2014 bear macarons monkey cake and bake show 2014 paul and mary cake and bake show 2014

(Yes, that is Mary Berry on a unicorn and Paul Hollywood as a zombie.)

troll cake and bake show 2014High heel cake and bake show 2014

On the stages there were various demonstrations and competitions. The crowd was going wild at the sight of some of the celebrity bakers – and I was expecting everyone to be fairly civilised!

As a gluten free baker, I was really interested to see some of the latest trends in GF baking, and to see if there were any special flours I could purchase.

No luck on the flour front, but there were a couple of gluten free brands that I was really impressed with, that I’d like to feature.

One of the biggest qualms I have with gluten free baking is that it often gets relegated to the realm of ‘healthy eating’, or ‘health food’. The only places you can really get a big selection of gluten free flours and products are often health food shops, and, while this is all very well, it doesn’t do much for someone like me who loves baking. I’m definitely more into the aesthetic side of baking – in fact, I don’t really like cake. At all. But I love decorating and baking.

Which is why whenever I see any gluten free baked goods for inspiration, I’m always a tad disappointed. There’s a lot of brown, and it’s not very pretty. So when I came across the Mr. Prempy’s stand, I looked admiringly and then walked away at first, thinking that it was too pretty to be gluten free. But I was in luck – their products are gluten-free, dairy-free and all that jazz, but they look amazing too! I took home a Gerald, a lime and ginger cheesecake made from cashews and coconut oil.

Mr Prempys Gerald cake Mr Prempys cake

The other discovery I made at the show was the visually exquisite work of the Meringue Girls.

Meringue girls cake and bake show 2014 Meringue girls cake and bake show 2014

I have never had meringues like these before. The variety of colours and flavours were amazing. Watermelon, raspberry, lavender, pistachio and rose and salted caramel were among the few I tried. I was absolutely gutted when I found out they’d run out of gin and tonic flavoured ones. I brought a few home with me, and I’m afraid to say these have become my new obsession. The Meringue Girls also do classes, so I’m definitely going to try and get myself on one of them soon.

Meringue girls Meringue girls Meringue girls

Although I enjoyed myself at the Cake and Bake Show, I would’ve liked to see more savoury baking present. Gluten-free baking particularly: I would’ve loved to see some GF pies, or sausage rolls (especially that blood pudding and apple one!). I didn’t manage to spot any gluten-free bread, either. I’d like to see a stall next year filled with all sorts of savoury gluten free baked goods – if not, I might just have to set up a stand of my own!

Gluten-free Billington’s Brownies #Bakeface

Last week, I got an adorable hamper through the post from the lovely BakingMad.com. The challenge? To show them my best #bakeface – the face you make when you take the all-important first bite of something deliciously warm and fresh out of the oven.

Billingtons HamperBillingtons Bakeface Hamper

The recipe provided was for Billington’s Brownies – gooey, chocolatey and indulgent, with cherries throughout. I deviated from the recipe provided to make it gluten-free, of course.

Gluten-free Billington's Brownies #Bakeface
 
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This delicious and indulgent gluten-free chocolate brownie recipe is perfect for afternoon tea.
Author:
Recipe type: Baking, Gluten-free
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: Dozen
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g Billington’s dark muscovado sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 200g chocolate (I used a mixture of dark and milk)
  • 110g gluten free plain flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g glace cherries
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. To make the brownies gluten free, I used gluten free flour (shocker).
  2. I followed the recipe on the site, with two exceptions.
  3. While you are folding the flour in, add the cocoa powder and baking powder for best results.
  4. I also combined dark and milk chocolate – I’d like to say for a deeper, more complex flavour.
  5. (I’d run out of dark chocolate).

Gluten free billingtons brownies Gluten free Billingtons BrownieGluten free brownies Gluten free billingtons brownies

The #Bakeface challenge was a great excuse to bake something I wouldn’t usually – and I had a great time! Here’s my bakeface below – although I’m not eating that particular gluten-filled brownie – taken at the Cake and Bake Show, which I will be covering in my next post!

Bakeface
Have you submitted your #bakeface? Comment below, and be sure to follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!