Gluten Free Girl and the Chef http://glutenfreegirl.com Playing With Our Food Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:53:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=129 gluten-free baguettehttp://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/gluten-free-baguette/ http://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/gluten-free-baguette/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:53:06 +0000 http://glutenfreegirl.com/?p=9821 See that baguette? It’s gluten-free, of course. I shouldn’t say of course. You know we wouldn’t post a photo of food that contained gluten on this site. Still, you probably wouldn’t guess this is a gluten-free baguette.…

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Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetSee that baguette? It’s gluten-free, of course.

I shouldn’t say of course. You know we wouldn’t post a photo of food that contained gluten on this site. Still, you probably wouldn’t guess this is a gluten-free baguette. Look at those air holes. That crust. That bread is pliable and soft in the crumb and crisp on the outside. It’s a baguette.

And the recipe for this baguette — the recipe we have worked on for 8 years now — might be yours soon. It will be in the PDF of 10 recipes reserved exclusively for supporters of our Kickstarter. Everyone who pledges $25 or above will be receiving this PDF. How about a great gluten-free baguette for the new year?

Of course, if you’d like to learn how to make that baguette, plus sourdough bread, great pie crust, and any other gluen-free baked good of your choice, there are a few pledges that might interest you.

Tickets to the gluten-free Thanksgiving baking class ($250) we ran last week have all been snapped up. There was so much interest that we’re adding a December holiday baking class, for a pledge of $250. (That gets you two tickets!) It will be in Seattle this time, at our favorite bookstore/teaching space, Book Larder. We’ll be offering the class the evening of December 2nd, at 6:30 pm. You’ll learn how to make this baguette for holiday party appetizers, plus pie! And other delightful goods. If you pledge to Kickstarter soon, you could be part of this exclusive baking class.

If you’d like to gather a group of friends together, and come to our kitchen studio on a 12-acre farm on Vashon, then we have a $1000 pledge on the Kickstarter. That sounds like a lot, but if 10 people go in together, that’s only $100 a piece. There are only 4 of these pledges left for the in-person class. You could also do it virtually, if you live outside of Seattle.

Of course, if you want us to bake for you, there are a few options left.

We have the holiday gift basket for $250: copies of all three of our books, the 10 recipes exclusive to the Kickstarter, and a tin of gluten-free biscotti. There is only one left!

And if you are feeling concerned about a gluten-free Thanksgiving, let us make your pumpkin pie. This is a limited offer for only 10 people. We’ll make your gluten-free (and dairy-free, if you need it) pumpkin pie. Pickup will be on Vashon and in Seattle.

Folks, we’re doing all of this to help you bake. It’s our first and most important goal. Help us help you by pledging to the Kickstarter today.

p.s. Look again. That’s a gluten-free baguette. And it’s easy to make. You want this recipe.

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we think we can we think we canhttp://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/the-gluten-free-girl-flour-blends/ http://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/the-gluten-free-girl-flour-blends/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 23:53:38 +0000 http://glutenfreegirl.com/?p=9812   For months on end, Lucy’s favorite book when she was 2 was The Little Engine That Could. Every night I would read her that story, emphasizing the chugging noises as the only kind engine of the…

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For months on end, Lucy’s favorite book when she was 2 was The Little Engine That Could. Every night I would read her that story, emphasizing the chugging noises as the only kind engine of the bunch, the tiniest engine out there, tried to pull all those train cars up the hill. I think I can I think I can I think I can. Lucy always cheered when they made it.

We’re hoping that we’ll be cheering at 6 am on October 30th, when our Kickstarter campaign to bring the Gluten-Free Girl Flour Blends to market is successful. In the meantime, we’re just chugging and working, pulling all these train cars up the hill. We think we can we think we can we think we can.…

Tomorrow we’ll be halfway through our campaign. And if you help us push forward today, we could be more than 50% funded! We are so grateful to every one of the 643 backers so far who have pledged toward our goal. Thank you. But we still have a long way to go.

We want to give you a quick update of where we are so far and what we’re offering.

* We truly do believe these will be the best gluten-free flour blends on the market and we think you will too.

* Our All-Purpose Flour Blend is 40% whole grain and formulated to work without xanthan or guar gum. It’s the flour you want when you want to make pies, cakes, and other treats.

(See those pumpkin cupcakes with coconut sugar frosting up there? They are made with our All-Purpose Flour. They’re dairy-free, as well. Those pumpkin spice latte cupcakes are adapted from a recipe by the incredible Allison Robicelli. This adapted version could be one of the recipes we’re offering in the exclusive PDF of recipes for those who pledge to the Kickstarter at $25 or higher.)

* Our Grain-Free Flour Blend is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than most flours. It’s great for everyday baking: flatbreads, sourdough bread, muffins, and quick breads. And it’s for everyone who cannot tolerate grains.

* Both our flour blends are free of any xanthan or guar gum or another additives or preservatives.

* Over time, our goal is to make both the flour blends organic and non-GMO certified. Both will require more money. If you help us fund the Kickstarter even more fully than the required goal, we can make that happen more quickly.

* We’ve been offering daily specials all week long and they have gone fast. Last week we offered a private dinner for 4 at our kitchen studio on Vashon. That sold out within a few hours! We also offered a Thanksgiving gluten-free baking class at our studio on Vashon, which went quickly too. This afternoon, there was a chance to win a ticket to an event honoring Mark Bittman’s new book, How to Cook Everything Fast: A Better Way to Cook Great Food and the launch of Gathered Table. (This new menu planning/grocery delivery service in Seattle is trying to make cooking easier for families. If you join, they create a custom-made weekly dinner plan for you, using your own recipes and their suggestions.) That offer was snapped up so fast from Instagram that the reward was fulfilled before I could publish this post.

Keep an eye on the Kickstarter page and act fast if you see something you like.

* We are launching a new special today, since the private dinner pledge was so popular. We’re offering a private three-course brunch or lunch for 4 at our kitchen studio, on a date that works for you. We’ll tailor it to your food allergies/intolerance and food desires. We’ll also give you 1 box of the All-Purpose Flour mix for each guest and send you home with recipes for everything you ate! This reward could be yours for a pledge of $400.

* Finally, we have more than $40,000 to raise in 2 weeks. We can do it, with a lot of work and with your help.

Could you send the Kickstarter link to 40 people today? People who bake love to share. Please share this with your friends, family, and work colleagues today, if you can. Let them know why this matters to you.

Thank you.

We think we can we think we can we think we can. 

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no gums in the Gluten-Free Girl Flour Blendshttp://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/no-xanthan-gum-gluten-free-flour-blends/ http://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/no-xanthan-gum-gluten-free-flour-blends/#comments Sat, 11 Oct 2014 21:40:22 +0000 http://glutenfreegirl.com/?p=9805 We are on day 11 of our Kickstarter campaign to bring the Gluten-Free Girl Flour Blends to market. We are excited — quite over the moon — that you have helped to fund this dream of ours…

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Gluten-Free Girl Flour Blends for Kickstarter

We are on day 11 of our Kickstarter campaign to bring the Gluten-Free Girl Flour Blends to market.

We are excited — quite over the moon — that you have helped to fund this dream of ours at 43% of its fundraising goal only 10 days into a 30-day campaign. (However, remember this: if we don’t meet our goal, we get none of the money.)

We are a little tired — all right, more than a little — because this is hard, hard work. Putting ourselves out there, asking for help, writing and asking and promoting and asking and being bold-faced quite clear we need your help. This isn’t our way. We’re much happier cooking and baking and having conversations with people instead of having all of our social media being 30 days of asking for help.

We are also more than willing to do this, to step out of our comfort zone, to jeopardize annoying some people, because we want this to work. We want this to work for us, of course. But we want this to work for you, so we can keep bringing you new recipes, better baked goods, and the ease of knowing you can cook and bake without having to do science experiments.

We are also clear about this: we know that there is no business worth it if you didn’t have to work your butt off for it. We’ve been working for two years on this, not saying anything online the entire time, because we wanted to do our research and employe consultants who could teach us how to do this well and learn the right way to do this. We’re still learning. We’ll never stop learning. But we love this hard work. As our friend Brandon told me last night, “It’s worth it. If you work it, they will come.”

We are going to be honest here. When we first dreamed up this venture, and especially when we thought about the Kickstarter campaign, we didn’t want to boast, to say ours are the best gluten-free flour blends. We thought we’d put these out there and let you decide. And of course, you will. But even a few days in, we realized we were selling ourselves short. Here’s why we are proclaiming now: we believe these are the best gluten-free blends that will be on the market. 

We are picky. We are determined to cook great food, to bake phenomenal bread. We have never settled for “good for gluten-free.” We want good. Danny can eat gluten — and he does whenever he leaves the house — so he’s our arbiter of taste. If something seems good, and he makes that face, I go back to work. He’s a trained chef, worked on the line for over 20 years at good restaurants around the country, and he thinks and dreams in food. I’m a geek, intent on figuring out protein structures and starches. We don’t settle.

If there were a gluten-free flour blend that met our needs, we would be using that blend and recommending it to you for every recipe. None of them meets our needs. That’s why we have created two blends to bring to market.

These will be the best gluten-free blends on the market.

We are proud of this fact about our flour blends: no gums. These are no xanthan gum gluten-free flour blends.  These are no guar gum flour blends. So many of you have written to say that the gums give you digestive upset. That’s true for me too. Here’s what we discovered, even more so in the last six months: gluten-free baking does not require the gums. Gluten-free baking is better without the gums. 

We are sure of this. We have played and baked and tried different ways. And in our All-Purpose Flour, we use sweet rice flour because it’s starchy enough, in a certain way, that it binds up the other flours in a baked good. You don’t need the gums if you have sweet rice flour in there. In our grain-free blend, buckwheat flour is starchy enough, in a certain way, that it acts the same way as sweet rice flour. If you are using a good recipe that has been developed well, there’s no need for gums when you use our grain-free blend.

We are bringing you two flour blends that contain nothing but flours, formulated correctly after nearly a decade of playing, that will be your family’s flour. For almost all your baking, there is no need for additives or weird ingredients you’ve never bought before or 7/8 of a teaspoon of something that costs $15 a package. With these flour blends, you just bake.

(Okay, breads are the one exception. You need a pinch of psyllium husk for breads. But that’s inexpensive. And we’ll tell you more about it next week.)

We are so proud of these flour blends. And we want you to have these flour blends. Help us fund this Kickstarter campaign and you could be baking with these flour blends soon.

We are Danny and Shauna, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. But we are also Claire, our consulting producer, and Desmond and Lucy and the legion of bakers who have tested these flours and the pastry chefs who have consulted for us and our co-packer and all its employees and our package designer and his family and our package manufacturer and all its employees and the people who grow the grains and the people who grind those grains and everyone who has worked to bring these flours blends to you.

We are you. We’re doing this for you. We want you to have these flours blends.

Help us help you.

Thank you.

 

To learn more about our All-Purpose Flour Blend, please read this. 

To learn more about our Grain-Free Blend, please read this.  

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gluten-free Thanksgiving baking classhttp://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/gluten-free-thanksgiving-baking-2/ http://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/gluten-free-thanksgiving-baking-2/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 18:08:51 +0000 http://glutenfreegirl.com/?p=9801 We have a new, exclusive offer on the Kickstarter. Act fast! Come to a gluten-free Thanksgiving baking class, limited to 10 people, at our studio on Vashon Island. We’ll teach you how to make sandwich…

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pumpkin pie_

We have a new, exclusive offer on the Kickstarter. Act fast!

Come to a gluten-free Thanksgiving baking class, limited to 10 people, at our studio on Vashon Island. We’ll teach you how to make sandwich bread, cornbread, stuffing, gravy, and pumpkin pie. 

We will also tailor each dish to your food allergy/intolerance needs.

This $250 pledge toward the Kickstarter will get you two tickets to the class. (That’s $125 each.) You and your spouse! You and your best friend! Or you and your son or daughter! Let’s gather together and bake.

We’ll teach you how to make these foods, give you the recipes, and send you off with the confidence to make a great Thanksgiving, gluten-free. Plus, you’ll leave with pie dough you can use to make your family’s pumpkin pie.

And you will eat well.

The class will take place on Saturday, November 15th.

Pledge now! We’d love to feed you.

 

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The Gluten-Free Girl Grain-Free Flour Blendhttp://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/gluten-free-girl-grain-free-flour-blend/ http://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/gluten-free-girl-grain-free-flour-blend/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 17:01:45 +0000 http://glutenfreegirl.com/?p=9778 Remember this gluten-free sourdough bread I showed you the other day? The one from our upcoming cookbook, American Classics Reinvented? If you help fully fund our Kickstarter to bring the Gluten-Free Girl Flour Blends to market,…

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sourdough bread

Remember this gluten-free sourdough bread I showed you the other day? The one from our upcoming cookbook, American Classics Reinvented?

If you help fully fund our Kickstarter to bring the Gluten-Free Girl Flour Blends to market, you can make this sourdough bread yourself, with our grain-free flour blend.

grain-free banana bread

We really love the grain-free flour blend we’ve developed. We think you will too.

About two years ago, I started hearing from a few readers, asking for help. More requests arrived in my inbox, then more. These gluten-free folks had discovered, through various means, that their health improved if they avoided all grains, not just gluten. Some of them did better without all those easy sources of carbohydrates. Others felt the inflammation plaguing them still remaining after giving up gluten seemed to disappear when they gave up grains. Some had started committing to the Paleo diet and saw a big shift in their health and well-being. Others suffered from Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis and found their guts just couldn’t take whole grains anymore.

And they all asked us the same question: “Can you help us come up with a grain-free flour blend for baking? We trust your recipes. I know if you make it, this flour blend would work.”

While we felt a little overwhelmed by the requests, we listened. Danny and I both do this work to help as many people as we can. How could we not want to help?

Over time, as we began playing with different nut flours and starches, we had some frustrating baking attempts. But we kept playing — and how lucky we feel that this is our job, to combine different flours and bake banana bread until we love it —we found a blend we loved.

Almond flour, buckwheat flour, and arrowroot starch. It’s a magic combination. It’s also utterly delicious.

To our surprise, the grain-free blend we developed over time has become a flour blend we love. We use this grain-free flour blend as much as we use our all-purpose blend. In fact, we use it more often.

This is our family’s flour now.

We’d like to make it your family’s flour as well.

grain-free blueberry muffins

Years ago, we developed a whole-grain flour blend we liked very much. Tired of all the white flour dominating the gluten-free food world, we wanted a more wholesome flour, something with a little heft and depth. (Before I found out I had celiac, I liked sourdough bread from bakeries I trusted and baking with whole-wheat flour.) We ended up with a blend that was almost all whole grain with some starches. (Even the more wholesome flour needs a little starch to keep from making baked goods that weigh as much as lead.)

When we started developing the grain-free blend, it took us awhile, but we realized that the grain-free blend worked best with the formula we developed for the whole-grain blend (or something close to it). When we began thinking of the grain-free blend as just another flour blend, instead of something meant to be all protein or no carbs or something “healthy,” (which is often code word for “not very good, but at least you feel virtuous when you eat it!”), we found the flour blend we loved.

It turns out that our whole-grain blend and this grain-free blend are pretty darned similar. They’re both wholesome and hearty, warm and a little nutty. They’re both great for everyday baked goods like muffins and quick breads, breakfast bars and mostly for breads. We make sandwich bread with this grain-free blend, as well as dinner rolls and bagels. With all that protein in there, this grain-free blend makes great gluten-free breads.

The only difference between our whole-grain blend and this grain-free blend is that the grain-free blend works for more people.

If you can’t or don’t want to eat grains, this is the blend for you.

grain-free dinner rolls

There are plenty of people who bake with only almond flour and I understand why. It’s high in protein and great fats. (We love Elana’s Pantry, for example. Elana always does great work.) But for me, baked goods with only almond flour sometimes left me unsatisfied. They’re a little dense, a little too filled with fats, not light or flaky. And having spent years thinking about the ratios of flours to fats to make something fluffy, I knew I wanted to bake with more than simply almond flour.

Almond flour is high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and has a delicious flavor. Also, the flavor is familiar. That’s important for gluten-free baking. Since most of us have grown up with only wheat flour in our baked goods, we actually miss the taste of wheat along with the ease of it. Having a taste that’s familiar, like almonds, in a baked good, makes those baked goods more easily delicious.

Plus, almond flour has been used in baking for centuries. I love this Julia Child chocolate almond cake from Mastering the  Art of French Baking, for example. I’ve made with a blend of our All-Purpose Flour and our Grain-Free Flour, subbing them in by weight. It was wonderful.

Almond flour was in.

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And then there’s buckwheat.

Danny always teases me that I get crushes on gluten-free flours. Buckwheat is my quiet, enduring love.

Let’s start with the name, which confuses people. Buckwheat is not wheat, folks. It’s not related to wheat at all. It’s not even a member of the grasses family, like wheat, rye, corn, barley, and rice. It’s not a grain.

I’ll let Stephen Guyenet, one of my favorite food science writers (he has a PhD in neurobiology from the University of Washington) offer this explanation from his site, Whole Health Source:

“Buckwheat isn’t a grain: it’s a ‘pseudograin’ that comes from a broad-leaved plant. As such, it’s not related to wheat and contains no allergenic gluten. Like quinoa, it has some unusual properties that make it a particularly nutritious food. It’s about 16 percent protein by calories, ranking it among the highest protein grains. However, it has an advantage over grains: it contains complete protein, meaning it has a balance of essential amino acids similar to animal foods. Buckwheat is also an exceptional source of magnesium and copper, two important nutrients that may influence the risk of insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.”

Many people have told me anecdotally that buckwheat doesn’t seem to give them sugar spikes. And I have talked to a number of naturopaths and dietitians who say that they have many gluten-free patients who don’t do well with grains, but those same patients seem to thrive on buckwheat.

These are some of the reasons we included buckwheat in our flour blend.

But here’s the real reason. Buckwheat is amazing in baked goods.

Buckwheat has some of the same properties as wheat. It’s full of protein (it’s higher in protein than wheat, actually), has a wholesome taste, and plays well with other flours. On top of that, buckwheat has this quality, this oomph, in baking. It almost melts with the other flours, cinches them in, and creates great structure in baked goods. Dare I say it? It acts a little like a gluten flour. But there’s no gluten in buckwheat.

Now, there’s one caveat. For the best grain-free baked goods, you have to use raw buckwheat flour. You might think that buckwheat is dark in color and bitter in taste. That’s toasted buckwheat flour. Almost all buckwheat flour sold in the United States is toasted buckwheat flour. The toasting makes the flour darker and the taste more intense. Raw buckwheat flour is far more neutral in taste than toasted buckwheat. It tastes a little like wheat. It’s nutty and warm and really wonderful.

I love buckwheat.

To make light buckwheat flour, you can grind raw buckwheat groats in a flour mill or a strong blender. We have for years. But we know that most folks don’t want to grind fresh flour to bake.

We’ve saved you that time by finding the best source for light buckwheat flour and putting it in our grain-free blend.

 

grain-free cornbread

We completed our grain-free blend with arrowroot starch. I love potato starch, which is in our All-Purpose Flour Blend. But we’ve heard from people who can’t tolerate potatoes or nightshade at all. So we wanted to use arrowroot, which is neutral in taste and a great thickener. It plays well with almond and buckwheat flour.

So let’s recap. This grain-free blend is meant for those of you who cannot eat grains. It’s wholesome and hearty, like a whole-grain blend. It’s delicious. And it’s also meant for those of you who cannot tolerate rice, potatoes, or corn.

(That up there? It’s a “cornbread” made with our grain-free blend. It doesn’t have the same taste as cornbread but it has the same texture. And oh is it good for sopping up beef stew or tomato soup.

Really, it’s an amazing flour blend.

grain-free sweet potato pie

And on special occasions, sometimes, you still want pie.

This is a sweet potato pie made with our grain-free blend,  coconut milk and honey. We’ll be having this pie for Thanksgiving this year. You could be having it in your home next year, if our Kickstarter is fully funded by October 30th!

 

Gluten-Free Girl Flour Blends for Kickstarter

 

Please help us bring this extraordinary flour blend to the market. This is no other grain-free flour blend on the market.

Please help us. And then we’ll help you bake, grain-free.

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homemade cookies for youhttp://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/daily-specials-on-the-gluten-free-kickstarter/ http://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/daily-specials-on-the-gluten-free-kickstarter/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 22:30:35 +0000 http://glutenfreegirl.com/?p=9785   We’re so grateful to all of you have pledged already to our Kickstarter to bring the Gluten-Free Girl Flour Blends to market. This morning we passed $25,000 pledged, and we launched a week ago…

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chocolate chip cookies for Kickstarter

brownies for FN

 

We’re so grateful to all of you have pledged already to our Kickstarter to bring the Gluten-Free Girl Flour Blends to market. This morning we passed $25,000 pledged, and we launched a week ago today. Hurrah!

However, we still have a looong way to go to bring you two great flour blends: an all-purpose blend that works as a 1 to 1 replacement for bleached wheat flour, free of all major allergens, and a grain-free blend that tastes delicious. We have 22 days left (well, 21 after this day is over) to raise another $53,000.

(I’m trying very hard to get sleep at night.)

We’ve done our research. The middle two weeks of a month-long Kickstarter campaign are generally much slower than the first and last week. Danny and I have been talking about this: it feels like a restaurant. Some weeks are busy, and some weeks are painfully slow. In restaurants, it’s important to remind the regulars to come in for a new experience. And so here, too.

Every day for this week and next week, we’ll be offering daily specials on the gluten-free Kickstarter. Each day, we’ll be doing new rewards with limited numbers of backers. For example, yesterday we offered a 4-course dinner for four at our kitchen studio for $500. All three of those rewards went in about 2 hours! (If there is more interest, we might have to offer more.) We have plans for holiday baking classes, personal consultations, classes for couples, and other ways we can feed and help you.

But today, it’s all about the cookies.

For a pledge of $125, we will send you 2 dozen gluten-free cookies. You can choose from chocolate chip cookies, brownies, or cherry-hazelnut biscotti. And of course, we’ll tailor the cookies to meet all your food allergies/intolerances.

This would be a great holiday present for someone you love! Or for yourself.

(And this is for all of you who put comments on our Instagram and Facebook photos, asking for the recipe immediately. We’ll send you the treat instead! And we’ll give you the recipe too.)

It’s limited to 10 backers, and 5 of them have gone in the first 2 hours of this offer, so act quickly.

p.s. Keep watching this spot for more daily specials. And the gluten-free Kickstarter site. And Twitter. And Facebook.…

p.p.s. I’m still going to tell you more about the grain-free blend, so you can start dreaming of that grain-free sourdough bread.

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grain-free sourdough breadhttp://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/gluten-free-girl-grain-free-flour-blend-2/ http://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/gluten-free-girl-grain-free-flour-blend-2/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 22:13:23 +0000 http://glutenfreegirl.com/?p=9762 You see that? That gorgeous bread with the crisp burnished crust? That is gluten-free sourdough bread. And it’s wonderful bread. Our book editor, Justin, texted me this photo from the set of the photo shoot from our next…

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sourdough bread

You see that? That gorgeous bread with the crisp burnished crust? That is gluten-free sourdough bread.

And it’s wonderful bread.

Our book editor, Justin, texted me this photo from the set of the photo shoot from our next cookbook, American Classics Reinvented. I burst into happy tears. I’ve been working on this sourdough bread recipe for 5 years. I’m not kidding. 5 years. The day the food stylist was making the sourdough bread, and then knowing the photographer was going to be shooting it, I was in nerves all day. (And we were filming the video for our Kickstarter at the same time.) I stared at it, and there it was. Great gluten-free sourdough bread.

As Justin wrote to me, “Everyone is blown away by the bread. Forget gluten-free, it’s just great. It’s so sour!”

That was a good day.

Oh, and by the way, if you help fully fund our Kickstarter, someday you can make this sourdough bread with our grain-free flour blend in your home. Grain-free sourdough bread, people.

Beautiful grain-free sourdough bread.

* * *

Of course, if you just can’t wait until October of 2015 to make this sourdough bread, we have a couple of rewards for you on the Kickstarter that will help.

For a $1000 pledge on our Kickstarter to bring the Gluten-Free Girl flour blends to market, we are offering a baking class at our kitchen studio on Vashon Island. Here’s the important point. We can have up to 10 people per baking class. If you can gather 9 people who want to pay only $100 each for a three-hour baking class, you can come meet us here and bake bread with us. (And break bread. We’ll be feeding you in that class too.)

Plus, you’ll leave with a container of active gluten-free sourdough starter, so you can start baking sourdough bread at home.

Come to Vashon with your closest friends and family and learn to bake grain-free sourdough bread.

And if you don’t live anywhere near Vashon? No worries. We’re also offering a virtual baking class for those who pledge $1000. Gather 9 friends, each of you pitch in $100 and we’ll do a Google+ hangout with you, baking and talking. We’ll break bread virtually.

Seriously, you want this bread.

And we need your help to make these dreams come true. Please pledge to the Kickstarter today.

 

Tomorrow, we’ll tell you more about the grain-free blend and how we developed it. If you’re looking for a nutrient-dense gluten-free flour blend without rice, corn, potato, or any gums or additives, this will be the grain-free flour blend for you. 

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Gluten-Free Girl All-Purpose Flour Blendhttp://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/gluten-free-girl-purpose-gluten-free-flour-blend/ http://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/gluten-free-girl-purpose-gluten-free-flour-blend/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 21:58:43 +0000 http://glutenfreegirl.com/?p=9748   I’d like to share something with you I haven’t told you yet, something that happened on the path to developing our All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend. It might help you understand why these flour blends are…

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all-purpose flour blends_   I’d like to share something with you I haven’t told you yet, something that happened on the path to developing our All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend. It might help you understand why these flour blends are extraordinary and worth your pledge.

This past year, I nearly drove Danny crazy. Picture this. We’re in our kitchen studio, music playing, working for the day while Lu is at school. Danny’s flipping some kind of hot food in the black cast-iron skillet, hovering above a flame on the stove. I’m standing at the wooden island in the center of the kitchen, my apron smeared with floury handprints, my hands reaching for a jar of millet flour. Or sorghum. Or sweet rice flour. Or quinoa flour.

“Shauna, are you making another flour blend?” he asks me, over the sizzle of the fire in front of him. I nod. I know he doesn’t approve. But I couldn’t stop until I knew.

A few years ago, Danny and I came up with a formula for a great all-purpose flour blend: 40% whole grains, 60% starches. Typically, bleached wheat flour is about 10% protein and 90% starches. (I didn’t know that before I started researching. We put so much of our focus on that gluten protein that we don’t realize that wheat works because of its starches.) So when I stopped using 8 different flours in a single recipe and tried to create a blend of flours to use over and over again, I started there.

I found that a flour blend that was 40% whole grain gluten-free flour gave me about an equivalent amount of protein in the flour blend to bleached wheat flour, minus the gluten, of course.

When I first began publishing the recipe here, I encouraged everyone reading to make up his or her own blend. Use whatever flours work for you! But by the time we began writing Gluten-Free Girl Every Day, however, I wanted to find the one blend that worked best for us.

(Danny and I are both food geeks, determined to make the best possible food we can, then creating and testing a recipe so you can make that food in your home. Besides that, I genuinely feel at home in front of a food scale, writing down baker’s percentages. I know. I’m weird.)

I tried so many flours. Typically, most gluten-free flour mixes seem to use some variation of brown rice flour, white rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch. I started there. I didn’t like that blend, however, no matter how much I played with the percentages. Even a bit too much tapioca and a blend turns slimy. I don’t like the taste of brown rice in a flour, plus it just doesn’t absorb water well. And long-grain white rice flour felt useless to me in terms of what I wanted: a soft flour that would work as well in cookies as pizza dough.

So I started again. Over the months of developing Gluten-Free Girl Every Day, now three years ago, I played with every permutation I could. Sorghum? I like it. But it can taste a little bitter sometimes. Quinoa? Too grassy. Amaranth? FAR too grassy. Buckwheat? Love it. But when I paired it with sweet rice flour, which I fell in love with years ago, the flour blend was too starchy. I made dozens of different flour blends.

And in the end, it was really clear for me. Millet, sweet rice, and potato starch.

The ancient grain millet is high in protein and magnesium. It also has a natural sweetness — I find I use less sugar in a recipe when millet is in the flour blend — and lends a warm taste to baked goods. Millet creates a wonderful soft crumb to baked goods.

Sweet rice flour, milled from “sticky” rice, has wonderful binding qualities for gluten-free baked goods. Plain white rice flour is ground from long-grain rice. Think about the quality of a batch of long grain rice on the plate. It’s a pile of fluffy rice, each grain separate from another. That’s delicious when I want a bite of jasmine rice. But when I want a binding, starchy flour, I want the short-grain rice that is sweet rice. (It’s not sweet. And it’s often called “glutinous” flour. That simply means sticky, not that it contains gluten.)

In fact, sweet rice flour binds all the other ingredients in a baked good together so well that you truly do not need xanthan gum, guar gum, or even psyllium to create most baked goods.

For awhile, I was determined to bake with only high-protein whole grains and not include any starches in my flour blend. But remember that wheat is mostly made of starches. Those baking attempts were leaden and sad. A bit of starch helps. Potato starch, in particular, keeps everything moist and light in our baked goods.

We committed to this flour blend for Gluten-Free Girl Every Day and created light and fluffy biscuits with it. The apple pie is a dream — flaky and tender. We made dumplings, lemon yogurt cake, sandwich bread, and millet waffles with that blend. Hundreds of you have written to say these recipes have become your family recipes now.

So you’d think I would be done, right?

This is where I drove Danny crazy.

When we were developing American Classics, Reinvented, we decided we wanted an all-purpose flour blend and a grain-free blend for the book, which could be used interchangeably. (I’ll tell you about the grain-free blend on Monday.) Danny said, “Well, we have the AP flour already.”

I twisted my feet toward each other and tied the strings of my apron tight. “Well.…”

“What?” he asked, surprised.

“I want to make sure it’s the one. I mean, yeah. It’s a great blend! But if we use it in two books, we’re saying that’s the blend for the rest of our career. I have to be sure.”

He refrained from rolling his eyes. Instead, he gave me a hug and turned toward the stove. He let me play with brown rice again, with teff and quinoa and tapioca and arrowroot and anything else we had in the cupboards, in all kinds of combinations, with different percentages, in jars and bowls all over the kitchen. That red-striped apron of mine has seen some flours in its time.

The day came when I turned to Danny and said, “You know what? You’re right. It’s the millet blend. It’s still the best. I’m done.” He didn’t say “I told you!” Instead he just hugged me close and said, “Oh good. Let’s start baking with it again.”

Can I tell you something amazing for me? I haven’t made up a new flour blend in close to a year.

Well, I did fiddle with it a bit. I finessed the percentages a bit so 1 cup of this all-purpose flour (if you whisk it, scoop it into the cup and swipe a knife across the top) weighs 140 grams. Exactly. Do you know what that means? You can use this flour  as a 1 to 1 replacement for the bleached white flour in your family favorite recipes. All you need to bake is this all-purpose flour blend.

* * *

We keep the millet/sweet rice/potato starch blend in our kitchen, along with the grain-free blend we created. We reach into those big jars to start making pancakes on Sunday morning or bake cupcakes for Lucy’s kindergarten class. Desmond is usually jumping to music we’re playing as we dance. But I haven’t made another flour blend in months and months.

I’ll never make another all-purpose flour blend. This is our blend forever.

And that Gluten-Free Girl All-Purpose Flour Blend can be on the market and in your kitchen if you pledge to our Kickstarter, then tell everyone you know to give to it, so we can fund it successfully.

Please help.

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The Gluten-Free Girl Flour Blends — questions answeredhttp://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/gluten-free-girl-flour-blends-questions-answered/ http://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/10/gluten-free-girl-flour-blends-questions-answered/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 19:49:25 +0000 http://glutenfreegirl.com/?p=9736   Thank you SO much to all of you who have pledged to the Kickstarter for our flour blends  already. We’ve had a couple of good days — the staff at Kickstarter picked our project…

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Gluten-Free Girl Flour Blends for Kickstarter

 

Thank you SO much to all of you who have pledged to the Kickstarter for our flour blends  already. We’ve had a couple of good days — the staff at Kickstarter picked our project as one of their favorites within one hour of its launch; we made 10% of our goal less than 12 hours before launching — but we have a loooong way to go.

This is hard work, work we are happy to do, but work that is taking all of our resolve. It takes persistent hard work to build a company that we want to thrive for years to come. We’re not the types to retweet kind statements others say about us, to remind people all day long that we need your support, or even to ask for other people’s support, out loud, for 30 days in a row.

But we do need your help. And we want to help you make great gluten-free food, with ease, for your friends and family. That’s why we are doing this.

And we want to be transparent and open about everything we are doing in this process. With that in mind, we’d like to answer some of the questions about our flour blends and our Kickstarter that have arisen in the past few days.

 

Can you explain how the Gluten-Free Girl All-Purpose Flour Blend will be tree-nut-free if you are using almond flour in the other blend?

This is a great question. It’s vitally important to us as well. We scoured the country, researching and talking to every co-packer that could meet our needs for these two flour blends. We chose the co-packer we have chosen because of the great care they take in avoiding cross-contamination.

Our co-packer has two completely separate facilities within its factory:  one for the allergen-free flour blends and mixes, and one for blends and mixes that uses tree nuts and dairy.

Our producer visited the co-packer and saw their protocols in action. Anyone who steps in the factory has to wear coats, disposable hair nets, booties, and gloves.  Everyone has to change out those garments and put on new ones before entering the other facility. This is done to meticulously prevent any possibility of cross-contamination between the two facilities.

The Gluten-Free Girl All-Purpose Flour Blend and the Gluten-Free Girl Grain-Free Blend will be produced in completely separate gluten-free facilities, by an entirely professional team who insists that protocol be followed to keep the Gluten-Free Girl All-Purpose Flour Blend allergen-free.

Of course, they are both completely free of gluten!

 

Are the flour blends made in a dedicated gluten-free facility?

Absolutely.

Our co-packer is scrupulous about using only dedicated gluten-free flours. They only allow flours into the factory that have been certified gluten-free. They test every blend or mix they pack on a daily basis to make sure it tests less than 10 ppm. (The FDA only requires that it be less than 20 ppm to be labeled gluten-free but our co-packer has a stricter standard.)

The factory has also undergone the GFCO gluten-free certification, the leading gluten-free certification program in the United States. They also undergo routine inspections and certificates of analyze to ensure they are following their protocols.

We would not work with a co-packer unless they were dedicated to making entirely gluten-free foods. We have utter confidence in the co-packer we have chosen.

 

How will you ensure that your flour blends are kosher?

Our co-packer is a certified kosher facility. Part of the funds raised through this Kickstarter will be used to specifically certify our flour blends kosher, using the same strict certification process our co-packer uses.

 

How big are the boxes?

Our first run will come in 20 oz. boxes.  We hope to add different sizes to the flour blend line as we grow.

 

Will you ship outside the U.S.?

We hope to expand our business to ship outside the United States one day, but at the moment, we will only be able to ship in the United States.

 

Will the flour blends be organic?

Our intention is to eventually do an entirely organic line. But, as you can imagine, organic grains and flours are far more expensive than traditionally grown grains and flours. However, if you and others can help us fund the Kickstarter for even more than we’re asking for, we can do the organic line more quickly than we now imagine. If not, we’ll grow the company toward the organic flour blends as soon as we can.

 

If you have any other questions, we’d love to hear them.

Other than that, please do pledge to our Kickstarter!

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announcing the Gluten-Free Girl Flour Blendshttp://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/09/announcing-gluten-free-girl-flour-blends/ http://glutenfreegirl.com/2014/09/announcing-gluten-free-girl-flour-blends/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:59:30 +0000 http://glutenfreegirl.com/?p=9717 We have been waiting nearly two years to publish this post. And for the past six months, Danny and I and our friend Claire have been dedicating nearly every minute of our work days to this endeavor,…

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Gluten-Free Girl Flour Blends for Kickstarter

We have been waiting nearly two years to publish this post. And for the past six months, Danny and I and our friend Claire have been dedicating nearly every minute of our work days to this endeavor, keeping it quiet that entire time.

It’s time to shout this from the rooftops. We’re elated, nervous, and ready to go. And we need your help.

For nearly a decade, we have been developing recipes for great gluten-free foods, first here on this website, and then in a series of award-winningcookbooks. Over those years, we realized that most of you don’t want to be chemists in the kitchen, mixing 8 different flours, trying to build enough to protein to create structure or add enough starch to make moist baked goods. You just want to make pancakes for your kids on Saturday morning.

pancakes

A few years ago, we came up with a formula for an all-purpose flour blend that worked in every recipe we tried. We published the recipe here and hundreds of you wrote to say how much it changed you baking for the better. But most of you asked, “Can we just buy it from you?” We wanted to make the process easier, so we dropped the blend to three flours, keeping the flour blend 40% whole grain. Hundreds of people wrote to say their families loved the baked goods they made with our All-Purpose Flour Blend. This is their family flour now.

Still, most wrote people to us to say, “Can we just buy it from you?”

Two years ago, we started thinking about packaging and selling our flour blends. For the past year, we have been working on this with real dedication. To create the best gluten-free recipes, we have blended and tested dozens and dozens of different gluten-free flour blends. All for you! After much research and thousands of hours of work, we have a co-packer we trust, a package design we love, and a package manufacturer. We are ready to launch two flour blends: the Gluten-Free Girl All-Purpose Flour Blend and the Gluten-Free Girl Grain-Free Blend.

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Gluten-Free Girl All-Purpose Flour Blend

* This all-purpose flour blend is 40% whole grain, making it more nutritious than most gluten-free flour blends.

* This blend contains the ancient grain millet, which is high in protein and magnesium. It also has a natural sweetness and lends a warm taste to baked goods.

* It also contains sweet rice flour, milled from “sticky” rice, which has wonderful binding qualities for gluten-free baked goods.

* The potato starch in the blend keeps everything moist and light.

* Our latest cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day, which used this flour blend for all its recipes, recently won a James Beard award.

* This blend is free of any of the top 8 allergens.

(Can I just repeat that? This flour blend is dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, corn-free, soy-free, tree-nut-free, and of course, fish and shellfish-free. It’s also guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination from those ingredients. This is an allergen-free blend.)

apple-walnut cake

Gluten-Free Girl Grain-Free Flour Blend

This blend is meant for those who like baking with more nutrient-dense flours.

The almond flour in the grain-free blend is high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and full of good fats that create great baked goods.

The grain-free blend also contains buckwheat. (Buckwheat does not contain wheat! It’s not a grain but a pseudo-cereal, a member of the rhubarb family.) Buckwheat is low on the glycemic index, higher in protein than any grain, and full of essential amino acids. Its warm, nutty taste blends beautifully with almond flour, creating a flavor that is both enticing and familiar.

The arrowroot in the grain-free blend keeps everything moist and light.

So many gluten-free folks seem to thrive when they eat grain-free. Those of you who have been following the Paleo diet, need to bake grain-free, or those of you who want to bake with more nutritious and deeply flavorful flours? This blend is for you.

A note on this. Many of you have written to say that you like baking with our whole-grain blend, which is 70% whole grains and 30% starches. Even though this is a grain-free flour, this blend follows the same formulation of 70% more nutritious flours and 30% starches. The taste is incredible. See that apple-walnut cake? Everyone who has been eating it has loved it. They don’t care that it’s free of gluten or grains. It’s just good.

Both flour blends will be certified gluten-free and kosher. Both blends are free of any additives, preservatives, fillers, or gums.

Let me repeat that. You will not need to use xanthan or guar gum, whey protein powder, expanded modified tapioca starch, or any additives or preservatives to bake with these flours. This will simply be the flours you pull out of your pantry to start baking cookies with your kids or pie for the holidays.

(Baking bread, pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, or anything that generally requires gluten will take a pinch of psyllium. But we’ll show you exactly how to do that in a post this month.)

These are the flour blends we use in our kitchen. We’d like to bring them to your kitchen. We just need the money to make it happen.

And this is where you come in.

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Today, after months and months of work, we launched a Kickstarter. (If you’re already convinced, click on that link and start pledging!)

We’ve been thinking about and working toward making these flours available commercially for years. Briefly, we played with the notion of packing the flours ourselves with printed labels and UPS. But we already have full-time careers as cookbook authors. We also have two small children. Along this journey, we’ve met talented people who grow gluten-free grains, mill them into flours, blend and pack them, as well as graphic designers and package manufacturers. We’ve created a team of people whose work ethic we admire. We like the idea of employing people by bringing you these flour blends.

Of course, in order to do this right and employ these people, we need a lot of money up front. That’s why we’re asking for your help.

So many of you here have written us moving letters, telling us what our work has meant to you and your family. Everywhere that we have gone on book tours, or taught classes, or made appearances at conferences, you have been open and loving, greeting us with happy tears or gifts for the kids. But mostly, you have so generously shared your stories of how we have helped you to feel reassured. You have come to feel like family. We cannot imagine our lives without you.

“Life can still be delicious without gluten.” That’s what I’ve been writing here since 2005. Those of you who have heard that and felt reassured? We need your help now.

We want this to be a family-owned business with the support of our internet family. Please pledge today.

The funds in this Kickstarter campaign will pay for the costs of designing and printing packages, shipping those packages, the costs of raw ingredients, packaging the flours, legal fees, employee salary, and research and development. Danny and I will not be receiving any of these funds as personal income. Frankly, we won’t even keep enough of the money to take ourselves out to dinner to celebrate once this Kickstarter is funded. Instead, we are building a company we want to thrive for many years to come. You’ll be helping thousands of other people to make good food in their kitchens by helping to fund this Kickstarter.

chocolate chip cookies for Kickstarter

We’ll be bringing the Gluten-Free Girl All-Purpose Flour Blend to market first, with the Gluten-Free Girl Grain-Free Flour Blend to follow as soon as we can. As many of you might know, almond flour can cost up to 5 times as much as millet or buckwheat flour, so that blend will be quite costly to produce. If we meet our goals for this Kickstarter, we can bring the Gluten-Free Girl All-Purpose Flour Blend to market almost immediately. If you can help us not only meet but exceed this funding goal, we can bring the Gluten-Free Girl Grain-Free Flour Blend to market more quickly than we now imagine. We’d love to get that blend into your kitchen soon.

Our next cookbook, American Classics Reinvented, has 130 much-loved American comfort food recipes, such as red velvet cake, fried chicken, deep dish Chicago pizza, soft pretzels, and chocolate chip cookies. Every recipe in that book has been created and tested to work with both the Gluten-Free Girl All-Purpose Flour Blend and the Gluten-Free Girl Grain-Free Blend. We want both bends on the market by the time of publication of that book, in October of 2015.

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I can’t tell you how excited we are to be launching this today. And terrified. And elated. It’s time.

Mostly, we want to be open about this process with you and how much we have done and will be doing to bring these flour blends to your home. We want to help you cook and bake. We want to help feed you.

Over the next 30 days, we’ll be updating here with stories and explanations of both these blends, recipes that use both of these blends, information about the team that is making this happen, answers to your questions, and suggestions of how you can use these flours to feed your family and friends.

That’s why we are doing this: we want to help you to live the good life, without gluten.

In order to help you, we have to ask for your help to bring these flour blends to market. After all, we could all use a little help from our friends.

Please go over to Kickstarter and start pledging today!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1009968318/the-gluten-free-girl-flour-blends

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