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Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours
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Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours

by Alanna Taylor-Tobin
 

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100+ Recipes Featuring Corn, Oat, Chestnut, Almond, Buckwheat, Sorghum and Other Gluten-Free Flours

Discover a Unique Palette of Textures, Tastes and Fragrances You Never Knew Existed

Have you indulged in a golden corn flour biscuit that tastes like sunshine, or experienced the earthy sweetness of chestnut flour? Did you know teff flour smells of malted

Overview

100+ Recipes Featuring Corn, Oat, Chestnut, Almond, Buckwheat, Sorghum and Other Gluten-Free Flours

Discover a Unique Palette of Textures, Tastes and Fragrances You Never Knew Existed

Have you indulged in a golden corn flour biscuit that tastes like sunshine, or experienced the earthy sweetness of chestnut flour? Did you know teff flour smells of malted chocolate milk, and mesquite flour of freshly-baked gingerbread? Set aside your bland all-purpose flour to celebrate the compelling flavors of a wide array of nut- and grain-based alternative flours that are packed with flavor and are good for you, too. From peak-of-season fruit pies nestled in an irresistibly crunchy crust, to cookies that positively melt in your mouth, author Alanna Taylor-Tobin offers more than 100 wholesome treats utilizing easily accessible alternative grains and flours for every taste and baking level.

Now let’s get baking—let’s reinvent dessert.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Alanna has rescued gluten-free baking from the pasty, gritty clutches of white rice flour! Her recipes have a pastry chef ’s sensibility, but they overflow with the generosity and warmth of home baking. This book will make you run to the pantry to see what you can bake first, whether you happen to be gluten free or not.”
—Megan Scott and John Becker, bestselling authors of Joy of Cooking and JoyOfCooking.com

“Alanna is such a gifted baker, recipe writer and food photographer. For gluten-free eaters who love to bake, this cookbook is a must.”
—Dana Shultz, author of Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking and MinimalistBaker.com

“I want to eat everything in Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s beautiful book, Alternative Baker. And the best news? With these gorgeous gluten-free recipes created by a former pastry chef, I can! I’ll be baking these treats with delight.”
—Shauna James Ahern, author of Gluten-Free Girl Every Day and GlutenFreeGirl.com

“Like alternative baking pioneers Kim Boyce and Alice Medrich, Alanna Taylor-Tobin shows that treats baked with off-the-beaten-path flours aren’t just a boon for the gluten free, but taste richer, more distinctive and often just plain better, too.”
—Kristen Miglore, author of Food52 Genius Recipes and Creative Director of Food52.com

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781624142031
Publisher:
Page Street Publishing
Publication date:
09/13/2016
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
111,908
Product dimensions:
8.01(w) x 9.04(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Alternative Baker

Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours


By Alanna Taylor-Tobin

Page Street Publishing Co.

Copyright © 2016 Alanna Taylor-Tobin
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62414-210-9



CHAPTER 1

DESSERT FOR BREAKFAST


"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?" "I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.

— A. A. Milne

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day because it's the one where you're allowed to eat dessert. Muffins are essentially cake in individual form. Oven pancakes resembling clafoutis puff around gently sweetened fruit. Scones are doused with honey, and glazed biscuits wrap around berries. In the case of chocolate-topped oat bars, you can even eat cookies for breakfast and none will be the wiser. There's a reason why bitter beverages like coffee and black tea star at breakfast — they're the perfect thing to wash down these sweet breakfast treats.

Alternative grains have the power to create breakfast snacks and pastries that taste good in addition to being good for you. I've kept most of the recipes in this section on the less-sweet side, using alternative grains and flours to add nutritional value and a bit of staying power to some favorite breakfast treats that are worth getting out of bed for any day of the week.

Sorghum adds sweet nuttiness to a custardy oven pancake encasing honey-roasted peaches. Melt-in-your-mouth cream scones get their tender texture from millet and oat flours, as well as amaranth and chestnut flours in the variations. Teff flour makes wildly flavorful roasted banana scones slathered in a butterscotchy glaze. Buckwheat stars in buttery poppy seed muffins as well as blintzes filled with sweet cheese and huckleberries. Don't miss the pumpkin cranberry loaf, which is barely sweet and made from a host of nuts, seeds and oats. With unique tastes and textures, these breakfast treats are sure to add a bit of excitement to your day, too.


LEMON RICOTTA BISCUITS

{OAT, MILLET}

These craggy biscuits are rich with butter, whole-milk ricotta and a touch of cream, and they get sweetness from sugar and a scraping of lemon zest. When warm from the oven, their delicate crumb positively melts in your mouth; cooled, they have a slightly chewy texture from the ricotta. Oat and millet flours combined with cornstarch for crispness and tapioca for extensibility give them a wheaten texture and delicate taste. They tend to spread a bit more than conventional biscuits, but it's the extra moisture that causes them to bake up light and crisp. These hold their shape best when chilled prior to baking, but you can bake them right away when you need biscuits in a hurry; they'll just sit a bit flatter.

Spread them with some softened butter and Rhubarb Preserves for breakfast, or top them with ricotta cream, strawberries and tarragon for a sensational shortcake. Leftovers can be baked into a berry-filled bread pudding drizzled with honey.


MAKES 6 BISCUITS

½ cup (55 g) GF oat flour, plus extra for dusting the surface
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp (50 g) millet flour
2 tbsp (13 g) tapioca flour
2 tbsp (15 g) cornstarch
2 tbsp (25 g) organic granulated cane sugar
1½ tsp (8 g) baking powder
¼ tsp fine sea salt
Finely grated zest from ½ large lemon
3 tbsp (42 g) cold, unsalted butter, diced
½ cup (120 g) whole-milk ricotta cheese
3 tbsp (45 ml) cold heavy cream, plus 2 tsp (10 ml) for brushing the biscuits
Coarse sugar such as turbinado or demerara, for sprinkling

In a large bowl, whisk together the oat, millet and tapioca flours with the cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Add the butter pieces, and work with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the butter is broken down into the size of small peas. Chill the mixture until cold, 20–30 minutes.

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C). Stack a rimmed baking sheet atop a second rimmed baking sheet and line with parchment paper (this will keep the bottoms from over-browning).

Remove the flour mixture from the refrigerator, add the ricotta and 3 tablespoons (45 ml) cream, and stir and/or knead with your hands until the dough comes together in a rough ball. The dough should feel fairly firm, but evenly moistened.

Working quickly to keep the dough cold, turn the dough out onto a surface dusted lightly with oat flour and form it into a disk. Cut the disk into 6 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, place on the sheet pan spaced well apart, and flatten slightly. Brush the tops of each biscuit with the remaining 2 teaspoons (10 ml) cream and sprinkle with a bit of coarse sugar. (Optionally for taller biscuits: chill the biscuits until firm, 30–60 minutes.)

Bake the biscuits on the upper rack of the oven until golden on top, 15–20 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes; they are still cooking from residual heat. The biscuits are best the day of baking, but they will keep at room temperature for a day or two. Toast before serving.


RASPBERRY SWIRL BISCUITS

{SWEET RICE, MILLET, OAT}

These swirled biscuits stuffed with fresh raspberries and drizzled with vanilla bean glaze fall somewhere between a muffin and a biscuit. The edges get crisp in the oven while the middles stay tender. Bright raspberries play off the sweet richness of the buttery biscuits, enhanced with nutty millet and oat flours, and the pretty presentation makes these perfect for a brunch or potluck. As you work, the dough will feel more fragile than wheat biscuits, but don't worry — the sweet rice flour provides enough stickiness to hold these together as they bake. Just be sure to use sweet rice flour (such as Mochiko) rather than regular rice flour. Feel free to skip the glaze for a less sweet breakfast treat. And don't miss the variations on. Do give yourself 2 hours to complete these biscuits as the dough requires some chill time.


MAKES 8 OR 9 BISCUITS

BISCUITS

1 cup (155 g) sweet white rice flour
½ cup (65 g) millet flour
½ cup (50 g) oat flour, plus extra for dusting the surface
¼ cup (50 g) organic granulated cane sugar, plus 1 tbsp (10 g) for sprinkling
1 tbsp (12 g) baking powder
½ tsp fine sea salt
6 tbsp (85 g) cold, unsalted butter, sliced, plus 1 tsp, softened, for greasing the pan
6 tbsp (90 ml) whole milk, plus up to 4 tbsp (60 ml) more as needed
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups fresh raspberries (about a 6-oz [170-g] package)

FOR BRUSHING BISCUITS

1 tbsp (15 ml) whole milk
1 tsp organic granulated cane sugar

VANILLA BUTTERMILK GLAZE

Seeds from ½ vanilla bean
½ cup (40 g) powdered sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) well-shaken buttermilk or milk, or enough to make a pourable glaze

To make the biscuits, in a large bowl, combine the sweet rice, millet and oat flours with the ¼ cup (50 g) sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the 6 tablespoons (85 g) butter and blend with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until the butter is broken down into the size of small peas. Chill this mixture until cold, 10–20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the 6 tablespoons (90 ml) milk, the egg and the vanilla extract in a measuring pitcher. Chill until needed.

Remove the flour mixture from the refrigerator. Gradually add the milk mixture, working with a flexible silicone spatula until the dough holds together when you give it a squeeze. Stop adding liquid if the dough seems overly wet; we want it to be firm enough to roll out. Conversely, if the dough is dry or floury, work in 1–4 more tablespoons (15–60 ml) milk until it comes together. The amount of liquid needed will vary depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen, so add as little or as much as you need to make a firm but hydrated dough. Knead the dough about 20 times in the bowl to bring it together in a ball (unlike wheat biscuits, these gluten-free biscuits require more kneading to bring the dough together, so don't be shy). Cover and chill the dough for 15 minutes or up to several hours.

While the dough chills, rinse, dry and slice the berries in half.

When ready to bake, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350°F (175°C). Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (20-cm) round or square cake pan with the remaining 1 teaspoon softened butter and line with parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a large piece of parchment paper dusted lightly with oat flour. Use your hands and a rolling pin to pat and roll the dough out into roughly a 10 by 14–inch (25 by 35–cm) rectangle, dusting the dough as needed to prevent sticking. If the dough cracks or breaks at any point, don't worry, just pinch and squish it back together. When the dough begins to stick to the parchment, top with a second sheet of parchment and, grasping both pieces of parchment and the dough, bravely flip the whole thing over. Gently peel away the top piece of parchment and continue rolling out the dough.

Sprinkle the halved berries evenly over the dough, use your palms to press them gently into the dough and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon (10 g) sugar. Starting with a long end, use the parchment to help roll the dough into a log, rolling it as tightly as possible and ending with the seam side down. Use a sharp chef's knife to cut the log into 8 equal pieces (if using a round pan) or 9 pieces (if using a square pan), cutting straight down in an assertive manner. Place each round with a cut side up in the prepared pan, using a thin spatula to help transfer the biscuits if needed. Gently press the tops of the biscuits to flatten them slightly. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the 1 tablespoon (15 ml) milk and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar to encourage browning.

Bake the biscuits until golden and cooked through, 40–55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, 1 hour; their texture improves upon cooling.

To make the glaze, whisk together the vanilla seeds, powdered sugar and enough buttermilk or milk to make a pourable glaze until smooth. When the biscuits have cooled, drizzle with the glaze. Use a knife or small offset spatula to coax the biscuits out of the pan.

The biscuits are best within a few hours of baking, but extras will keep, airtight at room temperature, for an additional day.


VARIATIONS

BLUEBERRY CARDAMOM SWIRL BISCUITS

Use 1½ cups (170 g) whole fresh blueberries (or huckleberries or wild blueberries) in place of the raspberries.

Add ½ teaspoon ground cardamom to the sugar sprinkled over the berries, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom to the glaze. Pictured here.


CINNAMON SWIRL BISCUITS WITH CREAM CHEESE ICING

Omit the raspberries and additional tablespoon (10 g) of granulated sugar. In a small bowl, stir together 1/3 cup (70 g) packed organic dark brown sugar or muscovado sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, a good grating of fresh nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt. Brush the rolled- out dough all over with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) melted and cooled butter, sprinkle with 1/3 cup (45 g) dried currants, raisins or golden raisins and sprinkle all over with the brown sugar mixture. Pat down the filling mixture into the dough and proceed with the recipe. For a simple cream cheese glaze, use the back of a spoon to mash 2 tablespoons (30 g) softened cream cheese with ½ cup (40 g) powdered sugar. Beat in 1 tablespoon (15 ml) milk or buttermilk, a few drops of vanilla extract and a pinch of fine sea salt, adding more liquid if needed to make a thick but pourable glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the biscuits.

NOTE: Making biscuit and scone doughs by hand gives you the best control over the finished product, since it's easier to overprocess the butter if using a machine. However, once you've gotten the hang of how to handle these doughs, feel free to give them a whirl using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to work in the butter, add the liquid and knead the dough. Alternatively, use a food processor to pulse the butter into the flour mixture, dump the mixture into a bowl and add the liquid ingredients by hand. If your kitchen is cool and you work quickly, you can also skip the additional step of chilling the flour/butter mixture; I list it as an extra precaution for newer bakers and/or warm kitchens.


BLACKBERRY CREAM SCONES

{SWEET RICE, MILLET, OAT}

Gluten-free scones are one of the hardest pastries to get right, texture- wise, and it took me a dozen or so tries to settle on this combination of ingredients and techniques. Sandwiching the tender berries between two layers of dough keeps things neat and tidy, and the berries bake into a chunky jam of sorts. (I love blackberries, but any summer berry, or a combination, will work here.) Cream makes for the most lusciously tender scones, and an egg helps the dough hold together. Sweet rice, millet and oat flours give the dough a mild flavor with a bit of nuttiness and textural interest. On the day of baking, the scones are crisp on the outside with tender middles; after a day they soften from the moisture in the fruit and gain a slightly cakey texture.

Do give yourself 2 hours to make these scones; most of the time is inactive, and the extra chilling steps ensure tender scones that hold their shape as they bake.


MAKES 8 MEDIUM-SIZED SCONES

1 cup (155 g) sweet white rice flour
½ cup (65 g) millet flour
½ cup (50 g) oat flour
¼ cup (50 g) organic granulated cane sugar, plus 1 tsp for the berries
1 tbsp (12 g) baking powder
½ tsp fine sea salt
5 tbsp (70 g) cold, unsalted butter, sliced
6 tbsp (90 ml) heavy cream, more as needed, plus 1 tbsp (15 ml) for brushing the scones
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (130 g) fresh blackberries, halved
1 tbsp (10 g) coarse sugar such as demerara or turbinado, for sprinkling

FOR SERVING (OPTIONAL)

Crème Fraîche
Honey

In a large bowl, combine the sweet rice, millet and oat flours with the ¼ cup (50 g) sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and blend with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until the butter is broken down into the size of small peas. Chill this mixture until cold, 15–30 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the 6 tablespoons (90 ml) cream, egg and vanilla in a measuring pitcher. Chill until needed.

Remove the flour mixture from the refrigerator. Gradually add the cream mixture, working with a flexible silicone spatula until the dough holds together when you give it a squeeze; you may need to add 1–6 tablespoons (15–90 ml) of cream to properly hydrate the dough and the amount will vary depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen and how much you've worked in your butter. Knead the dough 20 or so times in the bowl to bring it together in a ball; unlike wheat scones, these gluten-free scones require more kneading to bring the dough together, so don't be shy. Cover and chill the dough for 15 minutes or up to several hours.

While the dough chills, rinse, dry and slice the berries in half, and set aside until needed.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a surface dusted lightly with oat flour. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions (they will weigh about 10 ounces [285 g] each) and flatten each into a 6-inch (15- cm) diameter round a scant ½-inch (1.3-cm) thick. Place the berries atop one of the rounds in an even layer, leaving a ½-inch (1.3-cm) border. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon cane sugar and top with the second dough round. Squish the edges together to seal and smooth into an even round.

Wrap the scone in plastic wrap and chill until firm, 30 minutes or up to overnight.

When ready to bake, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Stack a rimmed baking sheet atop a second rimmed baking sheet and line with parchment paper (this will keep the bottoms from over-browning).

Remove the scone from the refrigerator, unwrap and place on a cutting board. Brush the scone with the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cream and sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon (10 g) coarse sugar. Use a large, sharp chef's knife to cut the scone into 8 wedges and place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet, spaced well apart.

Bake the scones until golden on top and cooked through, 20–30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool until warm, 20 minutes; they are still baking from residual heat. The scones are best the day of baking but will keep, airtight at room temperature, for a day or two.


VARIATIONS

CHESTNUT FIG SCONES

The earthy flavor and jammy fig filling of this variation reminds me a bit of really delicious Fig Newtons. Chestnut flour creates a softer, cakier texture than the originals.

Omit the millet and oat flours and replace with 1 cup (105 g) chestnut flour. In place of the berries, use 3/4 cup (130 g) sliced fresh figs (about 3 medium figs). To slice the figs, trim away the stems, halve, place cut side down and slice ¼-inch (6-mm) thick. Pictured on.


CINNAMON AMARANTH PEACH SCONES

This version has a strong amaranth flavor when hot, but when cool, the scones taste complex and nutty.

Omit the millet flour and substitute ½ cup (65 g) amaranth flour, adding 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon along with the flours. In place of the berries, use 1 cup (150 g) sliced ripe but firm peaches or nectarines. Sprinkle the tops of the cream-brushed scones with 1 tablespoon (10 g) organic granulated cane sugar mixed with ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon.


ORANGE CURRANT CREAM SCONES

Classic, with a bit of brightness. Serve these with a bit of clotted cream, honey and a pot of Earl Grey.

Add the finely grated zest from 1 small orange to the dough along with the butter. When the butter is worked in, add in 1/3 cup (55 g) lightly packed, plump dried currants. Omit the vanilla, berries and additional sugar, form the dough into one 6-inch (15-cm) diameter round rather than two and proceed with the recipe.


A FEW TIPS FOR SCONE SUCCESS

* When making scones, keep your ingredients and dough cool. Scone dough is similar to pie dough in that small pebbles of butter not fully incorporated into the dough add flake to the finished product. Make sure your butter is cold to start with, work quickly and chill the dough as directed and more often if your kitchen is on the warm side.

* How much cream you add is dependent on several factors: how much you've worked in the butter, how warm it is in your kitchen (i.e., how soft the butter has become), the humidity in the air and the way you've measured your flours. I always need the full 3/4 cup (180 ml), but other testers needed only a scant ½ cup (120 ml). Add the cream mixture slowly, tossing with a spatula as you go, and stop when the dough holds together when you grab a handful and squeeze, and there are no dry, floury bits in the bottom of the bowl.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin. Copyright © 2016 Alanna Taylor-Tobin. Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author


Alanna Taylor-Tobin is a classically trained pastry chef and founder of the popular recipe website The Bojon Gourmet. Her recipes, food styling and photography have been featured in the New York Times, Food and Wine, Food52, The Huffington Post, GFF: Gluten-Free Forever Magazine and Williams-Sonoma.

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