Posts filed under Baking

RECIPE: Gluten Free Blueberry Meringue Pie

I have not done a lot of gluten free baking, but I thought I should share some baked goods I made recently, gluten free. I have already posted the recipe for cinnamon buns HERE. My mom had been talking about a blueberry pie she had been making lately, and said it was really tasty. Now, unfortunately I don't have the same blueberries here as in Alaska. I know, bummer, like big BUMMER! I went to the store and bought blueberries (breaks my heart). I have to say though that I was positively surprised, they actually were pretty tasty, however, not even close to the wild ones, the arctic/boreal ones. For this recipe I just exchanged the regular flour with the Namaste Perfect Flour Blend and almond flour.

When I make a piecrust I usually take out the butter and let it sit for a little bit on the counter so it's easier to mix it with the flour. 

This recipe only has 7 ingredients, including two different types of flours, I know, AMAZING! 

Gluten Free Blueberry Meringue Pie

Pie Crust

  • 150 g butter  
  • 2 ½ dl Namaste Perfect Flour Blend (more if the dough feels to loose)
  • 2 dl Almond Flour (more if the dough feels to loose)
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 egg yolks (SAVE the whites for the meringue)

Meringue filling

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 dl sugar
  • 1 L blueberries

Set the oven temperature to 430-440 ℉ (220-225 ℃).

Mix the two different flour mixes and a pinch of salt. Add the butter in pieces and the egg yolks and either mix it by hand or with a food processor. Take the dough and press it out in a springform or pie pan. Try to make it equally thin all over and make sure you have about 3-5 cm of crust up the sides. 

Bake the pie crust in the oven (430-440 ℉ (220-225 ℃)) for about 10 minutes. While you are baking the pie crust, whisk the egg whites hard. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down without loosing any of your egg whites. Add the sugar and whisk for a couple more minutes. Add the blueberries to the mix and transfer it into the piecrust. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until the meringue has gotten some color. Turn off the oven and let the pie sit in the oven for a few more minutes. 

Pretty easy eh, and the crust is completely gluten free!

RECIPE: Gluten Free Swedish Cinnamon Buns

Last christmas I made gluten free products for the first time in my life, and as an avid baker I have to say it was challenging. But, I am not the one who give up that easy. My mother in law is allergic to gluten, which is why I have started to experiment in the gluten free world. (If you want o make the cinnamon buns WITH gluten you can find the recipe HERE!)There are many Swedish treats that have been converted into gluten-free goodies, using specific Swedish brand gluten-free flour. There is a jungle out there with gluten free products, and it just keep growing. There are a certain must haves in the flour mix which I think most brand have for instance xhantan gum and some type of starch. Usually when you bake wheat products, the gluten is what is broken apart when adding yeast (along with other things, like starch), and therefore the typical dough with those visible threads that makes the dough so elastic wont form.

Personally I feel like it's a hit or miss when it comes to gluten free baking, and I have yet to absolutely succeed, if there really is a magnificent mix that will mimic the wheat flour and it's specific molecules and characteristics that creates the rising of the dough.

I have seen many Swedish recipes calling for specific brand names, that I can not find in the US, because they are Swedish, or from some other european country. We do have lots of flour mixes here in the states, but they don't always seem to have the same ingredients. In Sweden some gluten free mixes seem to be similar to what we have here, but many of the mixes do have a tiny bit of gluten in it, so in theory they are not gluten free. 

Either way, I went to the store (no actually W went to the store... :)) and bought the Namaste brand Perfect Flour Blend, and some almond flour. Namaste flour blend mainly consist of rice flour. Now, these flour mixes are so expensive, and if I knew how much of of each ingredient to use, I would probably make my own flour mix, but I didn't have time for that now. I found a cinnamon bun recipe HERE. They used THIS flour mix but you could also use THIS

Gluten Free Swedish Cinnamon Buns

  • 100 g butter

  • 5 dl milk (or water) I used milk

  • 50 g yeast, which is equal to about 4 - 6 ½ teaspoons of active dry yeast that you usually buy in the US

  • 1 dl sugar (I always use agave syrup when I make baked goods)

  • ½ tsp salt

  • Cardamom, I use a lot!

  • 14 dl Lailas blå or 12 dl Lailas gul Mjölmix is what they called for but this is where I used the Namaste flour mix, and some almond flour. To be honest I can't remember exactly how much of each I used, but I think it was about 10 dl of the flour mix and 2 dl of the almond flour. I then added some more flour mix and almond flour until I was satisfied.

Filling

  • 150 g butter (+- some) I usually take out the butter at the start, because the dough will be sticky and break easily if the butter for the filling is to hard.

  • 1 dl sugar (less if you want less sweet, or more if you want sweeter of course)

  • 2 tbsp cinnamon (or more if you prefer)

  • 1-2 eggs to coat the buns before you add pearl sugar onto the buns

  • Put them in the oven at about 480 ℉, 8-10 minutes.

I always start by melting the butter and adding the milk. This solution should get to about 110 ℉ (according to my specific yeast) and once it hits that temperature I pour it into a bowl and add the yeast (I use the active dry yeast from the glas container). I usually let it sit together for a couple of minutes before I add the agave syrup, cardamom and salt. I mixed the Perfect flour blend with the almond flour in a separate bowl and then added it to the milk solution slowly while while stirring with a spatula. 

When you bake gluten free treats or bread the dough is nothing like a wheat dough, its a lot more loose, and I decided to add some more of the flour blend and almond flour until it felt good (don't ask me how I judged this but I just went with my gut). I left it to rise for about 30 minutes.

When the dough was done rising I took it out on the table and cut it in half. The looser dough also makes it trickier to roll out with the rolling pin but it works. I would recommend rolling out the dough on either parchment paper or on silicon mat, because it will save you a lot of headache later on when you are suppose to start rolling the bun. I love making twisted buns, but you can forget about that when you are making these buns. The rolling of the dough can be hard, because the dough is so sticky but with a gentle hand you can succeed.

After you roll out the dough in a nice thin rectangular shape it's time to add the filling. I use a spatula and add the butter over the whole rectangular dough. Then I sprinkle the sugar, and then the cinnamon. The very last step is to roll up the dough, from the long side. Be careful here too because he dough do break easily. After this step I cut about 3 cm thick pieces and put them on  a parchment paper on a baking sheet. Repeat with second half of the dough.

Unfortunately, or maybe I should say fortunately I forgot take pictures at each step, but here are a few of the ones a took. 

Anyway, they were delicious, and my mother in law agreed! So I would say that they were a success. They might not look much to the world, but they taste amazing!

Do you have any favorite gluten free recipe?

Midsummer - Longest day of the year

Midsummer

The Swedish Midsummer is suppose to celebrate the longest day of the year. After midsummer the days actually get shorter and shorter. Living this far south all of a sudden makes this very different. In Alaska the longest day is 21 hrs and 49 minutes. With that long of a day, it doesn't really get dark. Here it is a lot different. 15 hours and 22 minutes. That is a big difference. I actually haven't really reflected over this fact until right now. 

Alaska

Here are some pictures, memories, from Alaska, solstice weekend 2014.

Last year the smoke was so bad, so I didn't even bother taking any pictures of the beautiful summer night. I did get a few of the smoke, and the blood red sun, yup, sun around 8-9 pm. We had bad smoke from the forest fires for several days straight, more than a week I think, to the point where I was actually wondering if I would ever be able to see the blue sky again. Luckily the smoke did disappear, and I took some pictures around midnight a week or so later. 

Madison

We celebrated the Swedish midsummer with some other Swedes around Madison about a week early. It was a really fun time, and the first time I really danced around the midsummer pole in the US. I made a dessert, strawberry mousse cake on a brownie bottom, needless to say, it was very very tasty! Compared to Alaska, it got pretty dark fast though, when we were biking home around 8 pm the sun was already starting to set..

Cinnamon bun Day

October 5th

Swedish Cinnamon Buns

Yesterday was cinnamon bun day in Sweden, and lucky you, I will share my recipe of Swedish cinnamon buns with you.

This is what you need:

The recipe I am following comes from a Swedish awesome cookbook, that I bet almost every swede have at home (Bonniers stora kokbok).

You will need:

  • 150g butter (that is approx, 1.4 sticks of butter)

  • 1 Tbsp of Cardamom (or more if you are like me and love it, or if you don't like it at all you can exclude it)

  • 2.1 cups of milk, whole, light whatever you prefer (5dl)

  • ½ tsp of salt

  • 0.4 cups of granulated sugar, (I used agave instead, but you need to recalculate how much to use if you use that instead) (1dl) Sometimes I use less than what it calls for cause I don't like when it gets too sweet

  • 1 egg

  • about 4 - 6 ½ tsp of active dry yeast (or 50g of fresh Swedish yeast)

  • 5.5 - 6.5 cups of flour (14-15dl)

  • 1-2 eggs for coating the buns if you are using pearl sugar, butter if you are coating with granulated sugar

I start by melting the butter in a pot, and add milk, egg, salt, cardamom, and sugar

I heat it to around 112F. After that I pour it into a big bowl and add the yeast. I let the yeast sit for a couple of minutes before I start stirring and dissolve the yeast. I usually use a baking spatula for this.

Next step is to add the flour, I usually add about 2 cups at a time, and then I stir with the baking spatula to make sure all flour gets incorporated into the dough. Add another 2 cups and continue until I have a good dough that doesn't stick.

After that I pour some additional flour over the top, put the bowl somewhere warm with a kitchen towel over. I usually let it rise for 50-60 minutes

During this time you can make the filling.

Which consists of:

  • 1 stick of butter (or more if you need) (75g) needs to be room temperature..

  • 0.5 cups of granulated sugar

  • 1.5 Tbsp of cinnamon and/or some cardamom.

Mix it all together in a small bowl and set aside for later.

I put some flour on the kitchen bench top, and turn the bowl with the dough upside down to remove all the dough. I start working the dough a little bit before I cut it in half.

I pick one of the pieces and start working it a bit more, before I take out the rolling pin. One of the crucial things the rolling pin does, is that it helps you remove any air bubbles in the dough. I usually start rolling the dough, making sure I have enough flour under the dough so it doesn't stick to the kitchen bench top, keep turning the dough, by lifting it up and turning upside down. When I have a larger rectangle, not too thin, its time to add the filling. 

I use a baking spatula to distribute all the filling over the dough. Now you will also discover if you need to make more filling for the next piece of dough or if you need to make more. For some reason I always need to make more...

From here you can create lots of different buns in different shapes. A popular one is to start rolling, the longer side, until you have a large roll. After that you would take a knife and cut around 0.8 inch pieces, and put the pieces in baking cups on a baking sheet.

or you can try something slightly different:

Another shape of cinnamon buns

I have started to make them in a different, but not unheard of way.

Fold the longer side over once, and use the rolling pin to flatten it out if needed. Start cutting around 0.8 wide pieces, each of these pieces should the be cut once more, but not all the way through, should kind of look like a pair of pants. Now it's time to grab the pants and start twisting them. Then make a knot, tighten the knot and fold the end pieces in under the bun. 

if the "pants" get too long you can always make a double twist 

After this you have the second piece of dough to work with. The buns should rise for about 40 minutes under a towel in a warm place, before putting them into the oven. Sometimes I put on the oven at this point, at about 480 ℉ (250℃) (425F-480F depending on your oven). After 40 minutes its time to prepare the buns for the oven. If you have pearl sugar (large pearls o sugar) take an egg and add a little bit of water. Coat the buns with the egg and pour pearl sugar over. If you want granulated sugar to coat the buns, just put the buns in as they are. To add granulated sugar to the buns, coat them with melted butter and dip them in granulated sugar when they are done in the oven. After that, eat and enjoy.