From gluten-free to free gluten

It was baking day today, and so I decided to experiment with both ends of the gluten spectrum, which means from gluten-free (no gluten) to free gluten (added gluten at no extra charge to you).

I started with the now tried-and-true ciabatta bread. This recipe is about as simple as it gets:

  • 3.25 cups of flour
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons of yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp unrefined sugar
Ciabatta bread.

The trick with ciabatta (which I have written about before) is to keep a fairly wet dough in preparation. I had been baking on silicone mats but couldn’t figure out why the bottom of the crust was not baking properly.

As Sherry rightly pointed out, silicone will act as an insulator. I tried this latest batch on parchment paper on a standard baking pan and the end result was perfect.

From there, I whipped up a batch of whole wheat crackers. This was an untried recipe that I made up on the spot. It included:

Whole wheat crackers.
  • 1.25 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 5 tbsp water

For spices, you can use whatever suits your palate. In my case, I added a pinch of star anise and pepper.

Dice the butter and mix it into the flour before adding the liquids. I baked at 400 F for about 12 minutes but these cook quite quickly (as you can see from the photo), so keep an eye on them.

So that concludes the free gluten (as in lots of gluten at no cost to you) portion of the show. Now we move on to the gluten-free.

If you’ve been following this blog, you know I have been fiddling with my recipe for granola bars. Today’s batch turned out the best yet. Here’s what I included:

Granola bars, fresh from the oven.
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup puffed rice
  • 2 tbsp fruit pectin
  • 1 tbsp tapioca powder
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Pinches of cinnamon and all-spice
  • 1 cup raw nuts ground coarse in blender
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 2 tbsp rice syrup
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp molasses

Mix “wet” and dry ingredients separately. Then mix together. Consistency should be that of meatloaf. Spread about 3/4 inch thick on parchment paper on a cookie tin. Bake for approximately 30 minutes at 350 F.

Allow to cool for a 10 or 15 minutes before cutting into squares.

That’s it. All in a day’s baking. Tomorrow it’s going to rain, so we’ll see what inspires me to fire up the oven on a wintry day.

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