Friday, February 25, 2011

My GF dreams come true: Delicious Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Delicious gluten free cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting

I don't know what it is, I've never eaten many cinnamon rolls in my life, let alone store bought ones, but I crave cinnamon rolls like it's my job.  It's a good thing cinnamon is a legal substance because you wouldn't think so the way I want to eat it in everything.  Lately, I want cinnamon rolls all the time, maybe it's this insanely cold and snowy winter, who knows, but there is no way for me to get enough of that hot cinnamon-ey sticky sweet deliciousness.  If I could make them everyday and eat the whole pan without gaining a million pounds, I would try.

After having a chat with my friend Sheri about flours and gluten free alternatives I was inspired to make some cinnamon rolls and play with the proportions of flours.  We discussed the use of cornstarch as a flour component in recipes, I don't know if I can afford to do that since I only pay about $1/lb for my flours at China-mart grocery store that we frequent.  Instead I realized I should stop using the larger grinds of rice flours and sub in potato starch which is a super light powdery flour.  Not to be confused with potato flour which is very heavy, grainy, and smells like potatoes.  I first tried out my theory a few weeks ago making a very lovely batch of cinnamon rolls, my only down fall was that I followed the recipe for glutinous rolls and split the dough so it made these itty bitty rolls that were tasty but not what I had in my mind's eye.  After my flour ratios sat on the white board on the fridge for weeks and Tim getting crabby about me never writing it down on paper, I wrote it out finally.

Then my parents came to visit and I usually use my dad's presence as an excuse to bake all sorts of GF treats, my partner in crime really.  My mom has commented several times over lately how similar my dad's and my palates seem to be, that we like the same foods and have similar cravings.  Of course they were excited to have fresh home made gluten free cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing, trust me no one could turn these things down if they saw them.  They are big, fluffy, soft, chewy, tender, sweet, and just perfect!  Both my mom and Tim said they are better than glutinous cinnamon rolls that you could find at the mall food court.  The rolls were perfect in my opinion, they pulled apart, and the rolls were not overly sweet, a perfect compliment to the sugar cinnamon filling and the super sweet icing.

Making cinnamon rolls is never a simple process, but I'm learning to embrace the time to create deliciousness.  They are well worth the wait of the two proofings and the baking proceesses.  I hope you will try them sometime.  I made them at night and we heated them for breakfast in the morning the next day and they were sooo good!  If you are ambitious I suppose you could wake up super early and make them from scratch to have for breakfast too.  You could also start making them the night before and work up to the point just before the second proofing and put them in the fridge until morning and proof and bake them for breakfast.

AMAZING Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls

Dry Ingredients:
2   Cups Tapioca Starch
1   Cup Sweet Rice Flour
3/4 Cup Potato Starch
1/4 Cup Soy Flour
1   Tbs Xanthan Gum

2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast

Wet Ingredients:
1   Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Butter
1/2 tsp Salt
2   Eggs

3   Tbs Butter
1/2 Cup Sugar
2  tsp Cinnamon

1/2  Recipe for Cream Cheese Frosting


Blend flours and Xanthan gum in a mixing bowl, then remove 2 cups of blended flours  and place into bowl of a stand mixer with yeast. In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, the 1/3 cup sugar, the 1/3 cup butter, and salt just until warm (120 to 130 degrees F.) and butter almost melts.  Or combine milk, sugar, and butter in a microwave safe bowl, heat in microwave at 30 second intervals just until butter melts, stirring mixture between microwaving.  

Add milk mixture to dry mixture along with eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can, starting the mixer on a slow speed at first so as not to disperse flour into the air.

Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Lightly grease a 9x9x1-1/2-inch round baking pans.

Rolls rolled up and sliced
Roll the dough into a 12x8-inch rectangle. Brush the 3 Tablespoons melted butter over dough. Combine the 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough. Roll up into a spiral, starting from a long side. Seal seam. Slice roll into 10-12 equal pieces. Place in prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double (about 30 minutes).

Bake in 375 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly; remove from pans. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Icing. If desired, serve warm. Makes 10-12 rolls.
To have warm cinnamon rolls in the morning; prepare and shape rolls. Cover with oiled waxed paper, then plastic wrap. Chill 2 to 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Prick any air bubbles with a wooden pick. Bake as directed.

Finished Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Udi's Gluten Free Bagels

I am the proud owner of a happy tummy right now.  I just finished a Udi's Plain Gluten Free Bagel!  The are really good, nice an light, and perfectly chewy, I don't feel like I just ate a million slices of bread.  They even got nicely toasted in the toaster, other than the one I charred the other day, they are more delicate than some other brands of bagels on the market that need a blow torch to even get close to toasted.  They are also huge, something that isn't common of gf bagels, without a truckload of calories, 270 for the plain (on the bag, but the website claims they are 310 cal. each not sure why the discrepancy), and 280 for the cinnamon raisin bagels.  They are fantastic toasted with some cream cheese, or neufchatel cheese, and a cup of coffee on the side.

I took mine right from the freezer, and microwaved it for 30 seconds to start the thawing process.  After the microwave I slid a knife through the bagel to detach the two halves from one another and popped it into the toaster.  I did have to turn the toaster dial down to 2 out of 5, because they burn quickly.  Once they came out of the toaster, a quick smear of cream cheese and they ended up "in my mouth...AHHH" as Ceci says.  A good many more Udi's bagels will be ending up in my mouth because they are DELICIOUS!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mario's Pizzeria, where have you been all my GF life?

Mario's Pizzeria's Gluten Free Chicken Parm dinner

A few weeks ago we were informed that the pizzeria we pass on a weekly basis was not only offering GF pizzas, but entrees, and pasta dishes as well.  We have gone a few times now and I'm in love after our last visit!  Mario's Pizzeria here in Melville NY, has so much to offer and makes my GF life even more delicious.  We have eaten food from them I think 3 times now, every time it's so yummy and Ceci can't get enough.  So far we have had their GF pizzetta with cheese, with pepperoni, and most recently the GF Buffalo Chicken Pizza.  The first time we went I ate the GF Chicken Parmigana that comes with GF pasta and a GF roll.

The rolls are heavenly by the way, soft and fluffy inside with a nice crust on the outside and with a little bit of butter, they are AMAZING!  I had to have Tim take a bite the first time to see if he thought they were glutinous, they tasted so good I couldn't believe they really were gluten free.  The chicken is tender with a nice crunch from the bread crumb crust and the marinara sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy and makes my tummy so happy.

Yesterday we decided to stop by Mario's on the way to dropping my parents at the airport, I called in our order to dine in knowing it would take a while to get the GF pizzas ready.  I was so happily surprised by the fantastic customer service we received, Pete who answered the phone, asked how many in our party and if we needed a high chair for Ceci.  And when we ran late due to a street closure Pete even called to make sure we were still on our way because he was worried about our food getting cold.  When we got there our food was ready and waiting and a table was set for us.  PERFECT!  Did I mention this was on Superbowl Sunday, at lunch time, but still who is this nice any more?  So nice to get this attention.

If you have the chance you should make your way to Melville NY and try Mario's Pizzeria!  You will be so happy you did, and your stomach will thank you too!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gluten Free Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

Now that I've been blogging a few months, and following other blogs, I have started to feel the peer pressure of getting away from processed sugar.  It can only be a good thing to have less sugar in our diets while increasing the fiber and fruit and vegetable intake.  I'm still really unsure of how to accomplish this, but reading some other investigating blogger's works it's getting easier.  As always I'm constantly looking for ways to get more veggies into Ceci, when I stumbled across a recipe in the back of a random parent magazine I found at the library on the free shelf.  It had an article on feeding picky eaters, from infants just starting on solids, to small children.  The recipe recommended for toddlers was "Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins" I was so excited to find a recipe that suited all my needs and I didn't have to mastermind flour substitutions for once.

I made these on a snow day last week so I had to use what ever I had in the house because I couldn't go out and buy the extra ingredients.  We didn't have zucchini so I just used all carrots instead, and I didn't have pure maple syrup, or coconut oil and substituted accordingly.  It also called for "quick cooking oats" which I haven't found in the stores here yet, so I subbed Rolled Oats and let them sit in the wet ingredients for a bit to soften.  The first one I tasted, I thought, "what have I done, why am I trying to go without sugar?  This is silly, I love sugar, why!?!"  Now after having a few more of them they are growing on me and I find they taste pretty good.  I should mention they present more like a power bar than a muffin, they are very dense and did not rise very much.  Still they are hearty and filling for a quick snack, and with the addition of some cinnamon very tasty.  It is really nice to know that when I eat them I haven't consumed a ton of sugar hidden behind all the carrots, raisins, and oats.

Gluten Free Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

1   very ripe Banana, mashed
1   Cup unsweetened Applesauce
1/4  Cup Vegetable oil
1   Egg, slightly beaten
1/4  Cup Honey  (should sub pure maple syrup for children under 2)
2   tsp Vanilla
3   Cups grated Carrots

2   Cups Gluten Free Rolled Oats

1   Cup Rice Flour
2   tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Golden Raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).  Fill muffin tins with liners.
In a large mixing bowl combine banana applesauce and oil.  Blend in egg, honey, and vanilla.  Stir in carrots, and oats (this will help soften oats for cooking process).
In another bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt.  Stir into wet ingredients until combined.  Fold in raisins and let batter sit for 5 minutes.
Fill liners with batter, Bake for 25-30 min.  Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.