Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gluten Free Baking Master Mix

Gluten Free Baking Master Mix

Listening to NPR, I heard an interview of a "proper" woman talking about topics one should never talk about to anyone, especially in public.  One of the topics was being on a diet.  She especially noted people should not talk about being on a gluten free diet.  She said the topic was boring and no one cared whether you had to be on a gluten free diet or any type of diet.  I'm sure she never has read all the blogging about food and dieting and I hope that the woman never becomes gluten intolerant.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming, I decided it was past time to get with the gluten free recipes and cooking if I was going to celebrate the holidays.  It isn't the responsibility of anyone else to take care of my eating habits.  So, I have gotten recipes together, milled the flours, and am experimenting with the ingredients.  One of the products I wanted to make was a gluten free master mix that I could use to make certain foods more quickly.

I certainly have missed using Bisquick - the Impossible Pies, biscuits, pancakes, waffles, meat and fruit hand pies, cheese balls, Oven-Baked Chicken and many other things I made quickly with Bisquick.  Of course Betty Crocker developed a gluten free Bisquick.  I'm glad that some people have the convenience of the product.  The cost of the small box, the main ingredient being rice flour, and no shortening in the mix are the reasons I do not choose to use it.  ( A diabetic and rice flour are not a good combination.  Rice flour has a very high glycemic index.  I try not to use rice flour.)  Yes, an inconvenience but I am learning to work around it.  One blogger added shortening to the Gluten Free Bisquick so that she could use the regular Biscuit recipes. She then stored it.  Good idea if you can use the rice flour.

I wanted a more healthy version of the commercial product.  I studied all the ingredients in many of the master mixes on the web and other cookbooks and came up with my own version.  The following is the recipe I chose for my Master Mix -- for now at least.  I may get tired of it and change the ingredients another day.  Even the flours are not completely low glycemic, they are a better choice than rice, for my purpose. (Don't want to insult those using rice flours.  Rice flours are easier to use and less expensive, especially if you mill your own.)  The larger amounts of flour I use in the mixture are flours that I can mill myself.  I use less of the more expensive flours.  Some may consider using so many flours a pain but I think doing this gives the mix an excellent taste.  The flax seed meal and almond flour are healthy ingredients.  I will be adding successful recipes attempts using the Master Mix.  It's going to take a little time.  I am trying to make small conversions to the recipes, using my Bisquick Cookbooks.  When they work, I will post.

I slightly changed the Master Mix recipe.  There have been changes in how many gluten free bakers now use the gums. In fact, I rarely use the gums any more.  I use psyllium fibers and seed dust.  The psyllium fiber and the seed dust not only helps as a binder but is also has much more nutritional value. I also made other small changes to the recipe. I left the old recipe, just in case someone likes it better. I also included the weight (mass) of the flours. 

Linda's Gluten Free Baking Master Mix

3 cups (360 g) oat flour
1 cup (123 g) sorghum flour
1 cup (125 g)millet flour
1 1/2 cups ( 188g) tapioca starch (can use arrowroot starch or a mixture of the two)
1/2 cup (83 g) potato starch (not potato flour)
1/4 cup (28 g)almond flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon guam gum   ( can use all one kind of gum if preferred)
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 cup coconut oil

Updated Linda's Gluten Free Master Mix 

3 cups (360 g) oat flour
1 cup (123 g) sorghum flour
1 cup (125 g) millet flour
1 1/2 cups (188 g) tapioca starch (can substitute for arrowroot starch or a mixture of the two)
1/2 cup (83 g) potato starch (not potato flour)
1/4 cup (28 g) almond flour
4 tablespoons seed dust or 4 tablespoons of gluten-free psyllium fiber
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil or your choice of a shortening
4 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup powdered milk, soy milk powder, coconut milk powder, almond milk powder, or rice milk

1.  Whisk all dry ingredients together thoroughly.

2.  Cut in the shortening and vegetable oil, until it is thorougly mixed into the dry ingredients and looks like tiny peas.  (This coconut oil is not a soft shortening in the winter and using a pastry blender didn't work all the shortening into the flours.  I eventually had to work the coconut oil into the flours with my fingers.

3.  Store in a tightly-sealed container in refrigerator or pantry.

Makes about 8 cups

Update:  Since I began using seed dust rather than gums (for nutrition reasons), I exchanged 4 tablespoons of seed dust for the gums in the recipe.  Because there is flaxseed in the seed dust, I leave out the flaxseed. Another acceptable adaption is using 4 tablespoons of gluten free unflavored psyllium fiber for the gums)  I also found that 1 cup of powdered milk is good in this recipe.  But if you can't use the milk,  don't include it.


Recipes using Linda's Gluten Free Master Mix

This recipe for Spinach-Cheese Balls was found in a Bisquick Recipe Cards Cookbook.  The only changes I made was adding an extra egg and spraying hands when forming balls.  Out of the oven, they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and the taste is incredible!  To complete this recipe, I found that I had no garlic salt.  Made it using this recipe.

Spinach-Cheese Balls

1 box 10oz frozen spinach, thawed, drained by squeezing
1 cup Gluten Free Baking Master Mix
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or Cheddar cheese
1 cup Italian five cheese or your choice
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Nonstick cooking spray

1.  Heat oven to 400℉.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients.  Shape mixture into 1-inch balls, compacting firmly;  place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  (The dough is sticky and is easier to shape if spraying hands with nonstick cooking spray. I used a silicon cookie scoop so that they were about the same size.)

3.  Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pan to cool on rack.  Serve with pasta or piza sauce if desired.

Yield:  about 24 Sausage-Spinach Balls

(For even more flavor, 1/2 pound uncooked bulk sausage could be added with the spinach.)

The uncooked balls can be put in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 1 month.  To bake, place frozen balls on a parchement lined cookie sheet.  Cook in a 350℉ oven  25-30 minutes until brown.


This recipe for Blueberry Muffins was found in Betty Crockers Bisquick Cookbook 2000.  I did not have to alter this recipe for the gluten free flours.  It might need a little more salt but since I am suppose to be on low salt diet, I don't need anymore.  You might need a tad more, but only a tad.  I did make a sugar substitution.  Since sugar's job is to sweeten the muffins and tenderize the muffins, I included half sugar and half sugar substitute.  (I rarely use all sugar or all sugar substitute.) I used Stevia in the Raw as the substitute in this recipe.  I don't think there are any fantastic sugar substitutes.  I've changed my use through the years as sugar substitutes have been developed, from saccarine to Splendar and now Stevia.   My next try is going to be erythritol.  Now for the muffins.  They were as easy to make as I had hoped.

Blueberry Muffins

2 cups Gluten Free Baking Master Mix
1/3 cup sugar (I substituted half of that for Stevia in the Raw)
2/3 cup milk of choice
2 tablespoons oil of choice (I used olive oil)
1 egg
3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1.  Heat oven to 400℉.  Grease bottoms only of 12 medium muffin cups, or spray paper baking cups with nonstick cooking spray or use aluminum muffin cups.

2.  Whisk the dry ingredients together.  In a small bowl combine the wet ingredients.  Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in blueberries. (Don't thaw the frozen berries. They stay together better frozen when mixing and don't turn the batter blue.)  Divide batter evenly among cups with a batter scoop.

3.  Bake 13-18 minutes or until golden brown.  Test for doneness with a toothpick.  Cool slightly;  remove from pan to wire rack.

Note: Several times, I have added a banana to the batter and the muffin is great! The banana and blueberries together are fantastic.  I have also added 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg with 1/2 cup raisins.  I must confess that I have put raisins, banana, and blueberries together in a muffin and they were delicious!


 Waffles (using Gluten Free Master Mix)

2 cups Gluten Free Master Mix
1 1/3 cup milk of choice
2 tablespoons oil of choice
1 egg

1.  Combine the milk, oil and egg. Incorporate the wet and dry ingredients together.
2.  The batter will be runny because it takes more time for gluten-free flours to absorb liquids. Let the batter rest for 15-30 minutes.
3.  Heat the waffle iron; grease with cooking spray, vegetable oil or shortening. Following directions of waffle iron, pour the correct amount in each waffle well. (Some wafle irons take 1 cup, some 1/2 cup and some take 1/4 cup)
5.  Depending on size, cook 3-5 minutes.  Remove when steaming has stopped.  Carefully remove from the waffle iron.  
6.  Keep warm in oven or reheat in toaster.
7.  Freeze leftover waffles in plastic freezer zipper bag, separated with parchment paper.  Warm waffles for 10 minutes  in 350℉ oven or warm them in a toaster. 


Chicken Pot Pie on Waffles 

Some people might call this a deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie. Since the waffle is not a traditional pie crust, I refrained from calling it deconstructed. I also tried this recipe making biscuits from the Master Mix but I thought it was better tasting with the waffles.

1 cup rotisserie chicken, or leftover chicken, cut in chunks
2 tablespoons butter or oil of choice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil 
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup chicken broth + 1/4 cup
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups Gluten Free Baking Master Mix
1 1/3 milk of choice
2 tablespoons oil of choice
1 egg, or egg substitute

1.  Cook the frozen vegetables in desired method until crisp. I steamed them in the microwave for 4 minutes.
2.  Heat the 2 tablespoons butter or oil in skillet. Add chicken and heat.  Add  3/4 cup chicken broth, thyme, basil, onion powder, and garlic powder.
3.  Add the vegetables and heat until bubbling.  Mix the 1/4 cup broth with the cornstarch.  Add the cornstarch mixture while stirring.  When the sauce or gravy forms, let cook another minute or two and then turn down heat to just keep warm. ( If not enough sauce forms for personal liking, add another 2 tablespoons of broth and 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch mixture and cook another minute or two).
4. Using the ingredients for waffles using GF Master Mix, make the waffles as in recipe above.
5.  Top waffles with the Pot Pie filling for a great meal!


Biscuits (using Gluten Free Baking Master Mix)

These biscuits are not white, light and fluffy like white wheat gluten biscuits. Rice flour makes beautiful biscuits but I do not and cannot use rice flour. These biscuits from the master mix do have a wonderful taste, though.  The flours in the master mix are nutritious and the seed dust is much more nutritious than the gums. I would say that these biscuits are much like biscuits made with whole wheat gluten flour.

The dough for these biscuits will be very sticky.  Since gluten-free flours do not accept oils and liquids as well as a gluten flours, it needs resting time to hydrate the flours. The resting time helps with the stickiness.  These biscuits can be drop biscuits or rolled and cut biscuits. At one time in my life, my oven went out and I found that biscuits will cook nicely in a covered skillet. I haven't cooked these in a skillet but I am sure that they can be cooked using that method.  These biscuits can also be cooked in a waffle iron.

I did a lot of reading to find how to make a gluten free, riceless flour biscuit lighter and more fluffy. The American Test Kitchen states that an egg helps improve moisture, elasticity and provides additional structure in gluten-free biscuits. The oil is also needed to give the biscuits richness. They can be made without the egg.

2 cups Gluten Free Baking Master Mis
1 1/3 cups milk of choice
2 tablespoons cooking oil of choice (I use either olive oil or canola oil)
1 egg

1.  Blend together the milk, oil and egg.
2.  Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients to make a sticky dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest 30 minutes to improve the texture.
3.  For drop biscuits, place 1/3 cup of dough on pan lined with parchment. The dough should be about
2 1/2 inches wide and 1 1/2 inches high.
4.  For rolled dough, handle it the least amount possible. On very lightly floured parchment, knead the dough a couple times. Roll and fold several times to incorporate layers, rolling about 1 1/2 inches high.  Cut, using a biscuit cutter the size you like.
5.  Bake the biscuits at 450℉ about 15 minutes.  If there is time, rotate the pan half way through.  Place the biscuits on a cooling rack and let cool 5 minutes before serving.


Cornmeal Muffins (using the Gluten Free Baking Master Mix)

The first time I made these muffins, I was somewhat dissapointed. They were quite edible, had a good taste but were some what dense and heavy.  I decided to lighted the recipe up by using a tad more sugar, substitute buttermilk for the milk and add a little baking soda.

I used an extra tablespoon of sugar to lighten up the batter, give more tenderness and help the muffin brown. Some bakers don't like to use the sugar in cornbread and can leave it out of the recipe. Remember, though, gluten free batters need lots of help for tenderness, rising, taste and browning.

I added a rounded tablespoon of powdered buttermilk to the combined master mix, sugar and cornmeal. Another choice could be to add 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar to the 1/3 cup milk. ( This "trick" would also work for soy, almond and coconut milk.) The acidic buttermilk reacts with the baking soda to give the cornmeal and baking mix an extra lift. It also help improve the texture and color.

To the recipe,  an addition leavening agent was added, baking soda. The buttermilk adds flavor and reacts with the baking soda. It did just what I wanted -- lightened up the batter and helped it rise more.

 Gluten Free Cornmeal Muffins    (makes 5-6 muffins)

2/3 cup Linda's Glutetn Free Baking Master Mix (recipe above)
1/2 cup gluten free yellow cornmeal (mass depends on brand and grind)
1-2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 rounded tablespoon powdered buttermilk (or 1/3 cup buttermilk)
1/3 cup water (omit if using liquid buttermilk)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, beaten

1.  Preheat oven to 400℉. Brease bottoms only 12 medium muffin cups, or spray paper baking cups with nonstick cooking spray or use aluminum muffin cups.

2.  Whisk the dry ingredients together.  In a small bowl combine the wet ingredients.  Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened. Divide batter evenly among cups with a batter scoop.

3.  Bake 12-18 minutes or until golden brown. Test for doneness with a toothpick.  Remove the muffins from the oven and immediately gently place on a cooling rack so the muffins don't sweat.
Serve warm with butter, jam, honey or choice of topping.

To make mini muffins, divide batter into 10-12 mini muffin cups.  Bake about 10 minutes.  Watch and check for doneness with a toothpick.

To make cornbread in a skillet, double the recipe or use a small skillet. Preheat a 9"-10" iron skillet in the oven. Melt 1 tablespoon in skillet, coating bottom and sides. Pour batter into skillet and place in center of oven. Bake 20-25 minutes. Test for doneness with toothpick.


Another update:

Have It All Gluten Free Cookies (using the Gluten Free Master Mix)

A quick cookie can be made using the Baking Master Mix.  Any reasonable addition you can think can be added to the cookie batter. In this recipe I put chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, coconut, pecans, rolled oats, shredded coconut and chocolate toffee candy left over from Christmas. I didn't make the candy.  I'm not a great candy maker, and being diabetic, I don't eat it very often. But, this was great candy made by my daughter. I smashed about 2 tablespoons into bits and combined it in the dough with the other additions.

Other additions could be any type of nut, raisins or currents, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, or any kind of seed you like. How about adding lemon flavoring with poppy seeds to the dough rather than chips? Make sure the seeds are not processed on a wheat line.

Rather than chocolate chips, use white vanilla chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips or cinnamon chips. Be careful with the butterscotch chips, though, because they may not be gluten free. Most all of Hershey chips are gluten free. Read, read, read labels. Some of the packaged chips are not gluten free. Note that Hershey states that Heath toffee bits are gluten free, also.

Additions to cookie dough will be chocolate chips, peanut butter chips,
gluten free rolled oats, chopped pecans, crushed chocolate toffee and shredded coconut.

These cookies probably wouldn't be called gourmet cookies but they are very good.  They make up quickly and use minimal utensils in mixing and baking. A 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop was used to drop the dough on to the parchment lined pan . The cookies can be made into balls or flattened with a small drinking glass. Since the dough is gluten free, it is sticky.  Lightly spraying the bottom of the glass with cooking spray helps the glass from sticking to the dough.  The cookies do not rise alot but enough to make them light. 

The recipe calls for unsalted butter because there is salt in the Gluten Free Baking Master Mix.  Also, it calls for 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar. I used 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoon of Stevia in the Raw. I used a brown sugar blend of brown sugar and Splenda. Sugar free brown sugar can be made using directions from this site.

The recipe makes about 2 dozen small cookies if several additions are made to the batter. If more cookies are needed, double the recipe. Remember, though, gluten free cookies stay fresh only a few days because there are no preservatives.

Have It All Gluten Free Cookies

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened and at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons Gluten Free Baking Master Mix
1/2 cup chocolate chips of choice
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/3 cup nuts of choice
1/3 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons toffee chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 375℉.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly.
2.  Cream butter with sugars. Beat in egg.  (This step can be done with electric mixer).
3.  Gradually add Baking Master Mix.
4.  By hand, stir in additions of choice into batter.
5.  Using a tablespoon scoop, drop cookie batter about 1-2 inches apart on the prepared pan. Bake about 8 minutes. Place on a cooling rack.  
6.  When cool, place in an airtight container.



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Disclosure Statement:
I have not received compensation for any products mentioned or used in this post.

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