Monday, May 12, 2014

Gluten Free French Toast Muffins

Whole Grain Wild Yeast Sourdough Starter 

I've been experimenting with gluten-free sourdough bread made with a wild yeast starter.  Sourdough bread is a very good bread for diabetics. (This is one of many websites explaining why). Put a gluten-free diet on top of that, and sourdough bread is certainly a good idea. I'm not quite ready to share the experiments of my adventure in good gluten-free sourdough bread using wild yeast. Wild yeast is exactly that; they are the yeast in the air we breath. They are captured in the flour and warm water as a starter and used to make the dough rise with no commercial yeast. I have the starter of whole grain sourdough starter (with no rice flour) perfected and stable. The bread from my starter and flour blend is not in a sharing situation yet. The share is getting closer, though.

I am going to share one of my failures.  I made some very sad gluten-free sourdough baguettes. Gluten-free bread failures are usually cubed for crutons or stuffing or crushed for bread crumbs.  I broke these baguettes in half and threw them in a zipper bag.  

The sourdough failure tasted good and it did rise but never to an acceptable extent. I could have done a couple of things. The dough had been rising for 6 hours in a baguette pan. I could have let it rise longer by putting it in the fridge but I didn't have enough room in the fridge for the baguette tray and it was getting late at night; so,  I baked them.  Another problem with the dough was that it was much too sticky.  The original recipe called for rice flour. I do not use rice flour because it has a high glycemic index and not good for diabetics.  I substituted a mixture of my whole grain flour blend and my all-purpose flour blend; needless to say, the adapted recipe needs several adjustments.  The orginal recipe by the Gluten-Free Doctor was firmer and could be slightly manipulated and formed.  This dough could not and I didn't want to add much more flour because I know adding more flour makes gluten-free bread dry and crumbly. I pretty much knew that these two baguettes were failures before I put them in the oven.  Because the flours are expensive, I didn't want to throw them out. I baked them.  As it turned out, so glad I did!  The toasted crumbs are excellent for many uses and I found a wonderful use for the bread cubes.

Sad Gluten-Free Sourdough Bread Failure

I accidentally happened upon a blogger's website,  Her website and Facebook page are incredible.  She isn't exactly a gluten-free cooker or baker but her recipes are healthy and easy to adapt to gluten-free. It was this recipe, the French Toast Muffin,  that led me to her site.  As I read the recipe, I realized those muffins were made with sourdough bread. Bingo! Those ugly loaves weres were still sitting in the kitchen in the zipper bag.

I went to the kitchen to whisk the eggs and added coconut milk, stevia, cinnamon, vanilla and cinnamon and sugar free maple syrup.  I cut half of one of the baguettes into cubes and soaked them in the egg mixture for 5-10 minutes.  (I was so excited about the experiment that forgot to note the time).  I then placed the bread in muffins cups and spooned the remaining milk mixture over the bread and baked them. That bread failure turned out delish and the recipe is a keeper! Next time I make these, I will add more bread cubes in each cup because the muffins were small.  As usual, gluten-free bake goods fall in height as they cool.

 I can imagine this muffin recipe with blueberries or raisins, maybe bananas and shredded coconut. How about using sausage or ham or chicken?  Would the muffins be great as savory with kale, spinach, cheese, and savory herbs?  As I try other recipes, without the sugar and maple syrup, I'll update. 

Gluten Free French Toast Muffins  (6 servings)

Several slices of gluten-free sourdough bread, cubed
2 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 teaspoon sweetener of choice (I used stevia)
1/4 c. coconut milk
1/2 - 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup (I used sugar-free maple syrup -  :-( 

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Combine eggs, sweetener, milk, vanilla and maple syrup in a medium size bowl and whisk lightly.

Taking a handful cubes of bread at a time, soak them in the mixture, then arrange them inside a muffin pan cup. Repeat with the remaining slices of bread until your muffin pan is full. If the bread absorbs more of the egg mixture than expected, make more egg mixture as needed, even halfing the recipe if necessary.  Spoon any remaining egg mixture over the bread in the cups.

Drizzle the tops of the muffins with a bit more maple syrup, then place them in the oven for 25 minutes.
(The orginal recipe stated to bake for 20 minutes but egg mixture wasn't completely done in that time.  I baked 5 more minutes.)

If I wasn't diabetic, I would sprinkle the muffins with powdered sugar or even lightly glaze them.  My choice was to lightly drizzle with sugar-free maple syrup just before eating. I could have made a sugar-free cream cheese glaze with cream cheese, vanilla extract, stevia and cream.  That experiment is for another day.

Store the remaining muffins in a zipper bag in the refrigerator or freeze for later use.  (I microwaved a cold muffin for 15 seconds and it was warmed perfectly.)

If you are using a 12-cup muffin pan, double the recipe.

Hope this recipe, in its many forms, works for you.  

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