So, it took a whole of 2 minutes on school holidays before my kids started with cries of hunger. Me: “Seriously, you just ate breakfast 10minutes ago, didn’t you?!” Or maybe that was me… “What time did you kids get up this morning?”
Kids: “It was light outside mum” in other words, it was really early and we don’t want to say exactly what time it was.
So, today, I’ve made a large vanilla cake to have on hand, popped some popcorn and the fruit bowl is full. This cake recipe is just using white wheat flour, and brown sugar (which is just white sugar mixed with molasses). Usually I prefer doing something a little more nutritious, and filling, but today, I just felt like making something quick and easy, that didn’t require too many ingredients, as I’ve pulled my back out, and getting to the grocery store is going to be tricky, and I’m running low on supplies. This recipe is great to make as a slab cake, cut into pieces, wrap in cling wrap and freeze for lunchboxes or quick and easy when you have visitors coming shortly with nothing on hand to offer them. I used my food processor for this so that I didn’t have to do any mixing myself.
Moist, quick and easy Vanilla Cake Recipe
2 cups Self Raising Flour
1.5 cups Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Vanilla Extract (can use essence or paste also)
1 cup Milk
150g melted Butter
Put sugar, flour and spices into food processor and turn on to mix these ingredients together without lumps.
In a jug mix eggs and milk and pour through the feeder shaft into the processor bowl while it is mixing.
Add melted butter and let it mix until well combined, around 30secs.
Pour into lined tin, and bake at 180’C for 30mins or until golden brown and cooked through.
Tip: My oven has a tendency to burn the outside before it has cooked the inside, so I let it brown nicely on the outside, then cover loosely with foil until it is cooked through.
Also, for a lovely ginger bread type of flavor, feel free to increase the ginger amount to 2tsp (or more if you wish). You could also reduce the sugar slightly and add some honey instead. Vanilla cake already attacked by my ‘starving’ children!
At the other end of the stick, I have my hubby (and I, in support 😉 ) not eating gluten or sugar, as we are trying to clear up his psoriasis. So far, we have seen a definite improvement, but it’s just depressing not eating lovely soft glutenous bread. We love bread, as I’ve said in several posts, and gluten free bread is crap. Sorry to say it, but it is. It’s complete rubbish, and it’s expensive. Many loaves have ‘Organic’ sprawled across the packaging, but we find ingredients like canola oil in the list (which, as far as I know is GMO- correct me if I’m wrong). Other ingredients that feature strongly are potato starch or flour, soy flour and vegetable gums, as well as preservatives and additives. Mmmmmm, delicious.
So, instead of paying up to $8 for a loaf of these concoctions, I’ve set about making my own. It’s been a bit of trial and error, but I do believe I have a good recipe now. We are lucky, in that we have a dry goods store a few minutes from our house, where they sell a huge variety of flours, nuts, seeds and legumes etc. Ask around, you may have one of these stores close by also. They are great because you can buy small amounts of products while you are testing them out. If you like it, you can buy more, otherwise, you end up with a huge pack of something that you are likely not to use again.
Anyway, I digress. I tried making paleo bread. And I’ve got to say, it sucked even more than gluten free bread. It was like savory cake. It’s the biggest problem I have with going grain free. No decent bread. Anyhoo, I decided to start researching, and came across the Gluten Free girl website and something called psyllium husk here http://glutenfreegirl.com/2012/07/what-is-psyllium-husk/. After watching this explanation, I set about coming up with a recipe for gluten free bread.
Gluten Free Bread Recipe
180g Millet Flour
25g Brown Rice Flour
25g Tapioca Flour
100g Buckwheat flour
25g Psyllium husk
10g dry yeast
1/2 tsp Honey
20ml Olive oil
good pinch of salt
Put yeast, honey, and 1 cup warm water in a cup. Set aside until it bubbles up, usually it only needs a couple of minutes.
Put all flours and psyllium husk in a bowl and mix to combine.
Add, olive oil and when yeast is ready, add it to the mix.
Here’s the tricky bit. You need to keep adding (warm) water until the mix resembles muffin or thick pancake mixture. It is very wet.
Once it is all mixed, put it into the dish you will cook it in (oil it first), as you will only do one rise. I tried bread tins, but I found that they burnt too easily on the outside, and took FOR-EVER to cook the inside. So after a bit more research (and I hope you all know that when I say research, I really mean, google), I found that people had more success using heavy ceramic dishes. Thankfully I had one on hand, but apparently they are easily bought online from amazon or any cooking supply shop.
The mix will ‘prove’, it may not double, but will definitely rise. I left mine for around an hour and a half. You will see that the moisture will be gone and it will have a more ‘bread dough’ type of feel and look to it. I put it in the oven on 180’C fan forced, and baked it for a long time. Maybe close to 2 hours.
Millet flour is a lovely flour to bake with, but if you notice a slight bitterness to the bread, it is caused by one of two things. Either it needs longer to cook or the millet flour has gone rancid. It goes rancid quickly apparently.
A note on psyllium husk: Apparently this stuff is what they use to make Metamucil, so you can find it in the health section of the supermarket (labeled often as a colon cleanser lol). The reason the mixture needs to be so wet is because the husk sucks the moisture from the mixture and acts as a natural vegetable gum. It provides the elasticity you want in your bread.
I have also used this recipe to make pizza dough. Once it had ‘risen’, I put it on the pizza tray, baked for around 15 minutes, took it out, put the topping on and finished cooking it. It was so much better than any of the gluten free pizzas I have bought over the last couple of months.
So, I hope you are all coping with the school holidays, so far, ours have been quite boring because of my back, but hopefully we will start getting out and about soon 🙂 My apologies if this post is a bit all over the place. It’s taken me about 2 hours to type it up because I keep stop-starting to drink from a toy tea cup, have a conversation about the Bernstain Bears, and get dinner on the table. 🙂