“The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…one step at a time– Joe Girard
Ok, so you can’t set your clock by my blog posts, but I do appreciate your patience! Farmer’s Market season ends on October 12th, so I’m really hoping my life will be less ….frenzied at that time. But then we’re picking up new puppies this Friday (YAY!!! – yes, I will post pictures!), so I’m not too optimistic about free time. But enough of this; on to how I got here.
I was like a person who suddenly went blind after a lifetime of sight. I knew what good food tasted like. My life revolved around food. I was a foody and a half. I just wasn’t ready to give in to the taste, texture and digestive upset the typical “flour” made with primarily starch based products produced.
I understood that going gluten and dairy free would change the way food tasted, but I just wasn’t prepared for the blandness, the talcum powder-like taste and texture, and the negative impact so many gluten free foods had on my digestive system (see previous post, https://hollandgirlfarm.blog/2019/08/27/a-tale-of-many-flours/(opens in a new tab) ). I had recipes and cookbooks. I had purchased one of the most referenced cookbooks that uses one of the most popular baking blends. This was supposed to solve all my problems. Except that it didn’t. I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong.
Somehow, I stumbled on using oat flour. I did a lot of research, as you can see if you’ve read my last 2 posts. I found another cookbook that used only oat flour, and addressed both gluten and dairy free sensitivities, which is exactly what I needed. It’s been a good starting off point for me, but I still had to make my own changes to those recipes.
My son loves coffee cake. He wouldn’t complain if I made it every time he comes home, so I followed the recipe in the book for coffee cake using oat flour. It was good, and both my son and daughter said they liked it, but I knew it wasn’t quite right. I decided to try again, but wanted to do some research first.
I had noticed that a lot of the recipes in this cookbook included apple cider vinegar. I started looking at why and found that vinegar used to be included in a lot of cake and bread recipes. I remembered making the famous eggless chocolate cake that is known as Vinegar Cake. Many years ago. Adding vinegar to recipes that also use baking soda has that great classroom volcano effect. The fizzing reaction produces carbon dioxide, which produces a nice rise in recipes. In my research, I started seeing powdered psyllium husk ( which absorbs moisture and helps eliminate the crumbly problem found with many gluten free baking recipes) paired with vinegar, primarily apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a replacement for xanthan gum. And again, many of the recipes looked very similar to those using flour with gluten.
So I made coffee cake again, this time using the recipe I’ve always used. I changed the flour to oat flour, added a tablespoon each psyllium husk powder and ACV and baked as usual. It was delicious! Moist, full of flavor, and we could hardly tell the difference. I knew I was on to something!!
I tried other recipes with similar results. Amazing results!! I have a Pinterest board named (link?) “Dairy and Gluten Free. Yay.” that I started after I left my doctor’s office in May 2018. (yes, there is some sarcasm there) I have hundreds of posts with recipes using an assortment of gluten free ingredients. Yet now, when I want to find a new recipe, I don’t go to that board. Most of my recipes now come from the same place they used to.: The Better Homes and Garden’s Cookbook. I now use a 4:1 blend of certified gluten free oat flour and sorghum flour and I add 1 tablespoon each ACV and psyllium husk powder for recipes with approximately 3 cups of flour (I adjust a bit for more or less flour). I also use the same cookie and breakfast bread recipes I’ve used for the last 38 years I’ve been married. I have found that some cookie recipes don’t need the ACV and husk additions, but breads and cakes turn out beautifully with them. I’m trying new recipes all the time (I’m currently working on a pie crust recipe – GFDF pumpkin pie, anyone?
So, how about that coffee cake recipe? I’ve really struggled with whether or not I want to make this recipe public. Very selfish of me, I know. It’s my best seller and I don’t want to jeopardize my business, but then the whole point of this blog is to help people change how they’re eating. I’m also playing with the idea of selling dry mixes of some of my most popular recipes. (More on that in a future post. One step at a time, right?) So…tune in next week! I will try to be prompt and brief. It’ll be puppy pics and coffee cake recipe!
UPDATE: So I met with my accountant and he convinced me that giving away the recipe for my most popular item is possibly not the best business decision. I will probably put it in the digital cookbook my son wants me to put together, but for now dry mixes for coffee cake and other items are currently available on Etsy (goodfooddearfriends), and I’m in the process of setting up this blog so I can sell product on here as well. Thanks for understanding.
Until then, enjoy the beauty of autumn and share love, laughter, and good food with dear friends!