Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gluten-Free Fall Specials: Flat Bread from Living Free

Aubree Cherie is a horticulturist by trade, but creating healthy recipes is her second passion. After suffering from a number of health problems, she learned that eating gluten, dairy, and refined sugar-free not only improved her health, but allowed her to live a happier and more creative life. Ever since, she's been coming up with recipes that combine ingredients in novel ways and make me wish I lived nearby so I could taste test all of her creations! 

One of the areas I have yet to venture into with gluten-free baking is breads, but Aubree Cherie has a number of biscuit and bread recipes on her blog, Living Free. Today, she's sharing with us a new recipe for flat bread that I can't wait to try! With classes starting soon, I love the idea of a gluten-free flat bread that I can take with me for lunch.


Aaahhhh, autumn. it's finally here! Heat wave after heat wave and I think it's about time I let out my held breath and start enjoying that cool fall breeze. Autumn was always my favorite season growing up. Ironically, it was because I just loved school so much I couldn't wait to get back. Where else could you see your friends every day? And after recess, lunch was my favorite time of the day. The school I went to was small and we only had lunches we could buy from school once a week. All the other times, I packed my own lunch with the help of my mom. Good memories there. It does bring back some memories that I used to think were bad; I rarely had any packaged food in my lunch and so I was left to look longingly at my friend’s assortment of string cheese and Little Debbie's.

I like to think that, in the end, I'm better for it.

Now that I'm "all grown up" (yeah right!) and in graduate school, I still look forward to lunch time; even if it's not as exciting as it was in grade school. Finding the time in my day to actually eat continues to be a challenge. I usually end up shoving something down at my computer while I'm working, because I'm really cool like that.

My weekly dilemma is finding ways to make lunch something I really look forward to, so that even if the event itself (such as working) isn't that great, at least the food is! And no, it's never anything too catastrophic. But with food, sometimes the little things have the biggest impact.

I love the recipe I'm sharing with you all today because it's a great base for an overall exciting lunch! When I went gluten free, I gave up sandwiches. I hated the idea of buying a dense and usually somewhat crumbly loaf of bread that cost $12.89 (only a slight exaggeration). I also just don't have the skill of gluten free yeast breads. My bread machine likes to mock me and does so frequently. I've recently been experimenting with all sorts of "other" bread, and to my excitement, some of it is actually really good! This flat bread is one of them.

To me, flat bread is a hybrid; a type of food that spans into different categories. This flat bread can do so many things that other breads can't! You can have a traditional sandwich like with regular yeast bread (stack it), you can roll it with your filling (wrap it), or you can treat it like pizza or toast (top it). And those are just the beginning. I make a batch of this bread about once a week, but rarely have the same meal twice. See what I mean? It's impossible to NOT be creative with it. What would you do with your flat bread?

Flat Bread: Wrap it, Stack it, Top it

1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp dry active yeast
2 Tbs date sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbs applesauce
1 Tbs canola oil
1/2 cup water

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, xanthan gum, and date sugar. Mix in the salt and dry active yeast. 
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the two eggs and then add to them the applesauce, canola oil, and 1/2 cup water. Mix well. 
  3. Next, you'll combine the wet and the dry. Because the batter will be quite thick, I recommend using a strong fork to mix the dry into the wet ingredients, and in sections. I've found that on the batches I dumped all the dry with the wet before I started mixing, there are inevitably dry clunks hidden within the bread once it's baked. To prevent that, I simply mix in a small amount of the dry ingredients at a time. It takes longer, but I find that the end product is better!
  4. Prepare a cookie sheet. I use one that is about 12" by 18". There are two ways of preparing it and they both have worked out great for me. One is to simply spray the pan with a cooking spray. The second is to completely cover the pan with a thin dusting of rice flour. Once your pan is ready, place the dough down onto it.
  5. Now here's the fun part. I take the pan close to the sink and run water over my hands. I then use my hands to manipulate the dough and make it evenly spread across the pan. The dough will become very slippery and it will look 'too wet'. But it's not! 
  6. Once you have the dough even and spread to all the edges, set the pan aside. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to give it a chance to rise just slightly.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Add the pan to the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Bake it for 25 if you're looking for a crispier flat bread. 15-17 minutes is just the right amount of time if you're wanting to make a flat bread that is also malleable (i.e., firm but able to be folded or wrapped without cracking).
  9. Once it comes out of the oven, I let mine cool for about 15 minutes, then I cut the pieces like I would with a cake. Although, I only do two pieces lengthwise, so the bread 'slices' come out to be about 6" long and 3-4" wide. I get about 10 pieces of bread from one batch, so 5 traditional sandwiches or a whole lot of creative sandwiches!
Happy autumn! And happy creative sandwich making :)

Aubree Cherie Pack blogs over at Living Free where she dreams up new (and sometimes random) ways to create tasty food. Although Aubree has not been tested or diagnosed with Celiac disease, gluten is something that her tummy just can't tolerate. Throw in being lactose intolerant and a long history of family diabetes, and you'll understand why Aubree's blog is gluten, dairy, and refined sugar-free! With her blog, she hopes to inspire others with food restrictions to still have fun and get creative in the kitchen.

Well, now I'm really craving a turkey flat bread wrap a la Aubree Cherie. Stop by Living Free for more gluten, dairy, and refined sugar-free recipes, like her Banana Coconut Cream Pie. And on Thursday, we'll be featuring a dessert recipe from the queen of kitchen clutter, The Messy Chef


Aubree Cherie said...

Thanks again for hosting this great series Iris! I'm excited that I've had the chance to participate :) Can't wait to hear how things are going for you!

~Aubree Cherie

Sara said...

That bread looks amazing! I'll be this would be fantastic as a panini. Thanks for sharing!

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Oh, Aubree, I knew you wouldn't let me down--awesome recipe! I'm going to sub millet for the sorghum and see what happens. :-) And, if I had some right now, I'd smear some almond butter on it and call it brunch! Instead, I'll just put some almond butter on my apple. LOL

Thanks so much, my dear! Thanks to you, too, Iris, for sharing another delightful blogger and recipe!


Iris said...

Thank you Aubree, for joining in! I can't wait to make your flat bread!

Selene said...

yum!! I have some sorghum flour I've been trying to figure out what to do with! This sounds likes the perfect way to try it out.
I also miss sandwiches. So so so much. SO MUCH!

beyondriceandtofu.com said...

This looks delish! I think I might have to make some. I have been celiac for 15 years and had given up rbead. But now with Udi's and Canyon Bakehouse around I have been craving sandwiches. This sounds perfect for those cravings!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

This does look really good! I can imagine it's so great to have a versatile bread available!

I Am Gluten Free said...

I love the versatility of gluten free wraps. And it seems to me that this recipe would be pretty flexible - I bet you could sub other GF flours for the sorghum, or use part sorghum and part other flours. I try to stay away from eggs, so I'd like to try your wrap recipe with an egg sub like flaxmeal & water. Hmmmm, now what will I put on it???? The possibilities are endless!

Alea said...

I have just started playing with flat breads. I had been wondering if I could get away with sorghum flour; I'm glad you took the guess work out of it!


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