Tsoureki-Greek Easter sweet bread (gluten free)

Look at this beauty! I’m not the kind of person who toots her own horn, but seriously doesn’t it look amazing? Fluffy, buttery and filled with chocolate, this tsoureki will steal your heart!

The best part is, it has the same texture as brioche, a french buttery sweet bread that has a special place in my heart. Tsoureki is close to challah and the Italian Easter bread. The only difference is the addition of spices, such as masticha and mahlab (ground kernels of cherry stones) unknown to most Americans and Europeans, but makes the whole difference!

I remember my mom making tsourekia and waiting for hours anticipated, without appreciating her valiant effort of spending more than 4 hours to bake us our favorite sweet bread. Sorry, mom!

For such a delicate recipe I’m using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free baking flour. Is the only brand that satisfies our picky taste buds and can replace wheat flour. It gives a great texture and you cannot make a difference.  Floral and buttery, fluffy brioche or tsourekia, perfect for Easter or with your coffee.

 

brioche choco


CHOCOLATE FILLED TSOUREKI (GREEK EASTER BREAD)

Makes: 3 small loaves or 1 big             Cooking time: 40-45 minutes     Difficulty: medium

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 teaspoons instant (bread machine) yeast
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons + 1¾ teaspoons warm water, at 75°F/23.8°C
  • 3 cups (400 grams) gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • juice and zest from half an orange
  • 3 eggs and  1 yolk
  • 1/4 cup (80 grams)  honey
  • 3.5 ounces (100 grams – 7 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground  masticha
  • 1 teaspoon machlepi powder(or mahlab, found in Middle Eastern stores)
  • 1 egg for the egg wash

For the filling:

  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine the yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Stir in the warm water, and set in a warm place for 10 minutes. The mixture will be foaming and bubbly.
  2. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, orange juice and zest, mahlab powder, masticha, yolk, honey, butter, and proofed yeast mixture.
  3. Add the egg mixture to the flour in a steady stream with the mixer running on low. Increase the speed to medium and mix the dough for 10 minutes. It will be very silky, almost like a cake batter.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow it to rise in a warm place for an hour, the dough should about double in size.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, deflate the dough, turning it over a few times in the bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, recover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray. Fill up half way of the pan, add the chocolate chips and the top it with the rest of the dough.Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar or some salt if you like. Set the pan somewhere warm for 40 minutes. You want the dough to rise and spread – but it will not double, so don’t let it sit for longer waiting for that.
  7. When you have about 10 minutes left of rising time, heat up your oven to 350°F. Bake your rolls for 40-45 minutes. You want the top to be golden and a toothpick to come out clean when it is inserted into the middle.
    Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

ΤΣΟΥΡΕΚΙ ΓΕΜΙΣΤΟ ΜΕ ΣΟΚΟΛΑΤΑ

Μερίδες: 4 με 6           Χρόνος ψησίματος: 40-45 λεπτά          Βαθμός δυσκολίας: εύκολο

Μαλακό, βουτυρένιο και αρωματικό  γλυκο τσουρέκι γεμιστό με σοκολάτα. Θα τα λατρέψουν μικροί και μεγάλοι!

choco brioche

ΥΛΙΚΑ:

  • 2 κουταλάκια του γλυκού ξηρή μαγιά, χωρίς γλουτένη
  • 1 κουταλιά της σούπας +2 κουταλάκια του γλυκού κρυσταλλική ζάχαρη
  • 3/4 κούπας + 2 κ + 1¾ κουταλιές της σούπας ζεστό νερό (όχι καυτό!)
  • Περίπου 3 κούπες αλεύρι για όλες τις χρήσεις, χωρίς γλουτένη
  • 1 1/2 κουταλάκι του γλυκού αλάτι
  • χυμό και ξύσμα από μισό πορτοκάλι
  • 3 αυγά και 1 κρόκο,σε θερμοκρασία δωματίου
  • 1/4 κούπα (80 γραμ) μέλι
  • 100 γραμ. αγελαδινό βούτυρο,λιωμένο. Το αφήνουμε να έρθει σε θερμοκρασία δωματίου.
  • 1/2 κουταλάκι του γλυκού μαστίχα,σε σκόνη
  • 1 κουταλάκι του γλυκού μαχλέπι σε σκόνη
  • 1 αυγό για το  άλλειμμα.

Για τη γέμιση:

  • 3/4 κούπας ημίγλυκη (ή γάλακτος) κουβερτούρα ή σταγόνες σκοκολάτας.

ΕΚΤΕΛΕΣΗ:

  1. Σε ένα μικρό μπωλ,συνδυάζουμε τη μαγιά, ζάχαρη και νερό. Αναδεύμουμε και το αφήνουμε για 10 λεπτά μέχρι να ενεργοποιηθεί η μαγιά και αφρίσει.
  2. Στον κάδο του μίξερ ρίχνουμε το αλεύρι και το αλάτι. Σε ένα μεσαίο μπωλ, ρίχνουμε τα αυγά,το μαχλέπι,τη μαστίχα, τον κρόκο αυγού, το λιωμένο βούτυρο,χυμό και ξύσμα πορτοκαλιού,μέλι και τη μαγιά.
  3. Προσθέτουμε το μείγμα αυγού στο αλεύρι σιγά σιγά σε χαμηλή ροή και χτυπάμε σε χαμηλή ταχύτητα. Αυξάνουμε σταδιακά την ταχύτητα στη μεσαία και χτυπάμε για 10 λεπτά. Το μείγμα θα μοιάζει με πηχτή ζύμη για κέικ.
  4. Με μια λαστιχένια σπάτουλα ξύστε τις άκρες του μπωλ,καλύψτε το με μία μεμβράνη και αφήστε το να φουσκώσει για μία ώρα. Η ζύμη θα διπλασιαστεί.
  5. Με μια λαστιχένια σπάτουλα, ξεφουσκώστε τη ζύμη και ανακατέψτε τη από κάτω προς τα πάνψ απαλά 2 με 3 φορες. Καλύψτε ξανά το μπψλ με τη μεμβράνη και βάλτε το στο ψυγείο για 2 ώρες.
  6. Μετά από 2 ώρες,βγάλτε το από το ψυγείο. Βουτυρώστε καλά μία μακρόστενη φόρμα για κέικ. Προσθέστε το μισό μείγμα για το μπριος, προσθέστε τη σοκολάτα και ρίξτε το υπόλοιπο μείγμα μπριος.
  7. Αλλείψτε με το χτυπημένο αυγό,πασπαλίστε με λίγη ζάχαρη και αφήστε το στην άκρη για 40 λεπτά σε ζεστό μέρος. Η ζύμη θα απλωθεί και θα φουσκώσει ελαφρά,αλλά δε θα διαπλασιαστεί. Τα τελευταία 10 λεπτά, ανάψτε το φούρνο στους 180 βραθμούς.
  8. Ψήστε το για  40-45 λεπτά μέχρι να ροδοκοκκινίσει.

ΣΗΜΕΙΩΣΗ:

∗Το κάθε αλεύρι χωρίς γλουτένη ειναι διαφορετικό. Για τη συγκεκριμένη συνταγή διαλέξτε αλεύρι για ψωμί,κατάλληλο για τσουρέκια και παρόμοιες ζύμες.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tomato,feta and basil breadsticks

tomato-basil-breadsticks

It’s been moment that I’m getting obsessed with a type of food that I haven’t  had in ages,because of my celiac and getting very persistent into making it happen!

Lately,I was thinking of making breadsticks,I’ve tried few recipes without any success. Luckily,I found this recipe from an amazing  Greek food blog and I was so happy to finally taste delicious breadsticks! The dough is the closest I found to the original breadsticks.

I’ve adapted to my personal taste by adding tomato,basil and feta cheese, mediterranean  flavors that everybody will love!

tomatoes


TOMATO,FETA AND BASIL BREADSTICKS

Makes: 10 breadsticks            Baking time: 12 minutes           Difficulty: easy

Adapted by: Not an ordinary mum

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 teaspoons gluten free  dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 egg,room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil,julienned
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese,shredded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium bowl add lukewarm water and yeast,stir and let it sit for 5 minutes until foam appears.
  2. Add egg,tomato paste,basil and feta   and beat until well incorporated.
  3. In a medium bowl,add salt,almond meal and tapioca starch,stir to combine and set aside until need.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Blend with a rubber spatula,cover with a dump towel and let it rest for 30 minutes. Dough might be a little on the wet side,but this is not a problem.
  5. Preheat oven at 425  F,line parchment paper in a sheet tray. Take about a tablespoon and a half of dough and form it into a log. Place it on the tray and continue with rest of the dough.
  6. Brush some olive oil on top and bake for 12 minutes,until golden brown.

 


ΚΡΙΤΣΙΝΙΑ ΜΕ ΤΟΜΑΤΑ,ΦΕΤΑ ΚΑΙ ΒΑΣΙΛΙΚΟ

Βγαίνουν: 10 κριτσίνια       Χρόνος ψησίματος: 12 λεπτά       Βαθμός  δυσκολίας: εύκολο

Τραγανά κριτσίνια με μεσογειακή γεύση. Εύκολα,γεθστικά και χωρίς γλουτένη!

tomato-breadsticks

ΥΛΙΚΑ:

  • 2 κουταλάκια του γλυκού ξηρή μαγιά,χωρίς γλουτένη
  • 2 κουταλιές της σούπας χλιαρό νερο
  • 1 κούπα αλεύρι αμυγδάλου
  • 1/2 κούπα αλεύρι ταπιόκας
  • 1 αυγό σε θερμοκρασία δωματίου
  • 3/4 κουταλάκι του γλυκού αλάτι
  • 1 κουτλάκι της σούπας πελτέ τομάτας,χωρίς γλουτένη
  • 1 κουταλάκι της σούπας φρέσκο βασιλικό, ψιλοκομμένο
  • 1/4 κούπας φέτα τριμμένη
  • 1 κουταλάκι της σούπας ελαιόλαδο
    ΕΚΤΕΛΕΣΗ:
  1. Σε ένα μικρό μπωλ βάζουμε τη μαγιά με το νερό και το αφήνουμε για 5 λεπτά να αφρίσει.
  2. Προσθέστε το αυγό,τον πελτέ τομάτας,το βασιλικό και τη φέτα. Ανακατέψτε μέχρι να ομογενοποιηθεί.
  3. Σε ένα μεσαίο μπωλ,προσθέτουμε τα ξηρά υλικά: το αλεύρι αμυγδάλου,το αλεύρι ταπιόκας,το αλάτι και ανακατεύουμε καλα.
  4. Προσθέτουμε τα υγρό μείγμα στο μείγμα αλεύρων και ανακατευουμε καλά με μία σπάτουλα σιλικόνης.
  5. Σκεπάζουμε το μπωλ με τη ζύμη με μία πετσέτα και το αφήνουμε να ξεκουραστεί για 30 λεπτά. Η ζύμη δε θα φουσκώσει πολύ και ίσως είναι λίγο υγρή.
  6. Προθερμαίνουμε το φούρο στους 22ο βαθμούς,στρώνουμε ένα ταψί με αντικολλητικό χαρτί SANITAS.
  7. Παίρνουμε περίπου ,μιάμιση κουταλιά από τη ζύμη και την λάθουμε σε μακρόστενα στικ.
  8. Αλείψτε τα με ελαιόλαδο και ψήστε για 12 λεπτά,μέχρι να ροδοκοκκινίσουν.

tomato-basil-breadsticks


French Baguette (gf)

french bread and oilLong time ago,while I was in the beginning of my celiac journey,I tried a prepacked baguettes from a well known gluten free European brand which you can find in US super market,too.

I must admit,that it was awful! There was nothing to remind me of that beautiful crust,with the fluffy interior. It was completely tasteless! That’s something gets me angry! Just because we are gluten intolerant,doesn’t have to be tasteless! We deserve a better flavored product like other people!

After many experiments,I finally found a recipe that reminds me of the classic baguette. This recipe makes two baguettes. You can find the baguette pan,online at Walmart,or look at your local kitchen supply store.

Beautiful crust and fragrant interior. We ate the baguettes in one day! Perfect for a sandwich! In one loaf I added sun dried tomatoes and the oil from the sun dried tomato jar. How much I love the aromas of the fresh baked bread! Just out of this world bread!

unbaked french bread

 

 

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Ingredients:

  • 7.4 oz brown rice flour
  • 2.4 oz white rice flour
  • 3.8 oz arrowroot starch
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon yeast
  • 2 tablespoon  butter
  • 1 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 teaspoons xantham gum

Directions:

 

  1. Using a heavy-duty mixer, blend the following on low: brown rice flour, white rice flour,arrowroot starch , xantham gum and salt
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve sugar in the water and then add the yeast.
  3. When the mixture foams slightly, add the mixture to the dry ingredients.
  4. Next, add butter, egg whites,the egg, and vinegar.
  5. With the mixer on high, beat the mixture for 3 minutes.
  6. Spoon dough into French bread pans.
  7. Make diagonal cuts a few inches apart.
  8. Brush with melted butter.
  9. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled, about 20-25 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven at 380 F.
  11. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  12. Remove from pan and allow to cool.

french bread


Cheesy pretzel balls stuffed with caramelized onions (gf)

 

I must admit,I’ve never had a full bite of soft pretzel. The only time I tried it,was a year ago,to finally see why people are so excited about these. It was so good! Fluffy,soft,buttery and salty! Such a great snack and I found out why everybody is so thrilled about pretzel.

Of course,I didn’t want to make simple pretzels. I want ed to make something that you can’t find at the stores.

The sweet and sour onions along with the buttery bread and  melted cheese is just heaven in your mouth!

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Instructions:

  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water, 100º-110ºF (you may need just a tad bit more)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons or 1 pack quick acting yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey or organic sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or softened butter)
  • 3 1/2 cups gf artisan flour blend

For the caramelized onions:

  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • pinch of salt
  • (optional) pinch of granulated sugar or other sweetener
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2-4 tablespoons dry white or red wine (or chicken/beef/veggie stock)

1/2 cup fontina cheese,cut in 1/2 inch cubes

Baking Soda Bath:

  • 8-10 cups water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • pinch of salt

For Topping:

  • kosher salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • splash of water

Instructions:

Line a couple rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.

Combine water, yeast and sugar in a bowl; allow to sit for 5 -10 minutes until the mixture foams. Put the flour blend salt and baking powder in the bowl of your stand up mixer . Whisk together until well blended. Add the olive oil (or butter) and yeast mixture. With the dough hook, mix until it comes together, pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Stop the mixture a couple of times to use your spatula to incorporate all of the flour. Once combined fully, continue mixing an additional minute to knead dough. It should be just a tad bit wet, but not too wet where it doesn’t come together and hold. If it’s too dry add a teeny splash more water, if it’s too wet, add a teeny more flour. Don’t go crazy and let it be what it is. Different then glute dough.

Remove dough from the bowl and place in a oiled glass mixing bowl. Brush the top of the dough lightly with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will vary based on the temperature. You are looking for the dough to be approximately double in size.This dough is very tacky, thick and stretchy. Wet your hands when working with it and you can also very, very lightly flour your work surface, too.

In the meanwhile make the onions.

Heat butter in a large saute pan over medium heat until melted.  Add onions, and toss until they are coated in the butter.

Cook the onions for the next 40 minutes or so until they are caramelized, using a spatula to stir the onions and scrape the bottom of the pan every 3-5 minutes.  As the onions begin to caramelize and darken, you may need to scrape the pan more often.

Once the onions reach a deep golden brown color and are nice and syrupy, sprinkle them with a pinch of two of salt (and sugar, if desired).  Stir the stock a tablespoon or two at a time, adding enough so that the browned bits on the bottom of the pan loosen when scraped with a spatula. Add the thyme.  Stir the onions for 1 more minute, being sure to stir in the browned bits, then remove from heat.

 

Once the dough is done rising ,preheat the oven to 450ºF. Add the water and baking soda to a large pan over a high heat, whisk it quickly to dissolve the baking soda. While you are waiting for the baking soda bath to come to a boil, you will shape the dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, I like working on a bit of parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, divide the dough carefully into 8 equal parts. Wet your hands with a little water and roll each piece of dough on the floured surface into a cylinder about 1-inch in diameter, it is a very thick and stretchy dough, so really give it some elbow grease.

Take the pretzel ball,flatten it with your hands,stuff it with 1 teaspoon caramelized onions and a cube of fontina. Try to close carefully the edges of the disc and seal it.

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When you finish shaping all the pretzel balls,with a sharp knife, score each pretzel ball by cutting diagonally into the top about ⅛ inch deep.

Once your water is boiling, take the heat down to a medium-high, you want it barely boiling. A rolling boil will break your pretzel bite apart. Place as many pretzel balls of dough into the nearly boiling baking soda bath as will fit comfortably. Allow them to cook in the water for about 30 seconds on one side before gently flipping the bites over. Allow to cook for another 30 seconds. Remove the balls with a strainer and place them, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheets. Whisk together the egg yolk and honey mixture or just honey and brush on each bite. Sprinkle each with a little coarse salt, to taste.

Place the pretzels in the center of the preheated oven and bake until golden brown all over, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool a bit on the baking pan then go to town.

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Prosciutto and asiago beer bread(gluten free)

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Last week my mother found on a Greek website recipe for beer bread. I had to try it immediately! I could only imagine the bitterness of the beer along with the salinity of the prosciutto. I had to make it kind of elegant. Don’t let the “elegance” fool you…I drink my beer from the bottle! No formalities there. It’s a very easy recipe,no kneading needing nor yeast.

Lately,I expressed my love for gluten free beer Omission and since I bought a six-pack,that recipe was definitely was calling beer’s name!

You can substitute the prosciutto with bacon,add jalapenos and cheddar. Make it yours!

Ingredients (one loaf):

  • 2  cups artisan gluten free flour blend
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 12 oz gf beer
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup prosciutto,chopped
  • 1/3 cup asiago cheese,shredded

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Using a wooden spoon, stir the beer and honey into the dry ingredients until just mixed.  (Microwave the honey for 5 to 10 seconds beforehand to make it easier to stir in)

Add the prosciutto and cheese into the batter and mix well.

Pour half the melted butter into the loaf pan. Then spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter. Use a pastry brush to spread it around.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick/knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Focaccia with sun dried tomatoes and feta

 

feta and dried tomato focacciaFocaccia is an Italian version of flatbread often used as pizza dough,a totally addicting and blissful bread that I am utterly obsessed with! You can add any kind of toppings. Imagine that your focaccia is your blank canvas! In Greece we call it Ladenia and it’s pretty much the same. ,we add tomatoes and yellow onions as toppings.

The idea of making homemade bread can be daunting and can also sometimes feels like something only done in decades past.Truth is,the only thing that requires is  patience. I found this exceptional recipe and it got me inspired.  I haven’t eaten focaccia for a long time and I was very excited I finally made it from scratch. What a joy! Slightly crunchy on the outside, fluffy and airy on the inside.The sun dried tomatoes make their presence very potent, the tanginess of the feta cheese and the aromatic olive oil and fresh thyme, the flavors I grew up with! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp honey (or agave or sugar)
  • 1 1/4 c water, heated to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 3 1/2 cups Artisan gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes(I used homemade)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese,crumbled

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Oil a half sheet baking pan (12 x 17-inches) and line it with parchment paper. Then oil the top of the parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, dissolve the sugar into the warm water. Add the yeast, stir briefly to moisten the yeast, and set it aside for 5 minutes. If your yeast is fresh, bubbles will form on the top. If not, start over with fresh yeast.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the gluten-free flour, onion powder, and salt together and set it aside.
  4. Add the eggs, oil, and vinegar to the yeast mixture and beat on low-speed just until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Scoop the dough into the prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula dipped in water, distribute and smooth out the top of the dough. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature, about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, for about 30 minutes. Once the dough reaches the top of the pan, using a finger, press several dimples into the dough. Brush the top with oil and add the sun-dried tomatoes,feta cheese and thyme.
  7. Place a rack in the lowest portion of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Bake your gluten-free focaccia for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer the bread along with the parchment paper to a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Slice the focaccia with a serrated knife and serve it warm.