Tag Archives: Baking

Polenta Cake (gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free)

These came up moist and crumbly. The polenta had quite a bite too it, so I will soften/pre-cook it a little next time.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum or guar gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Polenta
  • 3 large free-range organic eggs, alternatively use 3 tbsp of flaxseed meal and 9 tbsp of water
  • 1/2 cup light vegetable or extra light olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups packed organic light brown sugar
  • 3 very ripe medium bananas, mashed into puree (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk, milk, or other non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
  2. Prepare a 10″ x 13″ (25x25cm) baking pan by lining it with greased parchment.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients except the sugar.
  4. If using, mix flaxseed meal and the water and set aside for 5 min.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients with the sugar. Use a hand mixer.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
  7. Bake in the center of a preheated oven for 33 minutes, or until done.

    Check the center for doneness with a wooden pick. The cake should appear slightly golden brown at the edge, firm to a light touch.

Zucchini Muffins (gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free)

Made these muffins for my kids, when they went to a birthday party without gluten-free birthday cake and we liked them a lot… so much that I couldn’t take a picture before they were all gone ;)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (e.g. Trader Joe)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped raisins

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 175C/350F.
  2. Shred the zucchini and mix it with the tbsp of sugar and let sit in a sieve over a container. The sugar will draw out moisture. You can discard the water.
  3. Mix flaxseed meal with 3 tbsp water and set aside for 5 minutes. (If you like it, you can use an egg instead)
  4. Mix all dry ingredients.
  5. Combine the flaxseed meal mixture and oil; carefully stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  6. Fold in the zucchini, walnuts and raisins.
  7. Coat 6 large muffin cups with cooking spray or use paper liners; fill three-fourths full with batter.
  8. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

German Cabbage Cake – Krautkuchen

Recipe from my mom, typical in the Swabia region around Stuttgart, Germany.

Dough – mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 45min.

  • 250 g – 1/2 lb flour
  • 120 g – 1/4 lb butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 75 ml – 1/3 cup water

For the filling:

  • 1 kg – 2 lbs (white) cabbage, finely grated
  • 2 tsp oil OR 1/2 lb diced bacon
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 300 g – 0.6 lb sour creme
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Caraway, salt, pepper to taste
  • butter to grease the form

Saute cabbage with the flour in oil or the rendered bacon for 20min. Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Mix sour creme with the eggs and the extra yolk with the still warm cabbage mixture. Add spices to taste.

Roll out the dough and put it into an 11″ spring form, forming a nice crust all around. Add the filling and bake for ca. 45min.

Baking Krautkuchen

Enjoy!

Real German Pretzels are called Brezel

This is the hard way of baking original German (Swabian) Bretzels. For the easy way, check out the Pretzel post at TheFreshLoaf. And by the way, I do think that going the extra mile of creating the Pâte fermentée and using real lye (Food grade Sodium Hydroxide – NaOH, which I bought from Amazon) is totally worth the effort. The second secret ingredient is the diastatic (baking) malt, which gave the dough the right chewy texture.

I got the recipe from a German site called Chili und Chiabatta. This is my English version, slightly simplified:

A day ahead, create the Pâte fermentée (fermented dough):

  • 144g White Flour
  • 94g Water
  • 2.8g Salt
  • 1 pinch of Dry Yeast

Kneed everything together, cover and let rise for 12-16h at about 70F.

Now create the real dough:

  • 578g White Flour
  • 340g Water
  • 12g Salt
  • 14g Fresh Yeast (I used 2.5 tsp Dry Yeasy)
  • 36g soft Butter
  • 7g Baking Malt (I used 1 tbsp Cane Sugar)
  • 240g Pâte fermentée (all the above)

Mix everything together, except the Pâte fermentée, for 3min in the FoodPro. Now add the Pâte fermentée in chunks and continue to kneed for 5min. Let rise for 1h (in a slightly greased bowl, covered with cling wrap at 21C), fold the dough and let rise for another hour.

Make about 15 portions (85g each) and roll them out to about 60cm long ‘worms’ with a thick middle section. Lay into the typical Bretzel shape.
Cover with cloth and let rise for 30-45min. Now cool in the fridge for 30min – the Bretzels are a lot easier to handle afterward.

Now the fun part – The lye:

  • 1250g cold Water
  • 50g NaOH

Warning: Wear protective goggles and gloves and only use glass or stainless steel – especially aluminum does not withstand this solution (check your baking pan)!
(Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 230C) Slowly stir the NaOH into the cold water until fully dissolved. Using a large skimmer dunk each Bretzel into the solution for 5s. Top with coarse salt and using a sharp knife, make an incision at the belly of the Bretzel.

Update: Because those Bretzels taste the best right after baking, I did try to freeze a couple of them at this point in the process and the result was encouraging – Give it a try, if you don’t think you will eat all of them right away :)

On a well greased baking pan (No Al!) bake the Bretzels for 14-16min at 230C.

More Pretzels

Bretzels taste best when still warm – try them with a Bavarian Cheese spread called Obatzda!