Quinoa Flour Scone

Almost minced apple.

It’s really yellow thanks to the free-range eggs.

I don’t know why this popped into my head, Dear Reader, I was happy to leave the quinoa flour be for a while, but then I realised I didn’t have an all quinoa flour scone. So, here we are. I do have to talk about something first. See, this recipe was exactly what I was aiming for, but it’s not to my taste. That’s a hard line to straddle, there’s no worth in running down a recipe that really works well and has nothing wrong with it, but there’s also a problem with over praising myself and my own recipes. The texture here is just not what I like, it’s not actually off-putting, otherwise there’d be no way I’d share it, but it isn’t for me, it might be for you though. See, with recipes when we try to examine what they’re textured like, how they taste, the difficulty, whatever, you need to know it from every angle, so to speak, you have to step outside your own biases. You have to imagine a lot of people trying it out and see it from their side as well as your own. It’s tricky and it’d be easier to just say they’re the best scones ever and leave it at that. I won’t do that, never. They’re worth sharing, whether I make them again or not only matters as far as them being re-creatable and they will be, you have my guarantee on that. You can’t eat everything all the time, Dear Reader. Now, onto the recipe.

Generic crumbled dough.

How many you make is up to you.

Naturally this is based on part on the previous cookie recipe, along with a lot of other recipes found here. I’ve found that oil can make things too crispy when it comes to quinoa, I also didn’t want too much sugar or butter so instead so I went for raw apple. I have never had a teacher, but as far as inspiration I have to give credit to Cooking Without Gluten, using raw apple like this is something I would never have tried. It’s really amazing how it melts away and lends a lovely softness and spring. What I was aiming for ere was a tall scones, crisp on the outside and slightly dense inside. I managed both, the inside has a bit more chew than I like, but doesn’t have that raw feel you sometimes get with free-from breads, which I really dislike. It’s well cooked, but chewy, that’s the nature of quinoa flour in heavier applications like this. I liked it well enough with peanut butter. If you’d rather you could make shorter, smaller scones and get more crunch than chew. The taste is stronger here  as I’ve reduced the sugar, you could mask it further with spices. Play around with it and see what you can do.

They neither fall or rise much.

Flipping ensures an even brownness.

The apple just melts away.

As far as technique goes there isn’t much here. I added flour before knead to avoid over flouring early on, letting the first lot of flour absorb the apple and egg and then allowing it to be covered in just enough flour, if all the additional flour doesn’t take then you don’t need it to knead it. As I say you could make them flatter, smaller. Play around with it, but when you divide the dough toss them in flour to avoid sticking. What else can I say? They’re really a decent scone, I loved the crusty outside if I could just get that alone and combine it with a buckwheat and flax interior I’d be set for life. Who knows, Dear Reader, maybe in time. Okay, that’s that, see you again soon.

Ingredients

150g and 10g Quinoa Flour
70g Green Apple, Peeled and Grated Fine
25g Caster Sugar
1 Medium Egg (55-65g in Shell)
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200c (Fan) and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Add the Egg, Apple, Vanilla Extract and Sugar to a bowl and mix together and then stir in all the dry ingredients, apart from the 10g of Flour, until a texture like breadcrumbs has formed. Knead together in the bowl until a soft, slightly sticky dough has been created. Dust with the 10g of Flour and form into a ball. Remove from the bowl and press into a circle. Divide into sections, roll each into a ball and create a tall round shape.

3. Bake for 12-15 minutes, flipping upside down halfway, until scones are firm and a light brown colour. Transfer to a wire-rack and let cool.

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Quinoa Flour Cookies

Breadcrumb like, or as close as can be got to.

After adding the egg.

Dear Reader, can you believe I hadn’t a basic quinoa flour cookie recipe? Not that I’ve seen many blogs with it either, but it’s a matter of pride, okay, that’s a lie, I just wanted a cookie and was curious. Naturally I went to the one place that can be used to find a recipe to take inspiration from every time, it’s not too much too say that I owe this person a great deal for so many of the recipes here. I am of course talking about *Checks notes*: Myself. You know if I wasn’t actually pretty good at this I’d have lost most of my readers already. Thankfully I am good and this is too. I had to chuckle to myself because at every stage I realised it could go wrong, no matter how good it looked there was no guarantee of success. Quinoa is an interesting flour, when used the correct way it can result in extremely fluffy baked goods. In using it as a stand alone flour it can be risky because it doesn’t always maintain its hold. Thankfully today it did.

It needs a dusting before resting to handle it. Quinoa flour is very sticky.

They don’t rise much.

So, what’s important to realise is that it is going to be sticky. You can’t get away from that aspect of quinoa flour when just using quinoa flour and nothing else. The goal is to get it to a workable texture, but not to add too much flour which will cause racking and make everything dense. Just follow the recipe and when dusting ad enough so you can handle it without it sticking. When rolling I was tempted to add more flour, but I abstained. It wasn’t sticky enough to be unrollable so I left it be and it seems to have paid off. The end result is somewhere between a cookie and a cake. It has a crispy exterior, not very hard, just a light crunch, with an interior that takes you aback a bit as it seems almost dough, but then you feel the cooked but moist texture present. Quinoa flour really is underutilized in baking. It’s close to a brownie, but drier. There isn’t very much sweetness as the sugar has to counter the quinoa’s bitter flavour, it’ll depend on the brand, but I couldn’t detect any bitterness here, and what’s left might not be sweet enough for some. But, icing would solve that. For a rough and ready test these turned out wonderfully. You can obviously double the recipe. I should say what it was adapted from and why changes for made, right? Educational Jack,  that’s me. Okay, okay. I’ll be a teacher, just a bad one. Heh.

They sink just a little after cooling.

Fluffy cookies. Not bad.

See, the thing about free from baking is that it can be difficult and it’s in large part due to the fact that here is just so much we don’t yet know and to often people are happy to stick with on option and never branch out from that. Me? I like to experiment and teach what I can and what I’m doing and why. You never know who’ll it’ll help. Until someone takes these recipes and really pushes them beyond what I’ve made you’ll have to suffice with me and my ways. So, the original is this, and what I’ve had to do was compensate for the quinoa’s absorbent nature. Hence the halved recipe with the same amount of egg. I’ve also doubled the baking powder, rather than soda, quicker rise, as quinoa is more prone to rising than its dense brethren. I used caster sugar as I didn’t want a gritty texture, the quinoa is a lighter flour and it’d be more pronounced here. The rest is mostly the same, I didn’t rest it as long because there was no need. I just gave it a rest to let it absorb some of the moisture. You will be tempted to dash a little milk in, but don’t, the quinoa won’t hold it, it may, but it may also just run. Free from flours can be deceptive when raw. The only way to learn to to try, but having an explanation as to the whys and why nots doesn’t hurt either. Lord knows I could’ve used more comprehensive recipes when I was starting out. Them’s the breaks, Dear Reader. That’s it for today. Take care.

Ingredients

110g Quinoa Flour
55g Butter, Chilled and cut into Chunks
60g Caster Sugar
1 Medium Egg (55-65g in Shell)
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Method

1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Add the Flour, Sugar and Baking Powder to a bowl and rub the Butter into the Flour Mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs, then stir in the Egg and Vanilla Extract, with a fork, until combined. Knead together in the bowl until a soft, but not sticky dough has been created. Form into a ball, dust with flour and leave in the fridge for 10 minutes.

4. Pre-heat the oven to 175c (Fan). Scoop 1 Tbsp worth of dough and roll into a ball, dough will be slightly sticky, flatten onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch between Cookies, and repeat until all dough is used up. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and slightly firm to the touch. Let cool on tray for 5 minutes and then remove to wire-rack to cool completely.

Microwave Quinoa Mug Cake

Yes, I know that’s a bowl.

Dear Reader there are two types of microwave cakes. These are, of course, the Stay-ins and the Fall-outs, the former are these mug cakes made without egg, the latter are made with eggs and are more akin to bread. They’re all under the microwave tag so have a look. There are breads that are better than some loaves I’ve made in those recipes. These are al based on a recipe for a commercial mug cake that I took one look at and smugly proclaimed that I could make that. Three different flours later and it’s turns out I was right. Buckwheat, Sorghum and the ultimate flour for light and airy goods: Quinoa.

It’s so fluffy.

Therein lies the saddest part of quinoa’s lack of structural integrity: It would make amazing cakes, but they’d fall apart if made this light. Though, I will contradict myself and say that the egg version of the microwave cakes is very similar to sponge, but not very cake like. That’s where the mug, bowl whatever, comes in. Since there’s no need to take it out you can add more to give it a light crumb. The butter and sugar here are the key elements. You might have to up the sugar, or do like I do and top it with a loose icing, if your quinoa flour is very strong. There isn’t much to this, but it tastes just so light and sweet. It’s a great way to have a treat without going all out. It just crumbles away, but isn’t at all dry. I’m not sure if this is unique to the site or if anyone else is making these like this. The recipe is my own creation so if nothing else you have a guarantee I will try it with as many flours as I deem suitable. That’s it for now, Dear Reader. See you again soon.

It stays hot for a long time.

Ingredients

45g Quinoa Flour
30g Butter
65ml Milk
15g Sugar
1/2 Tsp GF Baking Powder
Dash Vanilla Extract

Method

1. Melt the Butter, in a mug, on a low heat and when cooled slightly mix in the Sugar, with a fork, until dissolved.

2. Add in the Milk and Vanilla Extract and stir until everything has combined. Finaly add in the Quinoa Flour and Baking Powder and mix until smooth.

3. Microwave on full heat for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Cake should be dry and springy to the touch. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Baps, Bulbs and Breads

Original Quinoa Flour Bread Recipe here.

For the low low price of: FREE!

Neener Neener my bread is golden hued and delicious.

A Dear Reader, yes, there are a few of you, happened to name me as part of their inspiration for a wonderful recipe, which you can see for yourself here. They also set my brain in motion. See, one of the things that I’ve found in my style of cooking and baking is that I’m very much out of the norm. I’m not getting into this in a big way, but I have often wondered what it would’ve taken for me to, well, fit in. I honestly think it would’ve been detrimental to my recipes, my readership and just generally to the blog. See, if I had followed the idea, erroneous idea, don’t care too long at this, that all free-from baking requires gums and starches, well, I’d have starved, end of. See, I also thought that that was the “correct” way, having learned in time it’s the common way. Is it correct? Depends, nutritionally lacking foods made from bits and pieces that photograph well or can be sold commercially are so ubiquitous that I can take a shot at them and hit everyone. They’re bad, but there are so many shades of grey that it would take a lifetime to go through them all. But what’s important is that if you made Jack’s style a brand say. Jack’s Diet! From Fat To Jack! Etc. Then you’d see it differently, no longer an aberration, but actually a contender. But, that’d entail gatekeeping, lying, sponsorships, shady ones, some are fine, not complaining here just saying, because that’s why the gum and starch side is seen as the only side. It’s not that good, but a starving coeliac isn’t fussy and brand loyalty builds a great defensive line of buyers. I’m hitting the tinfoil hat threshold here, but it’s backed up simply by the blog here. You see recipes made with skill and craft that no one else has. I’m not bragging, if I was I’d be doing a much better job. I’m just reiterating for what feels like the millionth time that there are many kinds of free-from baking and cooking. Try different things out, write posts differently, be yourself, Dear Reader. I no longer care about acclaim or glory. With my scar came a sense of freedom. The free-from world is a mess, the fact I struggle to find recipes, to find ingredients to just find clear information speaks to that. What can be done? Yeah, that’s a huge order, just be open-minded and really look at what you’re eating. I’m not going to wreck my good mood breaking this down again and again. Nor do I want to attack anyone. Let’s talk bread. Let’s enjoy these posts, what more needs to be done?

Pain my my…whoops! Family friendly blog.

I went half again to get a third bap.

Baps are here.

Fluffy, light and so good.

You know I can never understand why quinoa flour is so ridiculously expensive. I keep an eye out on Amazon hoping for a new start-up, which is what this was, that has a cheaper bag of flour in stock, marked as Gluten Free, not naturally gluten free, containing no gluten ingredients or any of those sneaky terms. Not to say that it’s that cheap, but by comparison to a bag less than half the size for more I’d say it was okay. It’s actually a really nice flour, not paid for this, but I have to mention it for anyone struggling to find any. Oh, it’s gone. Sorry. It lasted a few days at least. See? I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s difficult. I’ve found that free-from flours can vary, but rarely by a great deal. Sometimes you get one that’s off colour or just doesn’t work as well. This one is, as I’ve said, a really good quality flour, no bitterness coming through either. Grinding your own leads to a very uneven texture without a very good grinder. So, once every few months I splurge and then bake up a storm. The reason I have so many of these recipes is that I bought a batch of six bags for a pittance that were going out of date very quickly.

Fried in butter with a poached egg…which is invisible.

You know what irks me? Every bags says how it replaces wheat flour, no, no, NO! And that they have a lot of recipes, which they never do. Seriously, how daunting is that to someone trying these out for the first time. You know, way back in the beginning, when I bought quinoa for the first time it had no clear instruction on how to cook it. Ditto amaranth, kaniwa and, I think buckwheat was rough too. Even rice tells you to boil and drain and that’s just wrong. Steam it, always perfect. But complacency is a dangerous thing, Dear Reader, I was miserable in the beginning and I was damned if I was going to eat terrible food forever. Yes, I too ate gummy loaves and loved them, more fool all of us, Dear Reader. Here I am, with crispy quinoa loaves and springy buckwheat baps. See? What the companies rely on is the idea that you can really only get this kind of bread with some kind of special ingredient or by buying their brands. I figured out all of this myself, through stubborn determination and by eating a lot of nasty bread. I’ve talked about the breads in numerous posts so I won’t rethread old ground again. These turned out really, really well.

I’ll just re-pot this and oh…

It turned out to be a rather pleasant day, hence my buoyant mood, I am so buoyant , you shut up! So I went out filling potato pots, getting them ready in advance and decided I should move my poor exposed Canna Indica to a larger pot as it really needs the space. A bulb that cost a Euro and thirty nine cents, yes, I remember, I rooted through a bulb bin and found it in amongst tiny plants, should’ve been easy to move. As you can see the solid mass of roots and new growth argued otherwise. So, I re-potted it by literally placing the whole mass, moved by those nigh unbreakable stems, they’re like ropes, into a pot lined with a little soil which I filled in. Tedious and will be repeated for other established plants like the strawberries. Still, it’s amazing what can be grown in a pot. You’ve seen the sunchokes. You just have to try, I suppose, Dear Reader, you really never know what you can accomplish if you never start. Okay, I’ll pop off to hope for good weather, there are still pots to fill, empty and work to be done. Until later.

Breads Here Revisited Part 3: Microwave Breads

Now, I know, some of these are cakes, but I make most of these without the sugar, with a little salt and they make the best quick breads. There are a lot of “mug cakes”, which I do have recipes for as well, but I think of the difference thus: A mug cake is eaten from the mug, whereas the bread is removed from the baking vessel. Now I know that seems a trifle pedantic, but what makes these work so well as bread is that they can be sliced. So, let’s think of them as breads and see what we can see, shall we, dear reader?

Microwave Amaranth Flour Bread
Microwave Banana Flour Cake
Microwave Buckwheat and Rice Flour Cake
Microwave Buckwheat Cake
Microwave English Muffin
Microwave Flax Muffin
Microwave Quinoa Flour Cake
Microwave Rice Flour Cake
Microwave Sorghum Flour Bread

You could be a pain and question whether these are breads and you can feel free to do so. I’m calling them breads and phooey from me to you! What I love about these is that they take very little in the way of specialised ingredients, the ground flaxseed might not be so common, ground chia works too, but other than that it’s pretty basic. The recipes themselves feature numerous options, covering so many diets. The only catch is the egg is necessary for the texture and rise, the original recipe used banana if I’m not mistaken, but it was more of a cake, there are cakes in these too, but for this post I’ll focus on the bread. And, yes, this started as a single recipe that I adapted from another. It uses a total of eight (We’ll count flaxseed as a flour, shush) different flours. I’ve found success with so many, barring ground almonds, too fatty I think, so I can only imagine any free from flour would work here. This recipe is great for using up the dregs of flour as it uses so little. You can easily mix and match as needed. When made using only a single flour it really highlights the unique taste and texture of that flour. I usually make these in a jug ad they just pop right out so there isn’t much clean up.

To talk at length about such mundane things is a gift, dear reader. What you have here is the closest thing to a free-from sandwich bread, no crust sadly, but you can’t have everything, without using gums or added starches. They come out springy, light, different flours yield slightly varying results, but it’s pretty consistent across the board. The reason they come out so light is because of the egg swelling, reacting to the baking powder too I assume, and setting before it can fall. The flax and flour help to stabilise. There isn’t an eggy taste as you’d imagine as the egg is well cooked through when the bread is ready. This is great for making a quick meal, spread on the nut butters and jams or slather sauce and spiced meat and eat it open-faced. It’s filling, again varying on the flour used, and you’ll find you don’t need a whole lot to make it a meal. They’re best eaten on the day, but you could probably freeze them.

So, there you have it. I would have scoffed at a microwave bread if I hadn’t scarfed so many in my time. Many a time I forgot to leave out something for tea and found myself hungry and in no mood to get cooking. A quick mix up in a jug and there it is: Bread! I like recipes like these, they’re almost foolproof and if you find yourself with a free-from flour that’s lacking in uses you can try something like these and you’ll be almost guaranteed success. I primarily make them with rice flour as it’s the cheapest and least versatile flour in my cupboard. I have found sorghum delicious and wonderfully light. Quinoa works best for a cake and banana flour is slightly revolting if I’m honest.

You’ll notice that the breads I use often are pretty easy to prepare, that’s hardly surprising. I’ve lost count of how many loaves I’ve made over the years. The ease of making them has helped me stick to my diet. The variety has kept me from getting bored and fed up. I hope you’ll find something to interest you in this series, dear reader. There are other breads on the site and maybe they’ll suit you better. The reason I started this series was to showcase a few recipes and to encourage people to look at the recipe page, there are so many recipes that are sadly under-loved. Perhaps if this is popular enough there’ll be another series of posts using those recipes. I’ll see you again next time, dear reader.

Breads Here Revisited Part 2: Quinoa Flour Bread


 photo WP_20170618_001_e_zpswt06j16q.jpg
Waltztime. I’d swear it was supposed to be a different colour.

I did the introductions in part one, dear reader, so I’m sure I’ll be forgiven if I just skip straight to the bread this time. It is surprisingly hard to think what information is pertinent here. If there’s anything you’d like to see in greater detail then do let me know. I’m just Joe Average writing about bread I eat, this isn’t a complex dissertation, there aren’t any rules or set pieces I’ll just try to fill these posts with the most useful, interesting if failing that, titbits I can think of.

Quinoa Flour Bread

This bread was a more complex creation, it started the same way I try all breads. A simple water, fat and flour bread. Over time, how much I’ve honestly forgotten, it was morphed into one of my proudest creations. You can see the original on the recipe page, small, brown, dry looking then when you follow the link to the update you’re met with a golden loaf, looming large as life and twice as tasty. This bread had to be worked out, it needs a greater hold than the buckwheat did. The eggs and flax  aren’t optional additions here, they’re vital. What makes it interesting and unique is that it takes a large volume of liquids and even when the batter is ready is very runny, yet when baked it’s firm with just a slight spring. The interior has a pleasant sponginess, without feeling soggy or half-baked as some free-from breads can. I’ve never found why quinoa flour makes such an impressive bread and, not to toot my own horn, I’ve never seen one like it either. It’s one I’d say will please even the fussiest free-from eaters. It’s its own bread, it’s not an imitation or a facsimile, this is a quinoa loaf an original loaf. The only consideration is that it needs a well greased non-stick tin as it can adhere easily.

The quinoa’s absorbency is probably part of the reason this works so well, that’s why I coupled it with the flaxseed, the ground flax providing hold as well as holding more moisture. The baking time is quite long. It can take up to an hour for a large loaf, though I prefer this in small loves as this does have a crusty exterior, not very thick, but very contrasting to the interior. It can be cut warm if you’d like, but I let it cool as it’s much nicer when fully cooled. The one thing that makes this even more special is that it can be toasted and when toasted, or fried in oil or butter, the bread become so crunchy, there’s just a slight bit of spongy bread left inside a crisp shell. I’ve never made another free-from bread that does this. It can even make French Toast with ease. If Buckwheat is a healthy cornerstone then this skirts the edge of unhealthy, the bread itself is wholesome, but some of its better applications will involve butter, lots of butter. For the more health conscious you’ll be pleased to know that even plain this is delicious, there’s a taste that’s unique to the quinoa flour. I have found roasted flour will result in the best flavour. It pairs extremely well with eggs for some reason. As with most of my breads it freezes perfectly.

So, that’s al I can say about this bread. As quinoa flour can be more expensive I do tend to use it sparingly. It’s what’s often referred to as a comfort food for me. A long week, filled with food preparation, can be finished with a few slices toasted and topped with some poached eggs. It’s further proof that we sometimes only see the tip of what’s possible with free-from baking. I don’t claim to be a stand-out, or an exceptional individual, I just like to see what these flours can do and quinoa has proven itself second only to buckwheat. There are numerous quinoa flour recipes here, but I return to this one the most. Maybe you’ll give it a try and it’ll be a favourite of yours too. I’ll see you next week.


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Peace.

Quinoa Flour Crumble

 photo WP_20170427_005_e_zpsi5nhnts8.jpgDisposable trays are great for crumble.

I seem to have set myself the challenge to find all the ways that you can use single flours. I don’t think I’ll ever find them all, but there will be a lot of recipes when I finally run out of creative juices. When that happens, dear reader, just plant my dried up husk in the garden and water me occasionally. Then when more of me pop up, well, that’ll be terrifying. What hath you wrought, dear reader!? Hmmm, oh yeah, crumble. I like berry crumble because I always have frozen berries at hand. I did worry that the strong taste of quinoa flour might cause troubles, but something special happened thanks to the absorbent nature of the flour that makes any lingering after-taste an afterthought. Instead of the berries bursting and the juice softening the crumble, it instead absorbed into the flour and made a gooey, in the good way, not the free-from raw feeling way, dessert. The sweet berries contained in the still slightly crunchy crumble. It was really delicious, it might actually be my favourite of all the crumbles I have on the site. I did pretty well with my tiny, but still absurdly expensive, bag of quinoa flour. Three new recipes, all successes. Not too bad, now I’ll go back to keeping an eye out for discounted quinoa flour. Once spoiled, twice, er, hesitant to buy at full price? I’ll work on it, until later, dear reader.

 photo WP_20170427_006_e_zpsxmjxdebh.jpgThe ground almonds are used throughout these crumbles, but the flours still change the crumble’s texture.

Ingredients

100g Berries, or Other Fruit, of Choice
35g Sugar
35g Ground Almonds
35g Quinoa Flour
35g Butter, Cold and Chopped

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180c (Fan).

2. Place the Berries in an oven proof dish. Set aside.

3. In a bowl mix together the Ground Almonds, Quinoa Flour, Butter and Sugar. Work together with fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs,

4. Sprinkle Crumble Mixture over the Berries and cook for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown.