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.

Quinoa Flour Crepes

 photo WP_20170426_001_e_zps4g0fn1d6.jpgI did neglect to remove the pan from the heat when pouring, but they’re fine.

New recipes often need a few factors to appear. The biggest is whether or not I want it currently or if I can fit it into my meal plan. I feel it’d be too easy to lose sight of my health goals, that sounds so generic and phony now, you’ve ruined everything, shills! If I kept trying to match an imagined demand of food I’d end up ruining what has been a big success. I tell you, dear reader, I look at old photos of myself, ten stone heavier and it still chills me. I’m still going, I’ve never fallen and have no intention. Weight-loss is much, much more complicated than we’re led to believe. Have no fear, I’m not starting up another conversation on that topic, not today at least. Today we’re dealing in crepes.

 photo WP_20170426_002_e_zps29j4mpkk.jpgTurkey mince with Seven Spice is just delicious.

I felt like being a bit different today, so I decided on stuffed crepes. As I had quinoa flour and no quinoa flour crepe recipe I made these. I don’t include oil in the batter because it makes them too oily. I liked these much more than the waffles, the quinoa seems to do well with direct heat like this. They didn’t feel underdone or rubbery. They were really flexible and the taste of quinoa was muted by the strong spices and tahini sauce. You can’t go too far wrong with crepes unless you add to much batter or don’t keep the heat a little below high. These do turn very golden brown which makes them more appetizing. I’m checking how they freeze and I’ll add it in later. Take care, dear reader.

 photo WP_20170426_003_e_zpslsugqi1t.jpgI tried to be fancy! It looked better in my head. Still delicious.

Ingredients

65g Quinoa Flour
1 Large Egg (65g-75g in Shell)
80ml Low Fat Milk
80ml Water
Pinch Salt
Olive Oil for frying

Makes 4 Large Crepes.
Can be frozen.

Method

1. In a jug whisk together Egg, Milk and Water and whisk in the flour and salt until a smooth, thin Batter has formed. Rest for 5 minutes.

2. Heat a non-stick pan on a medium high heat and add a small bit of Olive Oil, when hot remove from the heat and add about 1/4 Cup of Batter, swirl it to coat the bottom of the pan and return the pan to the heat. Cook crepe until browned and slightly dry to the touch, about 2 minutes, then flip, cook the same way and then transfer to a wire-rack. Repeat until Batter is used up.

Microwave Quinoa Flour Mug Cake

 photo WP_20170423_002_e_zpsferbp6iz.jpgThis is silly amounts of work for a microwave cake, but it’s good.

Okay, first things first, dear reader. Though brain and I reached a worthwhile consensus on the procurement of cake, brain decided that we should shove the mixture into a single mug and yeah, don’t do that. Either make it two or make it a jug cake. You can share it your significant other, random strangers or you could eat it all. I won’t judge if you won’t.

 photo WP_20170423_003_e_zpslse8ikif.jpg“Not the garlic spatula, right?”…Er, sure.

So, you ever watchful reader, you say it’s just this, but no flaxseed, but what about this? Nope, it uses an egg. A separated egg no less, how very fancy. Not so much when it spills over, but still worthwhile, just make two and don’t follow in my erroneous footsteps. Now, what’s the difference here and in those others. Well, er, quinoa flour is much lighter than buckwheat, it imparts an airy lightness that’s hard to match. Though it lacks hold the egg makes up for that while also supplementing its light texture with the beaten whites. Without the flax you lose that slight rubbery feel, though you also lose the ability to remove it from the mug. I just wanted to use the qualities of the flour to the best of my ability.

 photo WP_20170423_004_e_zpsfy39hnmx.jpgDon’t do it, dear reader.

I also just wanted a lazy, decadent cake. A dissolute delicious dish…er, mug. It’s nice to have a small bit of something sweet and not have to make a big batch, I might have once scoffed at the idea of microwave cakes, but I’m now firmly planted in he pro-cake camp. There’s a real satisfaction in being able to quickly whip up a cake that can even be eaten plain with feeling that its lacking. A quick recipe and with it I’ll leave you. Where am I off to? Why to glare at butterflies! They’ve appeared early, just as my cabbage was planted. Which is now under netting. They won’t catch Jack sleeping and if he catches them, well, that’s another story. Until later, dear readers.

 photo WP_20170423_006_e_zpsvgdbs7b1.jpgNo, no, it’s not a mistake. It’s one of those Pinterest photos where it spills over artistically…yeah.

Ingredients

1 Large Egg (65-75g in Shell) Separated
50g Quinoa Flour
30g Butter, Melted and Cooled
50ml Milk
30g Sugar
1/2 Tsp GF Baking Powder
Dash Vanilla Extract

Makes two servings or one large.

Method

1. Beat, with an electric mixer, the Egg White until stiff peaks form and set aside.

2. Add everything but the Flour and Baking Powder to a jug and beat until smooth. Add in the Flour and Baking Powder and beat until a thick smooth batter has been formed. Finally gently fold in the Egg White until just combined.

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.

Quinoa Flour Savoury Waffles

 photo WP_20170419_002_e_zpsxq7i5px4.jpgI’ve yet to try the novelty plates.

Ah, dear reader, welcome to Jack’s Mansion of Waffles! That’s all the waffle jokes I’ve got. Yeah, back with yet another flour and another couple of waffles. I had hoped that these might have shared the crustiness of my Quinoa Bread, but sadly no crust. I will try frying them in butter eventually just to see how well they crunch up, either that or toast them. So, like with most promising recipes the future will hold wonder whilst the present just holds, well, waffles. Good waffles. I’ve had no troubles with stuck waffle so far, plenty of oil in the batter seems to work really well. These are similar to the previous recipes, the difference here is that these have less of a crispy texture and more of a skin, but inside they’re absurdly fluffy. It seems to be the most amazing property of quinoa flour when used with flaxseed and a lot of liquid. The batter here will be very runny, much moreso than waffle batter usually is. More of what a quinoa crepe batter would be. There’s a future recipe. I didn’t bother with sugar, I wanted these for sandwiches and you can always add sweetness afterwards, though sugar, white seems best, in the batter does help the waffles crisp up more. Another recipe that proves you can do without a lot of extra additions when using free-from flours, assuming you have the knowledge to use them or the patience to learn. See you again soon, dear reader.

 photo WP_20170419_004_e_zpskiqinfac.jpgI mostly use these as change up from bread.

Ingredients

150ml Water
100g Quinoa Flour
1 Large Eggs (70g to 75g in shell)
50ml Olive Oil
10g Ground Flaxseed
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt

Makes four waffles.
Can be frozen.

Method

1. Beat Eggs, Water, Olive Oil and Salt until frothy using a whisk.

2. Add in Flour, Flaxseed and Baking Powder then whisk until a smooth, very runny batter has been formed. Rest for five minutes.

3. Turn on Waffle Iron. and when heated add enough Batter to warmed Waffle Iron to fill the plates, close and cook for 7-10 minutes until waffles are golden brown and the bottom is crisp. Remove with a rubber spatula and let cool for a few minutes, Waffles will soften slightly as they cool. Repeat until batter is used up.

Quinoa and Amaranth Flour Bread

 photo WP_20170318_007_zpsjbu2jsb3.jpgFresh out of the oven.

Hmm? You again? Dear reader, you are a jewel of the ocean, the acme of blog readers, etc etc, but you can’t expect me to stay with you forever and ever, can you? Okay, fine one more recipe and that’s it. I mean that. I had wanted to test out quinoa flour and amaranth flour, but there was no quinoa flour that wasn’t absurdly expensive, so I gave up, no, sorry, made my own, again. It’s tedious, but at least you avoid the nasty taste so many store bought flours possess. I’m going to cut this short, it worked, but it’s nearly identical to the all Quinoa Flour Bread. That’s not a disparagement, that bread is really great. I’d praise it more if it weren’t my own recipe, but modesty prevails and I quietly mumble its praises. The one thing I love about this is that one minute out of the oven it was cut without any crumbs. I do think the texture is slightly firmer, but that might be the lessened water. Go to the quinoa flour bread page and you’ll get all the information you’ll ever need. This is just here because it worked. It’s never a bad thing to know additional flours work and because it was too different to list as a variation. I used two small tins, I think they’re four and a half inches each, because you get a better crust to, ummm, not crust? ratio, but you could use a normal sized loaf tin and it should be fine. I just prefer to list what I used so you’ll hopefully avoid any failures due to me. Your failures are yours to accept. I’m perfect! Heh. Okay, until later.

 photo WP_20170318_006_zpszlo5spcs.jpgLook! It’s tulip time. More tulip time…

 photo WP_20170318_005_zpsmfygdwv5.jpgPotato time too. I’ll have to cover them with more compost and feed soon.

Ingredients

170g Toasted Quinoa Flour
30g Raw Amaranth Flour
25g Ground Flaxseed
150ml Water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Large Eggs (70g to 75g in Shell)
1/3 Tbsp Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt

Makes two small loaves.
Can be frozen.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 175c (No Fan).

2. Grease (With Butter or Olive Oil) and line a 6×3 inch loaf pan.

3. In a large bowl mix together the Egg, Olive Oil and Salt. Add the Quinoa Flour, Amaranth Flour, Flaxseed and Baking Soda and stir until combined, then add the Water and stir together until smooth. Rest for 5 minutes until batter has thickened. It will be lumpy.

4. Pour batter into prepared tins and bake for 40-50 minutes, turning halfway if needed, until brown, the tops firm when pressed, and a skewer comes out clean.

5. Remove from he tin and let cool completely on a wire-rack.