Monthly Archives: August 2010

Gluten-free Tropical Teff Muffins

Given how well it went to bake bread with teff, I figured I might try to sub teff for buckwheat in my standard gluten free muffin recipe too. I like the standard recipe a lot, but they often do get that buckwheat aftertaste that I am not crazy about. So here is a recipe for teff and rice flour-based muffins with some tropical flavors. They are relatively low in added sugar and fat, and oh, so tasty 🙂 They seem to turn out a bit denser than the ones I have made with buckwheat, not sure if that’s coincidental. But they taste better!

Tropical Teff Muffins

  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup teff flour (all I could find was the dark variety)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp psyllium husks
  • 175-200 ml tropical juice
  • half a banana
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vinegar

Sift the dry ingredients (minus psyllium husks) and mix well. Soak the psyllium husks in the juice and mix well. Add banana and other wet ingredients (incl oil), mix in a blender or with a stick blender. Add dry to wet ingredients and mix to combine, without over-processing the batter. Spoon into muffin liners and bake at 200C for 20-25 minutes until knife or pin comes out dry.


Gluten free teff flax bread.

I have tried countless times to make gluten-free bread, generally with limited success. They end up like bricks, or they don’t taste very good. Well, I think in general they taste too buckwheat-y, because I try to use wholesome grains, and buckwheat is easy to work with. But frankly, I don1t think it tastes all that good in most things (makes decent pancakes though!).

In Norway over the summer, I used some of the pre-made mixes they sell there and produced some quite tolerable loaves, especially when we added in some extra seeds and such. Here in Canada, however, the only pre-made mixes I find are for wonderbread-type “sandwich bread”, and they contain only rice flour and starch. I refuse! So here I go again, trying to produce something from scratch with limited use of refined starches. I might try to experiment with it to eventually cut down the brown rice flour and potato starch too, but most recipes (and the Norwegian premade boxes) all contain some starch and I assume it helps the texture.

I have to say I am quite pleased with it! The dough rose well, and there is something about the dark color of the teff flour that makes it look extra wholesome. It smells nice too, and it is certainly the best tasting gluten-free bread I have made so far!

Teff flax bread

  • 400 g flour – I used about 150 g dark teff flour, 50 g potato starch, 50 g millet flour, 50 g quinoa flakes and 100 g brown rice flour
  • 50 g flax seeds
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 500 ml water (lukewarm)
  • 2 tbsp psyllium husks
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast

Mix all the flours and the xanthan gum well (My approach was just to put a big bowl on the scale and add flours until I reached 400g, then thoroughly mix in xanthan gum and flax seeds).

Heat the water on the stovetop (or however) until it is about lukewarm. Add psyllium husks, yeast and sugar to a bowl. Pour over the lukewarm water and mix well. Add oil.

Add the dry ingredients and mix very well (a few minutes in a mixer if possible). Transfer to oiled loaf pan.

Leave to rise in a warm, humid place for 30-45 minutes. A trick is to fill a cup with water and heat in the microwave for 1.5-2 mins. Then you put the loaf pan into the microwave with the cup of warm water (leaving the microwave off this time, in case there was any doubt). Then you get a little warm and humid microclimate for your bread.

Bake at 210 C for about 40-45 mins, until golden and pretty. I baked mine for 35 minutes, and I think that ended up being slightly underbaked.

Two more bentos from last week.

I wrote my exam! I am free! Now let’s just hope I pass it… Anyway, here are two more bentos from last week. The pretty one was for a day when I had a lunch break with a friend who is working in Toronto over the summer. She reads the blog, so I thought I should try to make a decent-looking bento for once…

There is rice, three slices of smoked tofu and a radish in the bottom compartment. Above, a babybel cheese, another radish, some cucumber and a cupcake liner filled with blueberries and raspberries. Pretty colors, non?

This one is a bit simpler. There is some spelt/rye bread with a) edamame hummus (storebought, tasty!) and b) cream cheese made from goat milk which I bought at the farmers’ market at Bloor and Borden. Then, half a carrot, another radish and more berries.

Now that I am done with my exam, I am back to doing more research assistance and such. That might mean that there won’t be many bentos, because I work from home. The weather is slightly cooler now, though, so maybe I can start cooking and baking more again 🙂 Stay tuned.

Exam time sustenance.

It’s been a quiet summer, blog-wise.. During the May Toronto heatwave I was too hot to cook. And I didn’t have a proper camera in Norway. And now there are only ten days left to my monstrous exam.

But I still need to eat something, so here are some lunches from this week.

Rice and beans, edamame, a Babybel cheese and half a carrot. Nope, not too exciting…

This time, the rice and beans (which I have shaped with an onigiri mold and pre-frozen, so I can just thaw them in the morning) are paired with some slices of smoked tofu (tasty stuff!), another Babybel and some cucumbers.

And today I simply gave in and went to the Korean supermarket. Those are storebought onigiri with spicy beef stuffing. Very tasty! They have this clever packaging so that the nori is separated from the rice in order to keep it crispy, and then you carefully peel away the plastic wrapper and fold it around the rice. Oh, and chocolate milk, my weakness…