Whether you love the holidays or they send you into Christmas carol-induced therapy, both are a handy excuse to spend exorbitant amount of time baking. If your gluten-intolerant or know someone who is, Jeanne Sauvage's timely new book, Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays is a great new speculaas and springerle recipe source.
Get more, and the recipe for the real gem of this book - "Jeanne's Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour" - after the jump. Gingerbread-persimmon cakes, mincemeat tarts, cinnamon rolls and buttermilk biscuits await.
Why: We've seen plenty of gluten free cookbooks in the past few years. But rather than calling for different gluten free ingredients in every cookie and cake recipe (rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, etc.) as many gluten-free baking books do, Sauvage uses the gluten-free flour mix she developed (a combination of various flours and xanthan gum). If you've ever gone on a gluten-free weekend baking spree, you already know what a time-saver having an "all-purpose" gluten-free flour mix in the pantry really is.
What: The key here, as Sauvage notes, was to build on the mixes that other gluten-free bakers have developed. Sauvage, a lifelong baker who was diagnosed with gluten-intolerance 10 years ago, wanted a flour that first and foremost tasted as much like wheat flour as possible (as she notes, she bakes for flavor, not purported gluten-free health reasons). That it's homemade, and thus more affordable than those expensive commercial mixes, is a holiday baking bonus.
When: Make a large batch of flour to pull out whenever you want to make fortune cookies (p. 45) or pound cake (p.89), even jelly doughnuts (p.140) -- just as any gluten-friendly baker would with AP flour. Classic gingerbread houses and holiday cut-out cookies are here, too. Sauvage even makes that gluten-free bûche de noël look easy. You could, quite literally, have a gluten-free baking party with this book.
But first, you're going to need that flour recipe. Make a batch, try it in her gingerbread recipe or develop your own holiday recipes.
Jeanne's Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
From: Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays by Jeanne Sauvage.
Makes: 4½ cups / 660 g
1¼ cups/170 g brown rice flour
1¼ cups/205 g white rice flour
1 cup/165 g sweet rice flour
1 cup/120 g tapioca flour
Scant 2 tsp xanthan gum
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown and white rice flours, sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum thoroughly. Transfer the mix to an airtight container. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 weeks or in the refrigerator for up to 4 months.
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