Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Challenge of Gluten Free Pizza Crust

There are certain times that you actually want to follow a recipe - especially if it involves any kind of baking.  I have not made any homemade pizza since I went gluten free in January.  This month, I decided that it was time to venture into the complicated world of gluten free flour.

My Mom is also eating wheat-free and has already taught herself to make GF sandwich bread.  She mentioned that the ingredient "xanthum gum" was important to hold the dough together.  In my typical nature... I ignored Mom's baking lesson and thought that I could somehow make it work without the all-important binding ingredient.  According to About.com, xanthum gum is a corn-based fermented product that is used to thicken and emulsify the dough.

The search began for gluten free pizza crusts that could be made without xanthum.  I came across the Ginger Lemon Girl website and found a Gluten Free and Vegan Pizza Crust that did not include xanthum.  My worries were over.  Wrong.

I didn't really follow the recipe and used it more as a guideline.  Eagerly I began pouring ingredients into the bowl.  Buckwheat Flour... Yeast... Egg (yep, not Vegan)... Rice Flour... Water... Oil... Salt.  As instructed in the recipe, I covered the bowl with a towel to let the dough rise.

Much to my surprise... I returned 45 minutes later to find FLAT dough.  Hmm, perhaps it will stretch across the pizza pan any way.  Wrong again.  The dough mostly stuck to my fingers.  Something needed to be done to save our dinner!

Honestly, I can't remember what I did to make the dough less tacky.  Not that it matters, because no one should ever follow my poor attempt at creating a pizza crust.  Somehow I was able to get the dough to spread across the pan.  I baked it at 425 for 10 minutes and then added our sauce and toppings.  Then I baked it for another 10 minutes.

It shouldn't be a surprise that the crust tasted like FLOUR.  Regardless, I was happy to save the $20 by not ordering a gluten free pizza from Domino's (which isn't guaranteed to be 100% gluten free).  After having a reaction to one of their pizza's... I knew it was time to start making my own.  If you would like more information about the GF crust at Domino's, see the links below for your reference.

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Copyright 2012 Hint of Thyme. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Gluten Free Treats in Eastern Wisconsin

Greetings fellow foodies!

I have officially been eating gluten free for 9 months and doing great.  People often ask me if I miss eating things like cake, regular pizza or bread.  To be honest, I can't say that a miss it.  The gluten free market has become popular in recent years.  The options for those of us with Celiac or Wheat Intolerance is quite outstanding.  Besides, I never enjoyed cake any way - no harm there!

This post is dedicated toward my readers in the east part of Wisconsin.  Although there are some good tips for readers outside of the state.

My husband has become very proactive in searching grocery stores for gluten free options.  We often shop at Festival Foods.  They have a fantastic selection in their gluten free aisle; and quite frankly, I prefer it over Woodman's.  If you are interested in exploring their deli foods, the company has several resources on their website.  Learn more about their gluten free options at Festival.

Here are more resources:

Gluten Intolerance of North America - includes articles, medical referrals, recipes, restaurants and more.

Wisconsin Support Groups - listed below the resources on Festival Food's website.

A few months ago, Jon and I were looking for wheat-free flours to store in our kitchen pantry.  During a trip to a local bulk food store, we discovered an outstanding and reasonably priced supply of teas and chai mix.  Yum!  I was quick to grab a couple containers.

Chai Tea Tip:  I had some left over Chai mix, but it wasn't enough for a full mug.  If you run into the same problem, try sprinkling the chai over yams or sweet potatoes and bake for 25 minutes.  It really brings out the sweetness of the yams without overpowering.

Every year on Jon's birthday I will create a special dinner or desert.  This year Jon asked for chocolate chip cookies.  To be more specific, he actually asked for gluten free cookies so that I could eat them too.  How sweet is that?

I found these gluten free vegan cookies at the Health Hut in Milwaukee.  This store is a bit off the typical path for me, but they did have an excellent selection of gluten free items.  If you live in the Milwaukee area, I'd recommend checking it out.  They sell all natural products and food items that appeal to almost any diet.  I was happy to find these cookies!

Vegan Cookie Note:  The cookie directions specify to add water and oil instead of an egg.  If you are not vegan and prefer to add an egg then swap out the oil.  I could be wrong though... baking is not one of my finer skills.

Have a great weekend!

Copyright 2012 Hint of Thyme.  All rights reserved.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Benefits of Tea

I am ready shamelessly admit my new found love for ... tea!  The older I get, the more I like to branch out and try new things.  There are so many benefits to being a tea drinker.

One of the best benefits of drinking green tea is the incredible antioxidant effect.  It's great for flushing out all the toxins in your body and keeps you feeling healthy and happy.

For the naturalists out there, there are other benefits for drinking tea.  I wondered if tea was ever used to relieve pain.  Searching through blogs, I found this post about ginger and green tea on Everyday Simplicity.  Suffering from chronic pain leaves me turning to a cup of tea for relief and happiness.

I write this as I sip on a hot cup of Lemon Frost tea. Yum!

 Our good friend, Danielle, purchased a tea care package for my birthday.  She included 2 bags of loose tea, rock sugar, and a fancy teacup from Teavana.  The flavors of the loose tea were much more powerful and aromatic than bagged tea from a grocery store (although I do still love it).  When I am feeling down, a hot cup of green tea is the most perfect mood booster.

Tea provides numerous health benefits.  Whether you are looking to lose weight, lower cholesterol or clear up skin... this article will provide you with the knowledge to select the right tea for you.  Learn more about Types of Tea with Teavana.

Teavana's website provides helpful information, but also has great gift ideas for the upcoming holidays.  Get ready, early birds!  The season of greetings and eatings is almost upon us.  

Take care, readers.  Happy and healthy wishes to you all.

Copyright 2012 Hint of Thyme.  All rights reserved.