By Lisa Stander-Horel and Tim Horel
274 pages / $ 19.95
If you’ve become gluten-free after having enjoyed traditional (gluten-containing) versions of the delectable items featured in this book, you’ll be delighted to realize that it is possible for you to savor them once again. And if you are an avid baker, but have never made (or tasted) most of these treats, you’ll be excited to discover a whole new realm of gluten-free baking.
This wife and husband team started sharing baking techniques as teenagers. Fast forward a few years, add in a marriage plus kids, and both discovered a need to be gluten-free: one with celiac disease, one with gluten sensitivity. As Lisa, the main force behind the recipes put it: “The day our kitchen became gluten-free was the day I promised that no cookie, strudel, brownie, pie, cake, tart or treat would be left behind.” Of first priority to her were the recipes that had never even been written down: all her Jewish family recipes. Along with these time-honored dishes, also included are unique contemporary versions of some Eastern European classics. But this book isn’t just about the content; it’s a pleasure to read, too. The author notes that she comes from a family that likes to read cookbooks like some people read novels; if this is your approach, this book won’t disappoint.
Introductory content includes “Speaking Bake Fluently”, with practical sections on Terms, Ingredients, and Equipment. “Gluten-Free Baking Conundrums Answered” then leads into the 10 Chapters of Recipes. Recipes were developed with the “Nosh AP (all purpose) GF blend”, an easy-to-make blend of three flours. Chapters cover just about all the sweet goods you might yearn for, and also include some classic savory items: Macaroons, Mandelbrot (similar to biscotti), Chocolate Babka, Matzo, Challah, and Gluten-Free Egg Noodles for making Kugel, to name a few. And, perfect for Rosh Hashanah, Apple Pomegranate Tart. One mouth-watering creative take on a traditional item is Coconut Matzo Rocky Road, in which matzo is layered with caramel and baked; then topped with coconut, chocolate, nuts and marshmallows. Not something you find in most gluten-free cookbooks!
Makes: one 2-pound round or loaf challah Baking time: 32-35 minutes, plus rising time for dough
This challah can be made in just a few hours from start to finish. It has a lighter flavor than the version with the poolish, but it still tastes like a great challah. It can be baked in the round or in a loaf pan. Expandex is a big helper in this recipe, getting the bread to stretch easily, but if you are not using it, please add extra xanthan gum as indicated in the recipe. Traditionally, a round challah is served to celebrate the Jewish New Year, representing the circle of life and the ending of one year and the beginning of another. The baked bread has a great crumb. The loaf makes excellent sandwich bread and leftovers can be used for Challah Corn Bread Stuffing.
2⅓ cups (300 grams) Nosh AP GF flour
7 tablespoons (60 grams) superfine sweet white rice flour
5 tablespoons (50 grams) tapioca starch
5 tablespoons (50 grams) Expandex Modified Tapioca Starch or additional tapioca starch
4 tablespoons or ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons (20 grams) instant yeast, Red Star preferred
2 teaspoons (2 ½ teaspoons if not using Expandex) xanthan gum
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pectin
¼ teaspoon guar gum
4 extra-large eggs (240 grams)
3 extra-large egg yolks (75 grams)
2 tablespoons (40 grams) honey or Lyle’s Golden Syrup
⅓ cup (75 grams) canola oil
½ cup plus 2 optional tablespoons (110
to 140 grams) sparkling mineral water, Pellegrino preferred
nonstick spray, for greasing
1 extra-large (60 grams) egg, for brushing
2 tablespoons poppy or white sesame seeds
In a large bowl, combine both flours and the tapioca starch, Expandex, sugar, yeast, xanthan gum, salt, pectin, and guar gum and whisk. In a medium bowl, whisk four of the eggs, the egg yolks, and the honey and canola oil.
Add 110 grams (½ cup) of the sparkling mineral water to the dry mixture. Add the egg mixture to the dry mixture. Using a fork, work the flour mixture into the wet mixture until it is thoroughly combined. If the dough looks very sticky and tough, work in up to 30 grams (2 tablespoons) of additional sparkling water.
Grease a tube pan or an 8 ½ x 4 ½-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Place the dough all around the bottom of the pan, using a silicone spatula. Wet the spatula with water and smooth the dough. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a draft-free area until doubled in size, but not higher than the top of the pan, 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat the remaining egg and brush it gently over the top of the bread. Sprinkle the top with the seeds. Bake for 15 minutes and rotate the pan for even baking. Bake for another 17 to 20 minutes and remove when the internal temperature is 185° to 190°F on an instant-read digital thermometer and the top is pale golden brown. Don’t overbake the bread or it will be a little tough. Let cool in the pan for a couple of minutes and then transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely.
Apple Upside-Down Cake with Honey Pomegranate Syrup
Makes: 8 servings
Baking time: 40 to 45 minutes
Dairy-free option available
One of the strongest symbolic traditions celebrating Rosh Hashanah is dipping apples in honey. It symbolizes hope and optimism for the coming Jewish New Year. Apple upside-down cake made with honey is a wonderful way to honor that tradition. Adding pomegranate syrup to the cake makes it a perfect dessert for the second night of the holiday, when tradition says to introduce another new fruit in celebration of the upcoming year. Be sure to use pomegranate concentrate (100 percent pomegranate) and not pomegranate molasses, which contains additional ingredients. Flip the cake out of the pan when it is piping hot, because that is how you get the apples to stay with the cake and not the pan. Don’t forget to use those pot holders.
nonstick spray, for greasing
2 medium tart apples: Pippin, Gala, McIntosh, or Granny Smith
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons (40 grams) brown sugar
2 tablespoons (42 grams) honey
2 teaspoons pomegranate concentrate
1½ cups (200 grams) Nosh AP GF flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
9 tablespoons or ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (130 grams) unsalted butter, slightly softened or
8 tablespoons or ½ cup (96 grams) shortening
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
2 extra-large (120 grams) eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (115 grams) water or milk
1 tablespoon (5 grams) lemon zest, freshly grated
Honey Pomegranate Syrup
½ cup (100 grams) honey, orange blossom preferred
3 tablespoons pomegranate concentrate
1 teaspoon dark rum or rum flavoring
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease one 8-inch round pan with nonstick spray.
Peel and core the apples. Cut the apples in half. With the cut side down, slice several ½-inch-wide wedges—enough to form a ring in the bottom of the pan. Cut the remaining apples into ¼-inch cubes. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice over the cubed apples and set them aside. Place the apple wedges in a concentric circle in the bottom of the prepared pan with the points facing upward (remember— it’s an upside-down cake). Sprinkle with the brown sugar, honey, and pomegranate concentrate.
In a small bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt just until combined. In a larger bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, combine the butter with the granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, water, and lemon zest and beat to combine. Stir into the dry ingredients and beat for a minute until the batter is shiny and smooth. Add the apple cubes and fold gently with a spatula to combine. Pour or scoop the batter over the apple wedges. Rap the pan on the countertop to remove any air bubbles.
Bake the cake for 25 minutes and rotate the pan for even baking. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until a tooth pick comes out clean and the cake is golden brown. Immediately run a knife around the edge of the cake and get your serving plate ready. Using pot holders (unless you have fingers of steel), place the cake plate over the pan and in one smooth motion flip it over. Wait until you hear the sound of the cake plop onto the plate and then tap the top of the inverted pan with a butter knife. Carefully lift the pan and if any apple bits are stuck in the pan, you can place them back on the cake while it is hot. This only works while it is hot. Let the cake cool completely before serving. Store, covered loosely, at room temperature.
HONEY POMEGRANATE SYRUP
Simmer the honey and pomegranate concentrate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until beginning to boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat, carefully add the rum, and give it a minute to thicken. Pour over the cake and serve, or slice the cake and pour over each serving.
Recipes from Nosh on This: Gluten-Free Baking from a Jewish-American Kitchen, copyright © Lisa Stander-Horel and Tim Horel, 2013. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.