Wonder Buns

gluten-free-wonder-bun

gluten free wonder buns photo by lsimon

Five minutes, start to finish. No big scary commitment of time or ingredients. No need to hope, just hope for edible results.

You are assured of gluten free whole grain goodness, light texture, and a perfect size for a burger or sandwich. Cook it lickity split in the microwave in 90 seconds. These truly are a wonder!

I found several versions of this on the Celiac.com forum. And it appeared in the Celiac Sprue Association newsletter. I have altered it a bit, and make it successfully with several different flours.

Many whole grain gluten free flours work

Yeah, no refined starches. Sorghum is pictured. Teff gives it a deeper brown color and rich flavor. Millet yields a light colored bun.

Size matters

Make this in a 10 oz custard cup for a burger or sandwich size bun, as pictured.

For two small dinner rolls, use the same recipe and divide the batter into two 6 oz custard cups. Microwave these together for only 80 seconds total.

Or double the recipe below and put into two 10 oz custard cups.  Microwave each for 90 seconds, one at a time.

I use inexpensive Pyrex custard cups, available in my regular grocery store.

Molasses instead of sugar

Molasses give a bit richer color, more antioxidants than white sugar, and the bun is a bit moister.

Cocoa for color

You will not taste it, but it makes the buns brown. And adds its own antioxidants. I leave it out of the millet version.

Nut meal

No need to buy nut meal if you have nuts and a spice or coffee grinder. Whiz them in the grinder for just a few seconds and you get light, fluffy meal.

Seeds

Without the seeds, the sides and bottom of the bun looks steamed rather than baked. Adding seeds all around looks very inviting. I like sesame, caraway, millet, poppy and whole cumin seeds. They add flavor, fragrance, and crunch.

Wonder Bun

yield: one 3 ½ inch bun

ingredients metric measures
1 large egg 50 gm
¾ teaspoon molasses 4 ml
2 tablespoons sorghum flour 18 gm
1 tablespoon almond meal 5 gm
1 tablespoon ground flax seed 5 gm
½ teaspoon baking powder 2 gm
½ teaspoon cocoa powder 1 gm
a pinch of salt, optional pinch
1 teaspoon sesame seeds 2 gm

In a small bowl, beat the egg and molasses with a fork, for about a minute.

In another small bowl, add the flour, almond meal, ground flax seed, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Add a pinch of salt if you like. Make sure everything is thoroughly mixed so you do not see little balls of cocoa or bitter baking soda.

Add the eggs to the dry ingredients, stir until smooth.

Oil a 10 oz Pyrex custard cup and sprinkle sesame seeds on the bottom and sides.

Pour the batter into the cup. Top with more sesame seeds.

Microwave for 90 seconds.

That is it! A ready to eat, tasty bun. A wonder bun!

Try these and tell us how you make them. What flours and seeds? I think other nuts would be grand. And herbs or cheese. How about cinnamon and raisins?

Let your imagination go wild. You can have so much fun with just a little investment in time and ingredients.

Added 9-8-2009.  Please visit the pantry to view a couple of free videos, including Wonder Buns.  We are just starting to stock the pantry, there is much more to come. We invite you to become a member,  help yourself to the free pantry, and stay tuned for new content. Thanks!

Added 10-2-2009 Wonder Buns were included in the October edition of the gluten free lifestyle blog carnival. This informative event was started by Kim of The Food Allergy Coach. This edition was hosted by Gluten Free Gidget, and it included product reviews and tempting recipes!

T is for Teff

Teff is teeny tiny. Just the size of the period at the end of this sentence. It is dark brown and can be used as a whole seed, or ground into flour.

Teff is a staple in Africa where the flour is used to make Injera, the sour dough bread of Ethiopia. Injera is really like a giant pancake. Meals are served on platters layered with the thin spongy bread, topped with many mixed dishes. Diners tear off bits of Injera by hand, fill them with food, then tuck into their mouth. No utensils needed.

Be sure to try Injera when it is offered in a restaurant, if you can make sure it is gluten free. In the states, it may be made with a combo of teff and wheat flour. So you must ask and be comfortable with the answer.

I love the tang of Injera and have tried making it at home. But I have trouble with sour dough starters. There may be truth to the adage the some areas just have better (sour dough) culture than others.

Nutrition

Teff provides thiamin, niacin, B6 and folate, iron, some calcium, and fiber. Nutrients often missing in the usual gluten free diet.

What can I do with the whole seed?

Using whole seed, you can make breakfast porridge. I have successfully used the stovetop, my pressure cooker, and a crock-pot for this.

teff (3)s

teff-porridge-with-hazelnuts-and-raspberries photo by vsimon

Crock-pot Teff Porridge

serves 3-4                    metric measures

1/2 cup teff seeds         90 grams

1 1/2 cup water           360 ml

Put seeds and water into a 4 cup crock pot. Cook for 3 hours. Stir porridge and add another cup of water (240 ml) if you prefer it thinner.

Cooked teff firms up a lot when it cools. Your leftovers will solidify. Simply break it up, stir, and press with the back of a spoon to remove the little lumps. You will end up with the lovely results pictured.

You could easily double this recipe, and it might take longer to cook. Crock-pots come in many sizes and some have high and low settings. Be sure to do a test run in your crock-pot during the day, before leaving it alone overnight. If it works, you can have a hearty breakfast waiting for you when you stumble out of bed.

You can also make teff polenta, a different color polenta. Serve right away for soft polenta. Or spread into a shallow pan and allow to firm. Then slice and grill for a crispy crust. Corn polenta is still my favorite though.

What can I do with the flour?

There are more ways to use teff flour than the whole seeds. Sometimes, I like to play off the dark color and pair teff with bright or light colored ingredients. Picture peach crunch with teff and sliced almond topping. Tempting, yes?

teff peach crunch5a

teff-peach-crunch photo by vsimon

But teff is also perfect for naturally dark treats like gingerbread or mock rye bread.

And I think teff and cocoa also make a great combo, say in a waffle. Or a peanut butter filled chocolate muffin. What is not better with chocolate, right?

See some recipes you may like using  just teff flour, no combos of flours.

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Date Nut Coffee Quick Bread

How do you use teff seeds or flour? What recipes would you like?

A little rant

I love experimenting with unusual ingredients. And using whole grains. I do not love having to mail order ingredients, even though I know this is a great service for getting gluten free ingredients. The local grocery store used to carry teff flour. But they have expanded the gluten free aisle and added the new Betty Crocker mixes.

My fears are being realized. More room for mainstream gluten free mixes (read refined starches, poor nutrition). Less room for healthy whole grains.

Recipe development using healthy ingredients is what I do. And, teaching others how to cook this way. You can make tempting treats with whole grain flours. Please ask your grocer to carry wholegrain gluten free flours, not just mixes. Vote with your purchases. The store will carry what sells.

teff (2a)

teff-seeds photo by vsimon

Growing teff

We planted several gluten free grains in our garden, including teff. It is growing slowly, and looks like slender arching blades of grass. Now the leaves are two to three feet long. It is too soon to tell if we will get seeds. We will keep you posted this fall.

Click here for an update our garden teff.