Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gluten free pumpernickel

"Wait, you can eat this?!"
"I would believe you if you said they didn't have wheat in them, but NO RYE?!"

These are the sounds of success.

It is great when people kindly nod their heads and say that your gluten free offering is "not bad" or "pretty good" but when you can pull the preverbial wool over their tastebuds, well then I know I have won.

I have been messing around with recreating pumpernickel ever since I found teff flour in an Ethiopian mini-mart in Maryland. Now back in Boston, it is a bit harder to find, but the Bob's Red Mill teff flour stuff is pretty close. It is significantly less fermented, so it smells different and requires more yeast - or a longer proofing time - to get going.

This recipe was hard to post and share since a very dear friend, who has passed, helped me develop and perfect it. It was around her dinner table, where so many amazing meals were had, where we discussed what this recipe needed: cocoa, coffee, and molasses. Those three ingredients took this from good to great. I will think of her lovingly every time I make a batch.

Gluten free pumpernickel
2 1/2 cups teff flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup arrowroot starch (+ 1/2 cup in reserve)
1/2 cup rice flour
3/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 tbsp caraway seeds (optional)
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp psyllium husk
1 tbsp flax seed meal
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp espresso powder
2 tsp instant yeast
3 cups water
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup molasses

1. Combine all of the wet ingredients, and yeast, into a mixing bowl.
2. Combine all of the dry ingredients.
3. On very low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet.
4. Mix to combine.
5. Allow the mixture to sit for 20-30 minutes (overnight is even better). You are looking for the batter to go from a chocolate pudding consistency to something almost as thick as warm frosting. 
6. Now comes the tricky part. If you let it rest for 20-30 minutes you are going to need to see if it has set up enough. Again, you are looking for it to be much thicker, and fall off in plops off the beater or paddle. If it is a bit runny, slowly mix up to 1/2 cup more arrowroot starch. If this scares the baking pants off you - just cover the mixture with plastic wrap and put it in your fridge over night, and skip to #7.
7. Preheat the oven to 425F.
8. Grease 2 muffin tins.
9. Scrape down the batter, and then scoop it into the muffin tins (22-24)
10. Bake at 425F for 30-45 minutes, or until you can pierce the rolls with a toothpick and the center comes out clean.
11. Cool and eat!

This is a bad photo, but you can see the awesome crumb structure and that they do not deflate. I recommend serving them with butter and salt, goat cheese - I am not in any way suggesting you should forgo the pastrami.

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