Monday, January 31, 2011

Free for All Cooking – A Cookbook Review

Earlier this month I mentioned that I had received some great cookbooks for Christmas, and I have slowly been reading (and cooking) my way through them. In Jules Dowler Shepard’s Free for All Cooking, I expected to find some great gluten-free recipes, and I was really pleased to find that Jules had not only focused on gluten avoidance, but allergen avoidance as well. While many of the recipes use soy, eggs, and milk products, Jules goes out of her way to make suggestions on what to use instead.

Yeah! Way to go Jules!

One of the first recipes I tried from this cookbook was the Crescent Rolls. It wasn’t something I had tried to do on my own, and I was yearning for the days when I could pick up one of those Pillsbury cylinders, pop it open on the countertop, and roll our some buttery crescent rolls. If you are too, I think you will be really pleased with this recipe which Jules and the folks at Da Capo publishing agreed to let me share with you:

Crescent Rolls from Free for All Cooking

Reprinted with permission from Jules E. Dowler Shepard and Da Capo Publishing. Copyright 2010 by Jules E. Dowler Shepard.

As you can see from the short ingredient list, this recipe is divinely simple . . . like a crescent roll should be. They’re great complements to many, many meals. Serve warm!

1/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon granulated cane sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) rapid rise yeast
1 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey or light agave nectar
1 egg or egg substitute of choice
Melted butter or nondairy alternative to brush onto rolls before baking

• In a large bowl, mix the warm water, sugar, and yeast and let stand for 5 minutes. If it does not bubble at this point, throw it out and repeat the proofing step with fresh yeast.

• Whisk together the flour and salt and set aside. Stir to combine the honey and egg in a separate bowl, then add the dry ingredients together with the yeast mixture and beat on the low speed of an electric mixer for 2–3 minutes, or until well-blended. The dough will be very wet.

• Turn the dough onto a well-floured pastry mat or clean counter and cut into 6 balls. Pat each ball into an elongated triangle shape, cutting the edges to form an even isosceles triangle and gathering the trimmings to make one more roll.

• Brush melted butter onto the dough at this point, then, from the wide end of the dough triangle, begin gently rolling the dough into a log, until the narrow tip of the triangle wraps around the roll on top.

• Place each roll onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and pull the ends of each roll in toward the center to form a crescent shape.

• Cover with a damp towel or sheet of wax paper sprayed with cooking oil and place for 30 minutes in a warming drawer or oven preheated to 200°F, then turned off.

• Preheat the oven to 375°F (static) or 350°F (convection).

• Brush the tops of the risen rolls with melted butter. Bake for 10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Do not overbake.

In my allergen-free version of this I used Ener-G egg replacer for the egg. I used Fleischmann’s unsalted margarine (contains soy lecithin) instead of butter. Another option would have been to use olive oil. And here was the result:

You can see the extra dusting powder on the finished rolls (went a little overboard), but they were fluffy and delicious! And they disappeared very quickly.

Jules suggests that these make 6-7 rolls. If you make only six or seven you will have large rolls. You can definitely get 10 rolls from this recipe.

Next time I make these I think I will use them to make pigs in a blanket for the super bowl!


Col said...

What's in the Jules brand flour blend?

Colette said...

Col, Jules flour is Expandex modified tapioca starch, potato starch, corn starch, corn flour, white rice flour, and xantham gum. Definitely not for those with a corn allergy, but perfect for the top 8 allergies.

If you can't use Jules flour, use your favorite GF flour blend.

Col said...

Cool, thanks!