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Angel Food Cake - Gluten Free

Angels flutter around whispering, "Make a gluten free cake for your Mom this Mother's Day!"  Show her what an angel she has been for you.  This Angel Food Cake is easy and sure to delight.

All that fluffy white cloudy, sweet, melt in your mouth goodness!

You can make this cake a day or two ahead and it is still good.  If you are making it ahead, leave the whipped cream frosting until closer to serving time.

So if you are wanting to eat something just heavenly, try making this Angel Food Cake recipe. It is very easy to make! Angel Food Cake is fat free and dairy free (if you omit the whipped cream, that is).

Angle Food cake just by itself is a really good treat just about anytime! And you won't feel too guilty eating it knowing that Astoria Mills Fine Flour - Mix #3 is enriched with vitamins, minerals and resistant starch. Why resistant starch you ask? Check it out here.

Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream Frosting

Assemble all ingredients ahead, Prepare an Angel Cake baking pan with GF cooking spray or butter. Sift Astoria Mills Fine Flour - Mix #3 over the pan and invert, tap to remove excess. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Step 1:

Mix in a separate bowl and set aside:
1  1/3 cup Astoria Mills Fine Flour -Mix #3
½ teaspoon Xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon Baking powder

Step 2:

In an electric mixer, beat until soft peaks form:
12 large room temperature egg whites (about 1 ¾  cups)
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar

Beat in a little at a time:
1 ½ cups granulated sugar

Beat until stiff peaks form. Then fold in gently,
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 3.
Sift in the flour mixture while mixer is on the lowest setting, to fold together until blended.

Step 4.
Spoon the cake batter into angel food cake pan. The batter will be thick and you may need to push the batter into the edges so that it will be firmly in place in the bottom of the pan. Bake at 325 F. for about 50 to 60 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched with fingertips.

Invert pan and cool completely. The cake will rise quite a bit and then settle somewhat, but still be reasonably high. Gently lift cake out of pan with the tube and loosen bottom. Remove from tube section and frost with whipped cream and strawberries as shown or eat plain or with fruit on the side.

Angel Food Cake

Ok, go ahead and enjoy your Angel Food Cake and wow anyone you serve it to, no one will know it is gluten free unless you tell them!

 

Hot Cross Buns

Memories of Easter for me always center around making or baking something. Making treats and a special meal or two for family. It is a special time to share crafts and activities with family and friends. Usually we would do something like paint eggs when the children were small, make some cut out cookies or homemade taffy.

Then there was always the egg hunt, placing eggs down the stairway and hiding them among the furniture for eager little ones to find, or outside weather permitting.

Before going gluten free, we always bought Hot Cross Buns which were available a couple of weeks before Easter. They were good for breakfasts and even a treat for a sandwich lunch. So this year I decided to make a gluten free version of Hot Cross Buns to share with you.

These are easy to make with Astoria Mills White Bread - Mix #7 as the base. Here is the recipe and a few photographs. I made and baked some right away to take as a picnic lunch on a trail hike and also froze some un-baked which I can bake without any work at all for Easter Sunday brunch.

Make Ahead Hot Cross Buns Recipe

1. In a bowl place dry ingredients:
4 cups of Astoria Mills White Bread - Mix #7
1/3 cup soft butter (or margarine)
3 tablespoons sugar
Blend with fingers to mix together - set aside.

2. Wet ingredients:
6 eggs beaten until light and frothy
1 1/4 cup lukewarm water (or milk)

3. Beat or whisk in dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Remove about 1 1/2 cups of the dough and place in a separate bowl. This is for the crosses.

4. To the first dough mixture add the spices:
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
( you can also add raisins and candied peel at this point, although I didn't for the ones shown)

Dough for Hot Cross Buns

5. Let both dough mixtures proof covered for about 2 hours.

6. Knead the spiced dough with a little Astoria Mills Fine Flour - Mix #3. Just add enough to make a workable dough, too much and the buns may become a bit heavier although still good.

Using a pastry brush, brush an egg wash on top of each bun. An egg wash is a mixture of egg and water)

7. Take the plain or white dough mixture and knead it gently and roll out into a round from which you can cut strips to place on the buns in the shape of an X.  Let the buns rise for another 30 minutes and either bake or freeze to bake later.

Ready to bake Hot Cross Buns

I baked 4 large ones as shown right away, and froze 4 to bake later. You could make them smaller, but I wanted large ones for hearty chicken sandwiches.

8. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes until browned. To bake frozen buns, place buns frozen into a cold oven. Turn oven on to 350F and bake for about 40 minutes.

Hot Cross Buns - just out of the oven!

9. For an extra special touch, you can add white icing to the 'cross' or just make the cross with some white icing. Just mix together a little soft butter, icing sugar, and a little cream for the icing. Since I was using these for sandwiches, I omitted the icing.

For breakfast the next morning I toasted a bun, buttered both sides, placed together and cut it in half. So we would each get equal top and bottom :) One was enough for the two of us.

For our hike through the woods I packed a picnic lunch consisting of two Hot Cross Buns filled with chicken breast and gf mayo, a couple of oranges, bananas and bottled water. Sure tasted good after our three hour trek through beautiful Niagara Glen!

Gluten Free Lunch at Niagara Glen

The photograph above shows our Hot Cross Bun lunch perched on a part of a fence overlooking the Niagara River. It was a beautiful sunny early spring day in March and the river was visible at lots of points along the trails when it would probably have been hidden behind foliage in summer. Lunch sure tasted good!

I had to be quick to get a photograph of the sandwich inside before it got eaten.

...almost eaten sandwich

Hope you will try making some delicious gluten free Hot Cross Buns with
Astoria Mills White Bread - Mix #7 ...Yummy for sure! Good for you too, with the added vitamin and mineral formula and resistant starch already in the mix - easy on the digestion and it stays with you.

Here's a new recipe for Kale and Sweet Potato Soup with Gluten Free Brown Bread.
Also some news about our latest Gluten Free Baking Class Videos.

Delicious Hot Soup

This is a hearty cold weather meal, and since March winter chill is still with us, though the clear blue skies and sunny days herald the coming of spring, we can still enjoy this delicious soup. Of course with a slice or two of nutritious gluten free brown bread and butter.

This soup has a ham bone in it for flavor, but you can leave it out and just have a vegetable soup if you like. I always buy ham with the bone in. Sometimes when they remove the bone, they glue it back together to look pretty using some wheat glue. So make sure you buy gf ham. After roasting and having a meal or three, I leave some of the ham on the bone and freeze it for a soup later on.

Soup Recipe

As you can see from the photograph, I start by placing
2 large washed, with ends cut off but unpeeled, sweet potatoes in a large stock pot and adding
1  ham bone
4 peeled whole onions
1 small head of red cabbage cut in two (for those who don't like boiled cabbage, you won't even notice it in there)
4 or 5 carrots whole
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt if you are not using a ham bone
6 or 7 cloves of garlic
Place kale on top, fill pot with water to 3/4 full and place on stove. Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer covered for 2 or 3 hours until everything is soft. Before serving, use a large spoon to break everything apart into a nice smooth yet chunky soup.

(In the photo, you only see a little kale, but actually I packed in quite a bit of kale, greens are so good for you)

Kale Soup and vegetables in pot ready to cook
Vegetables in Soup Pot

Serve with Gluten Free Brown Bread made with Astoria Mills Brown Bread - Mix #6 and a sprig of refreshing Cilantro on top!

Enjoy the wonderful taste of the bread and soup together. The bread has no 'off flavors' is soft and delicious as well as healthful with the added sprouted flax, sprouted chia seeds and source of resistant starch which is good for the digestion.

Just follow the directions on the Brown Bread Mix #6 package, all you have to add are eggs, water and oil. (If you need an egg free version, just use ground flax seeds instead of eggs) Astoria Mills - Free From: gluten - wheat - milk - lactose - soy - bean/pea - sesame - tree nut - peanut - sulphites.

Here is a link to a Baking Class Video of how easy it is to make this gluten free brown bread.

Gluten-Free Brown Bread Slices
Gluten-Free Brown Bread Slices

Now all you have to do is enjoy!

To browse and shop for Astoria Mills gluten free baking mixes please visit our new website.

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More people are becoming aware that perhaps the beloved hamburger bun may actually be contributing to their health problems,

the gluten in it, that is.

Up until recently it was thought that only a small segment of the population could not digest gluten since they had celiac disease. However, due to a recent study, those with celiac disease may be just a small segment of those who must follow a gluten free diet for health reasons. Gluten Sensitivity is actually a separate condition which many more people suffer from unknowingly.

"The prevailing problem is that many Americans simply may not realize they are gluten intolerant/sensitive, or they may be ignoring signs and symptoms," David Browne, senior analyst at Mintel, said in a press release. "While food companies may be overdoing it unnecessarily with gluten-free label claims that are appearing on everything from tomato sauce to scallops, the message is getting out and it's likely that many more consumers will engage in the sector, both for foods eaten at home and at restaurants."

Slices of gluten free brown bread
Bread made from Astoria Mills Brown Bread - Mix #6

 See the Brown Bread Baking Class Video here

As someone who has a family of gluten sensitive and celiac people, I don't think food companies are over doing it at all.

I like to know if something is gluten free.

One of the stores I shop at make a point of having their store brands say gluten free or have an allergen free label for other areas like dairy. It makes shopping a lot easier, I always pick the one with the gluten free label  on it even though it is right beside a similar product with the same ingredients. It just gives me more peace of mind. Reading the labels is one thing, but sometimes that can have little effect on cross contamination.

While sourcing ingredients for one of our blends containing all naturally gluten free seeds and grains for Astoria Mills gluten free mixes; I thought that would be easy. But due to our desire to keep mixes under 5ppm this particular mix was the hardest to source ingredients for due to many current milling operations which don't take gluten sensitivity into consideration enough to avoid cross contamination issues.

According to recent reports by Amy C. Brown of the Department of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii and Dr. Alessio Fasano, Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Director, Center for Celiac Research, University of Maryland Medical Center; Gluten Sensitivity (or Intolerance) has been recently found to be a separate condition from Celiac Disease, which is an Autoimmune disorder or Wheat Allergy.

Studies at the University of Hawaii are endeavoring to shed more light on what people with unexplained symptoms are experiencing. Since gluten sensitivity can mimic so many other health issues and people are sometimes not being able to obtain a clear diagnosis it is important that more health professionals and individuals themselves become aware of what might be causing their problems. This is not to say that everyone should be on a gluten free diet, it is not something we would wish on anyone. But when a gluten free diet is the only help, thank goodness there are more food choices becoming available, and food companies who are listening.

Since no clear diagnosis testing is currently available for Gluten Sensitivity, like what is available for Celiac Disease, many people have been confused about what was actually making them feel ill. Because so much information has been more recently available about the role of gluten in the diet, many people  have taken themselves off gluten in what is called "A Gluten Challenge" in the hopes that unexplained symptoms would be alleviated. Many times, they feel better. They are on a road to recovery that can take anywhere from six months to a couple of years, depending on the severity of symptoms and the level of gluten freedom exercised.

Doctors up until recently, according to Dr. Fasano, thought celiac or those having adverse reactions to gluten fit the profile of someone who looks emaciated.  Now it is realized that even seemingly obese, just plump, or normal weight people may be gluten sensitive so doctors are more often advising the elimination of gluten to see if this could be the cause of unexplained symptoms.

Patients with gluten sensitivity have unfortunately experience delayed diagnosis, since for them, consuming gluten often mimics other conditions. Maybe they are just bloated, or sleepy or feeling bad, any of which can be ignored or attributed to something else until symptoms worsen when continuing to consume gluten.

For anyone who has 'been there', cutting out gluten for a short time is not bad, a lifetime, can be more difficult and demands an entire lifestyle change. Fortunately there is good news since there are more and more food choices that are gluten free.

According to Amy C. Brown, "This emerging medical problem may involve human genetics,
plant genetic modifications, gluten as a food additive, environmental toxins, hormonal influences, intestinal infections and autoimmune diseases".

Listening to a talk given by Dr. Fasano in September 2011 at the Buffalo Gluten Freedom Day, he mentioned that, "The medical community is searching for answers and as yet no clear cause has been found."

Whatever the 'cause' the treatment at present is a gluten-free diet.

As Dr. Fasano also stated during his talk, "People with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease are actually some of the lucky ones, they don't need medications, just a change in diet."

Here is what I like to focus on, all of the good foods we can eat! Feeling good and enjoying cooking and baking with family.

Would you like to know how to make my favorite Artisan Brown Bread, (some slices pictured above) full of fiber, nutritious sprouted flax seeds, sprouted chia seeds and sweet potato flour?

See the Brown Bread Baking Class Video here

Yummy… Slices of bread and butter, now that is a little bit of heaven.

Life is good on a gluten free diet!

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Tea biscuits with raisins
Easy gluten free tea biscuits recipe for breakfast with eggs and coffee

There is always one of those Saturday or Sunday mornings when you get up, and think, I sure would love to have something different. Sure would like to have some biscuits. But then, you blink your eyes and say to yourself, "That is just too much work!"

Now in about ten minutes you can have these delicious little biscuits made and enjoy them with eggs and coffee.

All you do is, while the skillet is heating up to medium low, mix up the biscuit ingredients. Follow the recipe. Place on a plate. Take the same pan, cook your eggs, boil the kettle or put the coffee on and you are ready.

Easy enough to do just for yourself, pretty and tasty enough to do for the whole family or impress mom!

Stove Top - Tea Biscuits

Only minutes to make these delicious biscuits for breakfast or any time you would like a quick snack bread. The Resistant Starch and Vitamin Enrichment in Astoria Mills All Purpose Flour Mix #1 makes these even healthier.

Whisk together in a bowl:

1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon oil
2 eggs (or flax seed substitute)

Blend together dry ingredients:

1 cup Astoria Mills All Purpose Flour - Mix #1  (Contains vitamins, minerals and resistant starch for added nutrition)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Baking Powder

Mix wet and dry ingredients together. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto a pre-warmed (no oil) cast iron skillet, or non stick skillet. Flatten each with your spoon. Cover and let cook for about 3 minutes, flip and cook on the other side for about 3 or 4 minutes until slightly golden. Serve warm as shown with eggs 'over easy' and coffee. Nice biscuits to scoop up that delicious yolk with.

These are very easy to make for a quick tea time snack and taste great with butter and jam. Or for a Victorian Tea, serve with clotted cream and fruit preserves.

Tea Biscuits with Apricot Jam
Tea Biscuits with Butter and Apricot Jam

The morning I made these for hubby and me, we saved a couple and had them with tea mid afternoon.

There are times, when you just need something simple and easy.