Baking in the celiac world

Chef Einat Mazor is on a mission to make gluten-free life delicious.

Mushroom Quiche (photo credit: ANATOLI MICHAELO)
Mushroom Quiche
(photo credit: ANATOLI MICHAELO)
Einat Mazor was content with her New Jersey catering business, up until 10 years ago.
Certified as a chef by New York City’s Natural Gourmet Institute and a recognized culinary consultant with a master’s in business management behind her, the young mother of two’s life was full.
But just as her husband’s job in the US was winding up and the couple was planning their return to Israel, their daughter, then age five-and-a-half, was diagnosed with Celiac disease.
“It was a shock,” says Mazor quietly. “My family loves good food and baking. I had to start shopping for gluten-free products, and the market was very lean; it was a huge task to find food my daughter could eat that also tasted good.
“It’s very important that my daughter have everything she wants, at home and when we eat out. For someone like me, always in the field and in the kitchen, the challenge was life-changing.”
The shift toward a different way of cooking and eating brought adjustments to Mazor’s business. Until that time, her catering focused on wholesome foods without any special emphasis on food sensitivities; she then began offering allergen-free foods.
“I wanted my customers to enjoy all the normal flavors and textures, like a perfect wedding cake, only with no nuts or seeds. I wanted to give them a great event they could enjoy with their friends,” she explains.
A turning point in Mazor’s career was the self-publication of her first book, Mastering Your Gluten-and Dairy-Free Kitchen (iUniverse, 2011). The book was written primarily for her daughter and the focus was, naturally, on foods for celiac sufferers in the US. On her return to Israel, Mazor published a more comprehensive, sophisticated book in Hebrew and English, Gluten-Free Cooking For Healthy Living (Penn Publishing, Israel). Both are available in bookstores and online.
Today, Mazor sees her role as helping celiac sufferers, and others with specific food sensitivities, to eat well. She conducts culinary workshops and teaches at the Dan Gourmet culinary school. Apart from her educational activities, Mazor has developed a unique product: Gluten-free flour that can be substituted for regular wheat flour in all baking, measure for measure, without requiring more liquid in the recipe or special handling of the dough.
The flour’s Hebrew name, Karagil, reflects this: It means “as usual.” The product comes in cake- and cookie-grade, and in a separate grade for hallot and bread.
“I’m not a food scientist, but I am experienced in mixing flours,” clarifies Mazor. “In the gluten-free world, you learn to mix flours to get the results you want. It took a long time to create the correct formula.”
The flour has the required license, which demands that the facility and equipment meet stringent cleanliness standards and be uncontaminated by other products. It’s composed of rice and potato flours, tapioca, corn starch and pea protein, and is soy- and dairy-free. The flour is kosher lemehadrin and vegan-friendly.
At the time of this writing, the price for Karagil flour was NIS 20 per 500 grams. According to Mazor, this is in the lower range of gluten-free products.
Nowadays, Mazor’s daughter enjoys every food she wants.
“Gluten-free life is easier than it was 10 years ago,” notes the chef. “You can shop for products online. My daughter is in the Scouts and they have a special menu for her, even when they’re cooking in the field. She has a normal life, with a medical checkup every year.”
Mazor has adopted a gluten-free diet herself, not because of celiac but “because I feel better,” she claims. “Many people who don’t have celiac feel better on a gluten-free diet.”
“I’ve always liked to cook, even as a little girl,” she reminisces, “I used to lecture my dolls about cooking. Shabbat brunches for my family, I was the cook. My first field was business management, but the culinary side grew bigger than me. Then, when we discovered celiac, my life changed.
“I can’t go back to the old way now. My purpose is to help other people, it’s a mission. It’s huge that I can help people sit together and enjoy the same food. This guides me everywhere and goes beyond the food.”
“It’s about bringing everyone to the same table,” Mazor concludes. “That’s the core.”
Einat Mazor can be contacted at 052-607-6277 or einatmazor1@; Facebook: chefiteinatmazor.
Mushroom Quiche
Ingredients for crust: 2½ cups gluten-free flour 1 tsp. salt 200 gr. cold butter, cubed 1 egg 1-2 Tbsp. cold water, as needed Ingredients for mushroom filling: 2 Tbsp. good-quality olive oil 4 scallions (spring onions), chopped, including the white part 2 baskets button mushrooms, sliced Salt and pepper to taste 250 ml. 10% cream 3 eggs 1 cup (150 gr.) kashkaval cheese, grated ¼ cup (20 gr.) fresh basil, chopped Canola oil spray for greasing pan Use a pie pan measuring 26 cm.
(10”), and preheat the oven to 175 C.
In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt and butter with short pulses, until the mixture becomes grainy. Add the eggs and process no longer than it takes to obtain a ball of dough. If the dough seems dry, add up to 2 tablespoons water, a little at a time and pulsing in between additions.
Form the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30-45 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables, salt and pepper. Fry and stir 5-7 minutes, until the released liquids evaporate.
Add the cream and continue cooking for a few minutes, until the cream thickens slightly. Remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, beat the 3 eggs and add a few spoonfuls of the hot filling to them; mix well. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and mix until you have a smooth batter around the vegetables.
To bake the quiche, spray the pie pan with canola oil. Place a sheet of baking parchment on your work surface and place the dough on it.
Roll it out to a make a circle 1/4-cm.- thick (⅛”) and 28 cm. in diameter (11”).
Line the pie plate with the crust.
Remove any hanging edges. Refrigerate crust 15 minutes.
Prick the crust all over with a fork.
Cut a sheet of baking parchment to fit the inside and weigh the parchment down with raw beans. Bake 15 minutes (beans can be used for this purpose over and over again).
Remove the beans and parchment from the crust.
Spoon half the grated cheese over the crust; spread the filling over this layer of cheese. Scatter the chopped basil over the filling. Top with the second half of the grated cheese.
Bake 20 minutes or until the filling turns a golden color.