Cooking: Go gluten-free

Try these popular pastries made with gluten-free flour.

Chocolate krantz cake  (photo credit: TAL SIVAN-ZIPORIN)
Chocolate krantz cake
(photo credit: TAL SIVAN-ZIPORIN)
Sales of gluten-free foods have skyrocketed in recent years, and market researchers predict increased sales due to a rise in awareness to sensitivities to gluten and wheat.
Most people who avoid gluten do so for health reasons; they have celiac disease or other sensitivities to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. Others believe their diets are generally more healthful without gluten.
Einat Mazor, a certified chef from The Natural Gourmet Institute in New York, started her own vegan and gluten-free catering service in New York 10 years ago and worked as a consultant to many restaurants that wanted to develop the range of healthful dishes on their menus.
Upon returning to Israel, she developed the Karagil flour range, consisting of two gluten-free mixtures – one for baking yeast breads and cakes and one all-purpose mixture. Both will successfully replace regular flour in any of your favorite recipes. Mazor says that in most cases, the results will be as good as with regular flour. Mazor also runs workshops for those who want to learn how to bake gluten-free successfully.
We asked her for a few of the most popular recipes. All are made with Karagil flours.
Makes 1 large loaf or 2 medium ones
✔ ½ kg. Karagil bread flour
✔ 1 Tbsp. dry yeast or 25 gr. fresh yeast
✔ 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
✔ 1 egg
✔1 cup lukewarm water
✔ 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
✔ ½ Tbsp. salt
✔ ¼ cup gluten-free mixed seeds and nuts (sesame, flax, sunflower, pumpkin)
In a mixer bowl, place flour and yeast and mix. Add sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, water and oil and add to the mixer bowl. Knead until dough is formed. Add salt and continue kneading for 4 to 6 minutes until dough is shiny and a little sticky. If the dough seems a little dry, gradually add up to 4 Tbsp. water. Add the seed and nut mixture and knead 1 minute. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and spray a little oil on top so the dough doesn’t dry. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 60 to 90 minutes or until dough is double in size. Transfer dough to a lined baking sheet. Grease your hands and punch the dough to get air out. Shape dough into 1 or 2 loaves. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise again for 30 more minutes. Heat oven to 200°. Place a dish filled with boiling water at the bottom of the oven. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, reduce heat to 180° and continue baking for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack. The bread will keep fresh in an airtight box for 24 hours. if you want to freeze it, slice it first.
Makes 2 cakes
✔ ½ kg. Karagil bread flour
✔ 1 Tbsp. dry yeast or 25 gr. fresh yeast
✔100 gr. melted butter or liquid coconut oil
✔ ½ cup + 2 Tbsp. lukewarm milk or water
✔ ⅔ cup sugar
✔ 2 eggs
✔ Pinch salt
✔ ½ tsp. vanilla extract
For the filling:
✔ 1 cup gluten-free chocolate spread
✔ 1 egg, whipped or oil for brushing
In a mixer bowl, place flour and yeast and mix. Add butter or oil, and milk, sugar and eggs and knead on low speed until dough forms. Add salt and knead for 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and spray a little oil on top so the dough doesn’t dry. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size, 1 to 1½ hours, or refrigerate overnight. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, remove dough from the bowl and divide into 2 equal parts. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough onto the surface, then trim the edges with a knife to obtain a 30x35 cm. rectangle. Spread half the chocolate spread over the dough, leaving a 2-cm. border all around. Using both hands, roll up the rectangle like a roulade, rolling dough completely into a perfect thick log sitting on its seam. Cut the roll lengthwise into two parts. Position the cut sides of one part facing up, press the ends together. Lift the right half over the left half. Repeat and press the ends together to seal it. Carefully lift the loaf and place it into a greased tin. Repeat the process with the remaining dough. Cover the loaves with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until double in size. Place a dish filled with boiling water at the bottom of the oven. Preheat the oven to 180°. Brush the cakes with egg or a little oil, remove the water from the oven and bake the cakes for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on a rack.
Makes 32
This is an easy recipe. Use chocolate spread or jam with cinnamon for the filling. Mazor suggests making a double amount because these disappear as soon as you bake them.
✔ 2 cups Karagil all-purpose flour
✔ ¾ tsp. dry yeast
✔ 1 Tbsp. sugar
✔ 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
✔ 1⁄3 cup lukewarm milk
✔ 100 gr. butter, melted
✔ Pinch salt
✔ Oil for brushing
For a chocolate filling:
✔ 1 cup chocolate and nut gluten-free spread
✔ ¼ cup ground almonds
For a jam filling:
✔ 1 cup jam
✔ ½ tsp. cinnamon
✔ ¼ cup ground almonds
For glazing:
✔ 1 egg white
✔ 2 Tbsp. sugar
✔ ¼ tsp. cinnamon
In a mixer bowl with a kneading arm, mix together flour, yeast and sugar. Add egg yolk, egg, milk, butter and salt and knead 4 minutes on low speed. Transfer to a greased bowl and cover. Leave to rise for 30 to 45 minutes. Prepare filling and set aside. Preheat oven to 175° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough into 2 equal parts. Grease the dough a little and roll each part into a flat, thin disc. Spread the filling on the disc and slice it like you would a pizza into 16 equal triangles. Roll each triangle, starting at the base. Place the rugelach on the baking sheet and brush with egg white. Sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon and bake about 15 minutes until browned nicely.
Makes 24
✔ ½ cup sugar
✔ 200 gr. soft butter
✔ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
✔ 1 medium egg
✔ 2½ cups Karagil all-purpose flour
✔ Pinch salt
✔ Zest from 1 lemon
✔ Red jam
✔ Powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 175° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Add flour, lemon zest and salt and mix until dough is smooth. Shape dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut the dough in 2. Return one half to the refrigerator. Roll out half the dough on a lightly floured work surface or between 2 layers of parchment paper until ¼ cm. thick. Using a flower-shaped cookie cutter, cut cookies and bake for 10 minutes. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Let cool. When cookies are completely cooled, spread jam on one cookie and top with another to make jam “sandwiches.” Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Makes 30
These buns are so much fun. Try making them with a variety of cheeses or add herbs, such as basil, chives or oregano, for added flavor. The buns keep well in the refrigerator. Heat them for a few minutes before serving.
✔ 2½ cups gluten-free flour
✔ 2 tsp. baking powder
✔ 1 container (250 gr.) cream cheese with dill
✔ 1 cup (200 gr.) yogurt
✔ 150 gr. yellow cheese, grated
✔ 100 gr. feta cheese
✔ 1 large egg
✔ ½ tsp. salt
✔ ½ cup sesame seeds
Mix together wet ingredients – cheese, egg and yogurt. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Then mix the 2 mixtures together, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 185°. Create medium-size buns from the dough, using 2 tablespoons, and place on a lined baking sheet. Brush buns with beaten egg and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. Bake 25 minutes until color is deep gold. Try not to finish them while hot…
Recipes and photos courtesy of Eshbal, Karagil flours and pastry chef Einat Mazor.