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Pascale’s kitchen: Tasty and healthful gluten-free baking

SC 19/08/2021


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A few months ago, I wrote my weekly column about Sophie Saragosti, a pastry chef from France who opened up a whole new world to me: French-style gluten-free baking.
I received many messages from readers after that column was published, asking me to offer additional gluten-free recipes. So, I immediately began exploring the world of gluten-free flours made from grains that are naturally gluten-free. I learned so much about a host of new ingredients, and I met a host of people who work in this field.

 The author alongside gluten-free cook and baker Shay Teshuva. (credit: Shay Teshuva) The author alongside gluten-free cook and baker Shay Teshuva. (credit: Shay Teshuva)
One of these wonderful people was Shay Teshuva, who used to work in hi-tech, and who made a career change and now devotes his time to gluten-free cooking and baking.
It all began when he discovered that his daughter had celiac, which means her body can’t absorb gluten. Their world was temporarily turned upside down, as they explored the world of flour in their search to find the healthiest and tastiest solutions so that their family could continue eating normal food.
Being a very curious person, Teshuva began exploring the new world of gluten-free eating. He began by learning all about the various kinds of gluten-free flours that were available for purchase, hoping to find some that were rich in iron, vitamins and protein, which are all important for a healthy diet.
Teshuva began investigating what role gluten plays in flour, and how gluten-free flour is made. After a considerable period of trial and error, he finally came up with a number of different versions of gluten-free flours, which he markets under the name Shay Shel Teva.
Teshuva also created a website, www.shay-glutenfree.co.il, on which he explains what gluten is and which products people who suffer from celiac can safely consume. He also offers a plethora of recipes that contain gluten-free flour, which are not high in sugar or other unhealthful ingredients, since unfortunately these components are commonly found in gluten-free foods.
According to Teshuva, the best way to succeed in preparing healthy gluten-free foods is to use the unique flours he spent so much time concocting, which are made from six or seven ingredients, and can be used 1:1 in place of flour in regular recipes.
Teshuva claims that most gluten-free flours that are available in stores today contain extremely high levels of starch, including potato, corn and tapioca starch, or rice flour, industrial proteins, xanthan or guar gum, and salt. All of these substances are cheap, which is why manufacturers commonly use them, even though they can have a deleterious effect on children’s development.
Three of the flours that Teshuva created (multipurpose flour, fine flour and teff mix) are based on grains and legumes that are rich in dietary fiber and nutrients, such as light and dark teff, which contain a huge amount of iron, calcium and protein; millet; white sorghum; chickpeas; red lentils; and brown rice. All of these grains and legumes contain a very low amount of starch (and no corn starch at all) and no industrial proteins, which they don’t need, since they all contain natural proteins. Teshuva’s flour mixes are sugar-free and do not contain any preservatives or salt.
After spending a few hours with Teshuva, I now feel much more capable of preparing tasty and healthful gluten-free dishes.
Below, you will find three savory and sweet recipes that are 100% gluten-free. I am so happy to provide these wonderful solutions to all of my readers who are constantly searching for new gluten-free recipes. 
Bon Appétit!
 Spinach fatayer with sumac. (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Spinach fatayer with sumac. (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

SPINACH FATAYER WITH SUMAC (ARABIC PASTRY)

Makes 12-15 pieces.

Filling:

¼ cup olive oil
1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
½ kg. spinach or Swiss chard, rinsed and cut into large pieces
½ small lemon, quartered and without seeds
½ red bell pepper, cubed
1 tsp. sumac
1 tsp. salt
1 handful fresh za’atar leaves

Dough:

400 ml. water
½ Tbsp. cold dry yeast
500 gr. gluten-free flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
100 ml. olive oil

Toppings:

Olive oil for brushing
Sesame or nigella seeds (optional)
To prepare the filling, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for two minutes. Add the spinach, lemon quarters, pepper pieces, sumac, salt and za’atar. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat until the vegetables have softened. Taste and adjust seasoning. Let cool.
To prepare the dough, place the water, yeast and flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix slowly on low/medium speed. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the oil and mix well.
Gradually add the oil and mix well. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes. Coat your hands with a bit of flour and then cut out circles of dough, weighing 70 gr. each. Sprinkle flour on a sheet of baking paper and roll out the circles until they are about the size of a pita.
Place a spoonful of filling in the center of each circle of dough, then fold up the dough into a triangle, just as you would to make hamantashen.
Arrange the fatayer on a tray that’s covered with baking paper. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame and nigella seeds. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 220° for 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Level of difficulty: Easy.
Time: 60 minutes.
Status: Parve.
 Onion, mushroom and Bulgarian cheese French galette. (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Onion, mushroom and Bulgarian cheese French galette. (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

ONION, MUSHROOM AND BULGARIAN CHEESE FRENCH GALETTE 

Use a 26cm-diameter pan. 

Dough: 

450 g. gluten-free flour
200 g. very cold butter, cut into cubes
1 tsp. baking powder
1 level (7 g.) tsp salt
1 large egg
1 container (150 g.) yogurt/eshel/gil

Filling: 

2-3 drops olive oil
1 large onion, chopped coarsely
5-6 large champignon mushrooms, sliced thickly
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. whole mustard seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste
150 g. Bulgarian cheese, crumbled

Topping: 

To prepare the dough, place the flour, butter, baking powder and salt in a food processor and process until crumbly. 
Add the egg and the yogurt and mix for a few short pulses until mixed well. Do not overmix. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for two hours. 
To prepare the filling, heat the olive oil in a medium pan. Sauté the onion for two to three minutes until they become translucent. Add the mushrooms and spices. Mix and continue sauteing until the mushrooms have softened. Taste and adjust seasoning. Let cool completely. Add the cheese and mix. 
Roll out the cold dough into a large circle on a sheet of baking paper so that the circle is three cm. larger than your pan. 
Spread the filling on the dough and then fold the extra dough around the edge onto the filling any way you like. The filling in the center of the pie should remain exposed (see picture).
Take hold of the edges of the baking paper and transfer the pie with the paper to a pie baking dish. Brush the edge of the pie with olive oil. Alternatively, you could brush with a beaten egg. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180° for 25 minutes. Remove and let cool a little before serving.
Level of difficulty: Medium
Time: Two hours
Status: Dairy

AMERICAN CARROT CAKE WITH WALNUTS AND RAISINS

Use a 30cm loaf pan. Grease well and sprinkle sides with a little sugar.
3 eggs
180 g. (¾ cup) sugar
120 ml. oil
110 g. gluten-free flour
5 g. (½ packet) baking powder
5 g. (1 tsp.) cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
30 g. walnuts
20 g. raisins
½ cup orange juice or water
130 g. grated carrot (about two medium carrots)

Topping: 

¼ cup powdered sugar
Place the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whipping attachment and beat eggs on high speed for three minutes. Gradually add the sugar while mixing on high speed. Mix for six more minutes. Gradually fold in the oil.
In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together, except for the carrots. Change the attachment of the mixer to a dough hook.
Mix on low speed and gradually fold the dry mix and the orange juice into the mixture. Add the carrots and mix well. 
Pour the mixture into a greased pan. Flatten and then bake in an oven that has been preheated to 165° for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry. Let cool then sprinkle with powdered sugar. 
Level of difficulty: Easy
Time: 60 minutes
Status: Pareve
Translated by Hannah Hochner.

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SC

Co-Host for Coffee Mouth Scarecrow Show. Retired NAVY Chief/Flag Writer Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

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