Chestnut and rice flour bread

We have been scouring the web for a good bread recipe incorporating chestnut flour.  We found one on the glutenfreealchemist.com blog and tried it a few weeks back in our bread maker.   We made a bit of a hash with it and ended up with too much yeast and although the loaf was edible it did have a bit of a taste to it.   Determined to make things right we experimented with the loaf again today with a few changes, the first being mixing the ingredients and forming the dough by hand as our bread maker decided to pack up on us.  We also increased the proportion of chestnut flour to rice flour and used apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice.   We baked it in our table top oven and are well impressed with the outcome.   This bread is now going to be a weekly feature and both of us are looking forward to toast and marmalade for breakfast.

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What do I need to make it?               

  • 230 gm chestnut flour
  • 230 gm rice flour (we used Dove’s Farm blend of brown and white rice)
  • 85 gm potato flour
  • 1 tbsp Xanthan gum
  • 4 tbsp dried milk powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 370 ml water
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 7 gm fast acting yeast (we used Alinson fast acting yeast)

How much will I make?

A medium sized loaf (750 gm)

How do I make it?

Beat the eggs and white to a light fluffy consistency.  Place the egg and water mixture  in a large mixing bowl, add oil, apple cider vinegar, milk powder, sugar, salt and Xanthan gum followed by the flours and yeast.    Mix everything together with a laddle or use your hands (it can get a bit messy) until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.  Cover the dish with a wet cloth and allow to prove for an hour in a warm area.   The dough should rise before you transfer it into a greased loaf tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 190 degree Centigrade for 45-50 minutes.   Remove and cool on a wire rack before slicing.

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Salad therapy – fennel and apple salad

We tried pulling together this salad for the first time having watched many a Masterchef judge and Jamie Oliver extolling its virtues.  We must agree that this combination of core ingredients works – the dressing can be personalized but the net result is a delicious light salad.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 fennel bulb shaved using a mandolin
  • 1 Granny Smith apple cored and cut into match sticks
  • Handful of walnuts

For the dressing

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4 side salads

How do I make it?

Whisk all the dressing ingredients in a bowl till you get a nice emulsion.  Place shaved fennel, chopped apple and walnuts in a large bowl and pour the dressing over it.   Use your hands to gentle toss the salad and portion into bowls.  Enjoy.

Salad therapy

Ever so often we get tired of eating cooked food and look for salad options that not only please the palate but are visually appealing.  This evening was one of those nights that we decided to have a salad and a bowl of fruit for dinner.  I enjoyed putting both together and hope you do too.

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Aple of my Eye 😉 Salad

What do I need to make it?

  • 75 gms rocket leaves (small packet)
  • 75 gms baby lambs lettuce (small packet)
  • 50 gms Greek salad cheese (feta can be used)
  • 1 gala apple thinly sliced
  • 8-10 queen size green olives pitted
  • 4-6 purple olives
  • 8-10 baby plum tomatoes cut in halves
  • Handful pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Sprinkling of crushed black pepper
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Enough for 2 as a main dish

How do I make it?

Wash the leaves and place in bowl.  Sprinkle remaining ingredients around the leaves.  Dress the salad with oil and apple cider vinegar.  Use your hands to  toss the salad (great tip from Jamie Oliver).  Dish up and enjoy.

Quince Chutney

We came across some lovely quince the other day while shopping in Hayes.  They looked like big golden pears and smelt delicious.  The fragrance was like a cross between the scent of an apple and pear.  We have never eaten quince before,   just heard of quince jelly served as an accompaniment to many meats.  An online search revealed that quince had to be cooked and could not be eaten raw as it would be too sour.  So I decided to make a spicy quince chutney (‘thokku’ in Tamil).

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What do I need to make it?

  • 2 cups finely grated quince
  • 2 tbsp unrefined sugar
  • 2 tbsp untoasted sesame oil (get them at Asian grocers)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds (roasted and powdered)
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida powder
  • 2 tsp dried curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

250 ml – just enough to fill a jam jar.  The chutney keeps well in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.

How do I make it?

Boil the grated quince with about 300 ml of water, salt and the sugar.   Let the quince cook so that the water reduces down completely.  Heat the oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.  When the mustard seeds splutter add the dried curry leaves and turn off the heat.  Add the turmeric powder and chilli powder at this stage (residual heat in the oil should be enough to cook the spices).  Add the boiled quince and mix well.  Add the roasted fenugreek powder and asafoetida to the mixture.  Check the seasoning before adding the apple cider vinegar.  Mix well,  cool the mixture before transferring into jar and refrigerating.

We are going to try Bramley apples next as an interesting alternative (seeing we tend to get apples all year!)