Here’s a spin-off recipe from my Basic Gluten Free Muffins. These muffins have cinnamon added to the batter plus a cinnamon crumb topping. They’re absolutely delicious and really not hard to make. Like my basic muffins, they’re sweetened with dates and have little added oil, yet they’re moist and delicious. The crumb topping does have a little brown sugar in it, but very little compared to the usual fare. FYI…The GF flour blend used in developing this recipe was a mixture of equal parts of millet flour, brown rice flour and white rice flour. No xanthan gum was added to the mixture, nor the recipe. It truly isn’t needed. (ALL of my gluten free recipes will be developed without xanthan gum as it gives me wicked headaches!)
Well…I FINALLY did it! After about 15 trials (really!), I finally hit the right combination of ingredients for a delicious, moist, gluten free muffin that’s sweetened only with fruit and has little added oil. This was no small task, since this professional baker has always baked only with wheat flours in the past. Gluten free baking is an entirely different process and most of what was learned in traditional baking simply went out the window.
I wanted to develop a muffin sweetened only with fruit in response to the recent recommendations to cut our sugar intake. So…does this muffin contain sugar? Yes, but it’s from fruit. Does it contain refined sugar? No. I wanted to create a muffin without refined sugars, and with less oils, to make a lower calorie, more healthful baked treat. Of course, it had to be moist and tasty. I did it.
Also, this is a great foundation recipe that could easily be adapted into countless variations. Nuts, fresh, frozen or dried fruit, other flavorings, and even savory combinations could be added to alter this basic recipe. Use your imagination and try it!
Even better, this muffin was made without xanthan gum, guar gum or any other such additives. It simply doesn’t need it. The pectin in the fruits, the egg white, and flax meal all work together to bind the ingredients so the finished product isn’t crumbly. I learned along the way that xanthan gum and I don’t get along…it gives me serious headaches. Hence, any gluten free baked item I make from here on will be free of xanthan gum.
For your information, the gluten free flour blend I used was my own mixture of 1 part of sorghum flour, 1 part of millet flour, 1/2 part of potato starch, and 1/2 part of arrowroot powder (all by weight, not measure). I don’t think it’s mandatory that your flour blend be identical to mine, as long as it has roughly the same proportion of “heavy,” “light,” and “starchy” ingredients. It contains no xanthan gum, nor any other such ingredient.
Note! If YOUR gluten free flour blend DOES have xanthan gum, feel free to use it in this recipe. I believe it will turn out just fine, even though it really isn’t needed in this muffin.
When I had my bakery a lot of folks asked me if I had any gluten-free products available. Since I had only one kitchen at the time and made a LOT of baked goods every day from standard wheat ingredients, I didn’t offer gluten-free items. I would have needed a second kitchen that I kept free of all gluten-containing ingredients and a LOT more time and/or help to develop recipes to make such products.
Now that I’m free from the bakery responsibilities, I can devote time here and there to experimenting with food again, which I sincerely love to do. So…gluten-free is now on my “hit list.” I’ve started experimenting already with a muffin that is a “spin-off” from one that I often sold in the bakery. It’s not ready to be unveiled yet. Gluten-free baking is a whole different carnival than standard baking and I have a lot to learn! I’ve made a good bit of progress already, though, and hopefully it won’t be long before I can offer a delicious recipe for one of my muffins in a gluten-free version. I’m looking forward to getting this off the ground! Judi