My attempts at baking without wheat and eggs have been mixed and frustrating. I've had great outcomes using buckwheat and cornmeal - things that have been used for ages, have a flavor with which I'm familiar, and seem sturdier on their own than some of the other gluten-free flours and starches available, which require experimentation that results in the use of like ten of them to create a baked good that doesn't fall to pieces. The unfamiliar, rather vulnerable flours I've tried to work with so far have mostly been expensive disappointments. Take these waffles for instance...
There were tears.
For Beckett's first birthday I made chocolate cupcakes with no milk, eggs, soy, nuts, wheat, refined sugar, or bean flours. The batter looked so promising! It tasted so delicious! They seemed to rise properly in the oven! But alas, when I tried to remove them - ever so gingerly! - from the muffin tin, most of the tops fell off. My husband and I ate them as a consolation prize (a v. tasty consolation prize, actually), but I was super sad, as the party was the next morning and I'd really wanted Beckett to sit in his high chair in a diaper, surrounded by balloons and loved ones, and get chocolate all over himself. I salvaged just enough for the children who were going to be in attendance. I thought they were eaten - Sadie loved them and even snaked Beckett's - but later when I was cleaning up I decided that more cupcake ended up on the floor than in people's mouths. They were texturally, structurally deficient. I'm new at this. It's hard. (And I don't take pictures of all my failures.)
So! Imagine my absolute glee when I made something that not only was delicious but also had a texture that most wheat-loving folks would consider normal!
It was a recipe for Vegan, Gluten-Free, Yeast-Free Whole Grain Flatbread from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, which has been an invaluable resource for me since I was made aware of Beckett's allergies.
I'm not going to reprint the recipe. Just click on the above link if you'd like to try it. I just want to share with you my joy at finally making something that the whole family enjoyed and encourage you to try it. It's a batter bread, as most (all?) gluten-free breads are.
This was spread into a 9X13" baking dish rather than a loaf pan. It was like brownie batter. But without chocolate. And sugar. And eggs and flour.
It started out light brown and sandy colored and then ended up a darker brown, kind of like the color of a grocery store paper bag - but in a good way. I put some homemade za'atar on half of it (wasn't sure if the children would go for it, plus Beckett's allergist recommended we refrain from giving him sesame seeds). It was good.
It sliced easily and looked so much prettier than I had been willing to hope.
(The accompanying soup was not blogpostworthy, sadly. But it was nutritious, which matters I suppose.)
We ate it all, which of course was a great sign.
But the best part was watching Beckett eat it. He loved it. And that made me happy. The flavor of this bread is super different - kind of malty, even - and I think it's the teff flour that does it. Time will tell, but I think teff is going to be my new favorite grain. If you're into gluten-free baking, try this! It's truly lovely.