Y’all, I’m so excited about this! As you know, I’ve been eating gluten-free for almost two years now (after years of serious digestive problems caused by wheat). That means I’ve switched to a diet that is full of meat, veggies, fruits, nuts/seeds, along with the easier starches for me to eat — rice, potatoes, etc. Slowly over the last two years I’ve worked on coming up with and trying out gluten-free recipes for traditionally glutinous things like cookies/pies/desserts, tortillas, muffins, etc, but I still eat those things rather sparingly and I only make them homemade (I don’t buy a lot of pre-made gluten-free snacks from the grocery store). I’ve gotten used to eating our previous night’s dinner leftovers for my lunches, so I don’t make many sandwiches and therefore I’ve gotten away without needing bread. Most of the gluten-free bread options at the grocery store are bland and expensive (although I do like this Rice Almond bread).
For a long time I’ve been meaning to try baking my own gluten-free bread, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. Then, a couple weeks ago when visiting my sister in Nashville, I tried some of the gluten-free bread she had made (my niece also has a gluten allergy). After realizing how nice it is to have a piece of crusty bread to eat with soup or a nice buttery piece of toast, I decided my own experiments in gluten-free bread-making were long overdue. Blair had forgotten what recipe she had used, but after a quick search on Pinterest, several delicious-looking loaves popped up: this, this, this, and this. After reading through those recipes, I realized that they were all the same! That’s when I knew that this promised to be a really good loaf of bread.
I followed the same basic concept as all those recipes, except I cut the recipe in half. The original recipe is for four small loaves (and Drew and I don’t need that much bread in a week!). Two loaves work much better for us (I usually bake one immediately and save one in the fridge to bake a few days later — they are small, round loaves).
This really is a delicious loaf of bread. It is nice and crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, with a great texture! It is dense but also fluffy. I really don’t think most people would even be able to tell that it is gluten-free. But I really love how simple and easy it is to make and that the list of GF flours is short and simple!
Gluten-Free Artisan Bread (Crusty Boule)
makes two 1 pound loaves. Adapted from original recipe, here.
-1 cup Brown Rice Flour
-3/4 cup Sorghum Flour
-1 1/2 cups Tapioca Flour (also called tapioca starch)
-1 tablespoon yeast
-1/2 tablespoon sea salt
-1 tablespoon Xanthan Gum
-2 large eggs, whisked together
-1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
-2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
-1 tablespoon honey
1. Mix together flours, yeast, salt, and xanthan gum in large bowl.
2. In separate bowl, whisk together eggs.
3. In another separate bowl (or large glass measuring cup) combine water, oil, and honey.
4. Dump eggs into dry ingredients and mix while adding in 1/3 of wet ingredients.
5. Continue to stir while adding the second 1/3 of wet ingredients, and repeat with final 1/3 of wet ingredients.
6. Stir until dough is nice and smooth (will be a pretty wet dough).
7. Divide dough into two equal sized balls and place into plastic Tupperware containers (with lids). If baking one loaf immediately after rising, you can leave that half in the mixing bowl.
8. Cover Tupperware containers with lids, but do not snap shut. If leaving one dough ball in mixing bowl, cover that bowl loosely with plastic wrap.
9. Let dough rest on counter for 2 hours to rise.
10. Place the lids on dough you aren’t baking immediately and place in fridge (can store up to seven days).
11. If baking dough immediately, place dutch oven in the oven (make sure it has a metal knob, not a plastic one) and preheat oven to 500 degrees. Let dutch oven heat up in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
12. While oven is heating, transfer dough to a slice of parchment paper (gently dump it out of the bowl, being careful not to handle it too much or knead it, you want to keep all the bubbles in the dough that you can.) If dough looks a bit scraggly, use wet hands to lightly smooth out the surface.
13. Use a serrated knife to cut slashes in the top of the dough, if you wish.
14. Once oven/dutch oven are heated, remove the dutch oven from the oven, and carefully lower the dough (on the parchment) into the dutch oven. Replace the lid on the pot and place back in oven.
15. Bake at 500 degrees inside lidded dutch oven for 20 minutes.
16. After 20 minutes, remove the lid, turn down the heat to 450 degrees and bake for 15 more minutes.
17. Once bread is done baking, remove it from pot using a spatula and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. Don’t cut into bread until cooled or the center may seem gummy.
11. If baking dough from refrigerator, transfer refrigerated dough to a slice of parchment paper (gently dump it out of the bowl, being careful not to handle it too much or knead it, you want to keep all the bubbles in the dough that you can.) If dough looks a bit scraggly, use wet hands to lightly smooth out the surface.
12. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest on counter for about 90 minutes (if your kitchen is very warm you may only need about 75 minutes).
13. Place dutch oven in the oven (make sure it has a metal knob, not a plastic one) and preheat oven to 500 degrees. Let dutch oven heat up in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
14. Once dough is done resting and oven is heated, use a serrated knife to cut slashes in the top of the dough, if you wish.
15. Remove dutch oven from the oven and carefully lower the dough (on the parchment) into the dutch oven. Replace the lid on the pot and place back in oven.
16. Bake at 500 degrees inside lidded dutch oven for 20 minutes.
17. After 20 minutes, remove the lid, turn down the heat to 450 degrees and bake for 15 more minutes.
18. Once bread is done baking, remove it from pot using a spatula and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. Don’t cut into bread until cooled or the center may seem gummy.
Note: If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can also bake this bread on a baking stone or cast iron skillet. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with the stone/skillet inside. Once heated, place the dough (on the parchment paper) on the stone/skillet. Place a metal pan of hot water on the rack under the baking stone. Bake for 30 minutes.
If you have a larger family and want to make more than two small loaves in a week, double this recipe (or follow these measurements, that link also includes more detailed photo instructions of each step). Here is also the same recipe adapted into naan. I also hear this freezes wonderfully, but I haven’t tried that yet!
Not that I need to give serving suggestions for bread, but seriously this bread is so versatile and delicious! My favorite is to slice a couple slices, spread with butter and place under the broiler in the oven for a few minutes until crispy. Another version of that is to do the same but add shredded Parmesan cheese on top. Excellent served alongside a nice Italian dish or a creamy soup (like this one). Also great for sandwiches/paninis or toasted with jam!
P.S. I did a rough calculation to see how much a loaf of this bread costs. Based on the cost of the flours (from the regular grocery store or Whole Foods – this would probably be a little cheaper if you bought your flours in bulk online) and how much of each is used the in recipe, and estimated costs for how much water/salt/yeast/oil/etc. is used, a small round loaf (about 8 slices) costs about $2.60 a loaf. (Remember, this recipe makes 2 loaves.) Not bad for delicious GF bread!
This bowl of soup might not look like one of the most delicious things you’ve ever eaten, but just take one bite and you’ll be convinced.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Serves 6. Recipe altered from this one.
-1 Tablespoon butter
-1 medium yellow onion, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1/3 cup masa harina (GF corn flour) to thicken
-5 cups chicken broth
-1 teaspoon chili powder
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon paprika
-salt and pepper to taste
-1-2 chicken breasts, chopped into small chunks
-1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
-1 small tomato, diced
-1 can black beans, drained
-1 can pinto beans, drained
-1 cup corn (can be frozen)
-2/3 cup heavy cream
-1/4 cup sour cream
1. Chop veggies (onion, garlic, tomato) and set aside. Cut up chicken breasts.
2. In dutch oven (over medium/high heat) melt butter. Add onion and saute for a few minutes. Add garlic and saute for about 30 more seconds.
3. Add in masa harina and stir.
4. Add in chicken broth and dissolve masa harina.
5. Add in spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper).
6. Add in chicken and bring mixture to a boil. (chicken should cook pretty quickly since it is in small pieces)
7. Add black beans, pinto beans, corn, tomatoes & green chilies and stir.
8. Add heavy cream and sour cream and stir.
9. Done when all ingredients are heated through and chicken is cooked.
10. Serve warm with shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado and tortilla chips.
Note: If you like more spice, you can also slice and add in jalapenos when you saute onion and garlic. If you need to make this dairy-free, just leave out heavy cream and sour cream. People can always add sour cream/cheese to their individual bowls if they choose.
Right now in life, I am:
MAKING our house pretty. Over the last month we’ve painted our living room, our foyer/dining room, and the french doors connecting the two rooms.
COOKING homemade gluten-free blackberry pies (turns out it is a family tradition! My great-grandmother used to make fabulous blackberry cobblers from blackberries she picked in the backyard–the same backyard I grew up in), rice crispy treats (first time I’ve had those in forever!), and eating lots of fresh cherries. (along with other more sustainable things, you know) I also baked my first loaf of homemade gluten-free bread yesterday!
DRINKING a pineapple juice/orange juice/grenadine/rum cocktail every so often.
READING The Happiness Project.
WANTING to get some more paintings done, print some more prints, and open an Etsy shop.
PLAYING this song over and over again (Drew is obsessed!) and this (it made me cry. I’m so sentimental.).
SEWING new curtains for the living room from plain white sheets.
CROCHETING a throw blanket for our living room.
WISHING for this quatrefoil mirror for our apartment. Love it!
ENJOYING our freshly painted house and how different (better) it feels.
WAITING to hang our living room gallery wall until I have all the pieces painted/framed/collected.
LIKING apple picking, pie making, corn shucking, hiking, and waterfallin’ with my homies in Nashville (my husband, sister, her husband, nieces and nephew). Sweet little Gig was my little shadow all last weekend. :)
WONDERING why I decided to chop half my hair off! I miss my long, wavy/curly hair. Short hair is so much maintenance!
LOVING that summer is slowing down. The last few months have been so busy! Looking forward to a quiet fall.
HOPING that my hair grows quickly!
MARVELING at the ability of sweet little kids to help you slow down and take life in.
NEEDING to paint more (mostly actual paintings, but there are a few more walls here that need to be painted too).
SMELLING fresh homemade gluten-free apple and blackberry/raspberry pies Blair, Gigi and I made last weekend. Made with apples we picked (photo above) and berries we bought because I’m obsessed. This was the fourth berry pie I’ve made this summer.
WEARING more black and white lately. I even bought some black skinny jeans last weekend.
FOLLOWING the “one-minute rule” lately. Don’t put off any task that takes a minute or less to accomplish.
NOTICING lots of stars on our visit to the country. I wish we could see the stars better in New Orleans. I love this quote, “If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I bet they’d live life a lot differently.”
KNOWING that I need to spend a little more time on our “curb appeal.” Our rosebushes need to be trimmed (they’ve grown like crazy in the last year!), weeds picked, more mulch spread, some other potted plants need to replace our current ones (our little potted rosebushes constantly struggle with black-spot like crazy. Time to replace them with some simple little boxwoods.) Maybe in September I’ll tackle that.
THINKING a lot about self-improvement and happiness. Fall seems like the perfect time for a fresh start. Love this quote I read today, “Happiness is a collection of small, pleasurable moments.”
BOOKMARKING this gray couch. Oh how I wish our couches looked like that one! (someday…)
OPENING up my creative endeavors by joining the New Orleans Lettering Arts Association! First meeting is next weekend! Can’t wait to learn some new calligraphy techniques! I bought some new supplies this weekend! My new version of “back to school” supplies.
LAUGHING at this sign at a roadside Farmer’s Market.
FEELING thankful for quality sister/niece time last weekend, a weekend getaway/time spent in the country/nature, and for our beautiful, cozy little apartment to return to.
P.S. This past week (September 4th, to be exact) marks 4 years since my first blog post here! Happy 4th Birthday Icing on the Cake blog!
As you may remember from my mention in this post, I was part of an art exhibition in New Orleans this past June. It was sponsored by RAW Artists and you can see my RAW profile here. It was a long and crowded evening downtown with a variety of art and entertainment. There were visual/fine artists, jewelry artisans, music performances, fashion shows, and performance art. It was an interesting evening, but I’m happy I had the chance to participate.
The best part of the show was that it really pushed me to create new work. The top nine paintings on fabric/canvas were new for this show. The only ones I’d shown before were the small framed ones from my BA Exhibition. It was also great to have this show as a push to work on updating my branding.
Lots of family and friends either came out to the show or expressed their support which really means a lot! If you weren’t able to make it, watch the video below to hear a little more about my inspiration or read my artist statement below.
I have always had a love for art, a desire to create, and a passion for making things beautiful.
“I AM GOING TO MAKE EVERYTHING AROUND ME BEAUTIFUL — THAT WILL BE MY LIFE.” —ELSIE DE WOLFE
As both a person and an artist, the world of my childhood—growing up in the country surrounded by nature—has always been my biggest inspiration. The organic forms, deep, complex colors, rich contrast—the ever-changing landscape is endless inspiration to me. I grew up in rural Southern Illinois on land that has been passed down through my family for generations. Before I started school, I spent every day with my grandmother, who encouraged my love of watercolor painting and being creative and who established the foundation for my personality and moral beliefs. My grandpa wrote stories, fished every day, and grew a huge garden that I helped him harvest. I loved snapping off the ripe asparagus, helping my grandma cook, and feeling the country breeze while laying in the hammock in their backyard. Just down the road was my own house, where I climbed trees and ran through the creek with my sisters and brother, helped my dad work in the yard and feed our chickens, and helped my mom plant flowers and herbs, cook and bake. Throughout my childhood, my mom imparted to me her creative knowledge—sewing, hand embroidery, cross-stitch, smocking, machine embroidery, knitting, crocheting, and basket weaving. This home-made, home-grown, down-to-earth, appreciate-the-simple-beauty upbringing encouraged me to develop a simple and creative life that I still strive to maintain.
“IF I WERE CALLED UPON TO DEFINE BRIEFLY THE WORD “ART,” I SHOULD CALL IT THE REPRODUCTION OF WHAT THE SENSES PERCEIVE IN NATURE, SEEN THROUGH THE VEIL OF THE SOUL.” —PAUL CEZANNE
Living in New Orleans over the last several years and finally having a space to call my own has also given great influence to my work. There is no other city like New Orleans with its rich history, abundant nature, brightly colored houses rich with architectural detail, and vibrant color combinations. I’m so intrigued by the color harmonies found in the world around me, particularly those that can be soothing and exciting at the same time. I’ve always associated certain colors with particular things—days, people, memories—and I enjoy exploring those connections through my work. My first love has always been painting, but I enjoy mixing mediums and incorporating drawing, pastel, fabric, sewing, embroidery, quilting and pattern into my work, exploring how those elements can intertwine with paint to create images. One of my aesthetic and conceptual goals is to somehow marry all these different elements—mixed mediums, neutral and bright color combinations, the contrast of subtle and bold, thick and thin brushstrokes, paint drips, pattern, lines, shapes, nature and the domestic world—into a quilt of sorts, all parts orchestrated together to create an abstract moment of beauty, a complex image made up of simple parts.
“THE MAIN THING IS TO BE MOVED, TO LOVE, TO HOPE, TO TREMBLE, TO LIVE.” —AUGUSTE RODIN
As pretty as most of my inspiration is, not all areas of life are picture perfect. Often the greatest and most meaningful moments of our lives are also seeped with sadness, hurt, sorrow and loss. My art aims to tell these stories and explore these personal histories—the good, the bad, the beautiful and the I’d-rather-forget—illustrating the struggle, but choosing to see the good in those memories, moments, periods and people, choosing the kind word over the bitter one, letting the good overshadow the bad, living a positive and uplifting life despite the circumstances, seeing the beauty in the imperfect, and focusing on a heart of gratitude for the beautiful imperfections in these moments and in our lives. I want to take those moments and turn them into something both beautiful and tangible, to inspire and uplift through the expressive form of grace, the way only art can do.
If you want to check out more of my artwork, you can visit my portfolio website, here.