A Gaggle of Girls
I'm a divorced mom of 3 gluten-free daughters. We've outgrown dairy, soy, egg, and corn allergies, but still deal with a berry allergy in my youngest.
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Archive for the ‘bread’ Category

postheadericon Chocolate Orange Bread

Chocolate orange breadThis is adapted from Rachael’s adaptation of a Nigella Lawson recipe, and has been made gluten-free. It’s delicious, slightly sticky, and so rich and impossible to only eat one slice. I don’t think it’s going to last very long in our house! If you like chocolate and orange together, don’t pass on this recipe!

(I should admit here that I’m not a huge fan of chocolate and orange together, and I loved it. I just remember the girls loving those Terry’s Chocolate Oranges for Christmas, and thought they’d like it. They did. The smell of this baking was also divine!)

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, dairy-free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, corn free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free,  and vegetarian recipe.


photo 1Ingredients:

  • 10 Tablespoons butter, softened (or a dairy-free margarine such as Earth Balance)
  • 2 T molasses or dark corn syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup gf flour (I suggest bean, pea, amaranth, or another heavy flour)
  • 1/4 cup starch (white rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 eggs (I haven’t tested this with an egg replacer. It might work, it might not)
  • zest of two oranges
  • juice from one orange (we love the Oxo citrus juicer)

photo 2



Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper, or use a silicone loaf pan.

In a stand mixer, cream butter, sugar, and molasses/corn syrup. Grate the zest with a microplane grater into this mixture and beat (that gets it really mixed up well).

In a separate bowl combine flour, starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, and cocoa. Whisk together so it’s well combined.

Add 1/3 dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture, then add one egg, another third flour mix, another eggs, and then the rest of the flour mix. Scrape down the edges several times while doing this.

OrangesFinally, add the juice of one orange, and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the . It’s not a pretty batter, it’s rather a wet, messy batter.

Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes. Because the center is so moist, a toothpick isn’t ever going to come out clean. Instead touch the center of the loaf. If it’s firm, the bread is done. If it’s super moist and sticky, give it 5 more minutes, then try again.

photo 4Let cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, then you can slice and try it. We went through several slices as soon as it was ready to cut. Yum!!


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postheadericon Lunchbox Pizza Crusts

This is an adaptation of my earlier pizza crust recipe. I’ve shrunk the recipe and adapted it a bit for lunchbox pizza crusts. This makes 8-9 lunch-sized pizzas

This is, by far, my favorite pizza crust recipe. It’s crispy, hard to mess up, delicious, and doesn’t scream “gluten-free”. My kids have all had friends over for pizza nights, and there aren’t many leftovers. I’ve always been a proponent of individual pizzas. Perhaps that’s because my family of four prefers 4 types of pizzas, but I still think it’s a good idea.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegetarian/vegan recipe.
mini pizza crusts


  • 1 TBS yeast
  • 2/3 cups gluten-free flour (amaranth, millet, bean, or brown rice)
  • 1/2 cup starch (corn, tapioca, potato, or arrowroot)
  • 2 TBS chia seed or flaxseed meal (optional)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (I like Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water, milk/milk substitute, or mix of the two
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with Silpat, parchment paper, or Reynold’s Release foil.

Pour the dry ingredients (through salt) into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix for a few moments so they are well combined.

Add the olive oil and vinegar to the water/milk combo. Pour the liquid into the flour mixture. Beat on medium speed for a couple minutes, until it forms a big ball. Pour 1-2 TBS of olive oil into a small bowl.

Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out blobs of dough – it will be sticky. Plop the dough onto the lined baking sheet(s), dip your fingers in the olive oil, and use your fingers to stretch the dough out. Press and stretch until the dough is thin and shaped as desired. I can usually fit 4-5 on one cookie sheet.Halloween pizza

Bake WITHOUT TOPPINGS for 10-15 minutes. They should be golden brown around the edges. If you are not using all of them immediately, then allow to cool on a baking rack and freeze, with wax paper or cling wrap between each crust.

When you’re ready to bake the pizzas, add desired toppings (marinara or White Sauce, veggies, meat toppings, cheese or cheese substitutes) – you’re only limited by your imagination! (We usually have 1 with bacon, 1 black olive, 1 pepperoni, and one white pizza with spinach.)

Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until bubbly and hot. Allow to cool for 3-5 minutes, then slice and pop into a lunch box. Ours fit really well in our Easy Lunchboxes. You can check out some of our lunchbox fun over at Bentos for A Gaggle of Girls.

postheadericon New favorite GF Bread

Sliced breadThis recipe is based on the King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Sandwich bread, tweaked for what works best our family.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It can also be (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegetarian recipe. Unfortunately, with 4 1/2 eggs in the recipe, I would not recommend trying it with an egg replacer.

This recipe requires 2 1-hour rise times, plus a 40 minute baking time, so keep an eye on the clock! I’ve stupidly started this recipe at 9pm, then had to stay up until midnight.


  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk or milk substitute
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 TBS instant yeast
  • 3 cups GF Flour (we use 2 1/2 cups brown rice flour and 1/2 cup amaranth or millet)
  • 1 1/2 cups starch (we frequently use white rice flour as a starch, but arrowroot or tapioca starches also work well. Potato starch is not ideal, and often leads to the bread falling)
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum (or guar gum if corn-free)
  • 2 TBS chia seeds (optional, but it doesn’t change the flavor, and it adds protein and other benefits)
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 6 TBS softened butter or dairy-free margarine (we’ve used Fleishmann’s unsalted)
  • 4 large eggs plus 1 egg white


In a large measuring cup mix the warmed (not hot) milk and the sugar. Add the yeast and let sit for a few minutes.

While mixing, add the milk/yeast mixture slowly. Once it’s well combined, add the eggs one at a time (when my daughters help they crack each egg into a ramekin first – it’s a lot easier to get shell pieces out of a ramekin than a mixing bowl!).

In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer add the flours, starch, xanthan gum, and salt. Mix using the paddle attachment for a moment to make sure it’s well mixed. Add the softened butter and mix until combined.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula, then let beat for 2-3 minutes.Mixing the dough

Cover with a warm, damp towel, then let rise in a warmish place for 1 hour.

Prepare a 9″x4″ loaf pan. If silicone, then lightly grease (we use TJ’s coconut oil spray). If the loaf pan is metal, cover with parchment paper, then lightly grease the parchment paper.

Rising breadAfter the first rising cycle, move the dough to the 9×4 loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap that has been greased/oiled on the side that touches the dough. Cover the wrap with a warm, damp towel again and let rise for 45 minutes to another hour. You want the dough to be just above the rim of the loaf pan.

Near the end of the 2nd rising cycle, preheat the oven to 350F. Insert the loaf pan, and bake for 35-40 minutes, until it’s golden brown and delicious.

I recommend immediately taking the bread out of the pan and let cool while laying on its side. This seems to minimize the top of the loaf falling, and also minimizes excess moisture pooling at the bottom of the pan.Bread

Let cool and slice into individual pieces (I’ve been very happy with this Bread Slicer
for uniform slices)
. I then store the loaf in the fridge, but you could also slide a piece of wax paper or parchment paper between each slice and freeze the sliced loaf. This tastes great with or without toasting. It holds up very well in sandwiches, too. Yum!

postheadericon Gluten-Free French Toast

French toast with maple syrup

The girls love French Toast, but it’s my mother who usually makes it. This past weekend my parents were gone for the day, so they sent me on a hunt for a good recipe. After much Googling, I ended up with this recipe which was inspired by Alton Brown’s recipe – because if Alton made it, you can’t go wrong! I tweaked it for our taste buds, allergies, and for my own cooking preferences.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, and vegetarian recipe.  Be sure to check the allergy notes at the bottom of the recipe.


French toast on the griddle
  • 1 cup milk or milk substitute (soy, rice, almond, hemp…)
  • 3 large eggs (eggs are integral to this recipe, so I don’t recommend using an egg substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9-12 slices gluten-free bread1
  • 4 TBS oil or margarine2


French Toast soaking liquid

Preheat oven to 250. Set a lasagna pan or similar 9×13 pan near the stove.

In a deep pie dish, combine the milk substitute, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk gently, so the milk/egg mixture doesn’t spill.

Heat your griddle or skillet to medium heat. Add about 1 TBS oil or margarine to pan and swirl around so it coats the pan.

Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for about 1 minute on each side. Pick up a piece of bread and gently shake the excess egg mixture into the pie pan.

Go soak your bread!

Lay 2-3 slices of bread in the griddle/skillet, depending on the size of the bread and your pan. Cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes for each side. When browned, remove from griddle and gently put in the lasagna pan, then slide the pan into the oven.

Continue with the next set of bread slices, until all of the french toast has been made.

Serve to many cheers and soon-to-be-empty plates! This tastes great with maple syrup, or perhaps a bit of confectioner’s sugar sprinkled on top.

Allergy Notes:
1 Our favorite bread recipe is perfect for this, as is our sweet bread recipe, but any gluten-free bread will work. The Kinnikinnik loaf pictured was perfect, because it tasted a bit dry when eaten plain. Our favoite purchased bread is Ener-G Brown Rice Bread, which tastes especially wonderful when toasted.
2 We usually use Earth Balance Organic margarine tubs, which are Kosher and dairy-free. However, that margarine includes soy protein. Fleishmann’s Unsalted is also Kosher and dairy-free, but only uses soy oil – no soy protein. Alternatively, to make the recipe safe for the corn or soy-free,  you can use canola or another cooking oil to coat the griddle.

postheadericon Whoopie! Waffles!

Who doesn’t love a breakfast of waffles? We make a big batch, and then refrigerate or freeze the extras so they can be heated up in the toaster on busy mornings. While this recipe has 4 eggs, it can be substituted with a commercial or homemade egg replacer without sacrificing taste or quality.
This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients and use appropriate substitutes!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.


Whoopie!  Waffles!
  • 2 cups gf flour (I like sorghum, millet, or brown rice)

  • 1 cup starch (tapioca, arrowroot, or corn is good here; or use 3 cups gluten free flour mix in place of the flour and starch)
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS xanthan gum
  • 1 TBS + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 2/3 cup milk substitute
  • 4 eggs or equivalent egg substitute (while usually I wouldn’t suggest replacing eggs in a recipe with 3 or more eggs, egg replacers work quite well in this recipe)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional: 1 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour through salt.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine milk substitute through vanilla extract.

Slowly mix the liquid into the flour, and stir until smooth.

Waffles and Goosebarry Syrup

This batter will act differently based on humidity, temperature, and phase of moon. So you may need to add 1/2 cup more flour or 1/2 cup more water, depending if it is very wet or very thick.

Add optional blueberries when the batter is well mixed, and stir until just incorporated.

Use a ladle to add waffle batter to the waffle iron, and cook according to device instructions. Keep waffles warm on a plate covered by a tea town in the oven set at 200 degrees. Serve with margarine, maple syrup, and Gooseberry Syrup.

postheadericon A Sweet Bread for your Sweeties

As a child, I loved eating Portuguese Sweet Bread when we were on vacation on Cape Cod. The mild sweetness of the bread and the chewy bread was just wonderful. I’ve tried to recreate some of that experience with this bread. It has just the right level of sweetness, and says lovely and moist. For this sweet bread, I prefer to serve smaller slices, so I bake it in a silicone bundt pan, which works beautifully. I strongly recommend that strategy!

A new bundt loaf of gf sweet bread

This recipe is gfcf, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, legume free, nut free, vegetarian, and can be corn-free. It is not egg free, sadly. I’ve had limited success using egg substitutes with this recipe – I would only try it with rolls, as the egg protein holds together the dough in a bread shape.

DO NOT skip the step of lining the pan with parchment paper if you are not using a silicone pan! GF bread dough is very sticky, and you’ll end up with bread stuck to the bottom of the loaf pan. It’s worth the extra money to get the silicone or parchment paper! You can get away with not lining cupcake tins (for rolls) or hamburger pans, though.


A slice of sweetness in bread form
  • 1 3/4 cup gf flour (amaranth, sorghum, and millet all work well here)

  • 1 cup arrowroot, tapioca, or corn starch, or a mix (potato starch tends to make it fall)
  • If you use a gf baking mix, you would just use 2 3/4 cups of the baking mix
  • 2 1/2 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 1/4 t salt
  • 2 t apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 eggs


Whip together the 3 eggs in your stand mixer.

While they are whipping, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, and whisk together.

Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the eggs, mix together. Slowly add the dry ingredients, beating together on low. “Knead” for 4 minutes. The dough will be very wet, almost like cake batter.

Line a 9×5 (or so) bread pan with parchment paper, or use an oiled silicone pan. Use a spatula to fill the bread pan/bundt pan/rolls with the dough/batter.

Slicing the gf sweet bread loaf

Let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool (it cuts much better cooled if you can wait that long).

If you are going to save the bread, slice it once it is cooled, then freeze it sliced. Toast it straight from the freezer to warm it up. Microwaving for 30 seconds a slice works as well, but I prefer the texture when it’s toasted.

postheadericon Polenta that’s kick-yourself simple

We, like everyone else we know, are finding ourselves on a tighter budget because of the cost of gas and heating oil. My daughters love polenta, and while I am Italian, I always thought it was too tricky to make from scratch. I mean really, would they be selling it in rolls at the store for $3 or more if it was easy?


Polenta is incredibly easy to make, and while it requires a bit of time, it’s done in under an hour. You need to simmer your marinara for a while anyway, so let it simmer while the polenta bakes. There’s very little work involved after the first few minutes other than being in the house while the oven’s on. I have adapted a recipe for polenta from The Silver Spoon, a fabulous cookbook for anything and everything Italian. I bought the cookbook for everyone at Christmas a couple years ago, and we’re all still cooking our way through it!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.


Home-made polenta
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cups cornmeal (I use fine-ground, but a courser grind is more traditional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • (optional)2-3 shakes basil or oregano or Italian seasoning
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 400F

Bring the water and salt (and spices if using) to a boil in a large saucepan or medium-sized soup pot. Make sure you have enough room in the pot to add the cornmeal.

While the water is boiling, drizzle olive oil over the bottom of a 9×13 pan or two smaller pans.

Whisking Polenta

When the water boils, sprinkle in the cornmeal with one hand, and whisk it into the water with the other hand. Whisk carefully so there aren’t too many lumps, and watch out for spitting cornmeal, it can burn. (You may want to don your Kevlar® gloves for this part!)

Once all the cornmeal has been whisked into the water, you will have a nice cornmeal mush. Pat it into the oiled pan(s) with a spatula, then drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Slide it into the oven, and set the timer for 45 minutes.

Polenta with marinara and sausages

Check the polenta – the top should be a bit crisp, and the edges golden brown. Slice and serve with a sauce. You’ll never buy the other stuff again!

Serve this with a lovely side salad and marinara and sausages (if not vegetarian). Mmmm… One of my daughters prefers the polenta plain, then eats the red sauce and sausages with a spoon!

postheadericon Moist Cornbread

This is a delicious gluten-free cornbread recipe that is just right – nice and moist. If you prefer dry cornbread, this isn’t the recipe for you. But if you’re looking for a nice, moist cornbread, it’s wonderful. This is also one of the bread products that I have had work very well for me without eggs. If you’d like to try this as a biscuit, try our cornbread biscuit recipe

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, vegetarian, vegan, and top 8 allergen free recipe.

Mmmmm... Cornbread!


  • 1 1/4 cups fine cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup millet, brown rice, or other pale flour (if not gluten-free, just use 1 cup flour and omit the xanthan gum)
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot or tapioca starch (or a mix with cornstarch or potato or whatever)
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 TBS baking powder (2 tsp if using eggs)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup applesauce (or 2 eggs)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 can creamed corn (14-15 oz)

grease an 8? round or square pan. Preheat oven to 350

Whisk together ingredients from cornmeal to salt in a medium bowl

Add wet ingredients and mix until just blended. It will look something like cake batter.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until the top is firm and lightly brown. Serve warm with some butter substitute.

This goes great with ham, bbq ribs, chili, bbq chicken or anything almost-southern. This is a wonderfully moist and hearty cornbread that tastes equally good with and without eggs.

postheadericon Great Gluten-Free Stuffing

What is thanksgiving without stuffing? OK, so we never actually stuff the turkey with it, but it’s still a delicious bread stuffing. Mmmmmm… This year it finally turned out just right. Yum.

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free, family-friendly recipe! It is also (if you double check ingredients!) a wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, tree nut free, peanut free, fish free, shellfish free, corn free, top 8 allergen free, and vegan/vegetarian recipe.

Great Gluten-free stuffing


  • 2 batches Focaccia or a loaf of prepared bread, cut into 1 inch cubes

  • splash olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth (you might need a little more or a little less)
  • 2 tsp Bell’s seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt (less if using prepared broth)
  • several grinds black pepper
  • (optional – 1 cup pecans, 1 cup dried cranberries, or other additions)

Make and cube the Focaccia, or cube a loaf of pre-purchased bread. Toast for about 30 minutes in a 300 degree oven, or in a toaster. When toasted, toss them into an oven-safe casserole dish.

Sauté onion, garlic, and celery in olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 tsp of the Bell’s seasoning as it’s cooking. When soft, mix in with the toasted bread cubes. Add the 2nd tsp of Bell’s seasoning, plus salt and pepper and mix well.

Chop the fresh parsley, and mix that in with the bread cubes. (If you’re adding pecans, dried cranberries, or other variations, add them here) Pour the broth slowly over the bread and toss, mixing well so they are evenly moistened.

Cover, and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Serve with the rest of your Thanksgiving or other festive meal!

postheadericon Flaky Gluten Free Biscuits

These are flaky and delicious. They are perfect for serving with some soup or fried chicken!

This is a delicious gfcf, gluten free recipe! It is also wheat free, dairy free, tree nut free, peanut free, top 8 allergen free, corn free, vegetarian recipe. This recipe only has two eggs in it, so it could easily be an egg free and vegan recipe.


  • 1 cup light colored flour (we like amaranth, sorghum, or millet)

  • 1 cup starch (arrowroot, tapioca, corn, potato, or sweet rice flour are some examples)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs (or your favorite egg replacer)
  • 1/2 cup margarine (1 stick) or shortening or lard
  • 2/3 cup soured milk substitute (1 tsp lemon juice or vineger, plus enough water or milk substitute to make 2/3 cup liquid)

Preheat oven to 425F.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.

Add the margarine/shortening/lard to the dry ingredients, and use 2 knives or a pastry blender to mix together until it looks like rough cornmeal.

Mix in the eggs and milk, and stir until just moistened.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet that has been well greased, lined with parchment, or lined with a silicone baking liner.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. They turn out a bit crumbly, but incredibly flaky and delicious!

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