Craftiness, baking and other lovely things.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Gluten free wraps - an easy win

It's taken three attempts and a lot of research, but I finally made a gluten free wrap that looks like a wrap, tastes like a wrap and stays soft like a wrap.  This is a big win for my family - our almost-Mexican-chicken-wraps are a favourite and (like the GF bread) the wraps in the supermarket have met with a definite thumbs down.

If you Google gluten free wrap recipes, you'll find variation after variation after variation, from the very simple (little more than a pancake in truth) to the fairly complex.  In the end, I turned to the dark side and played with a recipe for wheat flour wraps. I swapped out the water for milk, which seems to be key in GF breadmaking, and I increased the amount of liquid.

This recipe is also great for making sandwich squares.  Just roll the dough out a little thicker than you would for wraps and cook for a little longer.  I roll out as thinly as I can for wraps (not too thin though or it's just too fragile to move) and for sandwich squares not quite 0.5cm.  I should also add that I'm using the term 'squares' very loosely.  My squares have very rounded corners, I just made sure that I had pairs that would fit together to make a good sandwich.

As always, I recommend Doves Farm white bread flour and I always add extra xanthan gum.


250g gluten free white bread flour
1tsp xanthan gum
1tsp dried instant yeast
1tsp salt
1tbsp soft brown sugar (or caster sugar if that's what you have)
20g melted butter (veg or olive oil would probably work, but I haven't tried it yet)
200ml milk, warmed to just lukewarm (I used skimmed because that's what I have)
rice flour or bread flour for rolling out
olive oil for frying


Put all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and mix on low speed while you melt the butter and warm the milk.  Add the milk and butter and mix on low speed for a few seconds then on high until you have a completely smooth dough.  It will be sticky.  Cover the bowl with clingfilm (oiled if you are using a smaller bowl and think the dough might reach the top).  Leave for about 2 hours.  If you want to leave it for longer, once you've given it 2 hours at room temperature you can store it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight before cooking.

This quantity makes about 8 wraps - make them smaller or larger as you wish.

Take about an eight of the dough and quickly shape it into a ball.  You may want to dust it with flour first as it may still be sticky, especially if it hasn't been chilled.  Roll out thinly.  Heat a tsp of olive in a non stick pan.  Cook the wrap for about 2 minutes on each side, making sure it doesn't brown too much.  You want it lightly coloured.  Once cooked, put it into a folded tea towel to keep warm whilst you cook the rest of the dough.

For sandwich squares, roll out a little thicker and cook at a lower heat for about 4 minutes each side.

Serve the wraps warm.

I make a batch of wraps (double the recipe) and whilst they're still warm and pliable I fill them with sliced ham, roll them, wrap them individually and freeze them.  It makes filling three lunchboxes every morning much, much easier.  I also freeze the sandwich squares in pairs for the same reason.

Questions?  Comments?  Suggestions?  Leave me a comment.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Not so mindful

Oops, I really let life get in the way.  I honestly intended to work every day on my mindfulness blanket, using it as a form of meditation.  I missed a couple of days and then I completely forgot about it.

Actually I think part of the problem was the yarn I selected.  It wasn't as soothing as I thought it would be.  In fact I was finding it boring and it didn't appeal at all after the first few rounds.

Time for a change then.  I have a big bag full of leftover cotton dk in lovely colours and I've started over, just playing with granny squares as the mood takes me and it is perfect.  It's pleasing to look at, relaxing to make and will grow a little each day.

Yarn: Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK in Lavender, Fuschia, Shell Pink, Leaf, Soft Lime, Ivory
Hook size 4mm

Monday, 4 September 2017

Gluten free bread that you want to eat

When my older daughter was diagnosed with coeliac disease earlier this year, I mentioned to a few people who were following gluten free diets that I planned to do a lot of baking myself because I saw no reason to stop baking, I just needed to use different GF ingredients.  People shook their head and offered dire warnings of how difficult GF baking is, how it was impossible to bake GF bread and GF flours were rubbish for cakes.

J doesn't eat a lot of bread and although the sliced bread we could buy was awful, some of the rolls were okay and so I focused on baking the treats instead.  It was when my two younger children, both big bread eaters, were confirmed as coeliac as well that I started to work on bread.

I've tried a couple of recipes and some different flours and there are a few key things:

1. The flour mix is crucial - I get the best results, consistently good, with Dove Farm's flour.

2. Even if the flour mix has xanthan gum included, I always add a little more.  It acts like glue and really makes a difference when you're baking without gluten.

3. Enriching even basic bread dough with milk and eggs improves the texture and gives you bread with good texture and flavour.

Ready to get baking?

Basic gluten free bread 

450g white bread flour (Dove's Farm is the best I've used)
2 tsp dried quick yeast (the kind you just add to your mix without activating it)
1.5 tsp salt
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 eggs, lightly beaten
350g milk, warmed to luke warm

Using the flat beater of food mixer, mix all dries together.  To make sure the yeast and xanthan gum are evenly mixed, I leave the mixer running slowly while I warm the milk and beat the eggs.  Add milk and eggs to the dries and mix thoroughly.  Turn the speed up for a few seconds to beat out any lumps.

The dough will be quite wet and sticky.

If you're making a loaf of bread, line the tin with baking parchment, grease it lightly and spoon the dough in (allow room for the dough to rise, don't overfill).  Oil some cling film and cover the tin lightly.  Leave to rest for 2 hours, then bake for 50 mins to 1 hour at 190.  Test for doneness by tapping base of loaf - it will make a hollow sound when it's done.

If you're making rolls, oil cling film and cover the bowl of dough.  Leave to rest for 2 hours.  Heat a baking stone in the oven at 190 for the last 20 minutes of the resting time.  Dust a sheet of baking parchment with flour (rice flour works brilliantly for dusting).  Being careful not to knock the air out of the risen dough (it will only rise once as there is no gluten), break off roll sized pieces and gently shape on the parchment.  I use a spoon to break off the dough and dust the top of each roll before shaping.  For a soft crust, brush the tops with melted butter or oil.  Take the baking stone out of the oven and dust lightly with flour.  Transfer the rolls to the baking stone and bake for 25 minutes.  For soft rolls, wrap in a tea towel straight from the oven and leave to cool.

The recipe can be doubled or halved easily.

If you make the bread, let me know!  Leave a comment or share a photo on Instagram with @veraandbess.  Happy baking.