LOLA'S WHEAT FREE WORLD
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
BABY RUSKS BAKING POWDER/SODA BESAN FLOUR BITTER FLOUR COOKING PASTA DRY SCONES GELATINE
GRITTY ICE FLOUR HARD CRUST HOLE UNDER CRUST KNIFE MIXING LINING BREAD TINS LOLA'S BREAD IMPROVER
LIGHT OLIVE OIL RECIPE FAILURES SAUCE BLOCKS STICKY SYRUP SADDLE TIN
WARMING EGGS & SUGAR YEAST
My gluten free pasta falls to pieces when I cook it as the instructions say, what am I doing wrong? I find the microwave method the best for cooking gluten free pasta. Use a large earthenware or microwave bowl, with a lid; a soup tureen is good if you have one as it has an air hole. Use half a cup of rice pasta and one cup of cold water. Cook on high for eight minutes and let stand for ten minutes. Stir when cooked and if still a little uncooked let stand a few more minutes. You can even use gluten free pasta cooked this way for pasta salad. For success with rice spaghetti see my Cooking Class instructions
I bought some besan flour from a health food shop to make your flour blend, but the besan flour was very bitter, can I use some other flour.
Besan flour is not bitter to taste, even the cheaper brands that are imported from India are not bitter, some have an earthy curry flavour. I think the flour you were sold, as besan flour is yellow pea flour, this is a very bitter product. As good quality besan flour has increased in price, some shops are selling this cheaper flour as besan. The best brand of besan is the colour of custard powder and does not have black specs in it. If you cannot get it email or fax me and I can always send you some. It is usually packed in plastic bags and when you get it home store it in paper or a flip top lid that will let the flour "breathe", important to prevent rancidity.
My bread recipe is working well except that it burns on top and this makes a hard crust, difficult to slice. I have tried foil but it still burns.
With fan ovens the heat still manages to lift the foil, I use a flat scone tray on top of the bread tin, this works well to give you a flat top as well as preventing the loaf from burning. Gluten free flours are heat sensitive and do burn easily so try baking the bread on the lowest shelf and use an oven thermometer to check the temperature, if it is still burning reduce the temperature by 20 degrees.
Can you tell me which flour to use when I am making one of my husband’s favourites, braised steak and onions? I have tried rice flour and cornflour but I don’t like the gritty taste of rice flour or the after-taste of cornflour.
If I am in a hurry and haven’t any of my bread and pastry blend ready mixed, I use a thin coating of potato flour on the steak before browning, it thickens very well and makes a nice glossy gravy. Be careful not to use too much or you will get a gluggy mixture.
Is there an easy way to measure golden syrup when I am making cookies. I love the flavour but it is so sticky so I try and avoid these recipes.
There are a few easy methods of handling such products as golden syrup, treacle, rice syrup and liquid glucose. Many of these products are now packed in glass or plastic containers so that you can warm them in the microwave. If you are using oil in the recipe use some of this to oil your measure and the syrup will then easily slide off. If you are weighing the product just oil the dish on your scales.
Why do you say to heat the eggs and sugar over hot water before beating in your sponge recipes, I usually separate the eggs and beat in the sugar?
Heating the eggs and sugar over a saucepan of hot water allows the mixture to be beaten without separating the eggs. Also the warmed mixture whips in half the usual beating time, a great help if you only have a hand mixer. Separating the eggs and beating for a long time gives you a dry sponge that will not keep. This method can be used with icing sugar and egg whites to give a thick creamy meringue covering such as used in Bombe Alaska. It sets in the oven in just a few minutes.
You say to line heavy duty bread tins with ‘baking paper’ Why is this necessary?
This is a precaution with a new tin; once your tin has baked a few loaves of bread it is seasoned and does not need the paper. You can use ‘baking or silicone’ paper more than once. Do remember to always bake your bread in a heavy duty tin, not aluminium. Sometimes I say to grease the tin with margarine, this is done to evenly hold seeds if you are using them in the bottom of plait and ribbed tins, or simply to hold the paper in place.
I am making a good loaf of potato bread that all my family enjoy but sometimes it has a hole under the crust, what is the cause of the hole.
This can have one or two different causes; usually the most common cause is leaving the bread to rise too long before it is placed in the oven, remember that gluten free bread still rises in the oven unlike wheaten bread. A common cause can be the type of yeast as some dried yeasts contain a fast rising ingredient that is good for wheat bread but not so good for gluten free products. Slightly cooler water will help if it is the yeast but as you say ‘sometimes’ I think it is probably the first cause.
Why do you use besan flour instead of the usual gluten free mixtures of rice flour and maize cornflour in your recipes?
Many gluten-free recipes use rice flour, maize cornflour and tapioca starch, these simple carbohydrates are quickly digested and are broken down into simple sugar glucose. When the cells in your body need fuel they use this glucose. Extra glucose is converted into glycogen. If your body already has enough glycogen stored up, the glucose is turned into fat. Besan flour is made from chickpeas, complex carbohydrates that take longer to digest, making you feel full longer. They provide vitamins, minerals, fibre, and consistent energy. Many Coeliacs lack B vitamins, calcium, iron, and other nutrients so why not get them from your baked goods.
I am using a recipe from another author and I just can't get it to work. Can you help me with this problem?
Please write or try to contact the author through the publisher, I have tested my recipes many times but many recipe books are compiled from stored recipes that have just been converted to gluten free and not necessarily tested and sometimes they will not give you successful results.
You always specify Fermipan Yeast but I find it impossible to buy. Why is this brand so important. Fermipan is no longer available in Australia and I am now using Mauripan yeast; also a commercial quality.
The advantage of a commercial quality yeast is the extended
life span, 3 years in a jar in the frig. and the intolerance level, it works in
all climates and is not effected if the water is a little too hot or too cold.
Mauripan produces a fine textured loaf. I have been using it successfully now
for three years.
You can have it mailed from my web site, in some states it is sold in health food outlets that I supply at a wholesale rate, but it is not as easy to find in NSW.
I am new to cooking especially gluten free foods and confused about Baking Powder and Baking Soda can you enlighten me, are they the same ingredient?
Such a basic cookery question I thought everyone would know until I decided to check in cookery book glossary pages and found no mention of either product in my huge range of books. For new cooks I can now understand the problem. No they are not the same product!
Baking Soda, the common name for bi-carbonate of soda is used in recipes where slight rising is required such as cookies or pastry, or it is used to darken a product such as a fruitcake or gingerbread. In my basic pastry I use lemon juice to activate the soda causing a gas that lightens the pastry.
Baking Powder is a combination of one part Bicarbonate of soda with two parts Cream of Tarter to give a lighter leavening effect that takes place in the oven for cakes. These two elements are combined with’filler’ such as cornflour to prevent activation in the container and to make measuring easier. It is this filler that may contain gluten so it is important to read the label
What can I add to my scones to give more moisture.
Sour cream if you can have it otherwise mashed cooked sweet potato is good. Fruits such as dates also add moisture. If you freeze your scones, before you reheat them in the microwave a dip in cold water does wonders. Wrap the wet scone in paper towel before heating. Psyllium is also good, sprinkle a tablespoon onto half a cup of cold water and leave to stand about ten minutes until it is a thick jelly, add this mixture to your scones. The important step with scones is to keep the mixture soft and don’t overmix, always use a knife and mix with a cutting action. Make sure the liquid is added to he bowl before the flour, never make a well and add liquid with gluten free scones.
Why do you say to mix scones and damper with a knife, it is so awkward to do?
It is almost impossible to over mix using a knife, yes, it is awkward, so encouraging you to mix lightly. It also ensures that the mixture is moist as it is even more difficult to mix a dry mixture with a knife. Remember to always add the liquid first when making scones. Over mixing and a dry mixture ruin a good scone.
I am using light olive oil in your recipes, is the moisture level equal to pure olive oil or should I increase the quantity.
Light olive oil is light in colour and flavour, there is no difference in the moisture level, however I did find a difference when testing canola oil, the recipes needed an additional tablespoon of oil for each alf cup of olive oil. I prefer to use olive oil, apart from the type branded “Pomace”, olive oil is produced by pressing the fruit without the aid of chemicals.
My baby can’t have gluten, what can I give her for a rusk.
You can cut a crust of gluten free bread into fingers, sprinkle it well with water and bake it for about twenty minutes in a low oven. Let it cool in the oven and check to make sure it is not too crumbly. If you wish to bake your own rusks look at Recipe Sheet Collection and Ingredients links and you will see details of a recipe and a beginner rusk package that includes the recipe, baking tray and a pre-mix for two dozen rusks to get you started The recipe does require a special tin and a few special ingredients to obtain a good result but they do keep well and don’t crumble easily. We mail out daily.
What is Lola's Bread Improver?
This is a product that I developed to improve the texture of sandwich bread and simplify the mixing process for folk who need to make bread regularly. It is mainly dried egg white with some gluten free starches and citric acid to nuetralise the PH of water which assists the yeast to rise evenly. It is blended under pharmacuetical conditions to prevent contamination. The ingredients are only available in commercial quantities of 25 kilos or more at a cost of many hundreds of dollars so it is impractical to give a recipe. It takes the place of the egg whites in my sandwich bread recipe and allows a bread pre-mix to be made so that the mixture can be simply added to warm water and beaten to produce a good loaf. It is available only from my website and can be mailed out to most countries -Ingredients
Why do you use gelatine in your recipes? I use gelatine to replace the gluten that is missing from my flour blends. It is a simple ingredient tolerated by most people and can be replaced by agar agar for vegetarians or those sensitive to it.
What is a saddle tin I have asked at many kitchenware shops and am unable to find one?.
The saddle tin is the tin that German cooks use to make their Christmas Chocolate Log cakes, I find it a good shape to give interest to gluten free loaves that can be used for filling with meat and salad or just shopping into a bun shape for a quick lunch. It is made of tin and cooks the bread well. See my utensils page for an image - Utensils
What are Lola's Sauce Blocks and what are they used for?
I created sauce blocks thirty years ago to simplify sauce and gravy making for my commercial kitchen to obtain a consistent quality for the sauces we used. With a staff of eight cooks it was impossible to maintain a consistent standard for the sauces. When I commenced teaching gluten free cookery I found that I was often teaching people who had no previous cooking knowledge and saucemaking was a problem. The use of Sauce Blocks again solved this problem and has been a help to gluten free cooks ever since. In simple terms sauce blocks are roux blocks of my gluten free flour cooked with equal quantities of margarine or butter for a few minutes and set in an iceblock tray. These blocks can be frozen and used to thicken liquid when required. back
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