Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Kudos to all my gluten intolerant readers. Are you Oodles for Noodles?

Hello my crazy pop tarts!

Another day, another blog.  Today's topic is Noodles; gluten free ones in particular.

On my most recent health kick (I try to be healthy before the winter fat settles) I tried gluten-free.  I had genuinely no idea how many simple off the shelf products contain gluten and found it frustrating to cook or bake with store bought ingredients.  My local supermarket has a (very limited) selection of products and I was flabbergasted, yes flabbergasted, by the price of some of these things.

It's almost like being penalised for being unable to eat off the shelf ingredients.  The cost of gluten free bread alone is just prohibitive but then there's the quality issue too. Some things left a lot to be desired.

I get it, store bought stuff is convenient and not everybody has the time or energy to bake/cook using fresh ingredients but given the really dismal selection available in the every day supermarket and the cost I think that everyone could and should take the time to buy the ingredients necessary to make their own bulk pasta or bread dough, freeze it and then bake/cook as and when needed.  It'll save a fortune in the long run and will taste sooooo much better.

An example of my total disgust was pasta.  I tried a brand name gluten free dried spaghetti and was expecting great things given the price.  I followed the instructions to the letter and was utterly disgusted by the slimy disintegrated moosh that remained in the pot.  I decided there and then that I would never buy gluten free pasta again.  No, I shall make my own.  But what is the best recipe?

There are a lot of recipes for gluten free pasta but this is the best one that I have found and I hope that you give it a try too.  Multiply the ingredients to make in bulk and freeze the dough in batches just before the final roll and shape cutting the simply defrost, roll and shape as required OR freeze your noodles after they've been cut and cook in boiling salted water straight from the freezer.

Best Ever Noodle Recipe (all ingredients available in supermarkets and health food shops)

1/3 cup of buckwheat flour
1/3 cup of rice flour
1/3 cup of potato start flour (plus a little extra for dusting)
1/3 cup of tapioca starch flour
1 tablespoon of xanthum gum
Up to 1/3 cup of cold water
1 egg (or alternative if vegan or egg intolerant) see tips and hints on egg replacement

Combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor with the egg (or alternative) and blitz until combined.  Slowly add the water into the food processor until the pasta dough comes together.

Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead until the dough forms a ball.  Wrap it in cling film and transfer to the fridge to let it rest for at least fifteen minutes (or freeze until needed).

Once suitably rested (the pasta, not you) remove the pasta from the fridge and cut into four equal pieces.  Dust each piece generously with potato starch and pass through the pasta machine three times or until you are satisfied with the thickness of the pasta.

Pass the pasta sheet through your chosen size pasta cutting attachment and then dry the noodles/spaghetti (whatever you've made) on a lightly potato starch dusted clean dish towel to dry.

You can freeze the noodles at this point if you wish.

When ready, boil a large pot of salted water, plunge in your pasta and cook for about three minutes and remove.

Boom, job done.  Add to everything and anything.  Great for Asian cuisine, Italian cuisine, you name it.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.  Do you have a favourite gluten free recipe?

The Carefree Baker


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