June 2013 meeting – Gluten Free Baking

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Huge thanSkyranch van glow logo on whitek you to Robin and Jimmy Ellenberger of Skyranch, Tasmania’s only gluten free bakery , for the magnificent afternoon tea. This lovely couple was so full of energy  – they travelled all the way to us from launceston and then home to get the next day’s bake ready! Jimmy’s angel and devil food cakes along with Robin’s soft, fluffy fresh breads proved successful gluten free baking is just a matter of the right recipe. They are tested and compliant with australian standards for “gluten free’ labelling www.coeliac.org.au/professionals/food-manufacturer.html – be aware that international standards are often different to australian – the USA for instance is not as stringent. Labelling of general food stuffs is a bit hit and miss for gluten and you will have to be mindful of this when cooking  eg. Only apple cider vinegar does not have gluten. Interestingly Italy is very coeliac aware as all infants are tested at birth. You can walk into any restaurant there and get a truly gluten free meal prepared properly.

Robin has put so much time and talent into developing her lines – they are absolutely nothing like the crumbly supermarket lumps I have eaten from Woolworths. She is such a caring person she will bake to order for people who suffer from multiple allergies (legumes, yeast,other grains). She gave us the demonstration of how to make her signature yeast and gluten free ‘bunsky’ which is risen like a scone with soda water but has a smooth texture something like a choux pastry – in fact it’s delicious with sweet or savoury fillings. I had to bake up a batch of  bunskies premix  for a snack when i got home at 10 pm after the midwinter celebration at Reseed – and it was so quick  – the house was smelling popcorn yummy in 30 mins. A second batch disssappeared into the teenager on sunday dinner with lamb patties 🙂 I’m also wondering if the ‘wheat belly’ story is worth mentioning here http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/ as the Ellenbergers are the trimmest bakers i have every met. You will have to combine the wheat free change with a sensible diet all round – too much of Jimmy’s sugary cakes, or Robin’s Bunskies and the belly isn’t going to be any smaller.

Please see the Skyranch website for retailers, to shop online and to book a cooking class with Robin, also recipes and information on gluten/coeliac

Food for thought.

Perhaps this plant Oca (oxalis tuberosa) which is harvested now and common in Tassie amongst those in the know, can be used as a wheatflour subsitute – “The dried, frozen tuber is called khaya. If it is washed after freezing, a whiter product called okhaya is obtained which is considered to be of superior quality. The flour of the latter is used to make porridges and desserts. Oca is first and foremost a good source of energy; its protein and fat content is low.” http://www.fao.org/docrep/t0646e/t0646e0g.htm

pastor bruce french gave away a huge tubful to astrotas at a past meeting. expose to sunlight after harvest to sweeten and drop the oxalates. i’ve got them in my yard but was a bit scared to eat until i found this out ( mum had kidney stones) ref: http://www.thompson-morgan.com/how-to-grow-oca-new-zealand-yam

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