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Monday, May 30, 2022

Gluten free pizza

My gf pizza base journey was not an easy one. I hung up my usual fail proof pizza when my gut became sick . In its place are recipes for gluten free ones. I met  a series of failures, with crunchy biscuit pizza that was the most baffling and hard to troubleshoot.

Now I realise 2 things; have enough xanthan gum and knead until the dough looks like whipped cream. It is very counterintuitive because with bread flour, you knead until it all comes together.

Now I am 3rd time lucky. No more grouchy “what the pizza” moment. It tastes like bread (though the kitchen doesn’t smell so strongly of it) with a robust but soft texture like good old fashioned pizza.

I think I am on the right track on my gluten free baking journey.

Credits: glutenfreeonashoestring with modifications.

Ingredients (Base):

420g gf all purpose flour

2 ¼ tsp xanthum gum

11g instant yeast

6g fine sugar

9g salt

1 ⅛ cup warm water

65g olive oil

Cooked pizza topping of your choice (I have mushroom, ham with ricotta, mozzarella, brie)


Combine flour, gum, yeast, sugar, salt,water, oil.

Knead until it looks like whipped cream. Scrap sides and fold to ensure even kneading, about 3 mins.

Let rise on the counter to 50% more in bulk. It took me 2 hrs.

Flour the worktop. Transfer the dough.

Dust, roll flat to slightly more than the size of pizza pan. 

Transfer the dough to the pan,

Trim edges.

Preheat oven to 200C while dough rests.

Slather with pesto paste.

Bake in the oven for 9 mins or until sides is firm and sauce bubbly.

Cool a little.

Add mozzarella, mushroom ham toppings, brie, ricotta in this order.

Bake for another 10 mins.

Remove to cool.

Cut to wedges. Serve warm.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Gluten free Japanese cheesecake

I have been out of action in the baking department since I found that wheat doesn't go well with my gut very much.  

Gluten intolerance is a troublesome problem since most convenience food are wheat based. On the other hand, it means I have to banish junk food from my life or suffer the consequences.

The supermarket at my apartment carries some GF flours and I squirrel away the various flours when they are on sale. Now with a mish mash of this and that, it is time to try out the Japanese cake I have been craving for, sans cake flour and sugar. I used monkfruit sugar as a 1:1 substitute, but old habits die hard. I tend to scale back on the sugar instinctively and did so for this recipe even though the monkfruit sugar's calories and carb is negligible. Anyways, it did not taste too bad, but a 50% increase of sugar is recommended!

So here goes - my first gluten free Japanese cheesecake! If I don't let the cat out of the bag, no one will know that it is gluten free or (cane) sugar free at all!

Credits: Adapted from glutenfreeonashoestring


Dry Mix:

55g gf flour blend. ( I used Bob Red Mill 1-1 )

35g brown rice flour (Bob Red Mill)

20g tapioca flour

1/8 tsp xanthan gum

Cheese , wet Mix:

5 egg yolks (set apart)

100ml milk

55g unsalted butter

1/4 fine salt (I used pink salt)

250g cream cheese (softened)


5 egg whites

1/4 tsp cider vinegar (I did not have cream of tartar, which is the standard for meringue)

100g monkfruit sugar ( 150g reccommended because this cake is mildly sweet)


Preheat the oven to 160C.

( If the kitchen is cold, preheat to 180C. Baking temperature adjusted to 160C )

Prepare the baking tin :

Line an 8-9 inch springform tin with baking paper. Foil the exterior to waterproof from the water bath.

Prepare a baking tray big enough for the springform tin. 

Set aside.

Prepare the flours:

Combine flours and xanthan gum.

Set aside.

Prepare the wet ingredient:

Place a heat proof bowl over a hot, steaming pot of water.

Add milk, butter, cream cheese, salt.

Whisk to break up cheese and until mixture is smooth and not lumpy.

( You can opt to press the mixture through a sieve to get rid of lumps )

Remove the bowl from the steaming pot. Cool for about 2 minutes.

Whisk in the yolks, one by one. 

(Note: whisk well so that the yolks are not scrambled)

In a few batches, whisk in the mixed flours.

Set aside.

Prepare the Meringue:

Whisk the whites in a stand mixer until course bubbles form.

Add cream of tartar. I did not have this, so I added 1/4 tsp of apple cider vinegar.

Pour the monkfruit sugar or any fine sugar in a steady stream as the mixer whisks.

Stop when meringue forms soft peaks.

Combining the batter:

In 3 batches, spoon the meringue to the yolk batter.

(I use a balloon whisk to allow, gentle thorough mixing)

Preparing to bake:

Pour the batter into the prepared tray.

Use a skewer to draw circles , breaking big air pockets.

Place the springform tin on the shallow tray.

Pour boiling water  on the tray, about 2-3 cm deep. This is your water bath.

Bake at 160C (preheated) for 1.5 hrs.

Cake is ready when a skewer pierced into the center of the cake comes out clean or with 2-3 crumbs.

Leave the oven door ajar and let the cake cool slowly for 30 minutes.

Remove the waterproof foil, cool further.

Cake is best cold, but I can attest it isn't too bad taken warm either.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Flaxseed honey loaf (medium loaf)

Flaxseed, half broken, lends an interesting texture and light crunch in each mouthful

I needed some distraction and also to empty my pantry before my move. Now is the time to use that  bag of flaxseed residing in the fridge for the longest time.

The dough was slaggy and did not come together as a ball like most bread dough would.If you play with clay, this is about the same sensation when handling it. Roll, fold, no kneading needed.  It needed only 1 rise in a lined baking tray making it a fast recipe.

The loaf turns out soft and moist with good structure.  I cut back on the salt by 3g but would advise against it because it was not as flavorful as I would like.  Go for the full 9g; the honey sort of balances it and takes away the smell of the flax seed.

Credit, adapted from here


227g lukewarm water

50g olive olive

10g honey

9g salt ( do not reduce )

300g bread flour

40g flaxseed that is partially milled for texture

2 tsp instant yeast

Milk for brushing


Prepare a Medium baking tray, lined with baking sheet

In a mixer bowl, add the ingredients in the order above.

Knead on low for 15 min.

Dough will be loose and wet. Add 1 tsp (max) to bring most of the dough together. If you are a seasoned baker, omit the 1 tsp of flour mentioned here.

Transfer the slaggy dough to a lightly floured worktop.

Fold into thirds, using a pastry scraper if needed. 

Rotate 90 degrees. Fold into thirds again.

Let the dough rise until the crown reaches the top of the tray.

Preheat the oven to 190C.

Just before baking, brush with milk, generously.

Bake at 190C for 35 minutes.

Transfer the bread on a rack to cool completely before cutting. This prevents the end product from becoming gummy.

Verdict : It is one of the softest and moist loaf. To keep,  precut and freeze. Toast before eating. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Kolak (Pisang)


Kolak (Pisang)

My father’s helper is a multi-talented girl. Not only is she a capable nursing aid, she is also an enthusiastic cook.

Today, she served me a bowl of Indonesian dessert called Kolak. It’s a sweet potato and banana soup dessert but with a slight twist. The overtones of the syrupy soup has a hint of salt and ginger, which gives it a very complex taste that I like.

The original dessert uses coconut milk, but since it is not available, she used milk instead. 

Here’s Trisna’s recipe, all portions adjusted to personal taste :


Sweet potato, cut to small wedges

Some fresh ginger bits

Bananas, just ripe, cut to thumb size

Milk (Coconut milk)

Sugar, salt


Combine sweet potato and ginger. Cook in water, sugar.

When the sweet potato is cooked, add banana, milk and salt to taste.

Turn off the heat.

Yummy, hot or cold.

Credit: Eka Trisna

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Cranberry Breadstick

I made these on-the-go bread sticks for days when pandemic measures meant no dining-in anywhere. These lovely sticks have a thin crust, are soft and mildly sweet. The original recipe has a smattering of garlic on it to go with a meal. But since I meant them for breakfast or snack, I added hubby’s favorite dried snack instead.

Makes 10 

Credits : adapted from  Olive Garden


2 tsp instant yeast + 1 ½ warm water + 2 tbsp caster sugar : combine

4 ½ cups bread flour + 1 pinch of sea salt

30g soft butter 

¼ chopped dried cranberry


Cooking cream

Fine sugar


Combine yeast, water, sugar. 

Combine flour, salt

When the yeast mix turns frothy, pour it into the center of the flour mixrture.

Start the mixer to knead.

Add butter.

Add cranberries.

Prepare a lined tray.

Remove the dough. Roll out into a rectangle.

Cut out 10 breadsticks, roll to smoothen.

Transfer the breadsticks to the prepared tray. 

Leave to rise for 1 hr.

Glaze with cream.

Sprinkle sugar.

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Bake the risen bread sticks at 200C for 12 minutes

Cool well before keeping. Sticks are mildly sweet and go well with any thick chowder.