Thursday 25 July 2013

THE SECRETS - Gluten Free Bread tips from the expert

Now I love Cyndi's recipe, but I have had the occasional gluggy flop, and then it really piques my scientific brain when Lynne turns up to every cooking class with a PERFECT gluten free loaf.

Now to cut us all some slack, Lynne is the expert when it comes to bread - sourdough, gluten free - anything!! And she is a wonderful teacher as well. So last Tuesday, she finally let the cat out of the bag and told us her secret technique tips.

I tried to angle this picture to show you how bendy and flexible this loaf was. And it's delicious.
It's very simple! Ready:

1) There are some recipe modifications - but very minor, and she has not been forthcoming. For myself, I like to use 40g of sticky rice in place of some of the basmati for more binding. And I like to use the gluten free doctor's "pixie dust" to help reduce the amount of xantham gum. For start though, STICK TO THE RECIPE! you may add a tiny bit more yeast, but only by rounding your teaspoons.

For other modifications - like egg free you can use similiar ingredients to the pixie dust (like making a gel out of chia seeds and adding that instead of egg. I'll give that a go myself soon. For egg free, dairy free, gluten free and yeast free, I direct you to the wonderful work of Me and My Thermie and her new loaf

2) The mix. Both Lynne and I like to set aside the dry ingredients (leave sugar out) after mixing and heat the liquid on 37 degrees for 1.5 minutes WITH THE YEAST AND THE SUGAR. Then let it sit for 5 minutes while you go and get other things on, so the yeast has a chance to get started.

Then - proceed as normal and combine all ingredients for 15 seconds. THEN - KNEAD ON INTERVAL SPEED FOR 2 MINUTES. Haha! Now that's a sneaky manouvre.

3) THE KEY CLUE - is the long rise. I see some recipe community hints and Sarah Santos have all noticed that 30 minutes for a rise is better. Lynne's recommendation is an hour, or as long as you can. She even does a second rise sometimes...I'll get the details on that soon. For now, make sure you choose somewhere warm, but not too warm. My mostly defunct microwave is a good spot for us. Too warm and it will rise too quickly and give those larger holes in the loaf.

All of you science lovers can join me in the geeky question - WHY DOES THE LONG RISE MAKE SUCH A DIFFERENCE? Well the structure in the gluten free bread depends on the yeast breaking down the sugars in the loaf. The yeast interacts with the proteins to make it rise...but without the structure provided by the broken down sugars (think of all the starches you put in the loaf), it doesn't have a firm skeleton to stay risen when the heat goes away. Glug!

That's why it's important to have at least 30% starches in your gluten free mixes. This loaf has slightly higher. And the long sitting and yeast digesting the sugars is why Quirky Cooking's artisan loaf is so fantastic and has a great texture and flexibility.

4) The oven. Lynne puts her oven on 210-220 and then turns it down to 190 after the first five minutes of cooking. If you have an unreliable oven thermostat....I would buy one that hangs in your oven!

Cool huh? Have a play. Tell me your thoughts and Bon appetit!

Wednesday 17 July 2013


I have heard a few people say that they don't find the Thermomix bowl easy to clean - but with a few little tips it's an absolute cinch - and very quick.

I have my photo series below to show you the best way to clean off a sticky mess. Enjoy

This is what out bowl looks like after scraping out the porridge, (also applies to batters, sticky breads)

Step 1 - pop the bowl back onto the TM unit and fling any excess batter off your blades by whizzing for 1-2 seconds speed 7-9.

Step 2 - quick re-scrape 

Then cover the blades with warm water (drop of detergent for milky or buttery mess) and place brush bristles between the blades and wiggle side to side while going around the bowl. then do it on the opposite sides of the blade. Then swish the brush quickly around the sides of the bowl.
Return to the Thermomix unit and whizz for 20 seconds speed 8

Voila! The hard work is done!!!

In general here's the cleaning document I prepared and Leonie from ThermoFun has kindly tweaked and promoted.

here's to easy cleaning!!

Lush Thermosphere and ThermoFun





Cleaning sticky messes

1.    If you have excess food on the blades – simply return the bowl to the TM base and spin the blades for 1-2 seconds on speed 6-8.  Then re-scrape the sides with your spatula.
2.    If it is still doughy – put some flour on the blades and spin again.
3.    For any starchy or sticky mixes, I cover the blades with water, run a dish brush around the blade post a few times, and then proceed to ‘wash’ at speed 7-8 for 15 seconds or more.
4.    If it is a real mess in the bowl, I put in at least 600g of water, set to 5 mins, 100 degrees speed 4.  When finished, carefully take the speed dial to speed 7 and ‘wash’ for 15 seconds.


Cleaning smelly, oily messes

1.    The first step is your basic ‘wash’ but with some drops of detergent and any of; lemon ends, vinegar, bicarb, citric acid
2.    If needed - Repeat with a little bit of water, and more of the above ingredients.  Then make sure everything can aerate well.
3.    If your silicon lid is stained – follow the above steps, then cover with lemon juice and leave to dry in the sun for an hour.
4.    If everything still smells, you can ‘season’ your silicone seal by cooking 60g+ of cheap oil with vanilla or citrus peel.  You will need to cook 3 minutes+ on 100 degrees.  Then carefully raise the speed to blitz on speed 9 for a minute.


Cleaning a burnt or filmy bowl.

1.    Follow your normal ‘clean’ procedure.
2.    Make a paste with equal amounts of bicarb and washing soda (or just the bicarb if that’s all you have) and a ½ amount of citric acid, then adding a few drips of water.  If you don’t have citric acid, pour several drops of lemon juice or vinegar onto your paste.  You can also grind up salt, and add a little bicarb and lemon to make a paste. Leave this for at LEAST ten minutes.
3.    Agitate with a NON-SCRATCH scourer or a brush.  Over several minutes, all the build-up should come away.  You can do a longer soak with vinegar and water (in your EDC).
4.    Cooking with salt, or cooking up a cleaner helps.  Try this beautiful lemon concentrate from the UK website:
5.    A slight film is fixed by soaking with lemon juice.

If you have any cleaning the Thermomix hints and tips - we would love to include them in our next revision of this document.

You can either email Leonie from ThermoFun at:
Liz from Lush Thermosphere at:

ENJOY!  And Happy Cleaning and Cooking!

From Leonie and Liz   J