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I am not much of a cook. I generally do what I can to make passable meals in as easy a manner as possible. If I follow a recipe, which isn’t often, I follow it to the letter because I don’t want to screw it up.

That’s changed since I started this elimination diet, mostly out of necessity, but inching toward a desire to experiment.

There are lots and lots of foods that are off-limits on an elimination diet because the diet aims to pinpoint food sensitivities by eliminating any food that tends to cause allergic reactions (wheat and other glutinous grains, sugar, corn, dairy, soy, etc. etc. etc.), allowing the body to cleanse itself of these typical allergens, and then reintroducing the allergens one at a time and noting the reaction.

Because so many grains have to be excluded from the diet, there isn’t much in the way of bread I can eat, so I took to the internet to find a gluten-free bread recipe. I found a great one at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen for a Whole Grain Flatbread.

I really wanted to follow the recipe as written, but I couldn’t find all the different types of flours the recipe called for at our local grocery store. Instead, I substituted this for all the flours (rounding to 2 1/4 cups altogether):

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour

It had most of the flours in the recipe.

The other substitution I made was to use brown rice syrup rather than honey for the first baking because honey is a no-no on the elimination diet.

While the flatbread was good on the first go, it was a little on the dry side, so the next time I made it, I substituted the 1 cup of warm water with 2/3 cup warm water and 1/3 cup applesauce. The applesauce was an inspiration from a gluten-free biscuit recipe provided by my doctor’s office.

The flatbread was a lot more moist with this substitution, but I wasn’t done yet. When I made the flatbread today, I substituted agave syrup for the brown rice syrup. This change was inspired by my husband’s bread baking over the weekend. I was reintroducing wheat, so I could have that, but not the sugar he typically puts in his dough recipe. Hubby used agave instead of sugar and the result was a lovely loaf of bread with a balanced density.

Erik's loaf of bread made using agave syrup rather than sugar, February 2012.

Erik's loaf of bread made using agave syrup rather than sugar, February 2012.

The agave did something interesting to my flatbread … it made the dough bubbly and put some air into the finished product, making for a fluffier flatbread.

Altered Whole Grain Flatbread, February 2012

Altered Whole Grain Flatbread, February 2012

As you can see, I’ve already eaten the first row and I baked it about an hour ago. (It’s calling me back for another piece.)

The only drawback with the agave is that the dough did not flow to cover the entire pan. Obviously, I’ll have to use a different pan next time. Yet another alteration.

I love it when food experiments work.

What notable alterations have you made to a favorite recipe?

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