Bread Making Tips (from Happy Campers Bread Company)

I did an Interview with Jan and Lacy, the founders of the Happy Campers Bread Company, and asked them for some bread making tips. (By the way, their bread is amazing and can be ordered online. It’s also free of a handful of major allergens, including rice.) Their advice confirmed some of my thoughts about baking bread — many recipes call for too much yeast. If your loaf is dense try addressing the issue indirectly.

gluten free dairy free bread making tips advice

This is what they had to say:

  • Use a mixture of flours for balanced flavor. Using too much of any one flour will result in off taste. Rice, millet, sorghum and teff are good bulk flours, because they're neutral in flavor and are fairly light (won't produce dense bread). Add a little bit of buckwheat, quinoa, or amaranth for nuttier, more whole grain flavor.

  • Nut flours like almond or coconut are tough to make bread with, because they're so heavy and will produce very dense bread.

  • Using starches (tapioca, corn, potato) will produce lighter bread. On the other hand, starch isn't nutritious, so regarding nutrition, the less the better. I recommend about 20% of flour to be starch.

  • A mixture of psyllium husk powder and xanthan gum works best to replace gluten, I recommend approximately a teaspoon of each per loaf. Mix them up in your flour before adding water.

  • Mix all ingredients very thoroughly (on high speed in your Kitchen Aid, at least 10 minutes).

  • Dough consistency should be of thick batter. This will depend on flour used, but roughly weight ratio 1:1 in flour:water should produce the right consistency.

  • 1 tsp of yeast should be plenty. When bread turns out dense, most people will think it's yeast, but that's rarely the case. More likely you need more mixing time or lighter flours (like millet, rice or some starch).

  • For nice yeasty, sourdough flavor, create a "sponge:" mix all your flour (including xanthan and psyllium) with water, add a pinch of yeast and let sit in fridge overnight. Add the remaining ingredients (like salt, yeast, molasses, seeds etc.) the next day, proof and bake as usual.

Alice Medrich: Award-Winning Author, Baker, and Chocolate Connoisseur

Alice Medrich interview podcast gluten free flavor flours


I had the amazing opportunity to talk with Alice Medrich. She is well-known in the food world for her expertise with chocolate, French pastry, and baking. In fact, she introduced one of America’s treasured desserts, the chocolate truffle, which, in the 1970’s and 80’s, was virtually unknown. We’ll talk about her journey and what it was like to be part of a food movement that is still influencing us today. And, we’ll also dive into her most recent cookbook, Flavor Flours. It’s a celebration of grains that are gluten free and she teaches us what those grains—or flours in this case—can offer us when married with the impeccable craft of a fantastic baker. Alice Medrich, has won numerous awards for her cookbooks, including James Beard awards and a Julia Child first cookbook award.

Join us next week on The Gluten Free Baking Show to learn more about Alice Medrich’s cookbook!


Here is the recipe for Alice Medrich’s Corn Flour Chiffon Cake

Interview with Award-Winning Author David Leite

David Leite interview podcast

EPISODES #8 and #9

You can make a convincing case that food defines who we are, and often who we are not. We talk about this and much more with food writer and memoirist David Leite about his most recent book, Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression. He’s the founder of Leite’s Culinaria, which was the first website to win a James Beard Award in 2006 and again in 2007. David Leite was also awarded the Julia Child first book award for his cookbook The New Portuguese Table. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, and the Los Angeles Times, among many others.

Join us next week on The Gluten Free Baking Show to learn more about Leite’s recipes!



Holiday Special


In this episode we talk about a few recipes from the cookbook Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays by Jeanne Sauvage
- Lebkuchen Cookies
- Spritz Cookies
- Pfeffernusse Cookies (with black pepper)
- Mandarin Chocolate Cake

We ended with one of my recipes for Whoopee Pies. They also have a dairy free option.
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Whoopee Pies with Cinnamon Nutmeg Buttercream

gluten free dairy free whoopee pie recipe

The whoopee pies are also excellent with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which you can add flavors or spices to. This buttercream can also be refrigerated or frozen. You just want to bring it to room temperature and stir it before using.

Here is a gluten free Lebkuchen recipe you can try. I haven’t tried it so please let me know if you like it!

Here is a fairly authentic German Lebkuchen “Gingerbread Spice” recipe.

When baking, use a measuring scale! Measuring in grams is more exact than measuring in volume. It also saves time, dishes, and most importunity your baked goods.

Classic Apple Pie, Quick Pecan Tart & an Interview With a GF Bread Company

Apple pie

Episodes #3 & #4 are a series.





I’d like to give a huge thank you to Jan & Lacy, the founders of Happy Campers bread for a wonderful interview.

Happy Campers gluten free bread
  • The Czech Poppyseed Pastry that Jan and Lacy talked about is called Makovnik.

  • Here is the Gluten Free and Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe from Plant Positive Running that Jan and Lacy said is delicious.

  • Also, I asked them about bread making tips. Lucky for us, they have a lot of them!


A little more about pie making…

We didn’t talk about this on the show but you can freeze pie crusts, so you can make them ahead. Or you can make enough dough for several pie crusts and freeze a couple of them just to have on hand.

Correction: There was a question regarding runny pie filling. I meant to say that if you have a running filling try adding about a 1/2-1 tablespoon more than what the recipe calls for. (If you only add 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch to begin with you will definitely have a runny pie!) Also, berry filling typically requires more thickening than apple pie since berries have more moisture.

Here is an interesting article about making pie making from Serious Eats:

Overview of pie making tips from King Arthur Flour

How to crimp a pie crust