December 16, 2007
I have been spending more time in the kitchen over the last few weeks, trying to build up a store of gluten free foods that we can all enjoy for the holidays. One of recipes I've made is for Hazelnut Waffles from Fine Cooking Magazine. This is a gluten and dairy free adaptation of Nicole Rees' recipe and turns out a light waffle that teases your taste buds with flavors of vanilla and hazelnuts. A delightful combination that was pleasing even to the younger members of my family.
Over the last few weeks I've been discussing with a few people about whether or not flax seed will hold together gluten free baked goods and I decided to test this out in the hazelnut waffle recipe.
You: "How are flax seeds going to hold my gluten free cooking together?"
SG: "Flax seeds, like chia seeds or psyllium seeds (plantago), creates a gel when added to liquids. Flax seeds make a soft gel, psyllium seeds make a gel with medium firmness and chia seeds make a firm gel not unlike hair gel."
You: "A gel? How exactly is that going to help?"
SG: "Because the gel that these seeds make can be used instead of xanthan gum, guar gum or gelatin as a binder in gluten free cooking."
You: "How much of the flax seeds would I use to substitute for the xanthan gum?"
SG: "You can substitute 2 teaspoons of flaxseed meal for the xanthan gum called for in your recipe. The picture (above) shows you the type of gel that 1 tsp flax seed meal and 1 tsp water will make. The picture (below) shows you the texture and cohesion of the baked hazelnut waffle."
You: "Did it work?"
SG: "It worked very nicely. It held the waffle together and it wasn't crumbly. In addition, it provides additional nutrients from the flax seed meal."
To keep your waffles crisp once you've made them, place them in the oven on 175 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet or on racks. Then serve with warm maple syrup for a hearty breakfast meal.
2/3 cup hazelnut meal*
1 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sweet rice flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp + pinch of sea salt
2 large eggs, beaten
3 Tb cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp flax seed meal
1 1/2 cup gluten free oat milk**
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, melted
Vegetable oil for the waffle iron
1. In a large bowl, dump in the hazelnut meal, flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together.
2. In a large bowl, dump in the eggs and sugar. Beat together and then pour in the vanilla extract and flax seed meal. Stir together and make sure there aren't any lumps. Pour in the oat milk and a little bit of the vegetable shortening. Stir together. Then slowly add the rest of the melted shortening. Continue stirring until combined.
3. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl. Stir to combine. Allow the mixture to sit and rest for 15 to 20 minutes before starting the waffles. This will allow the flax seed meal to gel completely.
4. Bake waffles according to your waffle iron instructions. Yield: 4 Belgian style waffles.
What did my family think about the hazelnut waffles? Everyone thoroughly enjoyed them. This recipe is a keeper.
* Hazelnut Meal: I purchased my hazelnut meal from Bob's Red Mill, but you can also make your own.
** Oat Milk: I used 1/2 cup of cooked certified gluten free oats, 1 Tb agave syrup and 2 cups of water. Dump the oats into your food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Then add the agave syrup and pulse. Pour in the water and pulse to blend. Be careful not to pulse too long as the water might/will leak out from under the lid of your food processor and onto the counter. Store oat milk in the refrigerator.