Gluten-free bread sticks with pesto mayonnaise

pesto mayonnaiseIts New Years Eve! One of my favourite things to do on New Years Eve is to eat lots and lots of appetizers. And one of my favourite appetizers are bread sticks. As I am new to the gluten-free world, I just had to go hunting for a wonderful bread stick recipe that I could make for tonight. After going searching about the web and through the few books I purchased, I decided to make sticks similar to the ones pictured in the coloured photograph section of the “Complete Gluten-Free Cookbook” by Washburn & Butt.

I use the term similar because I can never leave well enough alone. I must change recipes. Its a compulsion I have. I’m sure that these two wonderful authors spent huge amounts of time perfecting their recipe, but meh, I still have to much about. So, the recipe below is the result of my mucking. The two recipes are similar, but there are enough differences that my recipe would yield bread with a slightly different flavour than the published version. Plus I blew up my hand mixer last week (I destroy at least one a year), so I have to blend by hand until the new one comes in the mail in the new year. I’m not standing by the kitchen sink and blending my bread by hand for 10-15 minutes, or whatever the equivalent to 4 minutes by hand mixer would have been. I’m far too lazy. Finally, I used a smaller pan because I wanted my bread sticks to be thicker and chewier.

The result of my experiment is that I absolutely adored this recipe. The bread sticks are light with a wonderfully chewy centre and a nice crisp exterior. The sesame seeds add body and depth to the whole stick. I honestly couldn’t imagine this recipe without the sesame seeds.But what did I want to go with the bread sticks?

Well, in October I still was unaware of my body’s dislike for gluten so my friend and I ordered bread sticks and dippers from a fancy restaurant. One of the dips that came with the bread sticks was pesto mayonnaise. I fell in love instantly! I wanted to make this dip before but I just never got around to doing so until now. I’m sure glad that I did, because this recipe is just wonderful! I simply added gluten-free mayo to my pesto recipe (also included below) and voila! It was so simple! You can also just mix store bought pesto and mayonnaise together at a ratio of 1 part pesto to 2 part mayonnaise. If its too strong for your taste buds, dilute the pesto with more mayonnaise until you are satisfied with the results.

TURTLE TASTE TEST RATING: 9 out of 10 shells

BREAD STICK RECIPE
modified from “Complete Gluten-free Cookbook” by Washburn and Butt, 2007

Materials:

  • 8×8 inch (20x20cm) baking pan, lightly greased
  • baking sheet, ungreased
  • oven, don’t pre-heat until the directions give you the cue.
  • good quality serrated bread knife
  • cutting board

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup amaranth flour
  • 3 tbsp raw ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp quick-rise yeast
  • 2/3 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup warm, but not boiling water
  • 1 tbsp grape seed oil (I’m sure any vegetable type oil will be just fine)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, blend together all dry ingredients until the mixture is uniform.
  2. Blend wet ingredients together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough appears of uniform consistency. If mixing by hand, this is about 3 minutes, which is when your arm feels as if it is going to fall off because you’re mixing thick batter. With a hand blender this time is 4 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle 1.5 tbsp (22.5 mL) of sesame seeds into the bottom of the greased pan. Drop the dough by the spoonful on top of the sesame seeds. Don’t worry, they won’t all clump. Spread the top of the mix as smooth as possible with a moist spatula or the back of a moist spoon.
  4. Sprinkle the smoothed top with another 1.5 tbsp (22.5 mL) of sesame seeds.
  5. Turn on the oven and pre-heat to 400F
  6. Now, let this rise 30 minutes or so on the counter. If you’re using modern quick-rise yeast they really don’t care if its draft-free or nice and warm, they’ll rise at room temperature if you have the front door open and it is snowing. Really, personal experience. Just let the recipe sit for 30 minutes, okay?
  7. Pop the pan into the pre-heated oven and bake for 12 minutes
  8. Remove from the oven. Immediately take bread out of the pan and place it on the cutting board.
  9. Turn the oven down to 350F (180C)
  10. Cut the bread into 12 long sticks, or if you can’t cut that thin, just cut as many long strips as you possibly can. I managed to get 11 bread sticks.
  11. Arrange the slices on the cookie sheet so that the cut sides are exposed. Space them so they do not touch.
  12. Bake for another 20 minutes. 25 if you like them really crispy.
  13. Transfer to a cooling rack and enjoy!

PESTO MAYONNAISE

As I said before, you can also just mix store bought pesto and mayonnaise together at a ratio of 1 part pesto to 2 part mayonnaise. If its too strong for your taste buds, dilute the pesto with more mayonnaise until you are satisfied with the results.

Materials:

  • Food processor

Ingredients:

For Pesto:

  • 2/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  • 1 clove finely minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup gluten free mayonnaise.

Directions:

  1. Shove all the ingredients (except the mayonnaise) into a food processor and whir until smooth and consistent.
  2. Add pesto to a small bowl, mix in mayonnaise until uniform.
  3. Refrigerate until use.
  4. ENJOY!


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