Pop goes the toaster and minutes later I’m running for the bus, with a coffee in one hand and a soggy piece of buttered toast in the other. Marmite, cheese, peanut butter, jam; the choices are endless with this super quick and easy feed. But it may become a limited menu option, as the National Farmers Union (NFU) predict the worst wheat harvest the UK has seen in decades. Lockdown and fears of a no deal Brexit have exasperated a flailing farming community. But the climate crisis is at the forefront of issues for crop growers, with increasing years of weather extremes dominated by periods of wet and dry weather. Three major storms produced the wettest February on record, drenching already saturated fields. Farmers were forced to sow a reduced crop and quality is variable.
As much as we love a muffin or a freshly buttered sliced white, we may need to experiment with a reduced gluten diet. It isn’t all bad news, with a rise in gluten intolerances and dieticians exploring the benefits of a reduced gluten diet. Here are a couple of wheat free recipes.
Rolled Oats, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, Vanilla Extract, Milk, Egg, Salt
- Blend one and a half cups of rolled oats in a food processor until the consistency of flour.
- Place the oat flour in a large mixing bowl and combine with half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, half a teaspoon of baking powder, and a generous pinch of salt.
- whisk one egg with one cup of skimmed milk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Leave the batter to rest for five minutes.
- Heat a non stick frying pan or griddle on a medium heat.
- When hot add a quarter cup of batter, turn pancakes when bubbles form on the top and then until other side lightly browned.
Note: Always use a good non stick pan because the absence of gluten makes these pancakes more easy to tear.
Wheat Free Bagels
White Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Honey, Water, Yeast, Butter, Egg Whites
- In a mixer or food processor blend 150g white rice flour, 130g tapioca flour, 1 3/4 teaspoons of xanthan gum, 1 teaspoon honey and a generous pinch of salt.
- Dissolve 2 tablespoons of butter in 50mls hot water, stirring well.
- Measure 100ml of warm water and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of dried yeast.
- Add the dissolved butter and water to the dry ingredients and blend.
- Then add 2 egg whites and the yeast and water mix and combine on a low setting.
- The dough should be thick enough to hold a shape, but if not just add more rice flour.
- On a high setting beat for 4-5 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment, or grease with vegetable oil and a sprinkle of rice flour.
- Divide the dough into 8 balls and flatten on the baking sheet. Poke a hole in the centre and widen so it does not close as the dough expands.
- Leave in a warm place to rise for half hour to an hour.
- To achieve the crisp shiny coating bagels have, bring a small saucepan of water with a teaspoon of syrup to the boil. When it reaches a rolling boil using a fish slice or slotted spoon and dip each bagel for 30 seconds turn and then another 30 seconds.
- Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes.