Guests with grain sensitivities?

Here’s a tip to help people feel appreciated and welcomed.

Like most of us, I have friends and guests with sensitivities to wheat and/or gluten. So I always have a range of grains on hand so I can easily make something they will feel comfortable eating. If you don’t have a mill, I encourage you to buy small quantities of flour you know your friends or neighbours can eat, and store them in your freezer. These might include spelt, heritage wheat, oat, barley, or pea flours.

During the past week, I have had many opportunities to bake for a visiting friend who cannot eat wheat. However, she is fine with spelt, and spelt works well for bread as well as for baking with baking powder or soda in biscuits, cookies, scones, etc. I also used oat flour as a straight substitute for wheat in brownies and a strawberry cobbler. In most cases you can simply use recipes you already use and like, and substitute the kinds of grain. Have fun with your experimentation!

It’s still rhubarb season

I just had a taste of a rhubarb cake made with freshly milled soft white wheat flour, which is relatively low in gluten and relatively neutral in flavour. I expect oat flour or barley flour or perhaps some others would have been great as well. The cake is amazing, so thought I’d share the recipe. Unfortunately I was in experimental mode and didn’t measure things exactly, but here is an approximation:

3 c. finely chopped rhubarb, mixed with 3T brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 large free range egg
2 1/2 c. soft white wheat flour (whole grain, not sieved)
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 c. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla

1/3 c butter
1 c. brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. and butter a 9″x13″ glass baking pan.
Mix butter, sugars and egg; mix thoroughly, ideally with electric beater until light and fluffy.
Mix in the flour/baking soda alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in the rhubarb. Spread in the prepared pan.

In a separate bowl mix the butter, sugar and cinnamon. I flattened bits of this and put it all over the surface so that the surface was almost covered. Bake for about 50 minutes.

I thought the sweet/tart mix was perfect, but my husband wasn’t so sure!