Sweet and savoury treats that are gluten-free and vegan don't have to lack texture and flavour. Ashley Wittig has created a range of mouthwatering recipes in "Bunner's Simple and Delicious Gluten-Free Vegan Treats," co-authored with partner Kevin MacAllister. The cookbook is based on recipes served to their customers in Bunner's Bake Shop, which has two locations in Toronto.
Here are some recipes to try.
This recipe for gluten- and dairy-free pizza is bound to please.
175 ml (3/4 cup) lukewarm water (just slightly warmer than the inside of your wrist)
11 ml (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast (not instant)
10 ml (2 tsp) organic sugar
50 ml (1/4 cup) lukewarm water
30 ml (2 tbsp) ground flaxseed
175 ml (3/4 cup) potato starch
125 ml (1/2 cup) brown rice flour
75 ml (3/4 cup) Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour
75 ml (1/3 cup) tapioca starch
5 ml (1 tsp) xanthan gum
5 ml (1 tsp) sea salt
5 ml (1 tsp) garlic powder
5 ml (1 tsp) dried thyme
5 ml (1 tsp) dried oregano
125 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
Optional toppings: tomato sauce, pesto, Daiya mozzarella-style shreds, sliced olives, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine 175 ml (3/4 cup) water with yeast and sugar. Whisk and set aside somewhere warm for 10 minutes or until yeast proofs, bubbling up and becoming very frothy.
In another small bowl, combine 50 ml (1/4 cup) water and flaxseed.
In a large bowl, whisk together potato starch, both flours, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, salt, garlic powder, thyme and oregano. Add yeast mixture, flaxseed mixture and oil to dry ingredients. Using a spatula, mix until you achieve a sticky but fairly firm dough. Divide dough into 2 balls.
On a well-floured surface, roll out one of the dough balls until it is as thin as you can make it (about 3 mm/1/8 inch thick). The dough will be very sticky and won't feel the same as a gluten crust when rolling it out; you'll need to use extra flour and you may want to use your hands to pat it down as thin as possible.
Carefully slide round onto a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with second dough ball.
Heat oven to 200 C (400 F). Meanwhile, place baking sheets on stovetop to give crusts a bit of time (and warmth) to rise before baking. The rise isn't significant, but it does improve texture.
Once oven is heated, bake crusts for 10 to 12 minutes, until bottoms are slightly golden brown.
Remove from oven and top with sauce and toppings of your choice. Bake for another 12 minutes, until crust is crispy and toppings cooked through. The pizzas are best enjoyed the day they're baked.
Makes two 20-cm (8-inch) pizzas.
Gingerbread Carrot Muffins
Bunner's Bake Shop is known for its muffins. Cookbook author Ashley Wittig says the gingerbread spice blend in these easy muffins will appeal to any gingerbread fan. She's also added shredded carrot for texture.
125 ml (1/2 cup) soy or coconut milk beverage
5 ml (1 tsp) apple cider vinegar
425 ml (1 3/4 cups) Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour
250 ml (1 cup) organic sugar
15 ml (1 tbsp) gluten-free baking powder
7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) ground ginger
2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cinnamon
2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground nutmeg
1 ml (1/4 tsp) baking soda
1 ml (1/4 tsp) xanthan gum
1 ml (1/4 tsp) sea salt
125 ml (1/2 cup) pure pumpkin puree
125 ml (1/2 cup) canola oil
30 ml (2 tbsp) organic blackstrap molasses
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) shredded organic carrot
Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or spray each muffin cup with canola oil.
In a small bowl, combine milk and vinegar. The reaction of these ingredients raises the acidity of the milk and causes it to thicken somewhat. Set aside for at least 10 minutes to let milk sour and become "buttermilk."
In a large bowl, sift flour, then add sugar, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Whisk thoroughly. In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin puree, oil, molasses and buttermilk. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well using a spatula. Fold in carrots. Let batter sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups to about two-thirds full. Bake in a 200 C (400 F) oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Makes 12 muffins.
Pumpkin pie is one of those treats that herald the end of summer and the beginning of fall, say Wittig and MacAllister. "Even by the end of August we have diehard pumpkin fans begging us to tell them when we'll start making this classic. We usually wait until Thanksgiving weekend to kick off pumpkin pie season, and we'll make hundreds of them in the span of three days," they write.
Use canned pumpkin (preferably organic) and not pumpkin pie filling, which is sweetened and spiced. Or you can roast and puree the pumpkin yourself.
1 batch sweet pastry (recipe follows)
550 ml (2 1/4 cups) pure pumpkin puree
90 ml (1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp) dark maple syrup
90 ml (1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp) canned coconut milk
22 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) arrowroot starch
15 ml (1 tbsp) canola oil
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
5 ml (1 tsp) ground ginger
3 ml (3/4 tsp) agar-agar
2 ml (1/2 tsp) sea salt
1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground nutmeg
Prepare pastry and let chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Remove dough from refrigerator. Combine 2 discs and, on a well-floured surface, roll out to a circle about 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick and 25 cm (10 inches) in diameter. Transfer to a 23-cm (9-inch) glass pie plate by gently rolling dough around rolling pin like a jelly roll, then unrolling it onto pie plate and lightly pressing it down. Trim overhang and crimp pastry edges with fingers or a fork to seal.
In a blender or large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, maple syrup, coconut milk, arrowroot starch, oil, cinnamon, ginger, agar-agar, salt and nutmeg. Blend or whisk until smooth.
Pour filling into pie shell, using a spatula to smooth top. Bake in a 190 C (375 F) for 45 minutes.
Let cool for about 30 minutes before refrigerating and let set for at least 4 hours, and up to overnight, before slicing.
Makes one 23-cm (9-inch) pie.
Use this sweet pastry to make shells for tarts and fruity hand pies. You can also double the recipe. One precaution: Avoid over-flouring the dough if you're rolling it out a few times, as this will dry it up, making it harder to work with and a little less tasty.
250 ml (1 cup) brown rice flour
250 ml (1 cup) Bob's Red Mill garbanzo and fava flour
75 ml (1/3 cup) arrowroot starch
15 ml (1 tbsp) organic sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) xanthan gum
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
1 ml (1/4 tsp) sea salt
125 ml (1/2 cup) Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (1 stick), temperature depends on method used
125 ml (1/2 cup) Earth Balance Shortening Sticks (1 stick), temperature depends on method used
125 ml (1/2 cup) cold water
To prepare in a food processor: In a food processor, combine both flours with arrowroot starch, sugar, xanthan gum, cinnamon and salt and pulse a few times to combine. Cut cold butter and shortening into 5-cm (2-inch) cubes. Add to flour mixture a cube at a time as you continue to pulse processor, until chunks are no longer visible and mixture takes on a sandy consistency.
Add water a splash at a time, continuing to pulse processor. Once all water is added, process until everything is combined.
Using a spatula, remove dough from processor. Divide in half (for quicker chilling) and, using your hands, flatten each portion into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to overnight, before using.
To prepare by hand or with a hand mixer: Bring butter and shortening to room temperature. In a bowl, cream together butter and shortening using a potato masher, fork or hand mixer. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
Gradually incorporate dry ingredients into creamed butter mixture, mixing with hands or a fork. Add cold water a splash at a time until everything is combined.
Divide dough in half (for quicker chilling), flatten into discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 90 minutes, and up to overnight, before using.
Makes enough for one 23-cm (9-inch) single pie shell.
Source: "Bunner's: Simple and Delicious Gluten-Free Vegan Treats" by Ashley Wittig and Kevin MacAllister (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., 2014).