It’s been winter, and
the storms came
angry and full of passion
they took down branches, sheds and boats.
Storm BIrkenhead
one girl said she drove past a farm
there were avocados all over the ground.
What would you do with them all?
one old lady and one yacht got rescued.
Boats Narrowneck Beach
afterwards, all was calm
if only for an instant.
It is still grey and testing,
malicious grey clouds rolling.
Rainbow Ponsonby
But inside our temporary house
we make light and love:
in breads and soups
and cookies. 
Cookies
Like the rest of us, recently I decided that I too had to find a day job. So I have a couple of those to keep me busy. I’m excited about them. Real life is cool.

 

But baking and blogging is better.
BBC Good Food Basic Bread
I know I’ve spoken about this Classic White Bread Recipe from the BBC Good Food Guide before, but I can’t over how good it is. It’s almost as beautiful and homogenous as my first attempt with the new sheffield bread maker. Bread Maker Bread
A side by side comparison shows that they are both nice and fluffy. Though I prefer the taste and crunch of the home made bread, there’s nothing cooler than sticking some things in the pan and coming back three hours later to this. Bread Comparison I made a Perfect Potato Soup Recipe the other day, from the Pioneer Women Blog – which was divine. The only difference was a hint of paprika and a dollop of sour cream at the end. It is the perfect thing for winter. Potato Soup
And recently I found an old recipe: it was one of those cut out jobs in my recipe journal. My brothers staying, and I’m sure that he, along with my boyfriend, would love to get their cookie monster on and devour on their own.

 
 

But I thought, why not try and make it gluten free so I can have a little indulgence? Which brings me back to how-to-make an all purpose, gluten free flour. I talked about it last year, in my post about Gluten Free Fejoa & Coconut Cake. 
Coconut & Fejoa Cake Whole

All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

Rule #1: All purpose gluten free flours are not as versatile as normal flour, you need a mix of types.
Rule #2: It is good to have 40% grain flours and 60% starch. You can find a full list of these here
Rule #3: You can’t always substitute 1:1 – you have to play around with it.
Rule #4: You can’t always cook it the same length of time, as gluten usually needs longer to cook. 
Rule #5: You cannot over mix in gluten free baking.

 

Working example: For the below recipe, I made a premix of all purpose gluten free flour. But out of curiosity, I swapped up the ratio of grains to starches – and it worked.
60%, or 3 cups, was grain flours: 2 cups of buckwheat and 1 cup of millet flour. 
40%, or 2 cups, was starch flours: 1 cup of tapioca starch, and 1 cup of rice flour.
Utilise any combination of flours, working in the ratios mentioned above and aim for at least 3 
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Four

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
125g butter, chopped up
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/3 C brown sugar, tightly packed
1/3 C white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 C gluten-free all purpose blend OR
1 1/4 normal white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 C chopped walnuts, peanuts or desired nuts
1 C chocolate drops
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies One Method
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. 
2. Beat butter, essence, sugars and egg in a small bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. If you don’t have one, simply warm the butter in a bain marie (basin of hot water) and whisk until smooth. 
3. Sift in dry ingredients, nuts and chocolate drops, mix in well. 
4. Drop in level tablespoons of mixture onto greased tray. This is made easier with a baby spatula or a teaspoon, to make sure you have the exact amount. I literally mean a level tablespoon, otherwise they will melt and stick together! Press down lightly on each one with a little water on your fingers. 
5. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown (as ovens vary). Stand cookies 2 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool. 
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Two The original recipe says that it makes 25, I have made 24 out of this batch and I think I’ll get another 10 or so… it really depends on how precise your measurement is. I love to make a tray of 12, wrap the rest in clean film and put it in the pantry for up to three days- that way you can fresh cookies on demand!
Cookies Two
I especially like the gritty pieces of millet from this flour mix, the soft crunch and the flavours of chocolate and buttery – peanuty goodness… and the mere fact that the two little bites in every morsel leaves you hankering for more. 
Ayla