I haven’t really missed bread since going gluten free. And, by that, I mean bread in the traditional form—loaf or sandwich bread. I know many gluten-free folks who are on an ongoing quest to find the best gluten-free sandwich bread. They don’t want to face a life without traditional sandwiches. The pursuit for a gluten-free sandwich bread that is “worthy” can be a frustrating one. Often the seekers give up and buy a breadmaker and start making their own bread using GF recipes or pre-made mixes. Faithfully, they make bread once or twice a week to have sandwich bread on hand. That is a totally fine approach if that works for them. But, I believe in being gluten free easily, i.e., not just GF, but GFE, so I skip the sandwich bread. Having to make bread once a week or always have the favorite gluten-free bread on hand does not equate to easy to me. I am as happy as can be with a chicken or tuna salad on lettuce or a slice each of ham and Swiss cheese rolled up for my “sandwich.” Plus, I just don’t feel great when I eat bread on a daily basis, even gluten-free bread. I think it’s the result of a combination of too many carbs and too many odd ingredients.
BUT (there’s always a but, right?), I do love to make muffins (both sweet and savory) and popovers from time to time. I typically make them when I know I can’t personally overindulge; e.g., for our support group meetings, as part of a meal for a friend, when our son is home from college, or when we are having guests … generosity is sometimes just self-protection, you know? LOL
Popovers … ah …doesn’t just saying the word make your whole face smile and your tummy start making those little hungry noises? When the folks in our celiac/gluten intolerance support group start waxing poetic about good bread, I make muffins and popovers for them. The result is a very happy support group!
For our holiday meeting, I selected standard fare for the entrees I was preparing: turkey breast and ham. The turkey breast I cooked in the crock pot (I’ll share that three-ingredient recipe in another post) and the ham was a Smithfield spiral-sliced ham ready-to-go variety (the latest Clan Thompson gluten-free mini-list indicates that all Smithfield hams are gluten-free). Admittedly, holiday meals just call out for some type of bread, so I made my popovers. (In the photo below, you’ll also see what’s left of Jennifer’s “to-die-for” salmon cakes with lemon Dijon sauce; easy, crustless apple pie, and crustless coconut pie.
This recipe is the simple popover recipe you can find in any basic cookbook (e.g., Betty Crocker) or online, but I adapted it to be gluten free by replacing the all-purpose flour with my Asian white rice flour/cornstarch mix and added a little xanthan gum. Look at the close-up picture, folks. These are GOOD.
½ tsp salt
1 cup milk (either dairy or non-dairy milk will work)
1 cup GF flour mix*
1 tsp xanthan gum
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Generously grease 8 standard-size muffin cups. In a bowl, combine eggs and salt. Beat until light and airy. Stir in milk and beat until light and airy. Add flour and xanthan gum, and mix until smooth.
Fill muffin cups about ¾ full. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake about 20 minutes longer, until popovers are golden brown. They should be crisp on the outside (as you can see in the photos). Remove and serve at once. Recipe makes 8 popovers, but I double and triple as needed with no issues.
*I make my GF flour mix ahead of time and store it in Tupperware containers and then use it measure for measure for the flour called for in any recipe. I use three parts Asian white rice flour and two parts Argo cornstarch. With the packaging that’s available for each, I usually use three 1-lb packages of Asian white rice flour and two 1-lb packages of Argo cornstarch. I am sure superfine brown rice flour could be used instead of the white rice flour. If you require lower glycemic index grains for your flour mix, you may have already come up with an alternative GF flour mix, but this one works best for me in all my recipes.
Shirley’s Notes: Some people recommend piercing popovers when they reduce the oven temperature at the half-way point (or at the very end and leaving in another minute or two), to make them drier. That’s up to you, but dry is typically NOT something we are looking for in gluten-free recipes. I love that these are super moist; that factor is especially great for reheating. Of course, if you are a reader who eats gluten with no issues, all-purpose flour can be used and the xanthan gum omitted.
Make these and report back … or better yet, invite me over to dinner. Being in guest mode also prevents me from overindulging!
Special thanks to my very dear friend, Jennifer Smith, for taking and sharing the photos!
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