It is DAY 13 of Gluten Free Baking With KitchenAid and I am celebrating the 7-QT KitchenAid Stand Mixer Giveaway with my fellow gluten free bloggers at the first annual Nourished Gluten Free Food Bloggers Conference in Chicago. I am SO excited to connect with my friends in the gluten free community, and meet new people and learn from them! The wonderful Amy Green has put this wonderful event together, and has invited many of the fabulous ladies I will be featuring this month to speak at the conference. No self-respecting gluten free event would be complete without including Cybele Pascal amongst the presenters, so I thought it only fitting that I feature her today! If you are not familar with Cybele Pascal, The Allergy-Friendly Cook, GET acqauinted, or you are just letting the best in the allergy-friendly cooking world pass you by! 

Cybele Pascal is basically a rockstar in the gluten-free world, and has been leading the charge in innovative allergy-friendly cuisine for over ten years. She is the author of two bestselling cookbooks, The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook (my all-time favourite allergy-friendly cookbook) and The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook. You can also find Cybele's phenomenal allergy-free recipes on her blog, Cybele Pascal - The Allergy-Friendly Cook; as well as Food Allergy Recipe Challenge on Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Daily. Cybele has made appearances on all of the major network TV shows such as The Martha Stewart Show, the Food Network, the Today show, Good Morning America Health, and NPR. Cybele also lectures and teaches all over the country, makes cooking videos to inspire people with food allergies, and is an "Ambassador Who Cares" for FAAN (Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network), working to make sure nobody with food allergies is ever deprived of their favorite foods! 

I honestly can't rave enough about this woman and her wealth of knowedge about food allergies and allergy-free cooking. Not only is she a gold-mine of information, but she is kind, generous, and compassionate. What I LOVE about her recipes is that they come with detailed instructions and "fool-proofing," and she answers every question on her blog! TRY TRY TRY her fabulous recipes and see for yourself that they really come as close to the "real non allergic thing" as humanly possible! Cybele draws from her personal experience as the mother of a food allergic family, and specializes in creating incredible gluten-free recipes that are free of all top allergens -- dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and sesame. I would say, she is a master of creating incredible recipes whether you have a food allergy or not! I have made almost every single recipe in The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook, and each one is a WINNER! Now my sister is making her way through my very well-loved, chocolate-stained, dog-eared copy of this national culinary "food allergy" treasure to provide treats for my niece, Alexandra, who suffers from multiple food allergies.

These gluten free, nut free, soy free, corn free, vegan pita breads are a shining example of her ability to create something that rivals its wheat-inspired counterpart! These are SO good! They are light and fluffy and hit the spot for me when I stuffed them with avocado, raw vegan hummus, cucumbers, sweet peppers, sprouts and spinach leaves. YUMMO! Scott was drooling! It was the first pita pocket he had enjoyed since going gluten free! Needless to say, we were in Piggy Heaven!

Cybele, your books have been a LIFESAVER for me and my family. Thank you so much for all that you do to enrich the knowledge and tasty recipes in the food allergic world. I am so grateful to have you contribute to this event. You are an inspiration to me! Thank you. You ROCK!!

Cybele is currently working on her third cookbook with Ten Speed/Random House, which will be released in November 2012. I am COUNTING THE MINUTES! 

Check out Cybele's original post for detailed photos and further information about this recipe.
Learn more about Cybele at Cybele Pascal - The Allergy-Friendly Cook.
Follow Cybele on Facebook and Twitter.

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Cybele Pascal’s Allergy Free Pita Breads

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp warm water (110°F – 115°F)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 packet rapid-rise yeast*
  • 3 ¼ cups Gluten-Free Bread Flour Mix (see Cybele's recipe here)
  • 2 Tbsp plain coconut milk yogurt (So Delicious)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp xanthan gum (Authentic Foods xanthan gum is corn-free)
  • 1 tsp Celtic sea salt
  1. Combine warm water with sugar and rapid-rise yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Be sure your water isn’t too hot, or it will kill the yeast.  Use a thermometer to be sure it’s the right temp! Whisk well, to incorporate the yeast and dissolve the sugar.  Let rest about 5 minutes, to “proof”.
  2. Measure out the flour mix by spooning it into a dry measuring cup, then leveling with a straightedge.  Combine flour mix with xanthan gum and salt, whisking well.
  3. Add coconut milk yogurt and olive oil to yeast mixture. Blend on medium speed.
  4. Add flour mixture to mixing bowl, and blend on low until incorporated, then medium speed until dough is thoroughly combined, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. It will be quite sticky.
  5. Sprinkle a work surface amply with some gf bread flour mix. Use a rubber spatula to turn out dough onto work surface.
  6. Dust hands with a little flour mix, and sprinkle dough with a bit more. Mold into a ball.
  7. Cut into quarters, then cut quarters in half, for a total of 8 pieces. Sprinkle with a little flour mix, then roll into balls.
  8. Grease 2 baking trays well with olive oil.  I use a pastry brush to be sure it’s evenly distributed. Transfer 4 balls to each tray. Use the palm of your hand to flatten the balls into 5 1/2 –inch rounds.  Use fingers to shape edges as necessary.
  9. Adjust oven racks to two lowest positions in oven.  Fill a baking pan with very hot water and place on bottom of oven. Cover trays with plastic wrap.  Place in oven and let rise about 1 hour till pockets are starting to form. You will probably want to change your hot water once halfway through. Remove trays from oven.  Set aside. Remove pan of hot water from oven.
  10. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  11. Bake pitas one tray at a time on lowest rack in oven, 10 minutes, till golden brown.
  12. Remove from oven, transfer from baking tray to cooling rack. They will be hard at first. 
  13. Let rest about 10 minutes. The steam will finish the pocket making process, and they will soften up a bit.
  14. Cut pockets in half. Use a knife to separate pocket if necessary.  Best when eaten fresh.

Here are some troubleshooting tips from Cybele's original post:

  • Use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
  • Use rapid rise yeast. This is not the same thing as “Active Dry” yeast. Rapid Rise (also known as “Quick Rise”) yeast only requires one rise, which is all a gf dough can really handle. This recipes timing is based on using RAPID RISE yeast. I like good old Fleischmann’s. It is highly active yeast.
  • Use a thermometer to be sure your water is 110-115F.
  • Be sure your yeast has “proofed”. This looks like ‘foaming” If it hasn’t, the bread won’t rise.
  • Aerate your flour mix, by shaking it up, or tossing it well. You want it light. When you measure, do not scoop the flour with the measuring cup. Spoon it into your dry measuring cups. then level with a straightedge.
  • Your dough should be wet and sticky. If it’s not, you need to add a little more warm water, a tiny bit at a time.
  • Your dough should be very playable. When you press it out onto the baking trays, it should be very soft and easy to work with. See the pics above.
  • Be sure to add really hot water to the pan in the oven, while the pockets are rising. Do not rush the rise process. Make sure that the pockets are beginning to show bubbles, or a “puff”. The pockets will just about double in thickness for their rise.
  • Be sure your oven is the right temp.
  • When they first come out of the oven, they will be hard. They will soften up after about 10 minutes of resting on the cooling rack. The steam helps soften them, and also helps to form that pocket. IF when you cut them in half, the pocket does not fully separate, then use a knife to coax it along (i often do this with store-bought pitas).
  • Re freezing, I don’t know, i haven’t tried it. Give it a test run (i will too) But as mentioned, these are best when eaten fresh, the day of baking. Remember, they are totally free of any additives, natural or otherwise, that extend shelf life in store bought breads. And like all fresh baked bread, they’ll get stale.

Head to Cybele's original post for detailed photos and further information about this recipe. 
Learn more about Cybele at Cybele Pascal - The Allergy-Friendly Cook.
Follow Cybele on Facebook and Twitter.

Tips!

select perfect avocados

A ripe avocado will have a dark brown/green skin that yields just a little under pressure. Place your thumb on the top of the avocado and it should have a slight give. Really soft avocados have an unpalatable flavour and the brown discolouration indicates the presence of free radicals. I always buy my avocados rock hard so that I can control the ripening process on my bench top. Then I can check them every day and get them “just right”. I buy rock hard avocados every day and have a rotation so that I have at least one that is perfect for consumption every day! To slow down the ripening process place the avocados in the fridge once they are ripe and they should keep for a few days.

Vegan, Soy and Gluten Free - this sounds amazing! It looks even better. When I get back from Nourished FBC I’m going to whip this up :D We need to put more goodies like this in our Healthy Surprise boxes!

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Oh, Joe!
YOU need to meet Cybele!
She is SOOOO amazing!
I will introduce you at Nourished today!

Hey Joe:

I just met you!  So great to connect. Hope you enjoy this recipe too.
best,

Cybele

Cybele, As you already know, I am crazy for your recipes!  Thanks for sharing this one with us!  My boys just saw this picture and insisted we try this bread SOON!! 
Tess, thanks again for everything you’ve been doing this month!  So much work!
Sarah

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It is a PLEASURE Sarah!
Your boys will LOVE these pita breads.
They are AMAZING!
I made a double batch and froze them.
LIFESAVERS for quick lunches!
Thanks Cybele. You ROCK!

Hey Sarah:

Wish you were here today!  Next time, we must get together. All best to you and yours. Enjoy the shower.

cybele

Cybele,
I wish I was there too!  We will have to meet in person soon!!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Sarah

Cybele, pitas are hard to make so kudos to you for this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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Carol, Cybele has hit a HOME RUN with these!

Tess, you have gathered together an amazing set of recipes, by very talented bloggers. On behalf of the gluten-free community, thank you!!!!!

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Oh Carol. Thankyou!
But it is ALL of YOU that has made this so wonderful! SO many talented, incredible women :) We are SO fortunate!

Hi Carol:

So great to be sharing this event with you. Hope you are well, and hope to see you soon.

best,
Cybele

Cybele, sorry I can’t be with you at Nourished today but I’m sure it is a terrific event.

Hi Tess:

Thanks for posting. I took the request for a grunt literally!

Hi all!  Let me know if anyone has any questions!

all best,

Cybele

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Yes! I saw that! I LOVE it!
Thanks for answering all of the questions and comments. You absolutely ROCKED at Nourished today.
Fantastic panel on media and wonderful keynote closing.
You really are AMAZING.
Your humility is really inspiring.
Thankyou for all that you do xx

oh my goodness, you have no idea how long I have waited for this recipe to come across my path! Well maybe you do, since we are all in the same boat : ) I know what I’m going to have for lunch tomorrow!!!! Thank you!

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Hi Diana:

Hope you enjoy it!

all best,

Cybele

Diana! You are going to LOVE these!
They are just SOOOO good!
I made a double batch and froze them.

Cybele, this looks delicious! We normally buy gluten-free pita bread and now I can actually make it myself - amazing!

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Where do you buy it??? I want that kind too.

Yes! Where do you buy them Lisa?
You are going to LOVE this recipe!
These are SOOOO good.

Barb’s Gluten Free Pita - we found out about it through a Canadian Celiac Association event: http://www.glutenfreefind.com/blog/a-gluten-free-shopping-spree-2/
Now with your recipe, we can make our own, thank you for sharing!!!
Lisa

awesome. I will track them down.

Yes! Thanks!
Although….now I have Cybele’s recipe…....

PS Barb’s Gluten Free Pita doesn’t seem to have a website, but they have a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barbs-Gluten-Free-pitas/121556891239485
Can’t wait to try your recipe!!! :)

So excited to have another option other than baking from scratch. Although fresh out of the oven can’t be beat.

OK, we’ve tracked them down - Barb’s Gluten Free Pitas: http://www.glutenfreefind.com/listing-289.html  Cybele, I must try your pita!!!
Lisa

Thanks Lisa!
But you DO have to try Cybele’s recipe!
It is AMAZING!

Oh how I love Cybele and all of the amazing goodies that come from her kitchen.  Can’t wait to try this!

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I know….I just love her too!
Maggie, you are going to LOVE these.
They really are amazing!
SO wish you were here with us :)
We all missed you xx

Cybele, this recipe looks amazing!! I haven’t had pitas in AGES. . . am going to try this as soon as I’m allowed yeast again (yes, I am willing to try baking with yeast if it’s YOUR recipe—ha ha!!).  And of course fabulous to spend time with you two ladies at Nourished! :D

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Hey Ricki:

Hope you had a safe trip back! So great to meet you in person. I don’t know if I want yeast introduction on my conscience! :)

all best,
Cybele

Ha, ha!! Don’t worry, I’ll wait until I’m sure it’s safe! ;-)  Hope you enjoyed the Expo, too—your cookies were a smash success with my HH!

Cybele, I’m a huge fan of your work! Thank you for leading the gluten-free and allergy-free community like you have. You’re just amazing! Thanks for this great recipe, as well. It’s just what I need!

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Carla, these are so good.
Isn’t Cybele just AMAZING.
Her books have been a LIFESAVER for me!

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