Gluten-Free Cooking For One

Celiac And The Single Girl, Or: How To Make Food That Does Not Suck For One Person {Although I Suppose You Could Feed Other People, Too}

Cloud Bread, plus paneer/cottage cheese – it’s a twofer!!

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So one of my friends is sugar-free, gluten-free, paleo and heaven only knows what else, and she posted this recipe. I thought, “bread replacement without all the trouble and expense? FABulous!!”

Then I went to make the recipe and was missing two of the three ingredients. Cue sad game-show-failure noise.

However, I am stubborn (and there was a snowstorm on, so I wasn’t going out. Nohow. No way.) so I decided to try to substitute. Here follows my sad but ultimately mostly kinda triumphant tale.

First, the original cloud bread recipe:
http://www.food.com/recipe/carb-free-cloud-bread-411501

I found I could substitute lemon juice for the cream of tartar in the egg whites, and I didn’t have any cottage cheese, but I had a lot of milk and thought, “I can make it!!”

Homemade paneer — I kind of combined the advice from two recipes.
Alton Brown’s cottage cheese/ paneer recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/quick-cottage-cheese-recipe.html
Dassana’s paneer recipe: http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/how-to-make-paneer-homemade-paneer/
Here, there were a lot of changes from the recipe… I only had about 4 cups of 1/2% milk instead of the gallon of whole milk the recipe called for, so I crossed my fingers and just cut the amounts in the recipe to match. Also, I used lemon juice to curdle the milk after it boiled, rather than vinegar — I hate the taste and smell of vinegar. It took much more than the suggested amount in the recipe, probably because I was using bottled lemon juice. I know, bad me; but did I mention the snowstorm? Other than that, it went really well and I’m looking to make the recipe with the correct amount of whole milk, and see how the process goes. Whew!! :}

So here’s the final cloud bread recipe I used… I haven’t tried it with the store-bought options, so I don’t know if this is actually good cloud bread or just kind of sad. lololol However, it was really nice (if not exactly breadlike) and worked well for soft spreadables. I haven’t made any sandwiches yet, but it seems like it would be a winner for that as well.

Cloud Bread

Ingredients:
3 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons whole milk cottage cheese or 3 tablespoons cream cheese (I used homemade cottage cheese)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (I used lemon juice)
1 (1 g) packet artificial sweetener (I used sugar, as artificial sweeteners give me pretty much instant headaches)

Directions:

1
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2
Separate the eggs very carefully, there must be no yolk in the white. (I used the water bottle trick, as seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AirVOuTN_M)
3
In one bowl, mix together the egg yolks, the 3 T. of Cottage Cheese OR Cream Cheese and the one packet of sweetener (or sugar) until smooth.
4
In the other bowl add 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar (or lemon juice) to the whites and beat the whites on high speed until they are fluffy and form nice peaks.
5
Very carefully fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites until mixed, but try and not break down the fluffiness of the egg whites too much.
6
Spray two cookie sheets with Pam or other fat-free cooking spray. (I use Pam Coconut Oil)
7
With a large spoon, “scoop” the mixture into 10 even rounds on the sheets (about the size of the top-half of the McDonalds hamburger bun; roughly 3/4 inch thick and 4 to 5 inches across).
8
Bake on the middle rack. Here is when you have to watch them, because the cooking time the same on any two batches. It is somewhere around 1/2 hour, but it could be less or more. You just need to watch them until them become nice and golden brown (again, the color of a McDonalds bun). (It took mine slightly more than 1/2 hour)
9
Remove from the pans and cool on a rack or cutting board. (Don’t necessarily expect to do this right after they come out of the oven — mine were really like meringues and one crunched into sad death when I tried to spatula it up right away!!)
10
While warm they are crumbly and similar to cooked meringue – but don’t let this fool you! Once completely cool, seal them in a ziplock storage baggie or a tupperware over night. They will totally change their consistency, to something much more like bread – a softer texture that is nice and chewy. If you do not like softer chewy bread, then eat them as they are, nice and crisp.
11
Since the sides that were facing the pan are perfectly flat, you use these to spread things on, or make sandwiches, or even as a burger bun! The choice is up to you, and you will be quite amazed at how much like a bun these really are!

Paneer: milk, boiling in the pan

Paneer: milk, boiling in the pan

Paneer: the collander, lined with a cotton dishtowel, as I had no cheesecloth.

Paneer: the collander, lined with a cotton dishtowel, as I had no cheesecloth.

Paneer: I had so little milk that the resulting cheese was very small. Here it is, sitting under my marble mortar to finish setting. Wee cheese!

Paneer: I had so little milk that the resulting cheese was very small. Here it is, sitting under my marble mortar to finish setting. Wee cheese!

Cloud bread: the small bottle I used (clean) for separating the yolks. Worked like a charm!

Cloud bread: the small bottle I used (clean) for separating the yolks. Worked like a charm!

My finished cloud bread, just after coming out of the oven.

My finished cloud bread, just after coming out of the oven.

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Author: Christine Na'imah

I am a pretty bubbly person. A dancer, a prancer, and sometimes a vixen. Romantic and striving for grace, but unfortunately the emphasis is on "antic"; occasionally lunatic, trying to be demure. Probably failing.

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