Pass­ing the TASTE TEST

Englewood’s Orly Gottes­man cre­ates a line of gluten-free flour let­ting any­one bake all their fa­vorite dishes


T he gluten-free bak­ing in­dus­try is gain­ing trac­tion to meet the grow­ing de­mand for de­li­cious dishes for those who can’t di­gest the pro­tein gluten, which is found in wheat, bar­ley and rye.

For some peo­ple it is just a sen­si­tiv­ity or in­tol­er­ance, but for oth­ers it is the more se­ri­ous celiac dis­ease, an au­toim­mune dis­or­der that causes dam­age to the small in­tes­tine. In ei­ther case, gluten can wreak havoc on the body, re­sult­ing in gas­troin­testi­nal is­sues, as well as other phys­i­cal al­i­ments, such as mi­graines, ex­treme tired­ness and even os­teo­poro­sis with pro­longed ex­po­sure.

One in 100 peo­ple world­wide live with celi­acs dis­ease, while it’s es­ti­mated that as many as 18 mil­lion in Amer­ica have sen­si­tiv­ity to gluten, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Foun­da­tion for Celiac Aware­ness. It makes pay­ing at­ten­tion to food and its in­gre­di­ents a daily ne­ces­sity. How­ever, mak­ing gluten-free ver­sions of fa­vorite dishes has its own chal­lenges, in­clud­ing try­ing to make it taste good.

That’s where Orly Gottes­man of Englewood comes in. Blends by Orly, a line of five dis­tinct gluten-free flours Gottes­man cre­ated, are the an­swer to that burning ques­tion of whether gluten-free dishes can taste as good as their non gluten-free coun­ter­parts.

“My main ob­jec­tive is to have a prod­uct that makes peo­ple want to eat it,” she says.

Gottes­man, a trained vo­cal­ist and pi­anist, says gluten-free bak­ing re­quires some blend­ing of flours to get the “non gluten-free aftertaste.” Un­like flours that con­tain wheat, there is no true “all-pur­pose” flour for gluten-free bak­ing, she says.

What makes Blends by Orly dif­fer­ent from other brands is its unique for­mu­la­tion of flours in dif­fer­ent pro­por­tions in or­der to mimic a spe­cific taste and cat­e­gory. The ra­tio is 1-to-1 for use as a re­place­ment to wheat flour, though for some bread recipes she rec­om­mends adding > 20 to 25 per­cent more wa­ter to pre­vent the dough from be­com­ing too dry. IN­GRE­DI­ENTS 10 1⁄ ta­ble­spoons but­ter

2 1 1⁄ cups white gran­u­lated sugar

2 2 large eggs 1 ta­ble­spoon pure vanilla ex­tract 1⁄ cup honey

3 2 1⁄ cups Blends by Orly “Lon­don”

3 2 cups oats

1⁄ tea­spoon salt

2 1 ta­ble­spoon bak­ing pow­der

1⁄ tea­spoon bak­ing soda

2 1 ta­ble­spoon cin­na­mon 1 cup raisins

3⁄ cup choco­late chips

4 DI­REC­TIONS Pre­heat the oven to 350 de­grees F. Line a large tray with parch­ment pa­per. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the pad­dle at­tach­ment, cream but­ter and sugar to­gether on medium-high speed for three min­utes un­til smooth and pale in color. Add eggs and vanilla and mix for two min­utes. Add honey and mix un­til fully in­cor­po­rated. In a sep­a­rate bowl, mix to­gether “Lon­don” blend, oats, salt, cin­na­mon, bak­ing pow­der and bak­ing soda. Add the dry in­gre­di­ents to the mix­ing bowl and mix all in­gre­di­ents to­gether on medium-high speed for three min­utes, or un­til fully in­cor­po­rated. Add raisins and choco­late chips and mix for 30 sec­onds or un­til dis­persed within the dough. Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to batch cook­ies onto the tray. Bake cook­ies for 12 min­utes or un­til golden around the edges. *Bake one ex­tra minute for crispier cook­ies.

The in­gre­di­ents vary depend­ing on which blend is used, but typ­i­cally in­clude a few dif­fer­ent flours, like brown rice, white rice, quinoa, soy, mil­let, sorghum and co­conut flours. Potato starch is used in some blends and xan­than gum is in­cluded in each blend packet to add vol­ume and vis­cos­ity to the dough.

In­di­vid­ual blends ($9) can also be pur­chased lo­cally at Cedar Mar­ket, Best Glatt and Glatt Ex­press in Tea­neck; Grand & Es­sex in Ber­gen­field; and Health­way Nat­u­ral Food Cen­ter and Te­nafly Gourmet Farm in Te­nafly. They are also avail­able as packages of five ($45) on Ama­zon and Gottes­man’s web­site, blends­by­

Gottes­man says that price tag is more ex­pen­sive than other brands, but Blends by Orly is dairy-free, nut-free, corn-free, and ve­gan and kosher-cer­ti­fied. Two of the blends are also soy-free and some are non-GMO.

While they were launched out of her Englewood res­i­dence, they were per­fected over­seas – in­spired by the places she’s lived and spent a lot of time, like Lon­don, Tus­cany, Man­hat­tan, Paris and Syd­ney. The blends chan­nel a par­tic­u­lar re­gion’s sig­na­ture dishes and are in­tended to al­low the gluten-free foodie to be cre­ative with dishes us­ing their own recipes from the com­forts of home.

For ex­am­ple, her Man­hat­tan blend is best for achiev­ing fluffy bagels and has a higher amount of pro­teins than other blends. The Paris blend uses co­conut flour to pro­duce del­i­cately fla­vored desserts. Syd­ney is the most ver­sa­tile but is also great for quick breads and muffins.

Her hus­band, who was di­ag­nosed with celiac dis­ease in 2007 and must avoid gluten at all times, was her in­spi­ra­tion.

“Food is his life, so when he couldn’t find true sub­sti­tutes that tasted the same, it took the joy out of en­joy­ing food,” she says.

They were called to the Paris, sev­eral years ago due to his job and ev­ery­thing changed. When Gottes­man couldn’t get a work visa, she had to fig­ure out how to spend her time. “I did a lot of soul search­ing,” she says. In that time she found in­spi­ra­tion in bak­ing. Quickly, she found her place and started in­tern­ing with French pas­try chefs, mak­ing ev­ery­thing from lemon tarts to mac­a­roons. But her hus­band was frus­trated with the lack of op­tions in Paris and started eat­ing gluten-laden foods again – only to get sick once more. For Gottes­man, it be­came a mission to per­fect gluten-free cooking so that her hus­band – and oth­ers like him – wouldn’t feel trapped by their gluten is­sues.

How­ever, stray­ing from the tra­di­tional cui­sine was not so easy in Paris, so gluten-free bak­ing wouldn’t come un­til later when they moved to Syd­ney, Australia. There, she got a chance to re­ceive for­mal patis­serie train­ing from Le Cor­don Bleu, a culi­nary arts in­sti­tute, and cre­ated a man­ual of gluten-free flour blends as part of her in­de­pen­dent study. Those blends would be pub­lished in the cooking in­sti­tute’s “al­ter­na­tive bak­ing class” cur­ricu­lum.

A year af­ter com­plet­ing her stud­ies, she de­vel­oped and per­fected the blends and recipes. Last Au­gust, she launched her on­line store on her web­site and is in the process of work­ing with |high schools to use the Tus­cany blend to make gluten-free, Ital­ian-in­spired dishes for lunch. Gottes­man says the fact that she can eat gluten-rich foods but likes the gluten-free ver­sions bet­ter, made pos­si­ble by her blends, gives ad­di­tional cred­i­bil­ity to her line.

“It started with ba­sic cooking prin­ci­ples,” Orly says, “and mak­ing the best ver­sion of gluten-free French pas­try bak­ing and it went from there.”

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS DOUGH 3 eggs 3 ta­ble­spoons plus 1 tsp sugar 3 ta­ble­spoons but­ter, melted 1⁄ cup plus 1 ta­ble­spoon warm buttermilk

3 1 3⁄ cups Blends by Orly “Man­hat­tan”

4 1 1⁄ tea­spoons dry yeast

4 1⁄ tea­spoon salt

2 1⁄ tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der

2 FILL­ING 1⁄ cup packed light brown sugar

2 1 1⁄ tea­spoon cin­na­mon

2 1 ta­ble­spoon but­ter melted IC­ING 1 1⁄ ounces cream cheese

2 1 1⁄ ta­ble­spoons whole milk

2 3⁄ cup ic­ing sugar



Pre­heat oven to a tem­per­a­ture of 350 de­grees F. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the pad­dle at­tach­ment, com­bine the warm milk and yeast and let sit for five min­utes un­til bub­bly. Add the eggs and sugar and mix on low speed to com­bine. Add the flour along with the salt and bak­ing pow­der and mix on medium speed un­til com­bined, for five min­utes. Lastly, add the melted but­ter and mix through the dough. Dough should feel soft, slightly stretchy, and moist, but not wet like a bat­ter. Add more “Man­hat­tan” blend, if nec­es­sary. Turn the dough out onto a work sur­face floured with “Man­hat­tan” blend and kneed into a ball. Lightly oil a large bowl. Trans­fer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, and cover with plas­tic wrap. Let sit in a warm place (80 to 100 de­grees F) un­til it dou­bles in size. Com­bine the brown sugar, cin­na­mon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside. Grease a round or square glass bak­ing dish and coat the in­side with parch­ment pa­per. Turn the dough out onto a heav­ily floured work sur­face. Shape the dough into a rec­tan­gle by hand, with the long side near­est you. With a rolling pin, stretch the dough into a 9 inch by 6 inch rec­tan­gle. Brush the sur­face of the dough with melted but­ter, leav­ing 1⁄2- inch bor­der along the top edge. Gen­er­ously sprin­kle the fill­ing mix­ture over the dough, leav­ing a

3⁄4- inch bor­der along the top edge and press the fill­ing into the dough with your rolling pin. Be­gin­ning with the long edge near­est you, roll the dough into a tight cylin­der. Us­ing a ser­rated knife, slice the cylin­der into six evenly sized rolls. Ar­range rolls cut side down in the bak­ing dish. Cover with plas­tic wrap and let sit in a warm place (80 to 100 de­grees F) un­til it dou­bles in size, ap­prox­i­mately 45 min­utes. Place the dish in the cen­ter of the oven and bake for 30 min­utes or un­til golden brown. While the rolls are cool­ing, make the ic­ing by whisk­ing the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer un­til creamy. Add the milk and whisk un­til com­bined. Sift in the pow­dered sugar, and whisk un­til smooth. Spread ic­ing over the rolls.

GLOBAL FLA­VORS The gluten-free flour blends are named af­ter cities Orly

has lived in. Each one is good for a dif­fer­ent type

of baked good.

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