Deborahan d Ian

Deborah and Ian Thackeray
Glutenfree Baking and Living

Deborah and I have always shared a great joy in growing and cooking great things for each other to eat. Food and eating is so much more then just fuel, it can bring joy, delight, comfort, warmth, health. The wrong food, we are now realising to our cost, brings serious ill health. Above all, food and sharing it is about fun, love and caring for each other, your family and friends.

Deborah has had an allotment for over 20 years. Her studying to be a nutritionist came from a desire to eat better, with more understanding about the effect of what we put in our mouths. Her earliest cooking experiences were making simple meals for herself and younger brothers whilst her mother taught clarinet lessons after school.

I have always loved creating food for family and friends after the 'Damascene' type discovery at 18 that the way to a girl's heart was to cook her nice food. Cooking is always a way to relax, get away from the stress and tedium of the daily grind, a creative outlet. I was the parent that cooked the children's tea, dreamt up the dinner parties, prepared the Sunday lunch and one occasion created Christmas dinner for 26 people.

When we started to eat gluten free, we were very disappointed by what we found in the free-from aisles in the supermarkets. It was only when we started going to the coeliac food fairs we discovered the legion of small scale bakers, butchers, brewers and food stockists offering top quality, tasty produce.

In many ways, having to live gluten free has echoes of a time when it was entirely natural to make everything from scratch yourself. It is something that we largely did anyway so it wasn't a big jump for us to simply ignore the supermarkets and make cakes and bread ourselves.

Requests from Deborah's Nutritional Therapy clients also drove us towards developing our cookery courses. She had been providing menu tips and recipes to support her advice but was being asked for something more practical. Our daughters, all four, were/are enthusiastic consumers of our new GF lifestyle and encouraged us to run a baking course.

It was an idea we had been playing with and discussing. It suddenly seemed to have some legs, we gathered some friends for a practice run through, booked a space at the Leeds Coeliac Society Food Fair at the end of January and launched ourselves on to an unsuspecting public. We ran our 1st course to a small group in February. The Wirral and York Coeliac Food Fairs followed a tiny advert in Crossed Grain and we were off on what felt like a runaway train.

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Deborah's recipes

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Home made sauerkraut

Gluten-free pumpkin scones

Tea-infused gluten-free fruit cake

Gluten-free gingerbread

sauerkrautHome made sauerkraut
Corn, dairy, egg, gluten, lactose, nut, soya and wheat free

½ cabbage, preferably organic
2 tbsp warm water
½ tsp salt
1 tsp caraway seeds

Unbreakable bowl, pestle or rolling pin, glass jar with lid
(like a kilner jar), juicer (optional)

Chop the cabbage very finely.  If you have a juicer, put the stalk and the outer leaves through the juicer for extra juice.

Place the cabbage in an unbreakable bowl and cover it with the salt and the water.  Using the end of a rolling pin or a pestle from a pestle and mortar, pound the cabbage until juice starts to flow from it. Continue until the juice starts to cover the cabbage.  Add the caraway seeds.

Place the cabbage in the clean glass jar, pouring the juice over it.  If you have juiced the stalk and leaves, pour that
over too.  The juice should cover the cabbage, so that no air can get to the cabbage.  If it is nearly there, add another tablespoon of water.  If more liquid than that is needed, put the cabbage back in the bowl and pound it again until it has made more juice.

Put the lid on the jar and leave it at room temperature for 3-4 days.  After that, it is ready to eat and will keep in the fridge for about a month.

Traditional fermented sauerkraut is a good source of beneficial bacteria for the gut.



Gluten-free pumpkin scones
Egg, gluten, lactose and wheat free; canbe dairy, lactose and soya free

Pumpkn scones

Makes 8 scones

230g Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
½ tsp salt
55g unsalted butter (or dairy=free spread)
1 ½  tbsp ground linseeds or flaxseeds
130g cooked and mashed pumpkin or squash (once most of the water has been squeezed out of it)
130ml natural yoghurt (use soya or coconut if you want it to be dairy free)
A little milk (whatever variety you can tolerate)

Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4
Dust a baking sheet with gluten-free flour.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
Put the cooked pumpkin or squash in a colander and squeeze most of the water out of it.
Stir it into the flour mixture. Add the ground linseeds or flaxseeds and then enough natural yoghurt to bind the dry ingredients into a soft dough. The quantity may vary slightly according to how wet the pumpkin is.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Press out gently to a round, approx 3cm thickness. Score into 6 sections with a knife.
Place on the baking sheet, brush with a little milk, then bake for 15 minutes. Briefly take out of the oven and cut through the sections. Pull them slightly apart and return to the oven for another 10 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool slightly on a wire rack, but eat when still warm!



Fruit cakeGluten-free tea-infused fruit cake
Gluten, nightshade, soya and wheat free; can be dairy and lactose free

1 tea bag, preferably Yorkshire Tea
120ml boiling water
275g mixed dried fruit
125g baking margarine or dairy-free spread
125g light soft brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
225g Doves Farm Gluten Free White Plain Flour Blend
50g ground almonds
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
Grated zest of ½ lemon
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
A little milk (whatever you can tolerate) or water

Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. 
Line a spring form 20cm (8”) cake tin greased and lined with baking parchment.

In a bowl, pour 120ml boiling water on the teabag. 
Swish it around until tea is brewed (about a minute), then remove the teabag. Add the dried fruit, stir and allow to soak for a minimum of ½ hour.  If you have time, leave it to soak for 1-2 hours.
Sift the flour into a bowl and add the ground almonds.
In another bowl, cream the baking margarine and brown sugar together.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well.  If the mixture starts to separate, add a spoonful of the flour. 
Add the flour and ground almonds, along with the baking powder, lemon zest, mixed spice and the xanthan or guar gum.
Add the dried fruit along with the remaining tea that it is soaking in. The mixture should be at dropping consistency.  If not, add a little milk or water until it is.
Pour the mixture into the tin, gently smoothing the surface. Cover lightly with a piece of baking parchment.
Bake in oven for approx 1 ¼ hours, then remove the top piece of parchment. Continue baking for another 5 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool fully. 

Gluten-free ginger bread
Gluten, nightshade, soya and wheat free; can be dairy and lactose free


125g butter or dairy-free spread
100g dark soft brown sugar
100g Sweet Freedom fructose syrup
150g black treacle
3 tsp dried ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200ml 'milk', whatever kind you can tolerate
225g Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour Blend
Juice of ½ lemon
150g icing sugar
1tsp hot water

Preheat oven to 170°C/30°F/Gas Mark 3.  A 1kg (2lb) loaf tin greased and lined with baking parchment.

In a saucepan, melt the butter together with the brown sugar, fructose syrup and black treacle. Add the cinnamon and ginger. Take it off the heat.
Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in a little of the milk. Now add the remainder of the milk and the eggs to the saucepan, followed by the bicarbonate in its milk. 
Sift the flour into a bowl and pour in the liquid ingredients to make a batter – this is runnier than most cake mixtures. Beat well until there are no lumps.
Pour the mixture into the tin, gently smoothing the surface. Cover lightly with a piece of baking parchment.
Bake in oven for approx 40 minutes, then remove the top piece of parchment.  Continue baking for another 15-20 minutes or so until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool fully.
To ice the cake, wait until it is fully cooled.  Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice. If the icing is still a little too thick, add 1 tsp hot water, but you may not need it if your lemon is very juicy.  Spread the icing over the cake with a knife and leave to set before cutting.

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