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Gluten-free Pierniczki December 24, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — Krystyna @ 11:03 am

pierniczki gryczane Christmas is coming, and some food ( in this case, desserts) are prepared in advance in order to mature for  the holidays. This is the case with Polish gingerbread (pierniczki) which, thanks to a beautiful blend of honey  and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg , ginger, and cloves bring out the flavor with time.

 Being on a gluten-free diet (tdue to my possible gluten intolerance and autoimmunity testing), I was  looking for different solutions to making pierniczki, which have always been  at home for the holidays –  whether  commercially made or home baked. Finally I found the solution – with buckwheat flour. Buckwheat  is not a  cereal like oats or a grass like wheat or spelt, but in the same family as sorrel and  rhubarb, and has  many  medicinal properties. The rutin in buckwheat strengthens the walls of blood  vessels,  and is  used to  treat  chronic venous insufficiency.  Buckwheat has  procyanidins – important anti-inflammatory agents that  eliminate  harmful free radicals and protect against cancer and  cardiovascular diseases. Buckwheat is also being studied as a medicine for lowering  blood glucose levels in diabetics, and also reduces high cholesterol levels and gallstone formation.

Buckwheat flour together with spices like cinnamon, which improves glucose levels and increases insulin sensitivity in diabetics, as well as cholesterol and triglycerides, also has a strong anti-inflammatory action, killing colon cancer cells. Cloves, the food with the highest antioxidant value, and are very anti-inflammatory. Nutmeg kills colon cancer cells and leukemic cells, with antibacterial properties against certain strains of Streptococcus. Adding real raw honey, these cookies are truly health, anti-cancer, and (according to many) delicious.

These pierniczki can also be made by replacing the the buckwheat and potato flours with wheat flour, spelt flour, or a mixture of these two flours.

Gluten-free Pierniczki

Supplies

Non-metallic bowl

Saucepan

Wooden spoon

Pastry board and roll

 

Ingredients

1 kg (2.2 lbs) flour – 700 g (1.5 lbs) buckwheat flour

300 g (0.7 lbs) potato flour

1 1/3 cup of milk

1 1/3 cup cane sugar

200 g (less than a 1/2 lb) of raw honey

4 teaspoons of baking soda

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon of cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon star anise

1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger (optional)

Gingerbread jam for inside (optional)

fat (butter, goose/duck smalec, coconut oil, etc) to grease

flour to roll

1.Slightly heat 1/3 cup of sugar for about 20 seconds, then add the rest of the sugar, honey, milk and spices to the saucepan and heat while stirring well until everything is nicely mixed

2. Place the liquid potions into a bowl, slowly add the flour with baking soda and mix well.

3. Cover the dough with a clean cloth and put away to ferment for anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 hours ( if doing a longer ferment,  cover the bowl with a cloth or plate and mix evenly  every couple of days)

4. Roll out the dough on a pastry board, sprinkling flour on the board to prevent sticking. Roll out the gingerbread to 1-2 cm thick, and put on the greased pans. If you want to make gingerbread cookies with jam inside, make 2 slighly thinner equal sized molds, watering the cookie edges, putting 1/4 teaspoon of jam in between and sealing the cookies

5. Bake in the oven at 190 deg C for 20 minutes or until golden and grow . Depending on the molds, you can get 40-50 pierniczki, which can leave plain or put icing or chocolate frosting on top. Then place in an airtight container until ready to eat.

Enjoy – Have a Healthy and Merry Christmas!  Wesołych Świąt!

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