Gluten-free Dough Cakes (Inspired by The Secret Garden)

This family-pleasing flat bread will bring the smell of a Victorian cottage to your kitchen!

By Andrea Fabry of It Takes Time

You, like Dickon, will love these Dough Cakes. A gluten-free dough is gently patted into discs and enriched with butter and sweetener. Fifteen minutes later these lovely lightly sweetened cakes emerge from the oven ready for tea time.

These Victorian-era Dough Cakes are based on the book The Secret Garden, by Francis Hodgson Burnett. Dough cakes are made from old fashioned cottage loaves, a favorite of English “cottagers”.

The Secret Garden is one of my favorite children’s book. It’s filled with references to natural health, extolling the benefits of fresh air, clean water, and wholesome food.

In Chapter eight, Martha, Mary Lennox’s  good-natured maid, and companion, offers a glimpse into the life of a poor, loving family.

Martha recounts her recent visit to her home and tells Mary about the delicious Dough Cakes she and her mother prepared for each of the 12 children.

“I had’em all pipin’ hot when they came in from playin’ on the’ moor. An’ th’ cottage all smelt o’nice, clean hot bakin’ an’ there was a good fire, an’ they just shouted for joy. Our Dickon he said our cottage was good enough for a king.”

Text from The Secret Garden

What is a Dough Cake?

Dough Cakes rely on bread dough taken from cottage loaf dough, a rustic Victorian bread made in the bottom of a brick oven.

Amy Cotler, the author of The Secret Garden Cookbook, describes Dough Cakes this way:

“Stotty cake or oven bottom cakes were often made for a quick meal. Pieces were pulled off the bread dough; they were flattened and baked quickly at the bottom of the oven for 20 minutes, then split and buttered for served with bacon. As there was plenty of bread dough on hand, cottagers baked small pieces and filled them with brown sugar for a special treat. ”

This recipe can be adapted to suit any preference. Add some sweetener and cinnamon to the dough for even more flavor!

Resources:

(Amazon links affiliate)

Other Recipes Inspired by Books

 Dough-Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups of your favorite bread dough. (Since we’re grain-free I rely on my Gluten-free Sourdough Quinoa Bread which uses kombucha as a starter. Find the recipe here.)
  • 2 teaspoons butter or ghee.
  • 4 teaspoons sweetener of choice. (We use Monk Fruit sweetener)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Divide dough into four portions.

3. With your hands, pat each portion into a flat disk and place on parchment lined baking sheet.

4. Use a spoon or your thumb to make a slight indentation in the center of each.

5. Drop 1 teaspoon sweetener into each indentation and top with 1/2 teaspoon of butter.

6. Let rest for 15 minutes

7. Bake the cakes on the lowest oven rack until dough is browned and cooked through. (Approximately 15 minutes.)

Serve warm.

Makes four medium Dough Cakes.

Gluten-free Dough Cakes (Inspired by The Secret Garden)
 
Author:
Serves: 4 medium Dough Cakes
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups of your favorite gluten-free bread dough
  • 2 teaspoons butter or ghee
  • 4 teaspoons sweetener or sweetener alternative
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Divide dough into four sections.
  3. With your hands, pat each portion into a flat disk and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Use a spoon or your thumb to make a slight indentation in the center of each.
  5. Drop 1 teaspoon sweetener into each indentation and top with ½ teaspoon of butter.
  6. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Bake the cakes on the lowest oven rack until dough is browned and cooked through.
  8. Serve warm.

 

Buckwheat Pancakes (Inspired by The Long Winter)

Buckwheat Pancakes

By Katie Mae, of Nourishing Simplicity

Fluffy buckwheat pancakes dripping with butter and brown sugar syrup are the perfect winter breakfast.

The Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder are near and dear to my heart. My mom had read the series twice through to us by the time I was eight and I read them as my first “big books” when I was nine. To this day they are my favourite children’s series.

I love the stories Laura wove of her family’s adventures and trials as pioneers, making their stamp in history.

I am and always have been drawn to the passages about the food they prepared. The stories are a traditional foodie’s dream as they transport you back to a day when it was common knowledge that cows should eat grass that produces rich yellow cream, that freshly rendered lard should a kitchen staple, and that white sugar is only for special treats.

Over the years, I have created many recipes inspired by Laura’s famous classics such as lemonade, sourdough biscuits, and corn meal mush. One I recently added to my repertoire is buckwheat pancakes. Buckwheat pancakes were a meal that Laura’s future husband Almanzo and his brother Royal served Pa when he braved the bitter cold in the book “The Long Winter” to buy wheat for his starving family.

Almazno and Royal were eating supper. Almazno had stacked the pancakes with brown sugar and he had made plenty of them. Royal had eaten halfway down his stack, Almonzo was nearing the bottom of his, and one tall stack of two dozen pancakes, dripping melted brown sugar, was standing untouched when Pa knocked at the door.

“Come in, Mr, Ingalls! Sit up and gave some pancakes with us!” Royal invited him.

“You boys certianly live in the lap of luxury,” Pa remarked. The pancakes were no ordinary buckwheat pancakes. Almazno followed his mother’s pancake rule and the cakes were light as foam, soaked through with melted brown sugar”

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I may not know Mother Wilder’s secret but these delightful buckwheat pancakes are still light as foam. The lightness comes from the overnight soaking, and the baking soda interacting with the acid in the yogurt (or other soaking medium).

Buckwheat pancakes have a decided tang that comes from the grain itself. For this recipe, I used  part freshly ground buckwheat and part freshly ground whole wheat flour. You can use only buckwheat for a gluten-free option but the pancakes will not be a light. These are perfect paired withAlmanzo’s favourite fried apples and onions and breakfast sausage.

Fix yourself a plate and dive in while enjoying the warmth of your home, instead of a tiny claim shanty like Laura’s family lived in.

Resources:

(Amazon links are affiliate) 

Buckwheat Pancakes Inspired by The Long Winter

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups yogurt/buttermilk/dairy kefir/coconut milk kefir
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons sucanat (or unrefined sweetener of choice)
    1 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoons unrefined salt

Directions:

1, In a large mixing bowl combine the two flours, yogurt, and water. Mix thoroughly and cover with a cloth. Allow the batter to set on the counter for 12 to 24 hours.

2. Add the sucanat, eggs, baking soda, and salt to the batter. Mix until smooth.

3. Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Pour the batter on the skillet to create the size pancakes desired.

4. Allow the cakes to cook for about two minutes or until bubbles form over the cake. Flip the cake and cook on the other side for about one minute.

5. Repeat until all the batter has been used.

For The Love of Food and Books- Buckwheat Pancakes Inspired by The Long Winter
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups yogurt/buttermilk/dairy kefir/coconut milk kefir
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 TBS sucanat
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp unrefined salt
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the two flours, yogurt, and water. Mix thoroughly and cover with a cloth. Allow the batter to set on the counter for 12 to 24 hours.
  2. Add the sucanat, eggs, baking soda, and salt to the batter. Mix until smooth.
  3. Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Pour the batter on the skillet to create the size pancakes desired.
  4. Allow the cakes to cook for about two minutes or until bubbles form over the cake. Flip the cake and cook on the other side for about one minute.
  5. Repeat until all the batter has been used.

 

Cinnamon Dandelion Tea With Milk & Honey (Inspired by Stuart Little)

Cinnamon Dandelion Tea - This delicious and healthy herbal tea is fun to sip while reading Stuart Little (the book inspired the recipe!) -- The Nourishing Gourmet

By Renee, from Raising Generation Nourished

Warm & comforting, this herbal tea has a kid friendly twist to celebrate the story of Stuart Little!

This fall brought a bit of a season of life transition for me. As I straddle the season of babyhood and school aged children, I’m torn between my heart being sad at my last baby turning 2 and the joy of finally getting full nights of sleep after the last 7 years of pregnancy and nursing babies!

While I savor every “first” and “last” of my last baby, unsure of how navigating out of babyhood will feel, my oldest who is 6 1/2 gives me glimpses of what it will be like to have these little people in the house that can actually converse with me and show amazing creativity and intellect. A first grader now, she comes home from school with adventurous stories about her day and it is so fun to have someone to talk to after all day with a 2 year old!

One of the things my oldest and I have started picking up in the last year is reading chapter books together. While my little book worm started reading pretty early and loves to read on her own, there is just something about this age and being read to. You can physically see the imagination playing in their heads sometimes. And the conversation is always so good.

Stuart Little was under the Christmas tree this year and it is just one of those nostalgic books I was excited to share with her. We started reading it a few weeks back and it has been fun to share the story with her.

Toward the end of the story, Stuart Little spends a day preparing a boat for his date with Miss Ames, and after his long day “he prepared a light supper of dandelion milk and ham.” We haven’t reached that part in the book yet but my plan is to prepare some dandelion tea to have with her when we reach the end of the story. It is rare that I get secluded one on one time with her these days, but we are able to sneak in 10 or 15 minutes to talk and have tea during little one’s naps, and it is so special.

This simple herbal tea is warm and comforting. While dandelion root can be quite bitter by itself, when roasted it gives a warmth to the tea and to make it especially kid friendly I figured adding a cinnamon stick to stir in some raw honey would be the perfect addition. Adding a splash of raw milk or coconut milk is the perfect touch too!

Cinnamon Dandelion Tea - This delicious and healthy herbal tea is fun to sip while reading Stuart Little (the book inspired the recipe!) -- The Nourishing Gourmet

Resources:

More warming teas you might enjoy:

For The Love of Food & Books :: Cinnamon Dandelion Tea With Milk & Honey Inspired by Stewart Little

CINNAMON DANDELION TEA WITH MILK & HONEY

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups boiling water water
  • 2 tsp roasted dandelion root (or use dandelion root tea bags)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 tsp raw honey to taste
  • Splashes of raw milk, cream, or coconut milk to taste

Directions:

  1. Add the dandelion root and cinnamon sticks to the hot water, cover, and steep 5-10 minutes.
  2. Strain off the dandelion root and put a cinnamon stick in each tea cup.
  3. Warm up the dandelion tea stovetop if you like it hotter, and then pour the prepared tea into your tea cups and use the cinnamon sticks as stir sticks to stir in the raw honey and milk to taste.

For The Love of Food & Books :: Cinnamon Dandelion Tea With Milk & Honey Inspired by Stewart Little
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups boiling water water
  • 2 tsp roasted dandelion root (or use roasted dandelion root tea bags)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 tsp raw honey to taste
  • Splashes of raw milk, cream, or coconut milk to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the dandelion root and cinnamon sticks to the hot water, cover, and steep 5-10 minutes.
  2. Strain off the dandelion root and put a cinnamon stick in each tea cup.
  3. Warm up the dandelion tea stovetop if you like it hotter, and then pour the prepared tea into your tea cups and use the cinnamon sticks as stir sticks to stir in the raw honey and milk to taste.

 

How to Throw a ‘Frozen’ Party (without gluten, dye, or eggs)

Frozen party ideas! Food, games, and crafts

Whether you are looking for “Frozen” theme party ideas, or ideas for a winter/snowflake themed party, this is for you! Those who are gluten, egg, and dye-free may find it especially helpful.

My sweet Elena just turned eight, and we threw, per her request, a “Frozen” themed party. It was so much fun, and I found a lot of great ideas online. Unfortunately, many of the ideas were simply decorated junk food or well dyed blue food, which isn’t really our style. Throw in a gluten-, egg-, and most dairy food intolerances, and many of the ideas were also not an option.

Thankfully we got creative, made up some new recipes, and had a wonderful, and beautiful party! I thought that it would be fun, and perhaps helpful to parents in a similar party planning mode to see what we did (and I’ll be sharing all of the recipes I used too!). While ours was a Disney Frozen themed party, it would easily work for any winter themed party as well.

I will be sharing each recipe in a separate post in the coming week and a half (and I will keep adding links to this post as I publish them), but meanwhile, here is the outline of our party.

Décor for Frozen Party:

When people heard our theme, a bunch of friends donated their Christmas lights, snowflakes, and more to use. We also got blue and white streamers and blue balloons. A poster provided by a great grandparent certainly helped the Frozen theme along as well.

Menu for Frozen Party:

Frozen themed crafts and games!

Crafts & Games for Frozen Party:

  • Epsom salt painting of snowflakes – This is so fun! It dries into crystals on paper (use black so you can see them). To give them time to dry, we did this first thing in the party.
  • Coffee filter snowflakes
  • Pin the nose on Olaf the snowmen (my husband drew the poster for me!)
  • Pinata (full of small toys from the dollar tree)
  • Snow pick up (with one hand behind the back, a blindfolded child tries to scoop as much “snow” – that is cotton balls – into a bowl with a spoon for 30 seconds. Whoever gets the most wins!).

Favors for Frozen Party:

  • We made Frozen themed playdough to give out as favors (You can see how to make your own glitter playdough here!)
  • Frozen pencils
  • I made simple snowflake bags for their pinata toys, homemade snowflakes, and favors. I took plain brown paper bags and traced clear Elmer’s glue in the shape of snowflakes. I then sprinkled glitter on the glue, put the bag on the side and gave a simple tap on the table to remove excess glitter, and then lay flat to completely dry. We especially liked the results when made with a (affiliate link) light blue glitter.

While truthfully this was the most we ever did for a birthday party before, it was a lot of fun, and fairly simple as well. Keep watching for the yummy recipes of desserts we served!