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gluten-free Copycat Olga Bread


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#1 andi1235

 
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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:31 PM

Olga Bread is a slightly sweet flatbread that is served in Olga's restaurants, a chain that (AFAIK) exists only in the Midwest USA. They're pretty commonly found in shopping malls, in my experience.

I grew up eating at Olga's in Michigan, and one of the things I missed the most post-Celiac diagnosis was Olga bread, so I decided to see if I could find a recipe online. Sure enough, I managed to track one down here: http://www.copykatch...ts/30154-2.htm. Obviously, this is a gluteny recipe, so I decided to try my hand at adapting it.

My first few attempts failed fairly badly. The bread I made wasn't inedible, but it was dry and didn't have the nice chewy texture I remembered from "real" Olga bread. Then I realized my problem: gluten-free bread always seems to need more liquid.

I managed to make a VERY successful copycat of the real thing just by adding a half-cup more water to the recipe. :)

My recipe is as follows:

1 cup millet flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 ounce active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
Oil (to oil your hands)

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Even the yeast.

The original recipe says you have to scald the milk. Basically, what I did was put the milk, butter, and honey into a pan, and heat it all up till the milk was kinda scalded looking. Then I added in the 1/2 cup of water COLD to cool the milk mixture down to a temperature where it wouldn't kill the yeast.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix it all up till it's blended into something sort of the consistency of cookie dough, and sort of globs together into a ball. It shouldn't be pourable, but it shouldn't be like play-dough, either. The dough will be VERY sticky, too.

Heat a dry, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Don't turn it all the way up to high or your bread will burn.

Pour out some oil. Coat your hands liberally with the oil (you really can't use too much oil for this part), grab a golf-ball sized (or so) ball of dough, and roll it into something roughly ball-shaped and coated in oil. If the dough is sticking to your hands, you need more oil. Flip the dough back and forth on your hands until you flatten it out into something roughly pancake-shaped. Carefully lay the dough-pancake in the hot frying pan. Try not to let it tear or fold in on itself, but don't worry too much if it does. The dough is very delicate; it will tear if you make it too thin, so leave it a bit thick. It's ok - you'll flatten it down more in the pan. This bit takes practice, and is probably easier if you have larger hands than mine. ;)

Your goal is to make approximately 1/4-inch thick pancake/pita things, as large around as you can manage with your hands and your frying pan. What I found is that if the heat on my frying pan is relatively low (I set my electric stove to 4 out of a maximum of 6; no idea what that translates to in other people's stoves), I could drop the mostly-flat dough into the pan, then oil the flipper and sort of flatten and spread the dough into something mostly flat, then flip it and press it down. You only want to just brown each side, while making sure the bread eventually cooks all the way through. Once one side starts to cook, you can flip it over and it will hold together well enough that you can squish it down to appropriate thinness. Cook all the balls of dough until you run out. How many breads you get will depend entirely on how big you make them. I recommend a larger frying pan, and trying to make them as thin as you can without tearing. You could probably roll them out on parchment paper, or use one of those two-sided sandwich grill things, too.

A couple notes:

The original recipe called for one egg. I just made a batch, and accidentally left out the egg. My bread was a complete success, so I guess the egg isn't necessary. Add it or not, whatever you like.

I used butter and regular milk. I'm sure it would work fine with margarine and dairy-free milk, if you needed to make it vegan/dairy free (in fact, the original recipe called for margarine rather than butter).

Even if you've never eaten at Olga's, I HIGHLY recommend this bread. The stuff is awesome, and good pretty much any time you would normally use a bun or a pita. The restaurant makes a killer gyro sandwich, but also serves the bread with burgers, and hot dogs, and teriyaki chicken stir-fry (one of my favorites), and grilled cheese.

At the restaurant, they also make what they call "snackers," which are seasoned, day-old Olga bread cut into triangles and fried. The seasoning (according to the copycat recipe page), is McCormick Salad Seasoning. They serve these with soup and a soft almond-cheese dip.
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#2 kareng

 
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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:57 PM

This sounds very interesting. Can you roll it around fillings? Or split it open like a pita? Or just use one on top & one on bottom. I'm also thinking about adding herbs or maybe cinnamon and sprinkling with sugar at the end? Do you think any of that would be good? Also, about how many frying pan sized breads did you get?
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#3 andi1235

 
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Posted 27 June 2012 - 08:25 AM

This sounds very interesting. Can you roll it around fillings? Or split it open like a pita? Or just use one on top & one on bottom. I'm also thinking about adding herbs or maybe cinnamon and sprinkling with sugar at the end? Do you think any of that would be good? Also, about how many frying pan sized breads did you get?


I got about 12 frying-pan sized breads; of course that will vary depending on how thick you make them (eg how much dough goes into each bread), and how big your frying pan is.

I made mine too thin to split like a pita, but I suspect you could do that if you made them a bit thicker and were clever about it. I don't know the trick to making "real" pita bread. I roll my breads around fillings (today my lunch is some of these with peanut butter and banana). :)

The cinnamon and sugar sounds DELICIOUS. I'll have to try that! :) The right herbs would be fantastic too - you would just want to either reduce the amount of honey in the bread (although that would probably change the texture of the dough, so experimentation in liquid / egg amounts would be necessary - if I reduced the honey content I would DEFINITELY use the egg for structural reasons), or use herbs that would be good with a slightly sweet bread. It's not VERY sweet, but the sweetness is definitely there, so it might be odd with some herb combinations.

The breads are sturdy enough, once cooked, that they would hold together well enough to use to make sandwiches no problem. The actual restaurant uses theirs for hamburger and hot dog buns, among other things. My husband used one the other night as a soft taco shell. Really, the possibilities are pretty much endless. It's a VERY versatile bread :)
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#4 Mateto

 
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Posted 27 June 2012 - 11:37 AM

*wah*
I'm getting "Page not found" :(
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Gluten-free since St George's Day this year :)

#5 mamaw

 
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Posted 28 June 2012 - 02:43 PM

mateo



the gluten-free recipe is included with the very first poster.....
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#6 Takala

 
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Posted 28 June 2012 - 11:04 PM

Here is a copycat with the wheat, for the illustration of what this is supposed to look like -

http://www.food.com/...lga-bread-79388
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#7 Mateto

 
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Posted 29 June 2012 - 06:21 PM

mateo



the gluten-free recipe is included with the very first poster.....

It's just my computer. I've got it :)
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Gluten-free since St George's Day this year :)

#8 andi1235

 
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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:05 AM

FYI, see this post http://www.celiac.co...post__p__812730 for an update. I've refined the process and it's a little easier, and slightly less messy. ;)
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