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Gluten-free Vasilopita

And now for my final demonstration…

Gluten-Free Vasilopita from Crafty in Coffeeland

Had to fudge a bit on the timing of this one (i.e. it was not technically a 30 by 30) because vasilopita is traditionally a New Year’s Day dish, in honor of St. Basil the Great’s feast day on January 1st.

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The recipe calls for a stand mixer, which I don’t have, but I figured that people have been making this bread since long before stand mixers so I’d give it a go anyway.

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Allowing the butter to soften really helps this process…as does solid upper arm strength. I had one of those two things working in my favor (I’ll let you guess which one).

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I also halved the recipe as it was far more bread than I needed (even with the intention to share). Turns out that 3.5 cups of GF baking flour is about equal to one bag of Bob’s Red Mill.

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I worked the dry ingredients in slowly (giving enough time for my, uh, solid upper arm strength to blend it all together).

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The recipe says that the batter should be “thick but spreadable” and, amazingly enough, it is. It smoothed down quite nicely into the buttered baking dish.

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note: you could probably quite easily make this recipe vegan/allergy-friendly by substituting the eggs with flax eggs and the butter with Earth Balance, but as St. Basil’s Day falls within the fast-free season of Nativity, I went right for full recipe in all of its egg-y and butter-y goodness.

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Per tradition, a coin is then placed into the batter. There are a few different stories about how this came to be, but regardless of which one is most accurate, what each story honors is St. Basil’s faith, wisdom, and generosity.

I didn’t have the customary quarter, so I cleaned & wrapped a 20-pence piece in aluminum foil instead. A little bit of 2009’s history in 2015’s cake.

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After hiding the coin (and spinning the pan around a few times so that even I wouldn’t know where it was) the top of the bread was brushed with a glaze…

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…and then decorated with almonds.

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Said a little prayer, and then into the oven it went. 40 minutes later, my apartment cozy with the warm smell of baked bread, the verdict was in:

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Success!

Or at least, the start of one. This recipe definitely has promise and I’d like to tweak it a little more next year. It turned out to be a bit more dry and crumbly than I’d like, and I would love to add in some extra flavor next time (like orange) but overall it was delicious and sweet and a wonderful way to celebrate St. Basil’s Day and the dawn of a new calendar year.

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Happy 2015!