Archive for the ‘Cooking and baking’ Category

Coconut and Shaker Lemon Pie

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

MA2006.OAP.Jan.b4

Our adventure begins with Meyer Lemons, which are divine, sweeter than. I had made Ohio Shaker Lemon pie several times after moving to California, but not in recent memory. I recall making a delicate pie crust, with decorative lemons encrusted with large grain sugar, but i can’t seem to find the photo.

The colleague who brought the lemons to the office is no longer with the company. My lemon tree has brought forth lemons, but never quite enough that i wanted to surrender them to pie. And now i’m not eating pie crusts. Lemons

But a member of our meeting brought lemons from their tree, just as i bought a few (and soon our tree will have some fully ripe). I’ve an abundance of lemons: i must make the pie! I started the lemons macerating on Friday.

For a crust, i found this coconut flake crust. When it came time to make the crust, i found i didn’t have the two cups of coconut, just one. I added 2/3 cup glutinous rice flour and 1/3 cup coconut flour, 1/3 cup vegetable oil spread, and some dribbles of soy milk. I used the pastry cutter to mix in the spread until it was crumbly, and then added enough soy milk to make the dough ball up. I pressed most of the mixture in a greased glass pie pan, reserving about half a cup. I baked the crust ten minutes at 350° F.

I filled the crust with the lemon-egg mix soon after taking it from the oven and crumbled the rest of the coconut mix on top, gently floating it on the egg-lemon mix, then baked as directed — 450&deg then 375°. did need to put foil on the top to protect the crust from over browning.

Shaker Lemon PieShaker Lemon Pie

It turned out quite well. It’s an intense pie, with the lemon rind tasting like sunshine, and the lemon curd filling rich and flavorful. The coconut crust is a little tough, but not crumbly. I think a little less rice flour or perhaps regular instead of glutinous rice flour might have made a slightly more tender crust.

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (HBin5) near rye bread

Monday, January 25th, 2010

I made the HBi5 brioche over the holidays, but, given other distractions, did not write about that bread. It was satisfying. I’ve had respiratory complaints for a month and have found myself resting a great deal when i’m not working, but i finally made the near rye last night.

Since we didn’t have warm tap water at the time, i brought the water up to warmth in the microwave, and then let the dough rise in the microwave still moistly warm from heating the water. That seemed to help the rise, although it was nothing like those original breads.

I made the bread as given in HBi5, with caraway seeds, and the first loaf is pleasant and mild. It was moist like the olive oil bread, and i’d learned that letting the bread cool is sufficient for that moisture to just be tender bread. The crust was fabulous.

Next time i should definitely add more salt. I also think that some of the ingredients from Bob’s Red Mill’s list for their hearty GF bread would be a delicious addition: onion powder is probably what i miss most. The recipe called for equal parts honey and molasses: i could imagine just doing molasses.

I think this dough will make DIVINE crackers. I cannot wait.

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: Olive Oil Bread

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Once upon a time i tried the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I made the half batch and it pushed the lid off the container the dough rose in. [Typo fixed]

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Today, i tried making the half batch of the olive oil gluten free bread.

Olive Oil Bread & CrackersOlive Oil Bread & CrackersOlive Oil Bread & CrackersOlive Oil Bread & CrackersOlive Oil Bread & Crackers

It did not rise nearly as much as the basic recipe of the previous book, although it did develop nice structure. I’m not sure if this is due to the coolness of my kitchen. If anything the dough was far too wet. That too is a bit of a mystery. The crackers, which are divine, took over twenty minutes to begin to turn golden. The bread is cooked but very moist.

I rolled my crackers out between sheets of waxed paper: the dough still needs lots of starch to keep it from sticking (another sign of the too wet dough?) . One set of crackers was made with cornmeal left over from the bread. This turned out wonderfully! Both sets of crackers had olive oil on both sides.

I still have a bit of dough left over and will try to let it come to room temperature in a warmer room and hopefully it will rise a good bit more before baking.

I wonder if replacing the soy flour with the chickpea flour could make such a difference?

Gluten free bread baking: ingredient analysis

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

I got Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (HBin5) and passed on my copy of their original Artisian Bread in Five Minutes a Day to my mother & sister when i visited family over Thanksgiving.

Now that i’m back home, i’m evaluating my cupboard to plan a trip to Whole Foods. First on the list: Xanthan gum. I’m ready to make that investment.

I’ve a yet unopened bag of Bob’s Red Mill GF flour, which includes garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, whole grain sweet white sorghum flour, and fava bean flour.

HBin5 doesn’t use any bean flour except 1/2c of soy flour out of 6 c total in the olive oil bread and in the cheddar sesame bread. I think i’ll skip using the Bob’s Red Mill flour in yeast breads, and use it in quickbreads (see after the cut). I’ll substitute garbanzo bean flour for the soy flour.

I’m planning on trying the near rye, the brioche, and the olive oil (OO) bread (p 238). All the doughs are described as keeping for just seven days: i suppose i could freeze the baked results? (I ask that here.) The olive oil dough can be used for pizza, a baguette, crackers, and bread sticks. Considering my rice cracker consumption, maybe i should just make batches of crackers, to use up the dough. (The teff crackers may be good as well.)

Xanthan gum
brown rice flour
	* 1 c for OO bread, brioche
	* 2 c for teff
teff flour * 1 1/2 c for teff cornstarch * 3 1/2 c for OO bread * 3 3/4 c for brioche tapioca starch/flour * 1 c for OO bread, brioche * 3 c for teff

UPDATE 2009-12-5, after shopping: I did very much like the
GF Hearty Whole Grain Bread
i made from mix. It included buckwheat and sorghum, not just teff. I note that teff appears to be twice as expensive at Bob’s Red Mill compared to the other two. (*headdesk*). The starches are the bulk of the substance in the recipe from HBin5, though. However, for flavor, it looks like i could carefully add the bolded ingredients in the following:

whole grain buckwheat, garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, cornstarch, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, whole grain sorghum flour, tapioca flour, evaporated cane juice, cocoa powder, fava bean flour, molasses powder (molasses, maltodextrin, silicon dioxide), xanthan gum, caraway seeds, active dry yeast, sea salt, whole grain teff, potato flour, onion powder, guar gum and soy lecithin.

Buckwheat: 	$3.56 / 1.5 lb
Teff: 		$6.81 / 1.5 lb
Sohrgum: 	$3.01 / 1.5 lb

And Zoƫ wrote back about the freezing:

When you mix up the gluten free doughs be sure to add the liquid ingredients gradually. Unlike our wheat based recipes the g-f will become lumpy if you add the liquids all at once. You may be better off making a half batch rather than freezing the dough. It is something that we have not tested well enough to feel comfortable to recommend. My concern is that the xanthan gum may not hold up to the freezing, but if you are compelled to try it please report back and let us know what you find.

Sine we’re a small household, i had been making half batches anyhow. I think making crackers may be the solution to too much dough.
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Savory chickpea flatbread

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

This flatbread is like a farinata or cecina (Italian terms) Socca French. It’s inspired by a tortilla had by a NYTimes food blogger in Madrid, Spain. Mark Bittman’s recipe is for a thin pancake batter. I didn’t really note the *thin* when i was fixing mine, and made a thicker flatbread. All in all, fine with me.

1 c garbazo bean flour
a couple tablespoons of potato flakes [inauthentic addition]
salt, to taste but more than you might think
pepper, lots
1/2 tsp baking powder [NYTimes writer says makes it easier to flip]

1 c water (more or less)

mix in bowl then chop and add

1/2 c chopped savory addition
1/3 c chopped sweet onion
1/4 c chopped herbs

I used cooked and frozen Northern shrimp (believing those to be more environmentally friendly than the other options in the frozen section at my grocer). I can imagine mushrooms being divine in this, and would lean towards stronger flavored fish and shellfish personally. Smoked oysters, yum.

Fry up as you would pancakes or latkes , in olive oil (ideally) or other oil.

Surveying the chickpea breads on wikipedia, pepper seems to be a common ingredient, and the strong black pepper really did seem to be a good match for the chickpeas. The onion, cooked only briefly, seems like it should be sweeter than not.

The chickpeas do have a strong flavor and i have a harder time imagining this working with a sweet addition. Onions and apples, perhaps? Raisins and apples?

Oh, Christine suggests just making stuffing in a different shape: onion and celery, raisins and shredded carrots, chopped sage with cranberry sauce on the side. That may just be our Christmas main course.

The protein content of the chickpeas is pretty high, and i feel quite satisfied by my half of this recipe. It served as lunch for the two of us. I don’t know that i’d make it into four servings except as an appetizer. I can imagine that making them very small, around a whole cooked bay shrimp, with a tiny garnish of sour cream, could make a delightful appetizer.

Rice … something …: Experiment 3

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

This was a learning experience. I definitely had mochiko flour (Blue Star brand from Koda Farms). The 1:1 water to flour ratio was repeated, with autumnal seasonings of molasses, ginger, and clove. I ended up heating it in the microwave longer, but interrupted more often to stir. This never reached the firm fimo consistency but was extremely sticky. Rolling between rice flour dusted wax paper was a failure — it stuck to the paper. I ended up just dusting a large gob with rice flour and putting in the 450° oven for 20 min. The surface ballooned with the heat, and i hoped i was getting a bubble filled interior. Instead, it was one massive air bubble with most of the dough remaining soft and chewy.

Other than the crusty dome being over-baked, it tasted good. If i could control the dough better — cookie sized spoonfuls perhaps? well dusted with rice flour? — i could imagine making crispy exterior chewy interior rice cookies.

More experimentation needed.

The Mochi recipes from Koda Farms sound like they would be soft and chewy. Perhaps sometime for a potluck.

Apparently the Japanese crackers (okaki) can be made by frying the mochi. See here.

This recipe [2 c rice flour to 6 tbsp butter, 12 oz cheddar cheese, and 3 egg yolks (plus ~2 tbsp water and seasonings)] treats the flour as flour, none of the hydration steps.

Yogurt pie

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

I have a recipe clipping from the 90′s for a yogurt pie prepared in an 8″ graham cracker crust. The pie had the ratios of 1/2 packet of gelatin to 1 c water to 1c yogurt to 8 oz of cream cheese, and i’d often made it with mixed berries. I made it several summers in Philadelphia but haven’t felt much motivation since moving to California until now.

I found a second recipe that looked interesting, and i used up the last of the gelatin making it. (I was intrigued by the pineapple-gelatin combination, but then read that the problem is with *fresh* pineapple.)

Since i’d wanted to replace the gelatin with a vegetable gelling agent, i gave tapioca a try in a berry variation. I used ratios more like the new recipe, which did not call for cream cheese. I’m not sure i prepared the MINUTE® tapioca appropriately: it said it could be microwaved on high for ten minutes, stirring every three minutes. I think this may have overcooked it. It seemed very gelled when done, but when mixed in with the yogurt i think it did not reset. I poured it over blueberries and laid out stripes of sliced strawberries across the top.

The first “pie” provided a good control case to compare to the tapioca-yogurt mix. It certainly gelled and could be cut with a knife, leaving solid bar shapes. The tapioca-yogurt mix retained some definition, but couldn’t be served retaining shape. Since i was leaving out crusts in both cases, if the texture doesn’t change much it begs the question of why not just flavor the yogurt and be done.

Both were yummy though!

Quick research this afternoon suggest that cornstarch may set up more firm, but needs a higher gelatinization temperature.

Mixing yogurt with something hot deserves two points of attention. one is that the active cultures die above 120° F, the other is that non-fat yogurt will curdle.

More about gelling agents, and pineapple & gelling agents, after the cut.
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