Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Seeve or Siv?

I was awake bright and early this morning. The first thing I wanted to do was bake. Then I wanted to bake some more. Somehow I wound up on the couch doing nothing - but only for a few minutes. Z left for school and took the laptop with him so I got bored pretty quickly. I went into the kitchen and got fed up because all the dirty dishes from last night were on the counter waiting to be washed and the table hadn't even been properly cleared. (Sometimes it's a good thing I don't live with my parents...)I wasn't quite in the mood to wash dishes so I decided to tackle a project that I have been putting off for far too long. I organized the pareve cabinets and drawer. I finally moved all the stuff that I don't use regularly or frequently to the inaccessible back-end of the cabinet. I also spent a couple ofminutes playing with my mini-blowtorch. (I only lit it up once - you know, just to make sure that it still works.)
There's a before/after picture of the drawer down below - I know it doesn't really look that much better, but at least now 'like is with like' and the knives are in a little contained area so I can stop being paranoid about slicing off a finger when I need a spatula...
Once the cabinet was done I washed all of the dishes. Then I treated myself to a bowl of rice with potato chips for brunch. (It tastes good - I pinky-promise!) I didn't bother watching any tv because there was lots of stuff to do. I did some graphic-related stuff for a friend and folded 2 loads of laundry. Eventually I decided that my day would feel incomplete if I didn't actually bake anything. (Seeing as that was the only thing that I wanted to do when I woke up this morning.) I was supposed to make sugar cookies & short bread cookies for turning into dulce de leche sandwich-cookies. However, I decided that I would make a double-batch of fructose-friendly cookies instead because my stash of peanut-butter-oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies ran out yesterday. (I guess 'ran out' is a relative term. To be frank - I ate them all... Did I mention that a batch makes about 60 cookies?)

So - 124 cookies later I decided that the sweet needed a salty balance. I have seriously been craving bread. The last time I ate 'real' bread was sometime at the beginning of February. That's a pretty long time for a bread-a-holic like me to go without eating any wheat! Seriously!

A couple of months ago I made a batch of 1.5 hour no-knead rolls. Since then I had wondered whether the recipe would be able to be 'tweaked' to be fructose-friendly. Since Pesach is coming and I'm trying to get all the flours out of the house I figured it wouldn't be the end of the world if I used up my barley-flour. As you may have noticed, I'm finally gathering the courage to embrace working with 'alternative' flours.

I stirred the dough, scraped the sides of the bowl down, covered it with plastic wrap and put it in a warm spot.

I waited nervously to see whether it would rise and become less gloopy. (It did, but only a little bit.)

I stirred down the mixture, divided it into greased muffin tins and put it back in its warm spot to rise again while praying that the stirring and plopping hadn't destroyed the delicate gluten-network. (Amazingly enough it actually puffed up slightly.)

I slid the tray into the oven, set the timer and prayed some more.

20 minutes later I couldn't decide whether they were done. So I did what all good bakers do to cakes - I poked it with a toothpick. It seemed done.

I took them out of the oven and removed the 'muffin/breads' to a wire-rack to cool.

Wait for them to cool? Yeah - right, as if! I have no shame. With the bread-craving kicking in it was not the time for timidity and manners. I picked one up, ripped it in half and took a huge bite...

My craving subsided with a, "yeah, that'll do" sort of sound. As the roar in my head quieted down I anazlyed the flavor. It was earthy and dense but decidedly bread-y. It will be amazing warm with some butter.

If I could have jam then it would be absolute heaven - but then again, if I could have jam then chances are I could have wheat too and then this bread would never have been made by me in my house in these fructozoidal circumstances. I'm not going to lie - the recipe needs a bit of work, but not much. I even got a semi-approval from Z - which is impressive since he hates all foods fructose-friendly. (Except for french-fries...)
Here's the recipe that I concocted - it's fructose-friendly but contains gluten (cause celiacs can eat vegetables but fructozoids can have fructan-less gluten. So, it's 100% fair... Actually - I'd rather be celiac but we don't really get to choose.)
Fructose Friendly Barley Bread: In a medium/large mixing bowl combine: 1 1/2 cups barley flour 1/2 cup oat flour 1/8 cup tapioca starch 1/8 cup potato starch (I can't tell if it's flour or starch - what's the difference anyway?) 2 Tbsp cane sugar 1 1/4 tsp (fine) salt 2 1/4 tsp yeast Stir the dry ingredients to mix them. (I recommend using a nice sturdy spatula for this recipe.) Add to the flour mixture: 2 Tbsp canola oil 1 egg, slightly beaten (I used an XL egg - cause that's what I had) 1 cup very warm water (not hot enough to kill the yeast, but good and warm to get them moving. Stir the mixture well (it will be VERY wet and sticky) when everything is well mixed scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put it somewhere warm to rise for 30 minutes. (It won't rise drastically but it will definitely puff up a bit.) Grease 6-8 muffin tins, stir the mixture down quickly (just a stroke or 3) then divide the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Let the dough rise again for another 30 minutes - it will grow a little bit. Then pop it into a 350F (180C) oven for 15-20 minutes. Mine started a brown the tiniest bit on the top and I used the 'toothpick test' to determine when to pull them out. Let them cool for 3-5 minutes then carefully pull them out of the muffin tin and let them cool on a wire rack (to prevent soggy bottoms.)

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