Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Gluten-Free Blizzard-Bread and more...
We here in Ohio were fortunate enough to get buried with a foot and a half of snow or more this weekend (that's our car above - needless to say, it wasn't going anywhere!)
So, why would I refer to a near-blizzard as "fortunate"? Quite simply, it'd be too easy to call it a bad event, so I tried to focus on the positive side of the event, which was how it basically forced us to stay at home all weekend, and doing so afforded us the opportunity to perform some experimental gluten-free baking and recipe creation.
The Gluten-Free Blizzard Bread
My wife was being quite creative, and came up with a really delicious recipe that I affectionately titled the "Blizzard Bread" for now. It makes use of all sorts of great gluten-free foods and ingredients. There is some buckwheat in it, ground flaxseed meal, pumpkin, molasses, whey protein, honey, caraway seeds, and a few other things that all led to great weekend treat for us!
The gluten-free bread ended up with an interestingly unique flavor combination that resulted in a sweeter bread (from the honey) with hints of rye (from the caraway seed) and a lovely texture from the flax, whey, and other ingredients. It held up pretty well for the next couple days after it was baked too. We also froze a few pieces to test the storage ability of the bread. I'll post the full recipe later hopefully (didn't get time to type it up yet).
The bread was just a bit firmer/denser than we had hoped for, and I think another iteration will be forthcoming to see if altering the ingredient balance (including liquids-to-dry ratio) can "pump up the volume". I didn't mind it at all in its current form, and I ate nearly the whole loaf in no time. It has that nice sponginess I look for in bread, gluten-free or not, and a marvelous crispy and crunchy crust. But, chances are, it can be made even better with a little more fine-tuning. Hopefully we don't need another blizzard to get time to play with the recipe more - my gluten-free diet demands good bread without waiting on mother nature! :)
Why Taste AND Texture Matter
Anyone care to guess what it is? If you said hummus, you'd be right with regards to the texture, but definitely not in regards to taste. This was a "recipe" I tried to create on the fly, and sadly, it didn't quite have the desired outcome. It tastes fine, but the texture is not what I had in mind.
Well, it started out as an omega-3 rich gluten-free Salmon Pâté (at least in my mind), and I have made this before with success, by mixing the ingredients by hand. Instead, I decided to use our Vitamixer (food processor / blender) to see what would happen... and, the result is above. The essence remained the same, but with a texture that was closer to a fine hummus, this just was not what I had in mind.
I created this recipe a while back (without the vitamixer involvement) using Canned Wild Alaskan Salmon from Whole Foods, along with some California English Walnuts, Olive Oil, and Wasabi mayo (a healthy canola-based type). I usually just mix it together in a bowl, using a fork, until the texture is as I desire. And, I'll eat it plain or on crackers (I really like it on Mary's Gone Crackers gluten-free products - the Caraway Seed variety especially).
Texture makes all the difference with this recipe. I love the stuff when I make it by hand, but I just can't get into the mixer-pulverized version that nearly became a salmon-sauce. lol. I didn't let it go to waste, and I used it for a dip. But, that's the last time I ever try making a Pâté with power tools. :)
There were some other gluten-free recipes resulting from this weekend's snow event, and I'll try to get them posted in coming weeks for others to try - with or without snowstorms present.