29 November 2012

A Good Roll

Nostalgia...comes in many flavours.  Nostalgia also features ellipses, and sometimes tissues, and, for the VGF among us, carbs.

While tackling the rolls my grandmother makes for Thanksgiving to make them vegan and gluten-free will probably never yield a perfectly white piece of bread, I can make a bread that’s pretty darn close to the rolls served at the now-defunct chain restaurant Steak and Ale.  (By the way, you should donate to Wikipedia.  It’s worth your while to support the free sharing of knowledge.)  The molasses and buckwheat flour colour these rolls a pumpernickel brown, while I’m sure it was caramel colour and a heck of a lot more sweetener that gave the Steak and Ale bread its dark sweetness.

Molasses Oatmeal Rolls
Inspired by Whole Foods Market

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tsp maple sugar
3/4 cup lukewarm water

3/4 cup almond milk

4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

2 tablespoons plus more coconut oil, melted, for rolls and for greasing pan
3 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 cup sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon salt
dash cinnamon
11/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup rolled oats for topping rolls
2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil for brushing tops of rolls

In a small measuring cup, combine yeast, 3/4 cup water, and 1 teaspoon of sugar.  Set aside to get bubbly.

In a small saucepan, heat non-dairy milk almost to a boil, where small bubbles appear at the interface of the pan and its contents. Do not boil! Remove from heat and set aside to cool for at least 5 minutes while you assemble the rest of the recipe.

In a medium-sized measuring cup, combine ground flaxseed and set aside.

Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together flours, xanthan gum, salt, and cinnamon.  Add melted coconut oil, hot milk, vinegar, molasses, and salt to flax mixture.  Add the yeast mixture to the flours and stir.  add the rest of the wet ingredients in three additions, stirring well after each addition.  Fold in the 1/2 cup oats and mix well.  Use a 2-tablespoon or larger cookie scoop to portion rolls into pan. Brush rolls with remaining coconut oil and top with 1/4 cup oats. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about an hour or until doubled in size.

Twenty minutes before the end of rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 37-40 minutes or until rolls are browned on top and sound hollow when tapped.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack (flip into your clean potholdered hand, then flip right-side up onto rack).

In the pan

With antipasto at Thanksgiving (Italian family T-gives)

My plate when we finally got to the main meal, from the nine o'clock position: curried roasted chickpeas and black beans, cornbread dressing, molasses oatmeal roll, cranberry-apricot dressing, roasted brussels sprouts with hazelnuts, roasted pear and sweet potato puree, and roasted garlicky butternut squash

The dessert plate: chocolate pecan brownie pie (updated for 2012) and pumpkin cake cheezecake (layers of vanilla-peanut cake and pumpkin cheezecake)

I am thankful for family and food.  And the pace of mailed letters.  I much prefer the mails to emails because no one can reasonably expect a letter to be delivered in less than 24 hours.  I think I'm turning into a Luddite-curmudgeon-hermit at age 22 who wants the pace of life to slow the fuck down.  Gadgets are all well and good, but ya know, the compy's useless when the power goes out, as it did with Sandy a few weeks ago.  I'm thankful for face-to-face communication and communion with family.

By the way, check out this video about who's editing Wikipedia.

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