23 May 2013

Another Chapter in the Quickbread Chronicles

Another day, another dollar, another job application, another recipe…lest this gets boring, remember that you are alive, you can move, and you have the use of your five senses and third eye. Reverend Justin Terry’s take-home message from the Sunday evening service at Arlington Metaphysical Chapel was,

God is blessing you, whether you can see it or not. But it’s always there.

I was being shortsighted this week and expressing my dissatisfaction with life. I love being vegan, gluten-free, an exercise fan, a neat freak, Goth, granola, religious, a cook…the list of conditions—labels, tags—could continue ad nauseum. I love my friends. I love my family. I finally realised this week that I could allow myself the space to go through swings where I want to hang out with friends and avoid my family. Then the opposite occurs a week, a month, an hour later. Overall, I would—and do—live a balanced life. I was striving for some ideal, for some state of mind where I would be able to be with both friends and family with equanimity and all would be perfect. When I attain enlightenment, maybe! However, for here and now, in conventional reality, yeah, it’s fine to want to be with friends sometimes, with family other times.

Besides, the real question is, if I keep saying, “I want to go home!” what do I mean by that? Do I wish for security? Yes. For someone else to do the dishes? Yes. For mutual exchange of ideas in very important arenas of my life (cooking, religion, and exercise)? Yes.

Saying, “There’s not enough [friend time, family time, stuff, money]!” aggravates  and increases dissatisfaction in my existence. There is enough. I just have to see it.

There is enough vegan, gluten-free bread and there will be enough flour to come up with something new.

Cinnamon-Raisin Quick Bread is a Post-Punk Kitchen recipe I found in 2010 and saved it to my “Recetas” file, which is a collection begun pre-Pinterest of recipes I’d like to make. Pinterest has saved my hard drive, I’m sure. I finally got around to making it in 2011 after becoming GF and I brought it to internship workplace.

One of the things that makes life good for me is bringing baked goods to my place of employment (whether I’m free or paid labour), and sharing my talent. It’s not a goody two-shoes or suck-uppy thing to do. We all have skills beyond that which we list on our resume, and this is one I can share easily.

They're the bars on the left, I think.

Cinnamon-Raisin Quick Bread Bars, 2011

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
6 tablespoons water

2 cups brown rice flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup organic sugar

1 1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil

1 cup craisins
1 apple, peeled and grated (about 3/4 cup shreds)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13*9-inch pan and set aside.

In a small measuring cup, combine the water and ground flaxseed and set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Whisk in the sugar. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour in the flaxseed mixture. Add the oil. Grate in the apple. Add the applesauce. Mix a few strokes, and fold in the craisins. Mix until just combined. Transfer to the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test, springs back when touched, and has pulled away from the sides of the pan.

My note reads, “For work, makes 36 squares. For normal consumption, 24 squares.”

Cinnamon-Raisin Quick Bread, 2013
[Another “Monday baking at the Abbey” bread]

1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon Irish breakfast tea (or similar dark looseleaf tea)
3/4 cup raisins

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
6 tablespoons warm water

1/3 cup quinoa flour
1/3 cup teff flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup

In a small glass bowl, combine water, tea, and raisins. Cover and set aside to soak for an hour up to a weekend (any more than two hours, pop that sucker in the fridge).

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.

In a small measuring cup, combine water and flaxseed and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift then whisk together flours, xanthan gum, leavening, and spices. In a large measuring cup, blend flax mixture, applesauce, oil, and maple syrup. Add wet to dry and fold in the raisin-tea mixture (and any unabsorbed liquid). Stir until well combined. Transfer batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until it passes the knife test, the top has browned, and the top springs back to the touch. Let cool in the pan for fifteen minutes then loosen the edges with a knife. Invert onto a rack to cool completely. Slice when lukewarm. Best served chilled then reheated. Makes 8 slices.

There were also some beets in the oven.

O how my tastes in GF flours have changed in two years…

Ultimately, I am homesick, and cinnamon-raisin and quickbread reminds me of my mom and cinnamon rolls.
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