21 September 2013

Challenge: Savoury Yeast Bread

I love carbs. Probably because I'm exhausted most of the time (work hard, play hard). This will soon change when I have a stable schedule, about which I am more excited than Samhain and Winter Solstice combined. To make a new routine that revolves around a stable work schedule will help me get grounded and stay grounded. For I know I can jump to higher creative heights when I have a stable base from which to jump.

Speaking of jumping: a spot of exercise with your dear blogger. This is how I checked my form on one of my favourite moves from INSANITY. Exercising late at night obviously has its effects.

I was discussing baking with one of the few "gluten-free for real" people I know recently. He remarked how yeasted GF bread is always sweet. True, the commercially-produced white starch, white sugar foodlike substance substitute is sweet (tell us how you really feel about it, Q). I said I had made some that wasn't. Brown rice, sorghum, and other GF flours are naturally sort of sweet, though. However, as I am visiting said person this weekend, I'm bringing some Armadillo Bread with an Italian Twist. Challenge accepted.

I am a competitive, prideful person and must prove what I claim. When proving things that involve VGF food, I will make you eat your words. Works out for both of us since cooking and baking are my passions and you get free food from me.

Kidding aside, that wasn't the tone of our conversation. It's more that I care about this person and I show people I care for them by making food. #italianproblems

Why is it called Armadillo Bread? In 2011, while I was home from school on a weekend in February, my parents and I went to this indoor farmers market/local vendors/slow food fair in Morris County, NJ. Searching high and low among the local cheeses, honey, preserves, and meat for a vegan something--something more than vegetables--proved challenging. Finally, the very last vendor in the conference room was a baker. Ownie Mom inquired whether the "Armadillo Bread" was vegan, if it contained animal products. The baker, a middle-aged gentleman, gave a start. "There's no armadillos in it," he said, and he rattled off the ingredients--whole wheat flour, flaxseed, yeast, sugar, oil, salt.

That bread was fantabulous toasted with peanut butter. Yeah, toast!

Laurie Sadowski's "Wholesome Flax Bread" I immediately spotted as an armadillo bread lookalike. I remade it on Friday with a bit of King Arthur Flour's Pizza Seasoning to give it a Q-twist.

Armadillo Bread with an Italian Twist
Modified from Sadowski, Laurie, “Wholesome Flax Bread,” in The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread (Summertown: Book Publishing Company, 2011), 99.

 1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 cup warm water

3/4 cup plus two tablespoons sorghum flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup teff flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons King Arthur Flour Pizza Spice (contains salt, otherwise its 1 teaspoon sea salt)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Grease a 9*4-inch loaf pan (I use the King Arthur Flour GF bread pan because the high sides keep fragile GF flour rising high).

In a large measuring cup, combine water, yeast, and maple syrup. Whisk with a fork briefly then set aside until it develops about an inch of head.

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

In a large bowl, sift then whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, spices, and remaining flaxseed.

Once the yeast has proofed, stir in the oil and vinegar. Add the flaxseed goop and whisk to combine. Add the wet to the dry and stir well (with positive thoughts!) until the bread dough is uniformly combined. Transfer dough to the pan and even out the top.  Set aside to rise in a warm, stable, draft-free place (a barely preheated then turned-off oven is a good place) for 70 minutes or until doubled in size.

Fifteen minutes before the rising time is up, preheat the oven to 350 degrees (take out the rising bread!). Bake for 45-48 minutes or until the bread passes the toothpick test and sounds hollow to the tap. Cool in the pan for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

This bread is harvesty and I am excited for Halloween!


Parting shots:

"I am the shadow on the moon at night/ filling your dreams to the brim with fright."

"Fighting with scorpions tied 'round my neck"

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