Thursday, February 3, 2011

Latest GF+SF+EF baking projects earned a B, B, & D

Let's start with the least successful, the sandwich bread earned a D.  OK, maybe a D+.  I followed a gluten-free bread recipe I found online and subbed out the eggs for flax seed, the sugar for honey, and the custom baking mix for Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Flour.  (The BRM Bread Mix has sugar, too. crap!)  I chose this recipe because it I think the hardest ingredient to sub out is the flour because when baking GF bread you need to add xanthum gum and often cider vinegar and this recipe had that already measured out.

I followed the directions to a T, keeping all my ingredients separated as per the recipe, and my yeast was happily foaming when I added it.  When I put the batter in the pan it was airy, almost like a marshmallow fluff or mousse.  I let it rise, and it still felt light going into the oven.  After 40 min I checked on it to see if I need to tent it with with foil and it sunk.  The top had just caved in.  OK, I'll see how it tastes, it doesn't have to be pretty!  I let it cook until done, cut off a slice, Yuck!  Sour and yeasty!  Kate didn't mind it but then again, she's not picky.

I looked up my problem online and mentioned it to a friend of mine and I have a few ideas I can try for next time. The good news it I liked the consistency of the bread. It was moist and airy, not as dense as the other bread I used to make.  The primary problem is the yeast.  Possible solutions:
- Let the yeast warm up more.  I bought it in bulk and store it in my freezer.  Maybe I didn't let it sit out long enough and it was too cold when I started using it.
- Let it consume the honey longer.  Like I said, the yeast, water, and honey mix was foamy, but maybe honey takes longer for yeast to react with than sugar and needs more time to hang out together.
- Let me over preheat longer.  I don't have an inside oven thermometer so it may not have been hot enough when I put the bread in.
- As for the flavor, there really is none in this bread.  The woman at the natural food store suggested I use some almond flour and split the total flour amount between the BRM All Purpose and the almond flour.

One of the B projects was a cookie recipe I found, also online.  I followed the directions as far as ingredients except I made them tablespoon size rather than teaspoon size.  It's pretty much just butter, oatmeal, bananas, raisins and nuts.  I thought they looked kind of gross, and they didn't have much flavor, but Kate likes them and since she's the one who can't eat any other cookie at the time, it works for me.

The other B was pizza crust.  My husband was out skiing after work so it was just my daughter and I for dinner.  It seemed like a good chance to try something out and if it sucked we could just have waffles.  We used to make a great pizza crust from the Bisquick mix but alas the sugar.  So I used the same recipe, but subbed out the eggs for Egg Replacer (my first time using this) and the Bisquick for Pamela's mix.  It worked out great, except I assumed the oven temp should be 350 degrees, when it should have been at 425.  Doh!  So the crust wasn't as crispy as we like, but the flavor was great!  It would have been an A if I'd read the recipe more carefully.

All in all I'd say these were all successful endeavors, even when the success was learning what NOT to do!

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