Fun stuff

January 29, 2012

Who doesn’t love a pig in a blanket?

Four little piggies were for breakfast. The rest are in the fridge.

Now, once you can get past the fact that these look vaguely obscene, they DO taste pretty good. They’re made with the one gluten-free bread recipe I think is good enough to make again, having made the same recipe a couple of weeks ago. I did something wrong, though, and got the batter too thin, then tried to compensate by adding flour mix, and got it a little too thick, so it’s kinda dry and crumbly. Tastes decent, though, thanks particularly to the addition of about a cup of crumbled and grated cotija cheese.

I’d been contemplating just HOW I was going to create pigs, being that GF breads are not a dough, but a thick batter, before they cook. What I need is something like my grandmother’s old cornstick pan — a cast-iron creation that had indentations which turned out cornsticks with a pattern that looked something like ears of corn. For Little Smokies — my sausage of choice for pigs — I need something that’s maybe 2 inches long, in an oval shape; then I could put in a bit of batter, add the sausage, top with a bit more batter, and that’d work out just about right.

But I don’t have such. So I made do with my mini-muffin pan, and planted a sausage in the middle of each mini-muffin. The batter is thick enough to keep it mostly standing upright. Some of ’em leaned, and they’re really a little easier to eat that way.

I WILL find the appropriate pan. I will, I will, I will. Somewhere.

I even made a non-gf batch for NS. Biscuit dough, cooked him a half-dozen, put a dozen more uncooked in the freezer.

Full-o-gluten pigs for NS, left; gluten-free crumpets, right.

Had some leftover batter when I finished my 24 mini-muffins, so I made three crumpets in English muffin rings. Used one of those to make this sandwich for lunch:

A most worthwhile sandwich!

This would be a bacon-tomato-mozzarella sandwich. With bacon jam on one half of the crumpet, honey chipotle butter on the other, toasted, with a slab of tomato and a slab of mozzarella. It was a damn fine sandwich until the dawg knocked it onto the floor, at which point I cursed the dawg mightily and stuck her in her crate, brushed the dog hair off the sandwich and finished it.

Used the rest of that tomato to put together a salad of tuna, white beans and balsamic vinegar with diced tomatos, which will serve nicely for two or three lunches next week, just as the piggies will serve for breakfast. Cheap meal week for me! Then, as I had more tomatos than I needed, I peeled them and crushed them and have them on simmering for sauce — Marcella’s recipe, plus garlic and basil. I’ll probably freeze that in a couple of separate batches, and will have it for pizza or to convert over into vodka sauce and try over this gluten-free penne I’ve got.

And finally (well, not finally, because it was the first thing I did after breakfast), there’s a pot roast in the oven. I’ll save photos and description of that until later, and show you a before-and-after. Gonna roast some broccoli and some acorn squash with that, and there are potatos and carrots in it.

Back to the world of gluten-free baking. I’m starting, I think, to get a little bit of an idea of the mechanics of how it works. The high-starch flours — rice, potato, cornstarch, arrowroot, etc — don’t have a lot of taste, and tend to get gummy. The higher protein flours — garfava (which is a combo of garbanzo and fava bean flours), sorghum, flaxseed meal, teff, quinoa — if used alone, will get really heavy and leaden. The key, I’m learning, is to put them together in a combo, and then add all kinds of enhancers to make it rise (to take the place of the gluten it doesn’t have, which is what forms little pockets that trap the air and steam and push the crust upward).

Flour mixing. My photog, who works at UT College of Pharmacy, said it looked like pharmacy to him.

The other thing is, none of those flours really seem to have much taste. So I’m learning that you need to add flavor elements — cheese, herbs, spices, maybe even browned sausage or such, to savory breads, or fruit and nuts and other flavoring elements to sweet breads. (The date nut bread I made a couple of weeks ago was pretty awesome, and I’m going to use the apple butter I bought as if it were banana puree and make apple bread in a few weeks.)

I bought the Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread book, and I’ve made up the flour mixes the author recommends, plus I have several other flours I’ve run across. So I have:

  • Regular gluten-free flour mix, which is basically rice and cornstarch and tapioca 
  • Bean flour mix, which is garfava and sorghum and cornstarch and I forget what else
  • Light bean flour mix, which is garfava and sorghum and yet assorted other stuff
  • Featherlight, which I haven’t made up yet because I ran out of one of the things I needed

    Some of the collection.


The individual flours I have are potato starch, potato flour, brown rice, regular rice, oat, cornstarch, tapioca, teff, millet, quinoa, almond, and maybe one or two others. I had buckwheat flour from my BCD baking experience, and apparently buckwheat, despite its name, has no gluten in it.

The combinations, I suppose, are pretty much endless. I’ll get there, eventually. And when I do, you and y’mama ‘n em can come have sandwiches with me.


One Response to “Fun stuff”

  1. kayatthekeyboard Says:

    Hot Damn! Found the baking mold for the piggies! Look out, weekend after next (or maybe next weekend, if UPS is kind….)!

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