Sunday, September 12, 2010

Baking Day!

Now that the weather is a little cooler, I decided it was high time to do some baking. Top of my list: bread and dessert. Both are things I've been trying to find decent recipes for.

First off was the bread. I made a quick bread, Rice- and Rye-Flour Bread. I was a bit dubious when I pulled it out of the oven and the top was an pale ashy blond, with prominent cracks. After it cooled a bit, I took it out of the pan, and the texture of the sides (not crust) was sort of grainy, almost like wheat-germ bread. I waited as patiently as I could before cutting into it. It is hard to wait patiently to try bread, when you haven't had decent bread in several months. When I couldn't take it any more, I cut off a small slice. Whoa. Any reservations I may have had were immediately dispelled. It was delicious! It turned out savory, buttery, which is interesting since there was no butter in it. Yup, truly vegan. I'm thinking this would be good slathered with butter, especially herb or garlic butter. I'm not sure they would hold up to toasting, but perhaps under a broiler for garlic bread. Mmm!

Next up were cookies. For these, I made Oatmeal Cookies.

Let me digress a moment here to sing the praises of my Magic Bullet. This little wonder is one of the few small appliances that actually lives on my counter. I had used it to make baby food primarily. Then I discovered that it could reduce oatmeal to oat flour. Hallelujah! A cheap source of oat flour! It's not superfine, by any means, but it works well. More importantly, I can get oatmeal in any grocery store cheaply. Oat flour is not to be found short of an hour drive away, and then in little bags at premium prices. Plus I can make up just what I need, thus depriving the mice of at least one temptation.

Okay, back to the cookies. This recipe could be vegan, depending on the type of margarine you use. It originally called for chopped walnuts or pecans, but I decided to use chocolate chips instead, for two reasons. First of all, they are slightly less likely to be cross-contaminated with peanuts than nuts. Secondly, I was really craving chocolate.

These turned out fabulous. Slightly crunchy, full of flavor. One of the best things about these is that because there are no eggs, I didn't feel guilty for eating a couple bits of the dough or licking off the spoon.

Both of these recipes came from an out-of-print book, The Egg-Free, Milk-Free, Wheat-Free Cookbook by Becky Hamrick and S.L. Wiesenfeld, MD. The title is a little misleading, as not all of the recipes are wheat-free, but it is still packed with a lot of good recipes. In some ways, it reads like a church cookbook, with lots of old-fashioned, homey recipes. It can be gotten cheaply on Amazon. Or you can check it out at the library, if you have a good library. I won't reproduce the recipes here because of copyright laws, but I do recommend that you at least browse through this book.

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