To grow: Teff

I’m interested in gluten-free for health reasons – but I’m similarly interested in local foods. My drive here is to make delicious gluten-free loaves with local ingredients. So when I see recipes like this (via veganricha) I sometimes question the inclusion of teff.

Tef / teff comes from Ethiopia – this paper talks about the price explosion that it underwent in the late 00s – and yet (I found out this morning) can be planted from sea level to up to 3000 meters.

Our plan is not for self-sustenance but for potential self-sustenance. Perhaps growing teff should be part of that, along with maize, buckwheat, rye, and oats?

To make: Another Paneer dish

http://www.veganricha.com/2013/10/palak-tofu-tofu-in-spinach-curry-vegan.htm

We regularly (as in yesterday) eat Saag Paneer – usually substituting tofu for the paneer, and nettles for the spinach. Yesterday I was thinking it would be good to switch it up somehow. This recipe may be the answer.

Gluten-free Sourdough, lacto-fermented zucchini loaf (savory) #2

If the last one was thrown together, this was more of an insouciant blending. I ballsed up the ‘slurry’ again – I decided to mix it in dry but neglected to whisk the flours for a good blend, so I got some clumping. I switched up the starter and made it more of a 100% hydration (typically I have used about 65% hydration).

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour mix #2 (with tweaks per prior posts) –
  • 3/4 cup 5/6 day fermented grated zucchini – chilled, so why I am bothering to add this since it should have no active fermentation, I don’t know
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • about a 1/4 cup sugar – I am not sure why I increased this
  • 3/4 cup active (ie just went through a rise & fall cycle) starter
  • 10g / 10g flax / chia ground and added as dry
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Method:

I mixed everything together at once, as before, and let it rise 12 hours. There was some, not particularly appreciable activity, and so I baked an hour at 180. Disappointing.

Gluten-free Sourdough, lacto-fermented zucchini loaf (savory) #1

I wanted to try using lacto-fermented zucchini in a dough, to see if its process aided the bread’s rise. To be honest, after my first attempt, I’d be inclined to say it didn’t – but I threw another one together just now to rise overnight, and we’ll see. I also put another jar of zucchini up on the top shelf, salted for fermentation, and we can try again in a few days. I’m not inclined to call this a failure yet, but it sure as shit wasn’t a success.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour mix #2 (with tweaks per prior posts) – I planned to weigh this but my helper reset the scale at a non-optimum moment
  • 1 cup 5/6 day fermented grated zucchini
  • 1 tsp salt
  • about a 1/8 cup sugar
  • 4 oz (104g) active (ie just went through a rise & fall cycle) starter
  • 10g / 10g flax / chia slurry (w/ 40g hot water, whisked)

Method:

This being a first pass, I just pretty much threw these ingredients together, put ’em in a lined bread pan, and let them rise for 8 hours. They seemed to have a good volume, and the day was drawing on, so at that point I baked them in a pre-heated, ‘steamed’ (a cup of boiling water in a heated dutch oven lid) oven. 1 hour, the first 10 minutes at 220 and then the rest at 180.

The results provoked a shrug from both me and my partner. Yet another cake-y, vaguely palatable loaf, that shrug said. Slightly better texture, but only due maybe a half point. Flavour, not great, not bad. Crust, such as it had one? Uniform, at least.

Yet I remained intrigued. Could a decent bread rise from these damp, tepid ashes?

Process: Sourdough GFG. Stretch, Fold, Rework.

I changed more than 1 thing, as usual.

Ingredients:

  • 15g chia / 15g flax, ground
  • 100g almond meal
  • 440g flour mix #2, with adjustments
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp dry yeast
  • 20g goat milk powder, 10g almond milk powder
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with 2T apple cider vinegar
  • 3 oz (75g) starter, plus 1 cup of honey water
  • water to get to correct batter consistency

Method:

Same per previous: whisked dry ingredients, mixed with the wet. Then let sit for a few minutes (note that the chia and flax went in dry – why? because in the finished loaf previously I noted pockets of the slurry) before a final brief mix and addition of a little more water. Then into an oiled and floured bowl. Let’s see.

Process: Sourdough Gluten-Free Girl Bread, Stretched & Folded

I decided to give this recipe more of a go – in want of a new direction – but obviously converted to sourdough. It’s like a scab, this work – you itch and lift the corner, always a bit more, knowing that in the end it does you no good. But what the hay-ull.

Ingredients:

  • 15g chia / 15g flax, ground + 60g boiling water, whisked in and left to cool
  • 80g almond meal (my processor is terrible so this was much more like meal than flour)
  • 20g oat bran (I was short on almonds)
  • 440g flour mix #2 – BUT in this batch it was 2 buckwheat instead of 3, 1.5 garbanzo instead of 1, and 1.5 brown rice instead of 2
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 30g goat milk powder (what I had on hand)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with 2T apple cider vinegar
  • 4 oz (100g) starter, plus 1 cup of water, well mixed
  • water to get to the right batter consistency

Method:

I took the same route as the original, most of which is noted in the list above, including whisking the flours together. I then rose for 6 hours. I used a bowl rather than a gastronorm, and I first oiled then floured the bowl. My intention was to use the shape of the bowl as the crust, turning the dough straight out onto the preheated dutch oven – and that is what I did. I then gave a good coating of egg wash and gave it 20 minutes at 220 (my oven goes no higher) and 20 more at 200.

Results:

The loaf was / is delicious – of that there is no debate. The combination of milk and oats and almond works well. The crust is also a significant improvement. What was a total washout was the texture – and that, I am convinced, was a result of too short a rise. I almost did it intentionally, wanting to replicate the loaf as it stood with a longer rise to see what effect it has. And in any case, I am so used to dense bread that I have almost forgotten bread can be airy and light.

Some thoughts on that front: again add in the egg whites beaten stiff? Soy lecithin? (not at all local but may be interesting nonetheless). Does ginger help sourdough yeast?

Taste: 9/10
Crust: 4/10
Texture / Crumb: 0/10

Next: a longer rise, using honey water.

Gluten-Free Gazpacho

Quick tip – instead of using bread in the gazpacho, but aiming to get the same slightly more dense texture, I used a handful of porridge oats (the smaller ones) in the amount of water the recipe called for – in this case, 220 grams – and boiling, rather than cold. After 10 minutes they worked very well.

Gluten-Free Cheese Scones

We used to eat these scones a lot in the past whenever we ran out of bread. They’re quick and easy. Yesterday’s experiment with a gluten-free mix was not a total success, but gave some good pointers. Needs revisiting – maybe with xanthan gum to see if that makes a difference, as the recipe is so quick. The original recipe is from The Big Book of Bread: 365 Recipes for Bread Machines and Home Baking

Ingredients:

  • 15 g roughly equal of flax and chia seeds, ground
  • 210g flour mix #2
  • 1 T baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cayenne
  • 40g butter, diced
  • 115g parmesan, grated
  • c 150ml water

Method:

In theory, it’s dry, rub in butter, add ‘milk’ (water in my case) to make a dough, roll out and bake 15 min at 200. In this case, I added too little water, and after 10 minutes in the fridge it was dry and almost crumbly. Inspired, I added more water, another 10 mins in the fridge, and then added flour mix to the outside of the dough as I rolled it out. Suggest this step is curtailed via addition of a quarter cup up-front … I also screwed up the addition of flax and chia, and instead of adding to 210 of flour I added to 360, mixed, and then realised my mistake and backed it out. So, all told a bit of a scramble. The parmesan should also really be 115 in at this stage and a further 25g to sprinkle on top before baking.

However – results were good. We rolled them out too thinky, but some that I rolled out fatly towards the end rose well. The others had promise – not too firm, but nicely browned. So, to be repeated.

I’m currently fermenting some zucchini for a gluten-free sourdough zucchini bread. I think Imma make it with the fermented honey water. Eggs => basket.

Update:

I made these again, without the screwups. Rise was terrible; however, the addition of oat bran made for an interesting texture (light) and colour (deep brown). Will try again, with the slurry as slurry, and with the temp a little lower.