I've been baking again. This time I'm not really creating, but altering some well-loved recipes so that I can eat them.
With the Thanksgiving and Christmas season come many memories of tastes I love. As the years go by, I'm sure that I'll have the chance to recreate many of the things I miss. For now I've tackled peppernuts and dill bread.
My cousin Patrick, who was also recently diagnosed with celiac, called me about a month ago wondering about how to go about making peppernuts. Which flours should be used, etc... Peppernuts were not something that I had thought about yet, but when there is more than just me involved, I have more of a reason to start playing. Sometimes it seems like a waste to bake, since it is just me that will eat it all...so although it is something I love to do, it hasn't been a priority lately. Honestly, I'm thankful that Patrick has joined my "team" (and yes, I realize that is very selfish!)...I realize that it is probably a burden for him and for Abbe, but for me it means that there is someone I can call and talk to; someone I can brainstorm with and exchange thoughts and suggestions with; someone that misses the same things I do... It's actually very comforting for me.
When he first called I made some suggestions on where to start for flour mixes. He called his Grandma Schmidt and got the anise Recipe he grew up with, while I focused on the Buller family recipe. One of the people I've met up with on this journey and befriended is Julie from the website Mennonite Girls Can Cook. A fellow celiac, she shares her Mennonite recipes that have been altered to be gluten free. We've been teaming up to figure out a better version of zwiebach, but that has taken a backseat at this point. I figured that I should send an email off to Julie and see whether she had done anything with peppernuts before I tried reinventing the wheel. She hadn't, but was happy to help me as I tried to figure out what would work. She quickly came up with a recipe that would work, and sent it back to me. What followed was a wonderful experience! :) I tried making peppernuts with the flour mix that she suggested. As I mixed them up, I tasted between each addition to see how the dough changed. After the last addition I tasted again, and promptly threw the dough in the trash. While that sounds awful...the truth is that I've finally figured out what tastes so bad to me in gluten free baking and that makes me want to jump up and down and clap my hands. I've been baking for a year now, and I had never been able to determine what it was, but now I KNOW!!!! My mouth and stomach can not stand bean flours. I can not even describe what the taste does to me. I didn't want to completely abandon the idea though, so I tried to figure out what else I could use. What follows is my take on the original Buller recipe (with many thanks to Julie for her help! Her take on the recipe is on the MGCC website!). ***Disclaimer: I'm still fiddling with this recipe. When I baked them out, they became very flat, not the rounded ones I grew up with. The taste (which is most important!) is there though! :)
Gluten Free Peppernuts
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, creamed
2 rounded tsp. sour cream or plain yogurt
1 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/ cup teff flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 rounded tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Today I'm preparing for our annual family Thanksgiving celebration. With such a large family, it isn't fair to expect one person to do all the cooking, so for as long as I can remember, each family has contributed to the feast. As the cousins have grown up we've also started being responsible for different aspects of the meal. Since I've always loved baking I started volunteering to bring the bread for the day when Grandma B was no longer able to. Even with my celiac diagnosis I've continued to make the breads. Today I made 2 loaves of white bread and one loaf of gluten free bread. Last year I brought only "regular" breads, figuring that I wouldn't miss it with so much other food on the table. I wish that had been the case. This year I'm bringing bread so that I don't feel like I'm missing out on something.
One of my favorite breads is Dill bread. When I was in college Carmen and Patrick's grandmother, Helen Schmidt, adopted me and invited me to all the family meals. This may sound strange to those of you who realize that I went to college less than 40 miles from where I grew up, but I've decided that a person can never have too many grandparents, too many cousins, too many family members.... At every meal I was invited to, Grandma Schmidt would have zwiebach and dill bread. I could never eat enough of the dill bread...slice after slice (and now I know just how bad that was for me!)... Grandma Schmidt is coming to our Buller Thanksgiving tomorrow. I can't wait to have her try my Gluten Free version of the bread she's made for so many meals! :)
Gluten Free Dill Bread (original recipe from the More-with-Less Cookbook)
1 pkg. yeast (in the Pamela's Bread Mix)
1/4 cup warm water
Combine in Mixing Bowl:
1 pkg Pamela's Bread Mix
2 t. dill seed
1/2 T. minced onion (if using dried minced onion, rehydrate before putting in)
In measuring cup combine:
1 cup cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup oil
warm water to fill until 1 3/4 cup mark
Stir well to combine. Let rice in greased bowl to double in size. Punch down. Put into a bread pan. Let rise again. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from pans and brush with melted margarine.
**I also make this in the bread machine on the dough cycle if I need to be doing other things.