Tag Archives: spelt

Brownies For the Win AKA Stop It With the Chocolate Already

dsc04543

These bad boys are adapted from Have Cake, Will Travel’s Butterscotch Chocolate Fudge Brownies.  Thanks for sharing!!

Original Recipe

Butterscotch Chocolate Fudge Brownies

preheat oven to 350F. prepare an 8×8 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

in a microwave-safe bowl (or in a double boiler), melt:

1 1/2 cup mix of vegan butterscotch chips and semisweet chocolate chips (if you cannot find butterscotch chips, go for all chocolate)

set aside to let cool.

place melted chocolate in a large bowl and whisk in:

1 cup sweet potato purée
2 T mild-tasting oil (vegetable, canola…)
1 t pure vanilla extract
2 T soy creamer (or milk alternative)

in a separate bowl, sift together:

1/4 cup organic powdered/icing sugar
1/2 cup light spelt flour
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch fine sea salt
1/4 t baking powder

combine sweet potato & flour preparations, fold in:

1/2 cup mix of vegan butterscotch & semisweet chocolate chips

mix until combined. pour batter into prepared pan, bake for 28 minutes. let cool on a rack, place in fridge (still in pan) once cool enough or even in the freezer for more ease of slicing. I love to eat these when they’re really cold!

My adjustments

I didn’t have access to sweet potato puree (really I’m just to lazy to puree potatoes) so I used a canned butternut squash puree.  I also can’t find vegan butterscotch chips in this neck of the woods (which is kind of unbelievable considering the monstrosity of this city).  I doubled the recipe because I’m a nut (and I wanted to share these beauties with everyone).  That last fact turned out to be a bad idea because I polished most of them off by myself.  I had a few days when I ate these for breakfast and felt heart paliptations for hours.  Wheeee!  I also used almond milk because … I had some.

dsc04548

When I first tried one of these, I wasn’t really sure how I felt about them.  However, after chilling them in the fridge they took on this moist, chewy texture that is amazing.  They’re very dense, which is the way I like a brownie to be.  They’re still not quite what I’m looking for as far as replacing egg/milk laden brownies, but they are definitely a giant leap in the right direction!  I think I’ll try adding flax and Earth Balance on the next trial – which will be a while from now.  I’m still recovering.

dsc04539

Advertisements

Daring Bakers October Challenge: Pizza

I can’t believe I managed to get this challenge done!  I finished last night – right under the wire!  This month was originally supposed to be hosted by Rosa’s Yummy Yums with Sherry at http://www.whatdidyoueat.typepad.com/ and Glenna at http://www.afridgefulloffood.typepad.com/.  In a sad turn of events, Sherry suffered a heart attack and passed away.  This month’s post is in honor of her.

~ BASIC PIZZA DOUGH ~
Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).

Ingredients:
4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled – FOR GF: 4 ½ cups GF Flour Blend with xanthan gum or 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup corn flour, 1 cup oat flour, 1 ½ cup arrowroot, potato or tapioca starch + 2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast – FOR GF use 2 tsp
1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar – FOR GF use agave syrup
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting

DAY ONE

Method:
1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.

NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.
The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.

Or

2.  FOR GF: Add the oil, sugar or agave syrup and cold water, then mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.

3. Flour a work surface or counter.  Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them.  Gently round each piece into a ball.

NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.

DAY TWO

8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.

Or

8.  FOR GF:  On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the number of desired dough balls from the refrigerator.  Place on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a gluten free flour. Delicately press the dough into disks about ½ inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil. Lightly cover the dough round with a sheet of parchment paper and allow to rest for 2 hours.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.

Or

10.  FOR GF: Press the dough into the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter – for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough).

NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.
During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping.
In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.
You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.

11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter – for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.

Or

11.  FOR GF: Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

Or

12.  FOR GF:  Place the garnished pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.

13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.

Or

13.  FOR GF:  Follow the notes for this step.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.

If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.

14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.

My Adjustments

I am trying to stay away from wheat right now, but I really wanted to make this recipe!  Rather than make a GF pizza, I decided to try the spelt flour I already had on hand.  The results were great!  The crust is crunch on the edges and held up very well in the middle.  My tosses were sad little hops and flops and the first crust I ended up just spreading out with my fingers.  The second crust, however, was successful!!  I felt a mild sense of pride and accomplishment!  On my first pizza, I made a walnut-pesto and topped that with sun-dried tomatoes (which burned, oops) and soy feta.  I think I can live without the feta next time, but it sure looked neat.  On my second pizza, I went for a classic and made a tomato sauce and topped it with For Your Heart mozarella and soy pepperoni.  I just had some for breakfast.  Don’t tell anyone.

Cookie Party!

Luckily, cookies with faces and appendages are still vegan.  And they apparently have the added bonus of hallucinatory qualities!

Last week, I came down with the “Welcome to New York, Here’s Your Deathly Seasonal Illness.”  It was charming.  And by charming I mean soul-sucking and beastly.  I had no appetite for a good five days, and all I could imagine eating were comforting cookies.  After day four of being sick, I ventured out to the grocery store and managed enough oomph to bake not one but TWO kinds of cookies.  I brought them all in to work (after eating as many as possible) and assured everyone of my adamant hand-washing during the baking process.  So here’s what I managed:

Dreena Burton’s Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Wheat-Free! – I used spelt flour)

Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (see note)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 cup unrefined sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup
1⁄4 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
1 – 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 cup canola oil (a little generous)
1⁄3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). In a bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup with the molasses and vanilla, then stir in the oil until well combined. Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the chocolate chips, and stir through until just well combined (do not over-mix). Place large spoonfuls of the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten a little. Bake for 11 minutes, until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out). Let cool on the sheet for no more than 1 minute (again, to prevent drying), then transfer to a cooling rack.

Note: Unbleached all-purpose flour or spelt flour produces a more classic cookie taste and texture, but you can use whole-wheat pastry flour and still get a delicious cookie. For a wheat-free version, use spelt flour, but add an extra 2-4 tablespoons of the spelt flour to the dry mix (the amount needed varies with brand of spelt flour and whether you are using a refined spelt flour versus a less processed spelt flour).

Note: If, as you are mixing together your batter it appears quite floury and thick, simply mix together a couple of teaspoons more canola and maple syrup and incorporate it into the batter. Sometimes humidity, type of flour used, and other factors can affect the density of the batter and so a touch more liquid may be needed.

Makes 9-12 large to average sized cookies

© Copyright 2005 Dreena Burton

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

I’m normally a chocolate chip cookie gal, but I really loved these.  They are the perfect autumn cookie.  Hands down.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup canned pumpkin, or cooked pureed pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
optional: 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup raisins

Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Have ready 2 greased baking sheets.

Mix together flour, oats, baking soda, salt and spices.

In a seperate bowl, mix together sugar, oil, molasses, pumpkin and vanilla (and flax seeds if using) until very well combined. Add dry ingredients to wet in 3 batches, folding to combine. Fold in walnuts and raisins.

Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. They don’t spread very much so they can be placed only an inch apart. Flatten the tops of the cookies with a fork or with your fingers, to press into cookie shape. Bake for 16 minutes at 350. If you are using two sheets of cookies on 2 levels of your oven, rotate the sheets halfway through for even baking. You’ll have enough batter for 4 trays.

Remove from oven and get cookies onto a wire rack to cool. These taste best when they’ve had some time to cool and set. They taste even better the next day!