My Yogurt Adventure

It all started with way more left-over milk than we could drink. I noticed on the internet a way I could make 2L of yoghurt at a time, which was much more convenient than using the 1L method in the “everyday cook book”.
This made use of my Thermo-server which was much more convenient to use than the yogurt maker.
I separated some of the yoghurt out when it had IMG_0173_thumb1reached “Greek-Style” consistency. I used it to make beef stroganoff and guacamole. I try to use Greek-Style yoghurt whenever I can in lieu of sour-cream. Honey loved it. I also popped some on a plate and drizzled honey and almonds over it for dessert and Honey enjoyed that too.
I also made yogurt cheese which we used on toast with salami, tomatoes and olives and I added Italian herbs to make a cracker dip.  
This got me thinking…
Maybe I should try this with goat’s milk. Honey wants to get some goats “one-day”. We wanted to see if we even like goat’s products. From what I red on the internet you could not do goats yoghurt from pasteurised milk. I had made it from the Every-day cook book recipe, which called for adding powdered milk but was not sure how it would go without it.
IMG_0171_thumbThe friend I mentioned in the yeast-free bread, cannot do cow’s milk either; I wanted to see if I could make a yoghurt she could eat. I plan on using a “granddaughter” yogurt to begin the yogurt I make for her.
Expense wise, you are much better sticking to cow’s milk unless you know someone with a goat.
The first batch I made, I used the only natural yogurt that I thought existed in CQ- Pauls brand. The yogurt was ok, but I could never eat it straight. Honey loved it in guacamole- I had to add more seasoning to disguise the “goaty after-taste”.
IMG_0176_thumb1I did find that I enjoyed the yogurt,  if I added it to Greek-style breakfast yogurt and washed away the taste in my mouth or used it in juice shakes.
The goat’s milk made more whey than the cow’s milk and consequently there was less yogurt and less yogurt-cheese.
I noticed when I was shopping, 3 other brands that I could try too… so I will try them and blog about the results.
Yogurt 2 made a much pleasant tasting yogurt. It was only available in low fat, when compared to the Pauls yogurt; it was less sour and had a slightly powdery texture and was lacking in creaminess.
IMG_0174_thumb1I used some as a starter, froze some more in case I needed a starter again for the future and drained the rest and ate it with my breakfast yogurt.
In case the yogurt did not turn out, I made custard from goat’s milk in the Thermomix. Some for Honey, some for my friend. I was not keen to try it, but tasted the spatula… Mmm this is delicious- and later Honey and my friend agreed.
Ways to use Whey
IMG_0170_thumbAll this yogurt making has made more whey than I know what to do with. I have tried it successfully in making yeast-free bread and as we speak I am proving some regular artisan dough.
I also tried it in pancakes- last time I made a yummy treat during the day (Fake KFC) Honey read my blog and asked where his was… so Honey if you are reading this your pancake is in the fridge.
I usually use yogurt in my pancakes, and when I make them for my family they like them as much as I do.IMG_0180_thumb Honey is not convinced I make good pancakes because the one time I made pancakes for him some “helpful” person at my place had put salt beside the sugar, I was too tired to realise before I put the little grains into the Thermomix “hey this is white!!!” I always buy raw sugar and use pink salt in my cooking. The unhealthy white stuff is purely for first-aid purposes. I tried to get as much of it out as I could but you know salt… less is more I had more so it was way less… kudos to Honey for eating one. 

Yeast Free Bread

I have a friend who is allergic to many things and I wanted to make her some bread to try. I found she not only could not have gluten but yeast and honey too. I wanted to try making the bread but was a little concerned at how it would turn out. The yummiest Gluten Free bread recipe is here
On checking the Quirky Cooking website, Jo said that you could try baking powder but she had never tried it with this recipe. I decided to give it a go, telling my friend that I would try it first and find some chooks if I didn’t like it.
I used a ¼ recipe- which was nice as I could use Thermie to knead it. I then halved the dough to make two even balls and popped them out to rise. I gave it about 40 minutes to rise and then 40 minutes in the oven. I was making spaghetti bolognaise for Honey and his work-mate (just in case they hated the bread).
When they were cooked you will see from the picture that one loaf of bread is much more cracked than the other. The boys got the cracked loaf, which was perfect as a pull-apart damper type bread (they did not have any knives in the office). The other loaf was better for making slices, which delighted my friend.
I wanted to put the yeast free bread to a few more tests so made some again, 1 big loaf and some small rolls. I also tried some whey instead of water, but forgot to add the xanthum gum.
Compared to the yeast bread that I was used to, I found the bread crumbled more easily, this may have been because the xanthum gum was left out. I froze a bun and microwaved it the next day, it was perfect and did not need to be toasted.
Imagine my surprise this week when I was making a snack and popped out one of the rice bread buns defrosted ready to toast and found it to be perfect without needing the toaster. I was keen to see if the yeast free bread could cut it too.

Oh just so you know… how did I get the whey to the right temperature- warmish? I popped it in the Thermomix for a few minutes on 37c. When the 37 light stopped flashing I began to add the other liquid ingredients such as eggs, honey and oil. Even though it was a very wet day not at all conducive to proving dough, it still felt warm when I popped the dough into the fridge.

Honey bought me some Sorghum

I am very excited to tell you that we have sorghum. So I can finally taste the bread as it was originally intended... Recipe here. It was a dilemma as to which sorghum to buy as there is white and red available at Lola’s wheat free world. So we ordered some of each. It was very exciting to see it on the door-step. In fact, Lola’s package arrived before our brown-basmati rice which we ordered a few days earlier… maybe today it will come.
Kitchen malfunctions:
IMG_0154IMG_0155You will notice I have a different bowl today; yes I took cake in my “Bread bowl” to work and forgot to bring it back. Honey’s Mum makes fantastic pottery bowls though- but this one is slightly on the small size, for what I need it to do. Shoulda woulda coulda made a smaller batch but chose not to.
I have half the amount of xamtham gum that is required, with my success of going without it in the last recipe; I decided to try my luck...
So I have not blogged in a few days, but this is to catch you up.
Thursday I missed toasted focaccia rolls, so I attempted to make one with the focaccia I made earlier in the week. I put left-over things from the fridge such as ricotta, salami, prosciutto, bacon and olives with a bit of salad. Toasted in the sandwich press- result delicious. 
Friday GF “KFC” was calling me, I milled some Tuscan seasoning, paprika, Italian herbs and casian pepper in the Thermomix. Then I added about a teaspoon to a few table spoons of bread crumbs.
IMG_0146Rolled the chicken pieces (I used wings cut into 3 parts and tossed the tips to the cats) in corn flour, then dipped in egg and rolled in the crumbs. I was hungry so was not waiting for the oven to cook them. I fried them up in a frying pan on the stove.
The white bread-crumbs were easy bakers GF bread, frozen and crumbed. The brown bread crumbs used were from the first batch of bread I made with chia to replace the sorghum.  
IMG_0148The brown crumbs “behaved” more the way I wanted them to, but it’s been a while since I have fried chicken and I am more than a little out of practise. They tasted “healthier” and I did not add spice to that one piece. The white crumbs fell off but were slightly sweeter in flavour. I think they would have fared better in the oven. There are other recipes out there for GF “KFC” which use flour I intend trying them “one day”, but it was nice to have a chicken “fix”. I chose wings as they are cheap and if I messed it up well it would not hurt my wallet as much.
So on the weekend it was Honey’s birthday. We had a party and we had another GF party member coming. I made burger buns for us. As the buckwheat recipe had a softer crust I decided to try it out.
IMG_0149I bought little cake tins but found I probably did not need them as the dough has the ability to be shaped as the cob loaf does. But I had bought the tins so I was testing them…
I used baking paper on 2 lots and just some oil on the other 2 lots. I found the baking paper to be superfluous. The bread once again came right away from the sides of the baking dish.
IMG_0152The buns did not break as I was eating. I think they could have been a little thinner as they were perhaps a little chewy. Also the bread was the same colour as the cooked steak which made them appear a tiny bit boring to look at but the taste was great. 
I also had one the next day and it was also fine and did not need to be toasted.
IMG_0156Party day I was never more thankful to be a  Thermomix owner. I cooked regular spaghetti bolognaise sauce (chopped everything in Thermie) and dumped it in the slow cooker. I like to make about double the sauce at t a time and it does not all fit in the Thermomix at once… no worries I had plenty more work for “him” to do … I also prefer the texture that the slow cooker gives the bolognaise sauce.
I found a fantastic recipe for lentil bolognaise here but did not have time to be standing by a stove for 20 minutes. I added a few essential bolognaise veggies such as mushrooms and capsicum, extra canned tomatoes set the timer and let Thermie do the rest while I fixed up some other pre-party jobs.
IMG_0153I also used Italian herbs and Tuscan seasoning in leiu of oregano.
Let me tell you I was surprised at how good they tasted, Honey liked them too. I was also pleasantly surprised at how much cheaper they are to make than beef bolognaise sauce and how much easier to clean the TM bowl was. Definitely will be using it again and is very well suited to being a recipe for “a meal in a hurry”.
IMG_0145I cleaned the TM bowl and made French onion dip, garlic and herb dip, then looked for the sweet chilli sauce to top the last cream cheese with (I was sure I had some in the fridge). Turns out I didn’t. What I did have was a red capsicum, coriander, parsley and some dried herbs. I zapped the capsicum in the thermomix, then zapped the fresh herbs, added some Italian herbs mix and Tuscan seasoning, whipped in the cream cheese… and I had people asking for the recipe.


If you like me, have found that you just cannot face eating store-bought bread now that you have made the real thing, experimented with recipes and found the one you love… then you spy in the freezer the bread you first made and a stash of store-bought GF bread and you gag at the thought of eating it…
Do not despair, breadcrumb it. Honey makes delicious rissoles, breadcrumbs are a key ingredient. I wanted to feel like I had done something in the kitchen today between shifts so; breadcrumbs it was. As I was tossing the frozen bread slices into Thermie (an Australian nickname for Thermomix) and pulsing the turbo button, I was reminded of other things I miss since removing gluten from my diet.
Sure Cedar Park makes delicious GF fish and chips. But what I very much miss is KFC… mmm hot and spicy. Ok I can feel the pillows you are tossing at me and hear the groans and the “SHUT-UPS”… but I have a point to this. Mum used to make chicken in the oven with breadcrumbs… if I mill up some Tuscan seasoning or Portuguese chicken seasoning with some eggs and GF crumbs, I might have a little healthier slice of heaven.  When chicken is on special… it would be cheaper too.
Don’t have a Thermomix?
You don’t need a Thermomix (type machine) to make the gluten free bread I have been making. In fact the original recipe inventors don't use one. I can say it does sure help, as being able to mill some of your own grain such as popcorn, rice and even tapioca pearls/seeds will save you money, nutrients, shelf-life etc. Breadcrumbs were a breeze, however, visiting the health food store and the health food section of your supermarket will get you rice flour, tapioca flour, (Rice, corn and potato flour can also be found with the wheat flour section- cheaper) and arrowroot flour can be found in the cake decorating section. Coles sells a generic brand GF cornflour too. I have not seen cornmeal, however and found I needed to mill my own you should know, I have not tried to look for besan either.  
Friends with Thermomixes (and other machines that can mill) may even let you use their machine to grind a few grains. You can get an idea if this is the thing for you… Even the cheapest knock-off is a lot of money to spend on something that you decide you don’t want to use.
Here is the website that Jo (the blogger/chef I got my recipe from) adapted her bread recipe from specifically with Thermomix users in mind. This could be helpful if you prefer not to weigh your ingredients as you cook.If you are time poor, or lack energy, the knead function is certainly helpful for making the GF egg free bread I made yesterday. Btw Honey liked it too; the texture reminded him of cake and he thought it might be nice to add some bananas to make banana bread. I think banana on top would also be delicious.

Sandwich loaf bread

I found this other fantastic recipe for bread that I am very keen to try today… but I am out of quinoa (we are looking online for Australian quinoa) and wonder if something else might work instead. I am very excited to make a sandwich loaf from scratch. Recipe here. It has no eggs, and I have just bought plenty of eggs, so I might do some experimenting later.
I’m not sure how many readers I have, and how many have a Thermomix or similar machine. I am very interested to hear how the Vitamix, Thermochef, Bellini, Kogan, Maxi and other similar products work out too.  I don’t sell Thermomixes, but if you want one, I can put you in contact with my other sister friend - who I call the Thermomix Queen. For all the options available I have only seen the Thermomix “In person” the Bellini in a box (at Target), and a friend has a Vitamix, but I have not seen it either.
I have found this page essential for flour conversions hereIMG_0141

Quinoa is a bodifier; I see that I can swap with cornmeal, besan or rice flour. I am very keen for another cooking adventure. I have also seen sites that divide the flours by other ways, but this way works… so I use it. 
Kitchen malfunctions: I think I am making up for yesterday. I had just one (a burn from the oven, which I covered with a wet Anion wrapped in a tea-towel. Five minutes later, the pain was gone, I removed the stuff and my hand was great. It’s kind of nice to not waste 20 mins of cool water running over my hand, and not being stuck to the sink while things are cooking around me.
My dough was in the TM and the kneading function was “Not working”, I had it on stir, I needed it in the “closed lid position”. I hit reverse a few times to “facilitate the knead process.” 
There was a glob of dough under the blades, which I noticed after I had skimmed the top of the dough with a wet spoon (a process that would have been easier if the tin was the correct size for the amount of dough. I removed the dough using by putting the speed on 10. I added it to the loaf by working it in with wet fingers to the top of the dough.
Thanks to Simone at IMG_0142
I realised I didn’t need to call my TM Queen and ask how to get it fixed… So I will know for next time I try.
The chickpeas- I looked for them but they were “hiding” somewhere in the pantry, so I made the dough with cornmeal instead.
“Someone” used a knife in my loaf tin; it now has rusty stripes on it. I covered them with some alfoil.
My TM looked “Funny” when I was weighing… I had not “seated” the TM bowl correctly, so more chia seeds were added than was needed. I had been able to rescue the “extra” buckwheat though. Not that I am that concerned about the few additional chia seeds as I forgot to add the xanthan gum.
I think this one will be a “re-submit”. But it is happily resting ready to be baked in about an hour.
This dough does not rise very much at all. Next time I think I will use a smaller tin.
The bread was cooked in 50 minutes. Probably as the tin was a little on the large side for the loaf, I will let it cool and tell you what I think of the taste. So far I have noticed it is quite springy straight out of the oven. The cob loaf was like a rock. It also shrunk away from the sides of the pan so was very easy to remove to check the bottom was brown.
As if to mock me, on kitchen malfunctions day… the dishwasher is also refusing to turn on, so I will wash the dishes and allow the bread to cool.
Ok this bread is brilliant. It’s my favourite yet… now I just need an appropriate tin. I would go for probably one half the size lengthways so you make a shorter loaf but the bread slices are right.
It may be possible to make a 1.5 size dough ball or double batch to fill the loaf tin, assuming you had enough people who would eat the bread in the required time. I am not sure if extra dough would fit in the Thermomix.

Cornmeal bread

Sounds so American… I was surprised to read I could mill my own cornmeal with pop-corn. This could be handy for Latin American Australians to know, as real corn flour is needed to make tortilla fIMG_0134rom the Northern Latin countries (which, is very delicious).  Apparently you can also make polenta from popcorn too. I’m actually not looking forward to the next one… milling chickpeas as a substitute for sorghum. Perhaps it’s because the first brand of GF flour I had (Before I was introduced to the wonderful white wings GF flour range) featured soy and lentils or something… I have tried hard to forget because I cannot forget the flavour. Not so bad in fritters, béchamel sauce and other savoury dishes but definitely not suitable for sweet dishes such as cake. 
IMG_0135But the angel Judie on my shoulder tells the devil angel that chickpeas are very healthful and she might be surprised. And she further argues that I don’t eat that much cake any more (Unless my sister friend makes it for me- her GF brownie cakes rock, as does her GF Sand Cake, Monte Carlos and gingerbread people).
So this morning I had a brainwave, make the cornmeal and chickpea dough at the same time, and only make a ¼ batch of the chickpea, in case its yucky.
Sounds brilliant! I’m no mathematician and prefer someone just to check my numbers even when I am halving a half. Not-so Honey decided he was too tired to check… but it does look like dough and it is rising nicely. I have found that making the dough while I am cooking the bread from the last batch is not only time-wise but placing the new dough near the oven is helping it to rise quite nicely.
First surprise of the morning, the cornmeal aka popcorn milled in the thermomix on speed 9 for 1 minute, looks like polenta at the 30 second mark, and yellow course flour at the minute mark. Chickpea flour is quite yellow too.
Kitchen malfunctions… there were many.
Ok so making a ¼ mix is possible but having a set of kitchen scales handy would be beneficial as the thermomix can only deal in 5g increments. So I had slightly more water and less oil than I needed. The honey was just a guess- a teaspoon and a bit. Tablespoons of yeast and xanthan gum were changed to 1 desert spoon and salt was one heaped teaspoon… no worries.
IMG_0136I decided to see if I could do 2 loaves at a time, Honey asked if we could make one for his Mum. I said no worries. I also decided to make the last ball into more burger buns.
The frying pan could easily fit 2 loaves on at once, but it was tricky. I thought I was so clever resting the bread-board on the oven door as I popped the dough-balls in without a hitch. Then looked down to see the plastic wrap I had peel off stuck to the inside of the oven door at least a minute of hot air was lost with me using the egg flip to scrape the plastic from the door.
IMG_0139 I have found a good way to keep the toast upright in the toaster is to pop 3 in at a time on one side, just don’t get distracted when you are getting them out, as I did this morning and had to “go fishing” once again for the toast slices.
2 buns cooking at once took longer than one bun by itself, but not twice as long. I got caught up blogging and forgot to check the time. I waited for the sweet smell of cooking bread to tell me today. I popped out the baking paper from under the loaves and gave them another 15 minutes.
I think I will pop a small roll of chickpea and cornmeal bread win with my jasmine rolls to compare them.
Just FYI we use a local supplier for our macadamia nut oil and honey, which I use in the bread I bake. There has been some talk of Olive oil making the bread lighter and fluffier. I will try it next with the rice breads, as they are our favourites. I have two types of olive oil, EVOO and very mild.
I did not do the “Shape the bread dough with wet fingers/spoon thing” this morning, I would like to say I wanted to see the difference, but it was time to eat and I had forgotten to put the dough out for the 2nd rising. I was lazy. But I do like the cracked top effect.   
We had the jasmine and basmati bread toasted (Though it was still nice as bread today) with mushrooms, ricotta, salami, aioli and capsicums fresh from the local markets this morning. Delicious. The semi-circle shape of the toast gave the meal a café feel.
Chickpea bread vs Cornbread
Ok somehow I lost track of which small loaf was what on the first day of cooking them. I know that I liked one more than the other and Honey could not tell the difference. He said to me that the bread just keeps getting better. Thanks for the compliments; perhaps I need a 2nd opinion.
Both small loaves were much softer than the Jasmine rolls. Though similar sizes one cooked faster than the other and went a lovely brown on top. It was the softest, and I think it would make the best dinner rolls.
Taste-wise, one was sweeter than the other, I was so sure it was the corn one, (I may have confused them when I put them into the oven, as they were pretty much alike) but to be certain I have cooked a loaf (it is cooling) and have some dinner rolls proving, along with another focaccia base and pizza base.
In case of a prejudicial error on my part, I have made a Maltese soup called brodu to go with the bread rolls for tonight’s dinner. It should be perfect with the lovely rainy weather we are having today. Not great for trying to prove bread, so I have been trying to warm the kitchen with a bolognaise sauce in the slow cooker and am about to make Pizza and focaccia too.IMG_0137
I finally remembered to cut the top of the loaf before I baked it. I cannot say that it had made that much difference to the end result. I think I will continue to make it the way I was making it. The cornbread loaf did not go very brown… could it be that it was the chickpea one all along that was better? The taste of the cornbread loaf is not as I remember it. To be sure I am putting the chickpea loaf on to cook/ it is proving as we speak. Perhaps it is the difference between being in the fridge for a few days and being made up fresh on the day. Though to be honest the jasmine bread did not taste different the next day.
Ok I have cooked and taste tested both again. The corn flour has a slightly more intense fIMG_0140lavour when cooked on day 3 (Which initially tricked me), as does the chickpea flour bread. The chickpea or besan flour bread leaves a slight aftertaste in my mouth, which I find slightly objectionable , however I think that vegemite or a savoury topping/stew etc would mask it nicely. 
I believe that it would be one of the more healthy options as a pizza base, and preferable to quinoa if you are watching your pennies. Jasmine rice is still my favourite, with basmati a close 2nd and cornmeal 3rd. Recipe here

Thin and crispy Pizza, Bread Rolls and Focaccia

I swear I am not addicted to pizza, but now I have tried the pizza base, I wanted to make sure the basmati dough could “cut it” and it totally does. I think it was even better than the quinoa as I could not taste the base at all. I think quinoa base, however is healthier as it is a whole seed whereas the basmati rice, though low GI is a white rice, therefore has been stripped of a lot of its goodness. Honey and I are looking around for brown basmati, so far the only place I have seen it locally was woollies- and it was the pre-cooked stuff. Not much good for bread-making. Recipe hereIMG_0131

So bread rolls, you take them for granted when they don’t mess with your digestion/you don’t realise they are messing with your digestion… how does the basmati  dough cope? I have some buns in the oven, and I will keep you posted.
Focaccia, I miss you… nothing like walking into a bakery and having a focaccia you can’t eat, staring at you, mouth drooling… so it really was no contest- I had to see if I could try a focaccia. I thought it would be somewhere between cooking a pizza and a bread loaf.
IMG_0130With the pizza you don’t want the topping cooking before the bread base is done. Therefore the cast-iron frying-pan is my method of choice.
My morning went something like this…
Today I should make bread (Honey loved the bread from yesterday)… oooh and a bread-roll, AND a pizza and a focaccia. I was mentally deciding how to divide the dough as I was paying for my goods at the veggie store.
I had 2 lots of dough left (one I needed to make the bread with) so the last ball was divided in half one half for the focaccia, the 2nd ball was divided in halves again one made the thin pizza base and the other the bread-roll.
IMG_0126So I popped them aside to prove.
I then milled the ingredients for the Jasmine Rice bread and mixed it together.
Deciding that the Pizza base did not need quite 2 hours to prove, I made it first. This time when I popped it into the oven I used a heated oven tray as I needed the cast iron frying-pan to begin the focaccia with.
IMG_0127I made the base of the focaccia like a very  thick pizza base, rolling it with a glass (and having it between glad wrap and baking paper, before leaving it to prove for just under 2 hours.
I then followed the same method I use for cooking pizzas on the stove; I added the sauce, pineapple, bacon and cheese when the steam had reached the frying-pan lid.  Similarly I cooked the focaccia on the oven tray (Transferring it over when the pizza was done) and popped the cast-iron frying pan into the oven to heat for the bread to cook on.
IMG_0128Now I don’t usually bother with the bath of water for the pizza but I popped it in for the focaccia. Which I kept a check on, but ended up being in the oven for about ½ hour.
The focaccia bread has been out of the oven and resting in a tea-towel with the baking paper it was sitting on coving the top to protect the focaccia and the tea-towel from each-other.
I cut myself a tiny wedge (The pizza was quite filling) and decided I needed another wedge. The rest will be for Honey to try when he arrives home from work.  
Jasmine Bread
SIMG_0132o today I got the milling quantities right, halve the tapioca and brown rice to mill. What I noticed was that leaving the grains in for a full minute made the flour finer. So one half of the tapioca flour is finer than the other half. As I wanted the rice to substitute for the sorghum, which is apparently a coarse flour, I milled 220g of the brown rice coarsely (milling for 30 seconds not a minute) and the rest (Jasmine and 80g of brown) fine. I am not sure how this will affect the outcome of the bread. What I can say is that the jasmine rice flour smelled divine. I am very much looking forward to trying this bread.
Jasmine rice is one of the highest GI rices, though delicious, and my sister-friend makes the best coconut rice with it. If you are following a low GI diet, basmati would be the better choice, and perhaps milling the long-grain brown rice (300g) would also be more beneficial for you too. Jasmine bread might just have to be my “sometimes” bread. In saying that, Honey and I are looking for brown jasmine as well to experiment with. Using the whole grain of rice will definitely improve the health factor.
I have decided I cannot wait a whole day to try the jasmine bread so I took a lump out and it is proving as we speak.
The jasmine loaf is finished; I am surprised that it is not as golden brown on top as its basmati cousin. Due to me taking more care with the milling, the crust appears finer; the basmati loaf has “flecks of white” and looks generally grainier. Though the dough felt grainy the correct milling did make a difference to the end result.
My cooking would not be complete without some kitchen malfunctions. The first being, I measured too much jasmine rice into the Thermomix. I pulled some out, put them to the side and they slipped into the pile of flours. To fix, I sieved the flour which removed the grains of rice and a few of the larger tapioca flower “beads” from the 30 second milling.
I bumped the jasmine loaf as I was popping it into the oven… and confession time- I have never remembered to do the knife thing across the top before putting my loaves into the oven (Ok the very first one that ended up chucked out raw due to glass contamination, really does not count. The bread still tastes good.
Well I have now tasted the bread, and it is delicious too, and Honey and his housemate agrees. There is not much difference in the flavour of the jasmine bread to the basmati, but the Jasmine definitely tastes slightly sweeter than the basmati without anything added to it (Remember I liked with with honey, and thought it would be nice with vegemite). The finely milled grains made the crust crisper and if everyone was having damper and I “had to” have this I would not be disappointed.   
I dream of brown Jasmati… having the 300g of brown basmati, 220g of Jasmine… I am sure that you are in my future. But next up is Cornmeal bread, which I am looking forward to trying too.

Steak Burgers

IMG_0124I am pleased to tell you the steak burgers were a success tonight. It’s the first time in over a year I have been able to eat a steak burger with just my hands- no utensils. Yogolicious burgers definitely rock, but there is something about a bun fresh out of the oven that sends a burger from great to fantastic.
To fit more into the burger I used a spoon to scoop out some of the bread from the lid of the bun. That came in handy when Honey’s flattie made Dahl and offered me some… yum! I popped it onto the bread pieces… very IMG_0123nice.
When Honey returned home, I was fixing a snack with some of the toasted bread. Be warned, I had it on level 6 and it still came out pale. But certainly delicious. We had ricotta, tomato, prosciutto and Spanish onion. He liked the flavour of the bread too, so we made another snack with ricotta, aioli, salami, tomato and Spanish onion.

The place that you can find the recipe is here

I have since found that this bread can be cooked in the slow cooker and it has changed my life. This bread can also be cooked in a sandwich loaf (in the slow cooker)... yeah I am a huge fan of the Healthy Bread in 5 minutes a day recipe writers. they ROCK!


Breads and Buns Part 2

Basmati bread
IMG_0116Last night as I was milling my grains, I realised I had been over-looking one key sentence in the recipe. I needed to split the rice in 2 parts to mill it. Milling it all together had made course flour, which may have affected the outcome of the bread.
You should know; I have been using short-grain brown rice as the main rice flour. Brown rice because it’s healthier, short-grain because it’s cheaper and is available in larger packages from supermarkets. If you are new to my posts you can find the best gluten-free bread recipe here

I tried using 2 small eggs with 2 XL eggs in case it was the tiny bit of extra egg making the bread dough
stickier. I have not noticed much difference in the stickiness today. IMG_0117

Quinoa Pizza base 2
I made the last blob of quinoa dough into pizza last night using chicken, bacon, a mix of tomato and BBQ sauce, 3 cheeses again and tomatoes that had been diced and sprinkled with Italian herbs and refrigerated for 2 hours (Mostly I just did not want to forget to add the herbs again) and lightly fried onion with a sprinkling of smoky paprika.
2/2 people (and one dog) agree it was delicious. The base however, had become more intense from being in the fridge longer (as Jo, from quirky cooking said would happen). The quinoa dough was 5 days old. 
This time when cooking the pizza, I placed the dough on baking paper, cutting a circle about 1cm around the dough as it was proving. I placed the whole thing straight onto the cold frying-pan and heated it for about 5 minutes. When I noticed steam on the lid, I popped it to the side, added the sauce and topping, and popped the lid back on. Yet another oven (user error) ensuring the pizza went into a cold oven… again.
I think this was a better method all-round.
IMG_0118Enough waiting, the basmati bread is calling me…
Ok it is totally delicious. I can eat it plain, but it tastes a little nicer with butter and honey… dreaming of what it would be like with vegemite… and it can bend a bit without breaking.
So basmati bread dough I am going to test you as a burger bun. I halved a regular bread ball and placed it a little flatter on the baking paper. Popped some Glad-wrap over it to prove…
IMG_0120I think I need to go shopping now for hamburger salads and meat.
Later… Shopping done, bread rolls are in the oven. I am keeping an eye on the time so they do not over-cook. Starting with 20 minutes- if the top is brown I will slide the baking paper out and give the rolls another 10.IMG_0119
The smell of fresh bread was calling me at the 30 minute mark, (at 20 mins they were still pale, this may also be partly because the oven door was open for about 1 minute as I was placing the 2nd roll in, it slid too close to the first roll) and now I can tell you, the tops are lovely and brown.
At 40 minutes both bread-rolls are out of the oven. They feel heavier than a regular bun. I have wrapped them in a tea-towel to cool.

Gluten free bread making

I have been gluten free for about one year. Bread is probably one of the most frustrating things for a gluten-friendly lifestyle. To be honest there is only one brand of bread that I have been able to eat un-toasted, but once it’s been frozen, it will crumble if you try to eat it un-toasted.
My family told me about Easy Bakers GF bread. My world was changed… not only was I able to have yummy fresh bread from the oven… cheaper…. I also made it into pizza bases which pleased even my non-GF flatties and tortilla which were not stinky and gross.
Challenge: I prefer wholemeal bread to white and grain, but Easy Bakers does not offer it. It was possible to make smaller loaves in muffin tins to have “Bread rolls” but the mixture was to the consistency of cake mix and they looked a little funny. In the end I took thickly sliced bread (Cut length ways) to the BBQ I was attending, toasted one side and shared my bread with another GF person at the party
I have a Thermomix and was keen to see what I could do with “From scratch ingredients”. Up till now I was really only using it as an expensive mixer.
Challenge 2: Finding the right recipe. I must admit seeing this slice of bread fold without breaking sold me… I had to try it... find the recipe here

Problem: where can I get sorghum flour/grain other than “stealing” lunch from a neighbouring cow? It did strike me as slightly funny. I have scrolled through and found there to be some grains I could swap the sorghum with- Chia which apparently can be used instead of any other GF grain, quinoa and rice. We are checking the Asian stores in Rockhampton as the health food store had not heard of sorghum flour.

Take one:

First attempt- CHIA
I broke the Pyrex “Bath” when I added the water. We had a huge mess to clean up… Disappointed me… the rest of the dough went into the fridge and I went shopping for a new, metal bath the next day. The lady in the kitchenware store was slightly appalled when she found out what I did. Upon her advice I filled the bath up and popped it into a cold oven. Seriously water boils at 100c I realised I would not be lacking for steam. I was very excited that this dough made balls that held their shape, so burger buns were now a possibility for “One-day”.
Using Chia flour (Made by milling chia seeds for 1 minute) the bread came out very brown (I had dark seeds), topped with fresh tomato, aioli and avocado was delicious, we also tried Ricotta, tomato and Spanish onion. It was quite a strong-tasting bread and reminded me of eating pumpernickel once as a child. Not much good as a slice of toast with butter and honey, the “fold” effect was disappointing.

Regarding the tapioca flour- mill tapioca seeds/pearls (also called sago) for one minute in the Thermomix. The box has over what you need though it says it has less and the bag should have exactly what you need though it also says it has less.
As the eggs were ex-large, I backed off the water slightly. With the dough being drier, I was able to pop the ball into the oven (Onto a cast iron frying-pan) with an egg-flipper.

I have since found that the best place to get tapioca flour is from the Asian isle at Coles. However milling sago for 2 minutes in the TM does produce a powder. 
Second Attempt- QUINOA
I was using up my stash of quinoa, I had not wanted to become too addicted to the flavour of quinoa porridge as I recently read of the heath-concerns that poor people in Peru and Brazil are facing at present as vegetarians and GFs have discovered the wonderful properties of this seed, the price of quinoa(a staple) has sky-rocked… I could not in all conscience be a party to taking food from their babies mouths. Let me say I am very excited to say that quinoa is available from Australian farms via the internet and we look forward to experimenting with this fascinating seed.

I have since found that the information above, is an urban legend... and have started buying quinoa again
Test one: Butter and honey. The bread smelled very nice as it was baking, it had a beautiful brown top, but the taste was somewhat disappointing. The dough was a little stickier as I added the correct amount of water,(I was still using ex-large eggs)  but it still made fantastic blobs that held their shape.
Test two: I added Tuscan herbs to the next ball hoping to be able to eat it with just butter- perhaps Italian herbs would have been better, as it was a little salty. But toasted with ricotta, tomato and aoli was delicious. I don’t think I gave it quite as long as it needed in the oven. This ball was too sticky to pop into the oven with the egg-flip so I used the baking paper method. When it was time to remove the paper, I was amazed that it just slipped out without any effort.Rice flour dough
Test three: Pizza base- by far this is the one that we liked the best. I used the “cast iron frying-pan method” which starts on a stove top and ends in the oven. I put the pizza base out to rise between 2 pieces of cling wrap. Getting it onto the heated frying-pan was tricky, but “forgiving”. I “Puttied” up my holes and mistakes with the dough that folded over. Getting the temperature of the stove-top was also tricky. If it went too hot- the base burned but it needed to be hot enough to “steam” the lid. When the base looked cooked and was able to be lifted away from the pan, I popped it into the oven. I would have preferred to have had it hot, but I forgot a step in turning it on.
The end result was delicious. There was plenty of topping, and the base was fairly thick so I was only able to eat 2 slices. The pizza was about the size of a dinner plate and was cut into 6 slices. I used kransky, chicken, bacon, bbq/tomato sauce and grated Mozzarella, fresh Parmesan and Cheddar cheese on top.
The topping was able to tone down the intense nutty flavour of the quinoa. IMG_0115
This evening I intend to make the last ball into pizza again, but I want to see if it can work as well from being placed onto a cold frying pan first.
The next grain I intend to replace sorghum with is basmati rice then jasmine and maybe purple rice. I also intend to try milling pop-corn to make corn meal and milling chick-peas to make besan to substitute the sorghum.

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