Alternative bread baking part 2

Everything I have made in my Thermomix or any of the clones and blogged about, has now been added to a new category which Icob created recently called “ThermoMachines”… I had not remembered that I enjoyed the Quirky loaf, but having a bread tin (as opposed to a rectangle cake tin… small one for GF bread) has made a huge difference to my enjoyment of the bread as it fits better in my GF toaster ($8 from wollies and I can keep it as hot as I like without Honey burning his toast or contaminating mine). It has a huge purple nail-polish Gf on each side… So far I have made artisan bread into a loaf 2x, Tania Hubbard’s nut bread (expensive breadbut nice) recipe here, we changed 2 eggs for apple sauce in one lot and 1/2 a mashed banana in another lot… I liked both, Honey preferred apple sauce recipe… and date muffins as a loaf recipe here also switching some ingredients to make a savoury loaf too.
Would you like to know more about our thermo-experiments? Join my ThermoScience and MixinFun group on Facebook for up-to-date information on all the tests we do, you can even make requests… here1
I had not realised I made my first ever yeast free dough rise for 40 mins… who has time for that, 10 is pushing the limit these days… time is of the essence and it appears to be a much better loaf. I found another gluten free bogger, here; very interesting information yet I cannot understand the fascination with cutting the top of the loaf before cooking… they all do it; it’s a pain to remember and I think it makes the shape of finished product a bit annoying and have noticed no great benefit to the cuts. The absolute best way I have found to cook an artesian loaf is in the slow cooker (I have a round base which is perfect for the small loaf), does not heat up the kitchen in Summer and saves electricity…
pizzaTodays experiment is in response to a query I had regarding school lunches. I can little imagine the frustration as a child with even more limited options for a yummy lunch than it can be for an adult. At least at TAFE, we had sandwich toasters and microwaves available. Pizza is awesome for lunch but finding a good base that is nice cold is a challenge. On holidays there is little to complain about with polenta bases and yoghurt dough fresh from the oven, but the next day when they are cold… can be rather chewy. I grin and bear it, but if I was a school kid missing out I think I would be pretty ticked off (and they wonder why there is a high incidence of depression among the GF population)…
2Usually when I make pizza it is with the 5mins/Quirky dough, 1/4 rolled out between 2 sheets of baking paper with oil between, transfer it to the cast-iron skillet which is on a heated element, begin adding topping and cover for about 10 mins then transfer to hot oven… this is delicious, wood-fired would slightly top the experience. But not every one has a cast-iron skillet and I don’t think I have ever attempted pizza with the yeast free bread dough. So tonight 2x quarters are cooking in a loaf tin in the toaster oven, 1x quarter is in the slow cooker and the other quarter is busy in the oven on a normal pizza tray with leftovers from our ridge/freezer… chorizo, chicken, avocado, tomatoes a few herbs and cheese. I will try not to eat it all so I can try a piece tomorrow for lunch.
3Straight out of the oven, it was good… we were hungry so I didn’t get a shot first… but it looked like pizza should. Snuffy our fury 5yo took my last piece of pizza when I got up to check on the bread… fortunately I had a small sliver in the fridge for tomorrow.
Bread smells like honey, and is slightly darker than usual but the crust is quite soft to touch and I am looking forward to breakfast in the morning.
Day 2
Once again the bread was perfect the next day, however there is the slight taste of bicarb soda in the bread, so next time I will back it off a bit. For each cup of flour I added to the mixing bowl; 1 tsp of Bicarb soda was added, perhaps that ratio was a little too high;, or perhaps the bread dough needed more time to relax before being popped into the oven.

ThermoMachines… My 2c worth

TKids2It seems everyone has an opinion these days about which is the best Thermo-machine and 80% of the time it’s the brand that is sitting on their own kitchen bench. Some people cannot justify the 2k of a TM and others cannot justify the extra landfill from a clone.

To some people considering help in the kitchen; 2k is almost what they paid for their car (both cars I have bought actually), “rego-ish” is more in their price range. Whichever side of the fence you are on I encourage you to research before you buy. 2k is a lot of money to pay for a thing that sits in your kitchen and does nothing, but so is $250 for a clone (when they are on sale).
Some readers may be aware that I own a TM31, a TB1, Bellini 1 and a Mistral (and now a MyCook). They don’t all always live at my house, they often (like children) go to visit my friends. Recently I was accused of being (by Honey) a Thermomix snob, that is because I loved my TM waaaaay more than our first clone (Thermoblend1) the base was smaller and harder to clean, he kept “biting” me- the blades are sharper ( I think they start out ridiculous and go blunter over time, whereas the TM blades are able to be sharpened by grinding ice). He went to visit my bridesmaid, Ebony, and she had no pre-conceived ideas of what a thermo-machine should be. She enjoyed his stay, and like me found making TB1 custard a nightmare too (but it’s fun to drink). Ebony also had a better TB1 sized scrubbing brush, which made cleaning the jug easier. Lending the TB1 actually helped me to enjoy it more when it was returned... I even missed him while he was gone.
I bought the Bellini while Davo (our TB1) was visiting Ebony. The day I dropped him off, Ebb had a friend visiting who was a proud Bellini owner, I had a fantastic chat with her as she was the first Bellini owner I had actually met… and she knew someone with a Mistral. I had researched both machines after popping a comment on a FB group that I am a member of asking if anyone had Bellinis that lasted longer than 6 months. The response was overwhelming. Ebbs friend offered to let me play with her Bellini, and I was excited; then they came on special and I decided I really wanted to try it; so bought it.
Making dinner that night Honey said to me… I thought you would be using your new toy… I was like this is the new toy. The jugs looked so similar. The Bellini (Rebekah) was christened with Quirky's Paprika Chicken… I use boned chicken as it’s cheaper but it takes a little longer. We loved it.
And my Thermomix brush works very well on both machines. If you own a TM or a TB pro, Mistral, Bellini (or probably any Thermo-machine with a wide base) I highly recommend these brushes. They last for ages, soak in bleach and water once a week or pop in the dishwasher. Honey uses my old one for cleaning the pet food cans before they go in the recycling.
I took advantage of the Christmas sales to purchase the Mistral. Mistakenly believing this one person on the thread who told me that her Mistral was far superior to a Bellini (admittedly she was comparing it to the older model what was recalled a while back, the updated model works very well). Really the only differences in the 2 machines is the shape of the base, the shape of the scales and that the Mistral has a sleep mode, which is handy. I’m not too annoyed though about the misinformation having 4 T-Ms (thermo-machines) going to make fudge over Christmas was fun and super handy. Rebekah is visiting my friend in Brisbane for a bit but not before we did some tests with the “kids”. I found that the Recipe Community caramel fudge recipe works just as well in a GSM model as in the TM31. To my disappointment (and the chooks delight) I found that the TB1 needed a different recipe.

While I love my GSM machines I don't think that they are best for milling and kneading if you plan to do a lot of that, you are better off with a Thermoblender type clone or if you can afford it, a more heavy duty machine. If ease of cooking meals that do not come out of a bottle is more your thing than a GSM machine is a fantastic machine that will save you and your family from eating a lot of junk as far as additives goes. 

I think that the MyCook Premium is the best value for money machine that I have tried... Blog here. I recently lent my TM31 and did not miss it at all. Of all my machines the TM31 and the Mistral are the only ones which have broken. I am currently negotiating to get them fixed and will blog what I think of their customer service.


Bellini is upgrading their intelli machine, it has caused some mayhem in that People who have multiple jugs want to be able to keep buying Bellinis as they do not fit into Mistral machines. I am sure that in my research, I have read that the Bellini jug fits the Kogan Thermoblend pro machine, which is available from Kogan with a 5 year warranty. We have certainly found that to be very handy for us.

I found this website which is a collection of owners who have given their feedback on what they think of their devices. It is not just thermal cookers but heaps of gadgets.

MyCook appears to be available for purchase in some stores such as Betta, Bing Lee, Retravision, The Good Guys and Vitality life.


Oven Alternatives for cooking Bread

Blech in CQ it is ridiculously hot... Honey and I have been seeking refuge in our air-coned room this week and Camp oventoday when I went to cook, I realised why we hide away so much... I had to have a shower after 20 mins prep... I was not going out there doing calculations in my head with this heat so I made a full batch of bread dough. Recipe Here. This is my go to GF bread recipe, it’s yummy and cheaper than the nut bread. But lately I have not bothered making it much due to not wanting the oven to contribute to any more heat in our house. I started to think of alternatives…
As soon as I heard of this, I have been wanting to try out the slow cooker method for making bread and as this is the yummiest cheap recipe I have found I decided to see if it would work, I had my doubts due to the differences in cooking styles, but the end result was quite nice. Very handy for days when I need to run a few errands, come home to delicious bread. I also thought of my toaster oven, both appliances use less energy/hour than the oven too which is a bonus.
slow CookerI am out of yeast so am doing this bunch with baking powder, I actually prefer this method as it saves a lot of time having to juggle rises but it is slightly nicer with yeast, but not 5 hours nicer. Today instead of sorghum I am using maise corn, grown by our L2L member, Robert. I have tried in the past popping corn and rice as well which we love, while chia, quinoa and besan- not so much... well not at all really (you will see my thoughts on that adventure in the cooking section of this site).
GF floursFor the milling, I grabbed from the freezer rice and corn flour that I had milled in experiments using the TB1, TM31, Mistral and Bellini. Mistral and Bellini mill slightly courser than the TB1 and TM31, but the flour is very usable and gives a crustier crust. If you are on a low gluten diet, this rice flour found in the Asian section at Coles, may help you to achieve a smoother result (should you require it) if you are worried about the “glutinous” check this out. You could use it instead of the brown rice flour or sorghum flour. I will be testing this flour in another blog. Right beside it, similarly packaged was the tapioca flour, I usually buy the pictured arrowroot flour, but decided to give this a try today. It was fantastic, and cheap.
So can this recipe be used to make a sandwich loaf? I was keen to test that theory too, I woke up hungry; no leftovers as we ate out last night, the kitchen was stinking hot, so today was the day to test all cooking methods. One quirky dough makes 4 small loaves as I was not going to be bothered to do maths in the summer heat of our kitchen the division of bread dough wOven loafent as follows: 2 lots in the bread tin in the oven, 1 lot in the toaster oven, 1 lot in the slow cooker. All were delicious. The drawback with the toaster oven was that it needed to be reset after an hour, and t took about 1hr 40mins to be cooked with a nice crust (200c with a water bath when adding the dough to the oven). I popped the bread dough (which was a little sticky so I kneaded in some more flour- all purpose GF Woolworths select brand, and lowered it down into the SC with the baking paper). I am very impressed with the loaf of bread in the tin. It worked very well and I look forward to yummy sandwiches with it tomorrow. I will try cooking it next time in the toaster oven to save energy. Perhaps there will be a larger SC batch in my future too.
Day 2
All bread was still moist this morning, my thoughts of toast for breakfast were supplanted when I had a nibble of the yummy moist bread… so nice I ate it plain (though I had been drooling over thoughts of butter and OzEmite). I cut each loaf into slices and placed some in the freezer and kept some on the counter. The Loaf from the tin had an air pocket in the top, I will need to research ways to get rid of that for the future; however it does not effect the flavour.
Day 3 and 4
Bread had been refrigerated and was a bit hard due to it being colder. It was very nice toasted.
I also made a chart for easy reference, as sometimes it is tricky to do the conversions in, I have been unable to upload it but if you would like a copy please check out our Facebook page in the files section or click this link otherwise, pop me an email and I will get it to you.

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