Friday, August 31, 2007

Adventures in Foodmaking

Isn't it huge? Doesn't it look like real bread? Well, except for the Mickey Mouse ears. I spend a lot of time with Adventures in Foodmaking. Since Daniel was diagnosed with celiac, he's been so good about adjusting to the gluten-free diet. Our biggest problem is... bread. I mean, he's a kid and he's going to school and has to bring lunch because 98% of the school lunches are gluten no-nos and he just doesn't eat salad. So... sandwiches sandwiches sandwiches...

At first I didn't even try to make bread. First I stopped off at Trader Joe's and found one loaf of gluten free bread. I went to the manager and asked if there were any more kinds of GF bread available. He said, "No, this is the only one we have and it is pretty awful. We basically keep it around for people who need GF food because if not we would have gotten rid of it a long time ago." Wow. Great recommendation, eh?

So I said to Daniel, "Let's just try it. Maybe this guy is a picky eater like your sister." He agreed. We tried it. It was NASTY. And we have found that most of the GF baked goods are very high in carbs. Daniel has not switched to basal bolus yet for his diabetes, so his carbs per meal or snack are limited. UGH!

So... Cupcake got the bread. Cupcake is so named because one day I looked out into the back yard and there, outside on the windowsill, is a beautifully frosted, slightly squished cupcake. I was about to ask the kids which one of them pulled this prank when I realized that none of the kids could have done this. There is a drop outside the window that goes down to our basement, and the area is surrounded by an iron fence. The kids just can't reach the windowsill.

Well, that was weird.

A few weeks later, there was a piece of toast with egg. Once there was brioche.

I finally caught the little rascal carrying a bakery item -- I think it was a muffin, across the lawn. (S)he headed towards our window, but saw me watching and stopped. AHA! Cupcake! Our little backyard friend.

Cupcake is now the recipient of all failed GF baked goods.

So, back to the Mickey Mouse bread. It is a sourdough recipe from the Bette Hagman The GF Gourmet cooks Comfort Foods cookbook. It smelled lovely while rising & baking, and rose beautifully up out of the loaf pans. It even tastes good! BUT... (you knew there was a but, didn't you?) the darn thing just falls apart. I cut pieces, make a sandwich for Daniel, and when he picks it up to take a bite it just crumbles around the sandwich innards. He has to eat it with a spoon.

So, the rest of this loaf may go to Cupcake, and I'll see what I can do to this recipe to make it better. A pinch more xanthan gum? A trace of corn flour? A dollop of club soda? Eye of newt? Hair of Cupcake?

It's priest. Have a little priest.

Is it really good?

Sir, it's too good, at least!
Then again, they don't commit sins of the flesh,
So it's pretty fresh.

-Sweeney Todd, A Little Priest

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