Sunday, March 26, 2023

Gluten Free "Rye" Bread

Rye bread has been my favorite bread since I first discovered it as a seven year old child. Toasted with bread and butter has been my go to breakfast for most of life. But when I realized I had to go gluten free, it was goodbye to my love!

But maybe not! After making Jeffrey Larsen's basic bread recipe, I adapted it to make this version that is pretty darn close to my favorite no knead rye bread recipe. Ahh, "rye" bread and butter for breakfast again!

Gluten Free Baking at Home by Larsen is a fantastic GF cookbook, with so many helpful hints that have taken my baking to a whole new level. He is clearly more interested in sweet baking than savory, but his bread recipe (which is adaptable to rolls as well) is brilliant and very versatile. 

Although the recipe appears long, that is because it is filled with tips to ensure your first attempt is successful. I now make this regularly, and just keep the list of ingredients amounts handy to make preparing the loaf faster.

There are two key tools that you must have. One is a kitchen digital scale so you can measure your ingredients by grams. They are usually about $20, easy to find online or in stores such as Target; mine is a Taylor. Secondly, you need a smaller loaf pan than the average bread pan; 8 1/2 inch by 4 1/2 inch pans. This is because the density of the loaves will cook unevenly in a larger size pan. I happen to find a glass pan at the thrift store, but they also should be less than $20. 

In mixing the dough, he requires a dough blade on a food processor or kitchen aid machine; I do not have one and have been just as successful mixing by hand. 

Potato puree is one of his ingenious ingredients. It adds both starch, heft and moisture in a way that creates a better crumb and prevents the loaf from being too dry. I boil one peeled russet potato, and when super soft, pour off all but 1/2 cup of the cooking water. I mash the potato and add water slowly until it is the consistency of very mashed potatoes. Then I puree it in a blender - if you don't already know this trick of how to use a small mouth mason jar to puree the potato, click on the link. You can then refrigerate or freeze the leftovers for another loaf.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Salmon Cakes

There are so many reasons why living in Humboldt is such a delight, but getting local and fresh caught salmon is near the top of my list. It was the first meal I ate in Humboldt, cooked over a wood fire at the campsite I stayed at on my first night here and it continues to be one of my favorite meals. 

Too often the salmon burgers or cakes found in restaurants are breadcrumb heavy to hold the patty together. Not this version! It uses the salmon itself as the means to meld the patty together, ingenious! Incidentally, this works for crab cakes as well, only I would suggest using a few shrimp as the binder rather than the expensive lump crab. 

My favorite accompaniment is remoulade - a Cajun spicy mayonnaise - but use whatever pleases you!

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Garlic Broccoli Flatbread

If anyone were to ask me what my favorite food is, Pizza would be my instant reply. But variations on it are also way up there on the list, along with things like broccoli sauteed in loads of garlic with Pecorino Romano cheese grated on top. So it isn't surprising that combining the two is highly appealing to me. Maybe you too!

I often add a thin base of mozzarella so that the flatbread isn't too dry, as is pictured here. Other times sour cream or cream cheese (whipped in a food processor) is another option. I suppose that would technically make this a white pizza. Whatever you call it, I call it delicious!