The Childfree Life

When having it all, means not having kids
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Baking?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:12 am 
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I'm trying to do low carb, so have just ordered some almond flour (which is outrageously expensive in the UK, Coconut is cheaper). If anyone has any recipes they think are real winners for the Almond then I'd appreciate it, especially simple ones. I've looked at some but they often incorporate all kinds of bits which you can't pick up in the supermarket, well you can't here anyway, it has to be specialist providers.
This is the issue I had with a lot of the vegan cookbooks I looked at. Nice healthy food and such, but the ingredient lists are made up of 30 things, 10 of which you've never heard of/never seen/would never use again after this recipe. I can't be arsed with that. If it doesn't have less than 10 ingredients and be cooked in less than 20 minutes (or prepped and shoved in an oven while I do other stuff), I lose interest immediately.

Cooking with alternate flours is a bear too. Be prepared for quite a few failures - not having the gluten of wheat to bind it together means that you have to use xanthan gum in everything, and it's all suck-it-and-see. I've found by trial and error that for every cup of flour, three teaspoons of xanthan is about what you need so it doesn't fall apart when you bake it. Apart from one recipe, I've decided to leave that stuff to the experts, spend the extra $$, and buy my gluten free bread and muffins. Let us know how it goes for you though - your mileage might vary.

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Baking?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:48 am 
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Location: UK
^^

I hear you on the ingredients and having to take 2 days off work to prep and cook, it's just not gonna happen.

I've had a couple of unmitigated disasters, especially with the coconut flour, but half the problem seems to be the vague recipes and the bits of other stuff you're urged to blow your cash on. Which you then find you have to get from some very particular supplier otherwise it'll turn your bake purple and taste of Brasso.

Most of them are US recipes which measure in cups and whatever conversion table you look at it'll give you a different cup to weight ratio. Same with eggs, what size eggs, medium, large, room temperature or straight out of the fridge. Also the amount of fat that some recipes use is unbelievable, like coconut and almond flour haven't got enough fat in them already!

Anyway, through trial and error I have found a method which seems to work for bread, regardless of flour type and doesn't need gum, flaxseeds, chia seeds, pysillium, standing on your head and whistling Dixie or any other shite you can't pick up at the supermarket.

Firstly, unless stipulated ,they seem to mean medium eggs, so if using large (which I always buy) reduce the eggs by a third. Then it seems all it really boils down to is whisking the egg whites separately to soft peaks, whisk the wet ingredients, mix in the dry and then fold in the egg whites. If it looks like the fat or oil in the recipe looks mad, then use half the fat and make up the rest with whatever kind of milk you're using.

You can then chuck in whatever you want, cheese, herbs, seeds, nuts, sugar if you're looking to make something sweet and bingo, 30 minutes in the oven and then you've got your gluten free loaf (or muffins, if you want to use the batter that way).

Using this method, rather than whatever nonsense is in the recipe, I've managed to come out with reasonable bread substitutes. Coconut flour tends to be lighter and fluffier, so good for making roll-a-likes and cakey things but not so good for sandwiches. The Almond flour is denser, so better for sandwich bread and can be sliced very thinly

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Baking?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:56 pm 
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A loaf of brown bread:


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Baking?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:28 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Chocolate zucchini bread. I have a potluck tomorrow at the stable, and a couple of monster zucchini from the garden, so time to bake one of my summer favourites! There’s not much else you can do with monster zucchini anyway, they’re generally too woody/tough to cook with. This recipe makes 2 loaves, one for us, one for the potluck!


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Baking?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:43 am 
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I just realised I still have some of last year's apples in the freezer -- I cook them up in batches with sugar and cinnamon -- and this year's are about to be ripe. So I also have some pie crust dough I froze ages ago, and I am hoping it's all still good okay and defrost for this afternoon so I can make a pie or tarts. And all this when I still have too many eggs, with our old girls still laying and we're looking after another 4 hens for someone while they are on holiday, and they are laying one each every day! I'd better bake something with eggs in it too.

And this is why I can't lose any weight. It's got nothing to do with being middle-aged.

Edit: So I defrosted the pie dough, and had to bin it. It smelled off, sort of cheesy! How could my all-butter pie dough have turned to cheese in the deep-freeze? Made a fresh batch of butter tart pastry instead -- they turned out yummy.

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Baking?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:17 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
^^I just cleaned out my freezer so I could defrost it, and I found some old frozen pastry dough that I ended up tossing, it has been in there for who knows how long. Don’t know if it smelled cheesy, though - I didn’t let it thaw enough to find out.

Currently attempting sourdough bagels. I’ve made the dough and am currently waiting for it to rise. Later, I’ll shape them into bagels, then let them rise again before boiling and baking them. By my calculations, they should be done around midnight. Poor timing on my part!


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Baking?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:19 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:55 am
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I have a great breadmaker bagel recipe (ie makes the dough in the machine, then shape/boil/bake). Makes perfect Montreal-style bagels (totally the best kind!). I can have bagels start to finish in less than three hours. Anyone want the recipe, I'm happy to post it.

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Baking?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:17 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
^That does sound tempting, but I don’t own a bread maker. Most of the baking I’ve been doing lately is sourdough based, since I have this sourdough starter that my friend gave me. I’m never really quite sure if it’s still alive, so I bake with it to see (especially since I was away last weekend and husband fed it - he’s a pretty good cook but can be kind of hopeless when it comes to baking since he sucks st following recipes).

Anyway, the bagels came out pretty good for a first attempt - they aren’t a uniform size or shape, but they taste good. Next time I might try to make them Montreal-style - as JessicaRabbit says, Montreal-style bagels are the best!


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Baking?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:31 am 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
More sourdough bread. We’re headed to my parents place for dinner tonight to celebrate my birthday, and the rule in my family is that the birthday person gets to choose the meal. For the past 20+ years, I’ve always chosen lasagna, garlic bread, Caesar salad, and amaretto chocolate cheesecake. This year, I offered to bake the bread and take it to my parents.

I’m baking way more frequently since I got this sourdough starter.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Baking?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:43 am 
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^^^ Happy birthday, and I want that meal in my belly!

I made a 100% whole wheat loaf, following King Arthur Flour's instructions, but it's a little squat. I didn't let it rise enough in the loaf pan. Tastes great, though.

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