Tuesday, May 15, 2012

TWD - Pecan Sticky Buns

Another Tuesday with Dorie recipe, my second time doing it gluten free.  Since the Hungarian Shortbread recipe we have decided to take our middle child off gluten along with me.  Actually he decided.  He was tired of the nightly stomach aches and since mine had gone away, along with my eczema, he thought it might be worth a try.  Low and behold, he hasn't had a stomach ache since.  Coincidence?  Maybe, but he isn't interested in having them back so he is keeping the gluten out of his diet. 

When it was just me I could easily say, 'Oh I'll make this one with wheat flour, it's only me that can't partake', but now I must make the effort to bake things that he can try as well, it seems cruel to bake something for everyone but him and I couldn't do that to him.  I have a LOT to learn when it comes to baking gluten free though!!

So after having a quick look at this weeks recipe, I was, uh to put it lightly.....terrified!  Not because of all of the steps and the time commitment, but because I knew it would be a challenge to make something that relies so heavily on the glutenous elasticity of wheat flour without wheat flour.  So I put it off, and put it off.  Put it off some more.  Finally Monday came around, the day before THE Tuesday :/  I still hadn't tried them.  I decided to get started and try the sponge and see if I even got anywhere with the first step.   It didn't look much like the picture but it resembled it 'slightly' so I went with it. 

The rising seemed to take longer and of course it didn't rise as much as a beautiful pillowy yeasty wheat dough would.  I wasn't quite sure how it was all going to turn out, but I kept going.  I followed the recipe pretty closely, making adjustments if my dough seemed to need me to.  I added more flour than called for, because the dough was so sticky and difficult to work with. 

I got up early this morning and pulled the dough out of the fridge, rolled it out. 

Quick break here for a plug for the JosephJoseph rolling pin.  I've had it for about a month but used it today for the first time.  I am not sure how I survived in my kitchen this long without it!!  It's amazing!! 

Everything was going fine, it was a bit stickier than I thought it should be but figured that was due to the flour.  I opted to leave off the pecans as the hubs and I are the only ones that would eat them.  I popped the dough into the freezer and then read on.  I have to admit, when it comes to reading recipes I must have cookbook ADD.  I rarely ever read every step (I know, that is a big no no) until I am in the middle of cooking.  That is when I usually realise I am missing something really important or have completely botched something.  This time however it was when I read that each pan was supposed to have an entire stick of butter spread on it.  Some expletives may or may have not left my mouth at that particular moment.   I was in shock at the sheer amount of butter, especially since it was essentially just going to be soaking into and around the buns.  I however trusted it and followed the instructions, but was quietly terrified. 

Since my dough had been having such a hard time rising I decided to pop it in the oven on the bread proof setting to give it some extra help.  When I came back to them they had risen quite nicely, well more than I had expected, still nothing like regular ones would, I was pleased though and went ahead and preheated the oven. 

The second log I added raisins

When they were done, I turned them out as suggested in the book and was not sure exactly why they looked the way they did, but I suspect it had to do with the lack of gluten. 

They certainly aren't the prettiest cinnamon/sticky buns :/ but they still had a little bit of the flakiness from layering them with butter.  You can sort of see the layers in the photo below.

As for the taste, it was entirely too much butter for me.  I couldn't taste much else.  I would have preferred them to be a little sweeter, maybe with more cinnamon sugar and much less buttery.  My family liked them, my gluten free kid really liked the ones without the raisins (he doesn't love raisins in baked goods, that was more for me ;) ).  

I doubt I will make them again, I like to make cinnamon buns for my family but it is much simpler to make them with a regular old sweet yeast bread dough.  I am now on a mission to find a good go to gluten free recipe.  Wish me luck.

If you would like the recipe you can find it on the blog posts of this weeks hosts Lynn of Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat and Nicole of Cookies on Friday .  The recipe can also be found in Dorie Greenspan's book Baking with Julia.  Of course to see how everyone who participated this week did, go here to see all of the awesome variations of the recipe. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TWD - Hungarian Shortbread

I was actually really excited for this months first recipe, Hungarian Shortbread.  Why?  Well I'm an Irish girl and I loooove shortbread ;)  Ok so I am not actually Irish, but I'm Australian and that is almost the same thing! :) 

Now when my daughter saw that it had Rhubarb Jam she was really excited, she loves her great grandmother's rhubarb and strawberry jam and was looking forward to trying this. 

I decided to make the jam the day before I made the shortbread, just to limit the time I needed to spend in the kitchen.  With a toddler helper it can be a bit much to complete an entire recipe all at once :)  We found some fresh rhubarb at Whole Foods for the jam and with the recipe being super simple I was able to get that made in no time.

Here is the finished jam which I popped in the fridge overnight.  It tasted really good by the way.  Not that I sampled it or anything ;) 

No since I am avoiding wheat for a few months I was a bit stressed on how to make this gluten free, on a trip to whole foods I found this flour

It's a bit pricey but I wasn't confident enough to make my own blend of flours just yet, I will get there.  I have bookmarked a gluten free shortbread recipe to make another time.  It looks divine and I am looking forward to making my own blend of gluten free flour.  This packaged flour worked really well though and I am confident that I can use it in the future when converting a recipe to be gluten free. 

I am also avoiding egg yolks, so I was going to go all out and use this

but I'm a wimp and chickened out and used this instead

since I am only avoiding egg yolks and this is made with just whites.  I will get there ;)

The dough came together nice and quickly, the hardest part was grating the dough into the baking dish.  It started to get soft which made it challenging but it wasn't too bad.  That would be my only hesitation on remaking the dough, we liked everything about it but I didn't love grating the dough.  That is my only complaint though, it really was delicious and would really compliment a cup of tea nicely!

I hope you enjoyed it as much as my family did.  If you don't own Baking with Julia yet, go and buy it!  This recipe is on page 327-8 and is definitely worth a try.  If you would like the recipe please visit our hosts for this week Cher of  The not so exciting adventures of a dabbler... and Lynette of 1smallkitchen or if you would like to see how everyone else did on this baking challenge visit here.

Thanks for visiting!  Enjoy.