Monday, March 26, 2012

Slow Roots Farm

Meet Jacob Diaz and his chickens! We started using his eggs in the Fall, and then had to wait until now because they stopped laying for the winter. When we first started using these, we couldn't get over how deep yellow the yolks were.....they certainly weren't like anything we'd ever bought in a supermarket. Jacob's website is full of information about his CSA farm and visitors to Saugerties and Rosendale farm markets last year will be familiar with his wonderful produce. We highly recommend buying a share of his harvest, and consider ourselves very lucky to be living so close to his farm.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Our favorite olive oil Gluten Free bread

Our guests love this olive oil bread, whether they have to avoid gluten or not. This is adapted from a recipe in ‘Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day’ by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, and we think it’s really delicious! For all our bread baking we preheat a baking stone in the oven, and use a silicone mat on a pizza peel to slide the bread in when it’s the right temperature. We bake a lot of bread using the new no-knead method –and making 4 pound loaves in one go also saves a lot of time.
Once you’ve bought the ingredients, this is really easy to make. In a large bowl mix together:

1 cup brown rice flour, ½ cup soy flour, 1 cup tapioca starch/tapioca flour, 3 1/2 cups cornstarch, 2 tablespoons granulated yeast, 1 tablespoon kosher salt (really important for the flavor, add more to taste), 2 tablespoons xanthan gum

 You can do this by hand, or in a stand mixer with paddle, or a food processor – but be aware this is a large amount. If your machine’s too small, by hand might be easiest. Then add:

2 1/2 cups lukewarm water, 4 large eggs, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup canola oil (or increase proportion of olive oil to taste), 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar/cider vinegar

At this point you may be thinking, what’s this gloopy mess?! But don’t panic, even if you have to spoon it onto the silicone mat. Make four ‘piles’ and then, with wet hands, scoop up one of them and hand it to and fro, making an oval shaped loaf. Do the same with the other 3, washing your hands each time and keeping them wet. At the end, you can further smooth the top of the loaf, again making sure your hands are wet.

Cover each loaf loosely with plastic wrap, and leave somewhere warm to rise for about an hour. Make sure to preheat the oven to 450 F about 30 minutes before you need it. Then, remove plastic and sprinkle on top:

Sesame seeds and flaxseeds

...and bake for 30 minutes. (For this bread, you don’t need steam to get a nice crust). After 15 minutes, remove the silicone mat so the loaves are resting on the stone for the last 15 minutes. Leave the loaves you’re not using to cool, and freeze them. You can easily defrost and then refresh them later, in an oven at 350F for 20 minutes to get that just-baked taste. Enjoy!

PS Update Dec 23rd 2012: Very many thanks to Phyllis Bales from Washington State who called today to let us know we'd somehow forgotten to list one VERY important ingredient, namely the water!! Huge apologies to anyone who tried this recipe without it.........