Even though our kitchen reno has been done for over a year, I still like to pop in occasionally to the GardenWeb Kitchen Forum from time to time. One of the members there, Caroline(aka Trailrunner,) has 2 gorgeous soapstone sinks that I'm completely jealous of
and an ability to bake bread that I'm even more jealous of.
She's started a number of KAW(Kitchens at Work) threads over on the forum in which she posts fantastic pictures of her breads, not the least of which is the yummy challah above, and her beautiful kitchen. I've been drooling over these posts for quite some time, but since we're gluten-free I hadn't acted on it. The most recent KAW thread finally kicked my butt in gear.
Ever since finding Udi's brand bread, I haven't attempted breadmaking. For the gluten eaters out there, let me explain a bit. If an artisan loaf from Montana Mills is a 10, and a sandwich loaf from the gas station is a 1, the typical gluten-free loaf is a -40. Really. And then I found Udi's. Very tasty. Great texture. Even compared to real bread. In fact I'd rate it way better than typical glutenous sandwich bread. So after finding the holy grail of gluten-free bread, I stopped making bread products - until Caroline's latest KAW thread inspired me.
Last night I made Ginger Chicken Buns.
Lets start with the filling. Heat olive oil and sesame oil in a skillet. I use both here because, the higher smoke point of olive oil helps to moderate the lower smoke point of the sesame oil. Chop a medium onion and add to the pan. When the onion has softened, add 2 cloves chopped garlic, 1 1/2 tsp grated ginger, and 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped in small pieces.
After a few minutes add 1 1/2cups shredded cabbage and 1 large shredded carrot. Add 1-2 tbsps agave nectar and 1-2 tbsps soy sauce.
I like san-J's Gluten-Free Tamari Soy Sauce. Does it taste the same as the soy sauce in my mother's pantry? Well, no, but still it is very good.
If these will be eaten with hands, like street food, while running between wrestling practice which ends at 5:30 and a lacrosse game that begins at 6:00, then your filling is complete. If these will be eaten with a knife and fork on a plate, they can be a bit saucier. I'd add cornstarch, rice wine vinegar, more soy sauce, more sesame oil, more agave nectar, and maybe some bean paste. If you're going with a saucy filling let it cool so it'll gel up and make filling easier. With the drier filling you're ready to fill even when hot.
Now on to the bread product. This bun dough produced such a great end product, that Whirling Dervish was coming up with his own recipe ideas. He's requested egg, cheese, and sausage buns for easy breakfasts, pizza fillings for lunches, etc. I put 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour, 1 cup tapioca flour, 1/2 cup potato starch, 1/2 cup arrowroot starch, 1 tsp xantham gum, and a packet of yeast(I used rapid rise, because that's what I had in the house, but I don't think it matters) in my stand mixer bowl. Mix this all together. In a saucepan heat up 1 cup milk, 6tbsps butter, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp salt to 110 degrees. I'm going to admit that I never use a thermometer for this. The yeast needs the milk to be between 110-120. Too hot and they'll die, too cold and they won't do anything. I always just dip my impeccably clean finger in to test temperature. 110 feels like a spa. Warm almost hot, but not too hot. Feel free to use a thermometer. With the bread hook in your mixer, mix the wet into the dry. Add in 1/2-3/4 cups of tapioca flour until it starts looking dough-like. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl to rise for at least a half an hour, an hour is better.
Separate the dough into 12 balls. Roll out a ball on a floured surface(I used more tapioca flour on my soapstone counter) and fill with about 1/4 cup of filling.
Pull the sides up, overlapping a bit.
Brush with an eggwash before sticking in a 375 oven for 15-20 minutes.
Pull them out when the tops are golden.
These could easily be frozen and warmed up as needed for quick and easy on the go meals. All of these pictures were taken by Snuggle Bunny, who's been my shadow with Computer Genius away this week. He had to climb up onto a stool for some of these pics. What do you think - does he have a career as a foodie photojournalist?
Speaking of SB, his room overhaul is coming along albeit slowly. I primed the wall that's being painted orange, but one coat of primer wasn't enough as I can still see the color break through the paint. I need to go buy more paint today.