Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sourdough Bread, Biscuits, Tortillas, Quick Breads, Muffins, and Scones

I am allergic to yeast, both baker's and brewer's. I was really surprised five years ago when the allergist tested me and then put me through an elimination diet and challenge, but the results stood. I had hoped this year that when I started working with sourdough I would be able to eat it, but no, it appears I am even more allergic to wild yeasts.

I do try to bake sourdough bread for my family each week even though I can't have it. The love bread and it makes meals, especially lunch, easier to prepare. I use an einkorn converted sourdough starter and einkorn flour. After reading many sourdough recipes online I was able to combine several ideas to get a bread that works for us.

Each week I make einkorn tortillas; usually Tuesdays and Fridays. I'm still messing with recipes and the tortilla maker in an attempt to get perfect tortillas. I even bought a Cuisinart food processor to try to make it easier by eliminating the need to spend so much time rubbing fat into flour with my bare hands, but I hated the results. I know a lot of people love Cuisinarts, but I took mine back after six days.

I also make einkorn biscuits several times a week; I hope to get a blog post up later this month demonstrating my recipe and process. Again, I had to tweak several recipes to come up with one that rises well with nice flaky layers. Midway through testing recipes I had to change course and find a recipe that wasn't for buttermilk biscuits. I think I hit gold as I now have a recipe that rises beautifully, tastes delicious, and has a very manageable dough that doesn't lose anything when the scraps are reworked.

When I realized that the sourdough bread wasn't going to work for me I turned to savory quick breads on soup night, but that's on hold right now while I avoid buttermilk this month. I must say that I baked a gorgeous Irish soda bread on Halloween that was enjoyed by all of our guests.

Muffins are probably the first bread I ever baked; they are more like cake than bread but since we eat them as breakfast and snacks rather than dessert they fall into the bread category around here. Muffins were one of our go to gluten-free breads as they are easy to bake and convert well to gluten-free. They do have more sugar than I like to feed the boys regularly so now that I am working with einkorn I make them far less often, make once a month as a breakfast treat.

Scones have always been a favorite of mine; they are basically a slightly sweet biscuit, often with the addition of other ingredients such currants or dried ginger pieces. For decades I had been making a simple corn scone from the Moosewood Cooks At Home cookbook but now that corn is off the menu for me (maybe that will change once I get my histamine issues under control) I am working on a basic scone recipe by tweaking the successful biscuit recipe to include more sugar.

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