Gluten Free and Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Bread

Preheat your oven to 350


2 T flax seed meal
1/4 c applesauce
1 t vanilla extract
zest from 1 lemon
1/4 c + 1 T lemon juice
1/4 c grapeseed oil
1 t cider vinegar
1/4 c poppy seeds
3/4 c sugar (I used coconut sugar)

In a second bowl. mix:

1/2 c tapioca starch
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c white rice flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t xanthan gum

Pour the wet mix into the larger mixing bowl and stir until combined.
Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or
until the top begins to brown and crack.

This recipe will be tweaked in the next few days to be a layer cake, so
stay tuned. Meanwhile, I'm psyched for breakfast lemon cake!


gluten free zucchini bread

Preheat the oven to 350.

Mix thoroughly:

1 c sugar (it came out pretty sweet, so under 1 c is okay)
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c white rice flour
1/2 c tapioca starch
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t xanthan gum
nutmeg and cinnamon

Stir in to the dry mix:

1/2 c grapeseed oil
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract

When all is mixed, add:

1 c grated zucchini

Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Let cool completely
before removing from pan. Will keep for more than 2 days, but we finished
eating it by then.


The Cake Trials Near Their End

5/20/11: Vegan Layer Cake Recipe

This one came out very moist, crumbly, and rather unfamiliar texture-wise.
I brought it to work yesterday to the delight of my vegan coworkers, one of
whom is a pastry chef, so I guess the recipe is worth sharing. The idea that
inspired this recipe was that adding seltzer instead of rice milk or water
would add some lift. It didn't.

On a happier note, I finally figured out why all my cakes have a slightly bitter
taste. I've been using olive oil since we ran out of canola oil, and our olive
oil is quite flavorful and rich and wonderful, as long as you aren't using it
in a cake. Helen got a good laugh out of that when I had my epiphany last

3/4 c potato starch
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/4 c sorghum flour
1/4 c millet flour
3/4 c sugar
3/4 t xanthan gum
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

1 c seltzer
1/4 c oil
1/4 c flax seed meal
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t vinegar

bake at 350 for 33 minutes. Once it has cooled, flip it onto a cutting board
and out of the pan, slice in half, and carefully remove one half. Fill with
whatever you have on hand (jam, chocolate, whipped cream, etc) and
replace the top half.

So then it got to breakfast time, and I fried myself an egg. Now it wasn't just
any egg, but a beautiful medium brown egg from Soul Food Farms in Vacaville,
CA. I've heard tales of these eggs, but I was still amazed by how sweet and tasty
it was, and how tall it stood when I cracked it in a pan. Just look at that happy
egg yolk!

So I got to thinking, why do I try to bake vegan things anyway? And thus,
I wrote myself another recipe, with eggs and milk and butter, and voila! It
worked a charm. It had just the texture I've been trying to get all week. And
now that I have a recipe that works, I can go ahead and veganize it, if I really
want to.

Gluten Free and NOT vegan Crumb Cake

Preheat the oven to 375

3/4 c sugar
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c white rice flour
1/2 c tapioca starch
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t xanthan gum

1/4 c oil (note: the olive oil actually tasted good here, more than 1/4 c would
not have)
1/2 c milk
1 egg

Mix these all together in a bowl and pour into a well oiled cake pan.
Then mix together:

1 T butter
1 T white rice flour
1/4 c sugar (brown sugar if you have it)
1 t cinnamon

My mix was a little dry so I added some milk. Crumble this mix over the
batter, and stick it in the oven for 25 minutes (I left it for 30 and it dried
out slightly too much). Enjoy warm!


I hit a pedestrian riding my bike home from work yesterday. She forgot
to look before jaywalking, on a one way, on my light.

Gnarly bruise pictured below:

developing more:


breakfast and lunch for my weekend

Gluten Free and Vegan Zucchini Pancakes

1 1/2 c grated fresh zucchini
1/2 c garbanzo fava flour
1/4 c cornmeal
2 T sweet white rice flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

mix these together in a bowl and add:

1/2 c hot water
2 T olive oil
1 t balsamic vinegar

Stir well and cook in an oiled and well-heated skillet. When air bubbles
have formed and popped, the pancakes are ready to flip. These guys cook
very quickly. Serve hot with yogurt and maple syrup.

Gluten Free and Vegan Pizza Dough

To proof the yeast:

dissolve 1 T sugar in 1 c hot water
add 1/2 c more cool water
sprinkle on 1 T active dry yeast

Mix in a bowl:

1 3/4 c tapioca starch
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c garbanzo fava flour
1 1/2 t xanthan gum
1 t salt

Add to the (now bubbly) yeast mixture:

3 T flax seed meal
1 T olive oil
1 t apple cider vinegar

Pour the liquid mix into the flour bowl and stir for a minute or two. The
mix should be extremely sticky at this point. Turn out onto an oiled or
floured pan and spread it to a thickness of about an inch. Cover with a wet
cloth and let it rise for at least an hour, or until almost doubled in height.

When it's risen, flour a clean surface liberally, cover the dough in flour and
punch it down to its original size. Let it rise once more until doubled in

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 500, prepare your baking
pans or pizza stone, and spread your dough out to the desired thickness for
your pizza. I dusted the bottom in cornmeal to keep it from sticking. I made
one thick crust (pictured above) and one very thin crust (held its shape
beautifully). Cover your crust in olive oil and add your toppings. Bake for 15
minutes or until beautifully browned on top.

The toppings I used were as follows:

thin crust with pesto and fresh ricotta cheese, green garlic, asparagus, fresh
mozzarella and blanched fiddlehead ferns

thick crust with fresh ricotta, mozzarella and shaved fennel bulb

thick crust with green garlic, pesto, point reyes cheddar and dried figs


in search of a cake top

I am on a quest to make a cake that does not collapse in the center. In
the process I am reading all about baking powder and baking soda. I
have seen one forum post detailing all the reactions that take place
between leavening agents in cookies, and another asking if you can
substitute regular soda for baking soda (okay, I guess I am not clueless).

My cake is in the oven right now, and in an effort to keep it domed, I have
quarantined myself to the couch and away from the oven door--a flash of
cold air can also sink your cake.

Gluten Free Cake (generic batter, add flavorings as you see fit)

1 c tapioca starch
1/2 c garfava flour
1/2 c brown rice flour
1 t baking powder
3/4 t xanthan gum
1/4 t salt

1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c yogurt
1/2 c agave nectar
1/2 c coconut sugar (sub regular sugar)
3 T water
2 T flax seed meal
1 t vanilla extract

bake at 325, do not open oven door for at least 30 minutes! (I baked it for 32)

The cake worked! It held its shape enough for me to cut it in half, so I filled
it with a mix of fresh homemade ricotta cheese, cherries from the farmers'
market, lemon juice and coconut sugar. Shortcake a go go, but I'm too tired to
try it!

true that goes randoneurring

-1 Jesse
-1 reflective armband
-600 kilometers

true that at the sea otter classic

The one and only Andrey Kobzar, racing downhill at the Sea Otter
Classic in the dino jersey! This guy's fast.



the first layout, with many kinks to work through.

happy bike to work day!


cream cheese: the finale

The cream cheese after straining for 24 hours!

The cheese shed 3 quarts of whey, leaving 1 quart of cream cheese, which has
already been half devoured. It is by far the sweetest and most flavorful cream
cheese I've ever had.

I salted it lightly after unwrapping it to bring out the sugars and to help preserve
it. I also herbed a small batch with fresh thyme and mexican oregano (!).

I already have another gallon of milk to move on with my dairy adventures; hard
cheeses coming up next! (1 month between making them and tasting them, so
updates may be slow)

Happy Tuesday to all.


happy eaters

Last night Jesse cooked an incredible vegetable dish of roasted portabello
caps and rutabaga with a fresh orange basil salsa. These went with a batch
of fresh gluten-free buttermilk biscuits for a darn tasty summer meal (These
biscuits split in half, you won't even need a knife! I'm totally thrilled with this
recipe. See below).

The buttermilk was lying around because I tried my first batch of cheese
yesterday! According to this awesome cheesemaking for beginners tutorial,
neufchatel cheese is the first step after making yogurt (we go through a
gallon a week of the stuff, so I'm getting pretty good at it). So off I went to
buy 1/4 cup of cultured buttermilk, and (of course) now I have a whole quart.

To make the cheese: heat 1 gal whole milk plus 1/4 cup cultured buttermilk
to 65 degrees F (only about 25 degrees warmer than refrigeration temperature).
I heated it in a double boiler to make sure I heated it somewhat evenly. When
my thermometer read 65 (the thermometer was 12 bucks, and worth every
penny), I turned off the flame. I added 2 drops of liquid vegetable rennet
(labelled organic and gluten free!) to 1/4 c cool water and stirred it into the
milk, covered my bowl, and put it away on a shelf to rest for the next 16 hours.

At that time, the curd had started to set (I think I jumped the gun a little,
but whatever happens promises to be tasty), so I boiled some dish towels
to sterilize them, and spooned the curds into them to start the long straining
process. The towels are now hanging happily in my packed refrigerator
turning from a sweet yogurt into a hard cream cheese.

In under an hour, I've already collected almost 2 quarts of whey (half the
volume of the mix, by my count), which means 23 hours from now, the
cheese will be mighty fine. If anyone has suggestions for how I should use
all this whey, please pass them along!

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits (makes about 12)

preheat oven to 450 degrees, and oil a baking sheet.

combine in a large mixing bowl:

1 c tapioca starch
1/2 c fava bean flour (garfava could work here too)
1/4 c brown rice flour
2 T sweet rice flour
2 T flax seed meal
1 t coconut sugar (regular sugar also great)
1/2 t salt
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda

cut into small pieces and mix in (ideally with a pastry blender, but I used
my fingers):

1 stick (8 T) very cold butter

finally, add 3/4 c buttermilk, and stir until doughy. you may need to add a
little bit more starch until the dough is not sticky.

on a cutting board or clean countertop, spread some starch or flour of your
choice. pat the dough down until it is 1/2 - 3/4 " thick, and use a glass or
round cookie cutter to cut out your biscuits. arrange on your baking tray and
stick them in the oven until they puff up and brown, about 15 minutes. (I didn't
keep a close eye on the time, so you may want to check after 10). Serve warm.

down to business

I am drawing a cookbook. Here are my little culinary puppets so far.
Updates to come as I lay out my recipes!

From the photo archives, our Passover lamb. This was the first time my
purchased piece of meat really looked like part of an animal. It could
have been gross, it was not. I got this boneless leg roast from Prather
Ranch's farmers market stand. Prather Ranch sources great meat from
farms in CA and OR, and their staff will swear by their products. (I've
also been reading so much about farming and meat production that I
felt really responsible being able to recognize my piece of meat.)

The roast was thawed, unnetted, and rubbed with a mix of ginger, garlic,
thyme, coriander, salt and pepper. Then it was rolled and wrapped in twine,
covered in olive oil and slices of navel orange, and set in a cast iron pan to
roast for about 2 hours.


my new theme song

You date a girl and find out later
She smells just like a percolator
Her perfume was made right on the grill
Why, they could percolate the ocean in Brazil


sorry for the break in posts! i've been working working working at the
MoMA, I now have 2 free tuesday shifts under my belt, and am a few
weeks closer to my 3 month jury, in which i will make coffee for the
big dogs (and they'd better like it).

tonight marked the first loaf of bread that is actually bread-like and not
just a lump of mochi. it was delicious, owing to the not-so-subtle flavors
of flax seeds and white bean flour. we just had 92 pounds of gluten free
flours delivered from bob's red mill, courtesy of jesse. this past week
i've experimented with millet, white bean, fava, and garbanzo flours.

we had a passover seder here as well, the first one either jesse or i had
hosted, and it was one of the funnest dinner parties i have ever attended.
snapshots courtesy of jesse and his work camera.

the affikomen:

shitake matzohball soup:

wine-tainted chocolate matzoh cake:

tilapia and rockfish gefilte fish:

lamb roast and stuffed patty pan squash:

the aftermath: