the purge

Remember these?
Well they're still here, and I don't want them anymore. If you'd like one,
please email me your mailing address.


coming soon...

Here's a sneak peek of some upcoming recipes. I'm fine-tuning the sticky
buns with the bread recipe as a reference (holy smokes that bread is light!)
Stay tuned!


sourdough, take 3

Another exciting loaf over at 1026! This one was for Ted Marsh's birthday
party on Monday night. Baked in the morning before my shift at the MoMA,
the warm bread survived several bumpy miles shoved into my bike pannier,
a few sweaty hours in my locker at work, a ride on CalTrain and a few more
miles on bike before arriving only slightly blemished at the dinner table in
Millbrae. It was so delicious, and went perfectly with Suzanne's dinner of
fish cooked with fresh zucchini and tomatoes. Happy birthday, Ted!

Unfortunately, I didn't remember to document the latter half of the bread
making. The first half is as follows:

1 c tapioca starch
1/2 c sorghum flour
1/2 brown rice flour
2 T sweet rice flour
2 T flax seed meal
1 t salt
2 t xanthan gum
2 c starter

I didn't write down how much water I had to add. Assume 1/2 c

These stewed together overnight, and in the morning, I assume I did the

1 T sugar

Mix thoroughly, cover dough in oil, let it rise in a pan of your choice. Cut
some slashes in the top of the loaf to help it expand more easily.

After it's risen at least 1 hour, start to heat the oven to 450. Put the bread
right in the oven, with a small bowl of water to keep the oven steamy. The
bread will continue to rise as the oven comes up to temperature.

I took out my loaf about 50 minutes later.

Then there was dessert last night:

Strawberry and Chocolate Rainbow cookies, Vegan and Gluten Free

Mix up twice, one batch for each flavor:

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

for the strawberry layer:

1/2 sugar (ended up being a little too sweet, 1/4 c next time)
1/2 c canola oil
1 t vanilla extract
2 T flax seed meal
1/2 c pureed strawberries
a few drops of pink or red food coloring, if you are so inclined

for the chocolate layer:

1/4 c sugar
1/2 c canola oil (a little too wet, 1/4 c next time)
1 t vanilla
2 T flax seed meal
1/2 c chocolate ganache (any melted chocolate will do)

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix up your batches and spread thinly onto well-oiled cookies sheets.
Bake for 12 minutes or so, until the sheet cake is not too sticky on top.

Let cool in the fridge. The chocolate layer ended up so crumbly that I
scraped all of it onto some wax paper and pressed it down into a denser
sheet that stuck together.

Spread the top of one layer with strawberry puree (jam will work too)
and invert the other layer onto it (wax paper heavily employed here).
Put a pan on top and weight it down in the fridge while you do other fun
things, like wash dishes.

After a while, take the cake back out and pour melted chocolate evenly
over the top. Spread thinly with a spatula and allow to solidify in the fridge.
Then flip the cake and repeat on the other side. When all the chocolate is solid,
slice up into 1.5" x .75" cookies. Serve chilled.


pico pies

May I introduce the first iteration of pico pies! These were dropped
off for sample day for the Underground Market. Inspiration and killer
packaging ctsy. Jesse Marsh.

pico pies

gluten free

strawberry-balsamic glazed baby beets/
goats milk feta cheese/
fresh dill

white flesh nectarine/
shaved parmesan/
garlic oil

fresh bloomsdale spinach/
salt-cured olives/


What we've been up to

or, Cole Valley's yeasty adventures.

I started a batch of gluten free sourdough starter about 2 weeks ago, which
made a deliciously mild and light loaf of bread. To make the starter, I added
an assortment of flours, sugar, salt and xanthan gum to a bowl of water,
and let it sit by the window for a couple of days. Every 8-12 hours I fed it fresh
flour and water. Eventually it started to bubble and smell slightly fermented.
(Next go around, it'll just be flour and water, no extra stuff needed).

Two weeks later, the starter keeps outgrowing its container. The goop is more
sour than any sourdough I've purchased, bubbles faster than any starter I've
heard about, and turns out a deliciously flavorful pizza dough or loaf of bread.

Jesse and I are trying to work out the kinks of pizza dough versus bread loaf,
and the kinks of rise time in the doughs, all the while trying to wean ourselves
off of xanthan gum, a highly processed corn-derived thickener, altogether.

All this in time for Sunday's sample drop-off for the SF Underground Market,
ForageSF's slightly illegal marketplace for homespun and unpermitted food
vendors. I went to the May market and left with thai basil beef jerky, amber
rose kombucha, wild rice caramels, mochi, plum butter, and sesame gomasio

For July's market, we're planning to serve gluten free sourdough bread and
mini pizzas. It's a good thing the starter won't stop growing; the market had a
turnout of 3200 last month!

Here's one ice cream maker's table, complete with 2 bite ice cream cones, $2 a pop.

Loaf number 3 is rising as I write this, hopefully just in time for a late night
baking. Loaf number 2 got a double rise (and was SO sour), but rose too much
and sunk back to half it's size. We'll hopefully get the timing right on this one.

Stay tuned!


sourdough, take 2

Getting ahead of myself only slightly, I decided to attempt a loaf of
sourdough bread using the now very tiny starter leftover after making
pizza. The pizza dough used 3 cups of starter and a cup and a half of flour.
The loaf used 2 cups of flour and only 1 1/4 cup of starter:

Sourdough Loaf:

1 c tapioca starch
1/2 c garfava flour
1/2 c brown rice flour
1 T sugar
1 t salt
1/4 t xanthan gum (next time I'll play around with this)
1 1/4 c starter
3/4 c water (more if your dough isn't sticky enough)

After a few hours, a little coaxing and a lot of water, the mass in the above
bowl became a bigger mass, full of not-so-little air bubbles (very exciting).

I "punched down" the dough, (by which I mean I stirred it with a rubber
spatula, since the dough was far to wet to want to touch) and poured it
into a greased loaf pan for it's second rise (I set the loaf pan in the oven
to get a little warmth from the pilot light.). After about an hour, the loaf
had risen enough to convince me it might just work. I heated up the oven
to about 375, and popped the loaf in for 45 minutes.

And just like that! A crusty, charming sourdough! The flavor is great, and
the crust has the satisfying crunch of a ciabatta. The inside is soft and slightly
sticky. Next time, twice the starter and less flour, we'll see if we can get some
bigger air bubbles. For now, my sandwich is going to rock tomorrow!

In the meanwhile, I got back to work on some cookbook mock-ups. The
latest idea (more color coming soon):

Feedback, as always, is appreciated.

sourdough, take 1

For pizza night this week, I tried to use my sourdough starter, which has
been bubbling happily on the counter top since Saturday. I hit up Kari
Williams for some bread-baking secrets, watched a youtube video on the
proper way to knead bread dough, and got to work!

Above is the dough post knead. I though maybe, just maybe, kneading the dough would activate some of the rice gluten chains, so I worked at it for about 10 minutes, flouring liberally as I went. Unfortunately, it never really got stretchy so much as brittle. I ended up adding at least a cup of additional flour to keep the dough form sticking to the counter, and all that made it too heavy to rise properly (It did rise just not quickly enough, expanding a few inches outward. The wooden cutting board had 2 distinct wet rings when I moved the dough, like tree stumps!). So, beautiful as it was, the dough ball needed some edits.

When I moved to dough to punch it down, I added about 1/2 c water, placing it back in the mixing bowl and squeezing the dough through my fingers to mix thoroughly. By the end of this step, the dough was back to being a sticky, unkneadable mess.

But a few short hours later (with a trip to the farmers market in between), behold!

A bubbly, spongy, semi-elastic blob, with a sour flavor that was quite noticeable.
I preheated the oven to 500, got my pans oiled and cornmealed, and it was
time to make some pizzas!

Portion out your dough. I made 1 large thin crust pizza with half the dough,
and two smaller thicker crust pizzas with 1/4 of the dough each. coat one side
in oil so your hands don't stick, and the bottom side in cornmeal, and stretch
the dough in the pan you are using, until it is the size and thickness you'd like.
If the dough rips, patch it with more dough. keep a nice crust around the edge.
This will fluff up as it bakes. Also, if you oil the pan before you cornmeal it, the
crust will have a loud crunch to it, which you may or may not want. I found the
crunch really nice on the thicker crust, but a little too tough on the thinner crust.

Coat your doughs with olive oil and garlic, and cover with toppings! This week's
toppings were: -basil from Happy Boy pesto, wilted bloomsdale spinach from
Serendipity, and fresh mozzarella on a thick crust
-crispy pork belly (can't remember the farm), nectarines from Top Notch Produce,
homemade ricotta and fresh mozzarella on a thin crust

Bake for about 15 minutes.

Serve hot.

And for dessert...

Vegan Chocolate Loaf:

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

1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c agave
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c melted chocolate (I used leftover TCHO ganache from work)
2 t vanilla extract

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Allow it to cool before removing from pan. Cut
with a serrated knife.




1/2 c tapioca starch
1/2 c sorghum flour
1 t xanthan gum
1/4 t salt
3 T sugar
1 stick butter
2 T apple cider vinegar

Cut the butter into the dry mix until crumbly. Add cider vinegar and mix
until dough holds together. Immediately refrigerate, keeping the butter
cold the whole time. Preheat the oven to 350.

2 c stonefruits of whatever variety
1 T brown rice flour
1 T tapioca starch
1 t cinnamon
1/4 c sugar

combine these in a mixing bowl. I used peaches, white peaches, nectarines
and plums, my bounty from yesterday's market (half of them came home
squished, perfect for pie!).

2 T brown rice flour
2 T tapioca stach
1 T cinnamon
2 T sugar
1 T butter
1 t buttermilk

mix these up until crumbs form.

Take the pie dough out of the oven. I pressed this dough into shape instead
of rolling it. To do this, grease a pie pan or spring form, spread the crumby
dough evenly, and quickly press down with your knuckles until the dough is
all one piece. Then work your thumb around the edges of the pan, pulling the
dough up the sides without thinning it too much. Lastly, using your thumb,
level the edge of the crust so it has a little bulk to it but pushing down while
rotating the pan.

Pour in your filling and top with the cinnamon crumble. Bake for 45 minutes
or so. Let cool until you can tough the pan, serve warm.

Happy stonefruit season!

(Note: If you actually want your pie to come up the the top of your pie pan,
unlike ours, try multiplying the recipe by 1 1/2.)


Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

But first, the dinner they were paired with:

In the background, a bacon and king trumpet mushroom pizza with fresh
oregano, all from the Castro farmers market (uncured bacon from Prather
Ranch, a total score).

In the foreground, the braided loaf that was the result of the first batch of
faulty pizza dough. I think I added the yeast to water that was too hot. The
dough was slow to rise, so I repurposed it into this dense but delicious loaf.
Jesse mixed up some olive oil with our good balsamic vinegar, and we had
no problem eating the whole thing.

Off screen, a second pizza with sage dough, just-picked asparagus, blanched
spinach and homemade ricotta cheese, garlic and a ton of mozzarella cheese.
If anyone still has not made ricotta, do yourself a favor and whip up a batch.
It's so good with a little bit of salt, eaten with a spoon.

All of this was shared with Helen, Faith and Tanya, and followed up by cupcakes
and a killer game of team Scrabble. The highlights were "elements," "yoyo," and

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes:

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

1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c applesauce
3/4 c agave nectar
1/4 c coffee
2 T flax seed meal
2 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Bake in greased muffin tins 20 minutes, or until
puffed muffins are springy to the touch. Enjoy with fresh strawberries!

In other news, I've got a gluten free sourdough started brewing on the
shelf, stay tuned for those yeasty experiments!


Polenta Cups, More Cake, and a Rainy Weekend

May I introduce to you Fauxsagna 2.0, the polenta cup!

The play-by-play is pictured below.

Mold cooked polenta into the cups of an oiled muffin tin. Stuff with greens,
veggies and cheese of your choice, and cover with more polenta.

Top with cheese, bake at 500 until brown on top.

Let the cups cool slightly before removing them from the pan. If they are
too hot they won't come out cleanly.

These were stuffed with sauteed collard greens and garlic, par-cooked
zucchini, Pt. Reyes Cheddar and Cowgirl Creamery Buckaroo.

And on the dessert front, the lemon poppyseed loaf has evolved to be more
cakey and less bready. This one got devoured real fast.

Vegan Lemon Poppy Cake:

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

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

Preheat the oven to 325.

Pour batter into an oiled loaf pan, and bake until a toothpick comes out clean,
about 50 minutes.

Vegan Zucchini Muffins:

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

3/4 c agave nectar
1/2 c grapeseed oil
1/4 c applesauce
2 T flax seed meal
1 t vanilla extract
1 c grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 325.
Pour batter into greased muffin tins, and bake until browned on top, about
25 minutes.

The sun just came out after a quick bout of rain. Time for a run downtown,
followed by a drip coffee workshop at the MoMA. Then it's time for pizza
night! Happy June to everybody.