Monday, June 06, 2011

Wonder Buns and BabyCakes

I've had the cookbook BabyCakes Covers the Classics on my kitchen table, begging to be experimented with, for over a month now. I did half-heartedly make a modified version of gingerbread pancakes, which were delicious, but it took a while to commit to buying all the required ingredients.

Because vegan and gluten-free baking is expensive, y'all! No joke. I planned to make two recipes that use the same basic dough, and I had to buy gluten-free baking flour, arrowroot, xantham gum, brown rice flour, and agave nectar. Some of these ingredients I will use anyway, but unless I do more gluten-free experimenting, I'm not sure where the rest will go. The other part of gluten-free baking that I'm torn on is that I feel a little witchy stirring ingredients together that are so foreign to me. (I never saw eye of newt, though).

Filling Hamentaschen
Okay, okay, I'll do some more experimenting. This cookbook is vibrant and has some creative groupings that make you want to bake despite the ingredient limitations you might have. The other recipe I picked to try was Hamentaschen from the "From the Old Country" section. It told me to use the basic pastry dough recipe from page 32, but as that had cinnamon in it, my dough was a lot darker than what was shown in the picture. In the end, my cookies unfolded while baking, but I am very willing to blame that on my inexperience with working with gluten-free dough!

So, how did everything taste? I've done vegan experiments with pretty good success, but gluten-free baking is another animal entirely. I'd say that you should expect everything to be denser, more hearty because of the mixed sources for the flours, and to be somewhat temperamental. But if you are required to eat a gluten-free diet, this book and the other BabyCakes cookbook are probably a good place to start. They seem to have done a great job at covering the things you would really crave - including an entire chapter on donuts! Gluten-free donuts, is that even possible? Try it and see.

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