Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Time for baking

What a great day -- sewing machine is put away, presents are wrapped, and I actually have time to do something I really love: BAKE! So far, Barley Soda Bread (perfect for breakfast or with soup for dinner). And since we are having a friend over that can't eat gluten, I made these yummy Flourless Sesame-Almond Cookies (made with arrowroot flour!). Both recipes are from The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook. I've posted them below so you can try them as well.

Happy Holidays!

Barley Soda Bread

This bread is delicious plain but I especially like it with butter, cream cheese, or nut/seed butter.

3/4 cup rolled oats or rolled barley

1 cup regular or golden raisins

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (dairy or nondairy)

1/4 cup water or milk (dairy or nondairy)

1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar, or honey (optional)

3 1/4 cups barley or other whole grain flour

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Oil a large baking sheet. In medium-size bowl, mix together oats, raisins, yogurt, water or milk, molasses, oil, and optional sweetener. In separate large bowl, whisk together flour, nuts, sea salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add oat mixture to flour mixture. Stir until dough holds together. Turn out onto a floured board and knead gently for 45 to 60 seconds. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into an oval ball. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving plenty of room between loaves. Use a sharp knife to make 2 slashes on each loaf about 1/2 inch deep.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375ºF and bake 20 to 25 minutes more, or until loaves are golden. The bottom should sound hollow when tapped. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

Makes 2 loaves

Flourless Sesame-Almond Cookies

These delicious crispy cookies are gluten- and egg-free.

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1 cup almonds

1/2 cup softened unsalted butter or coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup arrowroot powder

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon grated orange rind (optional)

2 to 3 tablespoons water or orange juice

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Oil 1 or 2 large cookie sheets. In food processor or blender, grind sesame seeds and almonds to powder. In mixing bowl or food processor, mix ground seeds and almonds with butter or coconut oil, sea salt, arrowroot powder, evaporated cane juice, almond extract, vanilla, and grated orange rind. Add water or juice, a little at a time, until dough holds together. Place walnut-size balls on prepared baking sheet leaving about 3 inches in between. Press balls with fork twice to form a criss-cross pattern. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, or until bottom and edges are golden.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

Note: I chilled the dough and then rolled out because my kids wanted to use the cookie cutters. The dough is a little crumbly for this so don't roll too thin.

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