Saturday, May 28, 2011

I need a personal baker

I have never really been into baking. I loved playing with yeast dough and making pizza crusts, but cakes, pies, muffins and the rest I left to others. Shoot, there's no shortage of good bakeries when you're eating gluten, butter, cream, and sugar.

These days, though, if I want to eat something baked, I need to be able to make it. I know my way around the kitchen; I have most if not all of the requisite ingredients, the bowls and pans and scale and measuring cups and spoons, and yet it's still hit and miss for me. It isn't such a big deal, usually. My emphasis with food is to enjoy those which are naturally gluten-free. I also tend to avoid the dairy substitutes, using instead foods that are naturally dairy-free. But sometimes, like this morning, pancakes just sound appealing. Now, I can count on one hand the number of times I ate pancakes in the ten years before removing wheat from my diet. I have no idea why they've sounded more interesting lately, maybe because I read so much about gluten-free cooking, and the emphasis is often on baking.

So this morning I pulled out my scale, my endless supply of gluten-free flours, hemp milk, and the rest of the usual pancake ingredients. It was fun mixing and measuring, then making rather lovely little, maybe not so little, pancaked on the griddle, though the process took me about an hour. I didn't use my "house blend" of flours because I wanted to try a different angle. All the while, I was thinking I should be taking pictures and trying to remember exactly what steps I was taking to replicate the process.

I kept the pancakes nicely warm in the oven as I made them, 250 degrees works great, and served them proudly. Two minutes later, after gracelessly tossing my plate near the sink, I was swearing off ever making another. Mine were beautifully browned on the outside and thoroughly raw on the inside. How does that happen?

I'm going bake to sauteeing, braising, grilling, and steaming. I'm leaving the baking to others---at least for today.

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