Book of Yum Video: Carol Fenster’s Sorghum Pie Crust from 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes

November 25th, 2008 yum Posted in Carol Fenster, Pastry, Sorghum, Vegan, Vegetarian, Video 10 Comments »

Drum roll, please! For the very first time, we are pleased to host our very first Book of Yum video introducing Carol Fenster’s new sorghum pie crust from her book 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes. Some months ago, I was pleased to receive a review copy of Carol Fenster’s beautiful new, hardcover cookbook. The great thing about this book is that there are such an enormous range of recipes. It could really replace the old gluten-filled Better Homes and Garden cookbook as a single, classic gluten-free cookbook. It covers a wide variety of recipes including breakfast, quick breads, yeast breads, appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, pastas, grains and beans, fish and seafood, other meat bits, vegetables, cookies and bars, cakes and cupcakes, pies and pastries, and fruit and custard desserts. Whew. I’ve found tons of beautiful recipes in the book I’m looking forward to trying, but when trying to pick one for this review, I decided to try her pie crust since it was perfect for Thanksgiving, and also because we don’t have many pie crusts here at the Book of Yum. I was extremely impressed with how easy it was to work with the dough. I think it really might rival gluten pie crusts for workability. I almost felt like I could have swung it over my head like pizza dough! After making a pie crust to save for later, I decided at the last minute to use some as the dough for a savory Thai turnover. (Picture of Filling Here) This dough is undoubtedly great for sweet pie crusts, but it clashed with the salty and savory seasonings in the Thai filling. I also have mixed feelings on the flavor of sorghum in general, but the chemistry in this recipe is absolutely fabulous. I’ve never had such an easy time making pastry before!

Now about the video. A friend of mine recently got a new video camera and some video editing software. He suggested we do a video for the Book of Yum so he could play with his software. I decided that Carol’s pastry would be the perfect special, video-worthy subject, and one weekend afternoon he and his wife came over to do this fun video. In retrospect, I would NOT wear an apron. Let’s face it, I look like a little muffin. But I was thinking flour all over my dark blue dress wouldn’t be great, so there you have it. It’s a bit goofy, but what the heck. I thought I’d post it for Thanksgiving. Hope you enjoy! Please be kind… lol.

Want to see more recipes from Carol Fenster’s 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes cookbook?

Celiac Chicks Reviewed and posted her new fabulous pizza crust
Food Writer for Delish reviewed and posted Carol’s Sorghum Blend, Buttermilk Pancakes and Green Chile Cheese Bread Recipes

GFCF Mommy’s review of the cookbook
Eating out Loud’s Review of the Cookbook
Gluten Free Steve’s Review of the Cookbook

Carol Fenster’s Sorghum Pie Crust Recipe
1 cup Carol’s Sorghum Blend*
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
3 tbsp. sugar, divided
1 tsp. xanthan gum (or 2 with no guar gum)
1 tsp guar gum (or 2 with no xanthan)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup shortening, such as Crisco or Spectrum Vegetable, or Buttery sticks such as Earth Balance
1/2 cup 1% milk (soy, rice, potato, nut, or cow)
1 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice
1) Place the sorghum blend, tapioca flour, sweet rice flour, 2 tbsp. sugar, xanthan gum, guar gum, salt, baking soda, and shortening in a food processor and process until crumbly. Add the milk and vinegar and process until the dough forms a ball. If it doesn’t form a ball, use a spatula to break up the dough into pieces and process again, scraping down sides if necessary. Remove the dough from the food processor and knead with your hands uyntil smooth. Shape the dough into your two 1-inch-thick disks, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
2) Massage a disk of dough between your hands until it is warm and pliable, making the crust easier to handle. With a rolling pin, roll to a 10-inch circle between 2 pieces of heavy-duty plastic wrap. Move the rolling pin from the center of the dough to the outer edge, moving around the circle in clockwise fashion to assure uniform thickness.
3) Remove the top plastic wrap and invert the crust, centering it over a 9-inch nonstick (gray) pie pan. Remove the remaining plastic wrap and press into place. Trim the edges to an even overhang all around the pan. Shape a decorative edge around rim of pan if you are making a single-crust pie. If not, leave the over-hang in place.
4)For Double-Crust filled pie, follow steps 1,2, and 3. Add filling as directed in your recipe. Roll remaining disk of dough to a 10-inch circle, invert, and center on the filled crust. Do not remove the top plastic wrap until the dough is centered. Trim the top crust to the same over-hang as bottom crust. Press the two crusts together and shape a decorative edge around rim of pan. Freeze 15 min. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Prick the top crust several times with a fork to allow the steam to escape. Place the pan on a nonstick baking sheet.
5) Place a rack in the bottom position and another in the middle position of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375F. Bake 15 min. to brown bottom crust. Move to middle position and bake 25 to 35 minutes more or until the top crust is nicely browned. Cover loosely with foil if the edges brown too much. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
Sorghum Blend:
1 1/2 cup sorghum flour
1 1/2 cup potato starch/ corn starch
1 cup tapioca flour
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Daring Alternative Bakers: Gluten-Free Apple or Plum Danish Dutch Braid Recipe

June 29th, 2008 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Blog Event, Daring Baker, Dessert, German, Pastry 28 Comments »

When I first saw this month’s Daring Baker challenge, I have to admit I felt some trepidation. After all, I’d never tried anything as complex as making a gluten-free “Danish Braid,” and to be honest, except for the braid part, I wasn’t quite sure what it was. Was a danish bread like yeast bread? Or was it more like pastry? Should I substitute chebe and hope for the best? It turned out that danish bread is a cross between yeast bread and pastry. According to the challenge, “Danish dough is in the family of butter-laminated or layered doughs.” Puff pastry is the most extreme example of laminated dough, but “danish dough is sweet and is yeast-leavened, however, whereas puff pastry is not.” Our challengers said that while Danish dough wasn’t as difficult as puff pastry, the process of making it was delicate, and it was “a great starting place to begin to learn about laminated doughs in general.” Whew. Well, I sat out the last event due to a schedule conflict, but this recipe sounded appealing, if a little daunting. The trick would just be making it gluten-free. Luckily, the new Daring Bakers site has a forum for alternative bakers (both vegan and/or gluten-free) and I was able to read about the experiments of my peers. Many of their flour combinations sounded promising, but I was most drawn to Jeanine’s millet blend. I don’t do very well with millet, so when testing the recipe I tried one batch with teff flour, and another with quinoa flour. I liked both versions, but the teff is better if you like a brown “nutty” flavor, and the quinoa is better if you like a sweeter brown flour. The quinoa especially complimented the cinnamon apple filling, but ieither one was quite tasty. I was impressed to find the dough quite workable, although the layer of butter (Beurrage) tended too ooze out and make a mess. I rolled it out inside ziploc plastic bags and wrapped it up in saran wrap for chilling sessions, and that helped contain things somewhat. Also, I sprinkled my keynote flour (teff or quinoa) on the buttery parts as I rolled it out and that helped contained things somewhat. I was most excited when I rolled out the dough the last time and found that I had a dough that I could actually braid. It helped that I had rolled it out on parchment paper and was able to keep the dough on the parchment when I put it in the oven.

One of the fun parts of making any danish is deciding on a filling. Really, the possibilities are limitless. Here at our house, we are big fans of a traditional apple filling, and it compliments the cardamom dough so beautifully it was hard to resist. But, since I decided to make this recipe twice (in the interest of science, mind you), I felt that I really ought to experiment the second time around. Don’t get me wrong- I still made half of the second version apple ’cause it’s so darned good. But, I was also inspired by a recent Foodgawk sighting of Tartelette’s Plum and Rosemary Sugar tartelettes to try making half with a plum filling with rosemary sugar sprinkle. It was quite fortuitous really, since the only fruit I had in the house was apple and fresh plum, and I grow my own rosemary on the balcony! I also experimented with the lamination technique. An egg was was nice, although it ended up in extra eggs (No worries, I used them in a late-night omelet for the DH), but I wanted to try the dough sprinkled with seasoned sugar. For the apple danish, I was inspired by my Father-in-Law’s GF Norwegian Christmas Bread Recipe to sprinkle the dough with two parts sugar to one part cinnamon. I sprinkled the plum filling with Tartelette’s rosemary sugar. One note, though- wait until right before you are going to sprinkle the dough with sugar to combine them, as the moisture from the rosemary will cause the sugar to clump up a bit. Also, plums contain a lot of moisture, so you may want to drain them after slicing before using them as filling. I noticed that the plum mixture was fairly liquidy. The apple filling was also rather liquid according to the original recipe, so I added cornstarch and it was perfect.

When I brought the pastry over to DH for taste testing, he was enthused- and then he tasted the melty, sweet apple danish. To my surprise and delight, he loved it, and said he’d give it a “9.5 out of 10″ which is the highest rating he’s ever given out. The combination of cardamom pastry and cinnamon sugar made him think of Christmas, and he was completely enamored with the flaky, light dough. “I wouldn’t know it was gluten-free if you didn’t tell me,” he said, and I was thrilled. At last, a pastry that passed the glutenoid test! Of course, I absolutely loved the decadent and flaky pastry. The plum filling and rosemary sugar was a novel flavor combination, and went well with the pastry, although I might leave out the cardamom in the dough next time. The apple filling with fresh vanilla seeds was absolutely divine, especially with the cinnamon sugar topping and with extra apples.

This treat tastes the best the first day you make it, like most baked goods, but you can also refresh it by putting it in a toaster oven for ten minutes and letting it cool to room temperature the next day or even the third day. You know, almost every month when I see the Daring Baking Challenge I have to ask, “Wow, how am I going to do that with gluten-free flour?” Luckily I’m not on my own anymore, as I have my fellow alternative daring bakers to get suggestions from and learn from. Not only am I learning from my peers, but the recipes themselves turns out to be a huge learning experience. So far I’ve learned how to make a double layer cake, how to make (dairy-free) chocolate cheesecake pops, and how to make a gluten-free braid danish inspired by the best of Viennese cuisine. I can’t wait to see what we learn how to make next month!

Gluten Free Danish Bread Braid Recipe
Bread  Dessert  Dairy  European  
For the dough (Detrempe):
1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup whole milk (I used milk infused with cardamom and saffron)
1/6 cup sugar
Zest of 1/2 orange, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 large eggs, chilled
1/8 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 Tbsp. teff OR quinoa flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

*more teff or quinoa flour for dusting

For the butter block (Beurrage)
1 stick cold unsalted butter
1/8 cup GF all-purpose flour (I used Rebecca Reilly’s blend with brown rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch, but anything is fine)

Combine yeast and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well. Add the salt with the (combined) flours and xanthan gum and baking powder, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

1. Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free. Set aside at room temperature.
2. After the detrempe has chilled 10 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and inch thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
3. Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, 1/4-inch-thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
4. Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight. The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Makes enough for two braids

3 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Toss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a saut pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 – 8 minutes. Then add the apple mixture and saut until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. If youve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid. (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate.) They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet. After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Left over filling can be used as an ice cream topping, for muffins, cheesecake, or other pastries.

4 plums, pitted and sliced

1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1/8 cup sugar

1 recipe Danish Dough (see below)
2 cups apple filling

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
Warm milk
Cinnamon Sugar (Cinnamon and sugar, combined, to desired sweetness)

1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick. If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
2. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those youve already made.
3. Spoon the filling youve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom flaps, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom flap up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.

Cinnamon Sprinkle:
Coat the braid with warm milk and sprinkle with even but generous amount of cinnamon sugar.

Proofing and Baking
1. Spray cooking oil (Pam) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.
2. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
3. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.

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