Posts Tagged With: flaxseed

Knöpfle

My husband’s family is of German extraction on his mother’s side. (Well, technically, so is mine.) But his family did a lot more with the traditional German foods than mine did.

One of the family favourites that they still make occasionally is knöpfle, which is a type of spätzle. The word means “little buttons” due to the shape of the noodle. It is very tasty and very un-vegan (calling for both egg and sweetened condensed milk), so I’ve not really made it much myself.

Today I decided to try making a vegan version, since yesterday I was craving it tremendously and was too sick to even go get a bowl out of the cupboard, let alone go through the process of making the stuff.

Start by putting 3 cups of flour in a bowl with 1/2 tsp of salt.

I used 2.5 cups whole wheat flour and .5 cup white in this batch.

Once you’ve got that stirred up, prepare your flax egg.

Flax "egg": 1 tbsp ground flaxseed plus 3 tbsp hot water. Let it sit a few minutes and it gels.

While that is sitting, start a big pot of water boiling, mince up a medium onion and blend up your white sauce.

On my stove: big pot of water coming to a boil; saucepan of white sauce; skillet of onions ready to sauté.

Once you’ve sautéed your onions in a little oil, turn off the heat. By this time your pot of water should be nearing a boil, so it’s time to prep your noodle dough.

In goes the flax egg!

And the water! Stir it up well and knead a little if necessary, but not too much.

Roll your dough into a bunch of ropey things.

When you’ve rolled your dough ropes, snip small bits off into your pot of boiling water. Expect to be splashed at least a couple times if you’re not super careful. Once all the knöpfle are in the boiling water, let it go for a few minutes and then drain. (They float to the top when they’re done, and you’ll have some floating to the top long before you’re finished snipping. This is okay.) I tried to take a picture of them boiling in the pot, but all that you could see was foam and steam, so here’s a picture of the drained knöpfle:

Now toss your onions into the white sauce pan and turn up the heat. Stir the sauce constantly until it bubbles and gets thick.

Then you’ll pour it over the knöpfle and stir it all up. Keep the burner on low until it’s very thick, 5 minutes or so.

AND THEN YOU EAT IT.

Here’s the recipe, all written in one place:

1 flax egg
1 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
1 med onion
1 recipe of white sauce (since the original recipe called for a can of sweetened condensed milk; I’m contemplating trying this with cocoanut milk sometime and seeing what happens.)

Beat egg, water and salt. Add flour to make stiff batter. Cut small pieces into boiling water with sharp kitchen scissors. Boil about 3-5 minutes. Drain.

Blend your white sauce recipe. Sauté onion. Add to white sauce mixture. When hot, add to the knöpfle. Simmer until very thick.

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Categories: entrees, lunch, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cinnamon Rolls of Pure Delight

True Fact: Nobody, anywhere, makes a cinnamon roll like a Mennonite.

Freshly glazed cinnamon rolls hot out of the oven

Freshly glazed cinnamon rolls hot out of the oven

I’ve had considerable experience sampling Mennonite cinnamon rolls from various individuals and bakeries. Nothing else, anywhere, comes even close, and I’ve tried several different recipes from other sources with no luck.

So I decided to stop fooling around and study at the feet of these cinnamon roll masters, and with the aid of a few handy connections came into possession of two recipes to work with. I’ll be honest, I’ve yet to try the second one because the first one was so perfect. As of last week I successfully veganised it without sacrificing any of the fluffy, soft, incomparable goodness that defines a Mennonite cinnamon roll. And now I will share it with you.

The amounts in red are for a doubled batch. A single recipe will make about 12 rolls.

First, get out 1/3 c (2/3 c) Nucoa margarine to start softening in a bowl.

For eggs: Grind up 3 T (6 T) flaxseed (or if you have pre-ground, just measure it out) and stir that in 1/2 c + 1 T (1 c + 2 T) hot water in a small bowl. Let it sit until it gels.

To the bowl with the margarine, add:

1 c (2 c) non-dairy milk

1/3 c (2/3 c) brown sugar

1 tsp (2 tsp) salt

Using a hand mixer, whiz it all together until the margarine is in small bits.

Dissolve:

1 T (2 T) yeast in 1/4 c (1/2 c) warm water

Stir into margarine mixture. Pour in the flax eggs.

Stir in:

1-2 cups whole wheat flour (go easy on this; to get a fluffy cinnamon roll you can’t have a ton of wheat flour weighing it down. Remember, this is dessert, not health food!)

Continue to stir in white flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough is able to be handled. (You will use around 5-6 cups total for a single batch.) It will feel silky joy to knead it. Silky, doughy joy. After several minutes of kneading, when you poke it with your finger and it springs back, it’s ready to start rising.

Spray your bowl with cooking spray, plop your nicely formed ball of dough in it, and spray the dough with cooking spray too. Set it in a warm place (I find that my gas oven with pilot light on is perfect) and cover with a cloth. Let it rise about 45 minutes.

When your timer goes off, let the dough sit a few more minutes while you prepare your pans (a single batch fills 2 9″ pie pans, with 6 buns per pan) by spraying with cooking spray.

Now get your filling ingredients ready. I suggest:

1/2 c (1 c) brown sugar

1 T (2 T) cinnamon

Raisins to personal taste (if desired)

1/2 c (1 c) finely chopped nuts (optional)

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Now, take your bowl of risen dough out of its rising place and punch it down. (If you’ve made a double batch, use a sharp knife to cut the lump in half and do one half at a time.)

Press with your hands or use a rolling pin (or both) to get the dough into the semblance of a rectangle, about 1/2″ thick. Spread the sugar/cinnamon evenly on the rectangle first, making sure to get all the way to the edges, then sprinkle the raisins and/or nuts, pressing down on them slightly so they stay put while you’re rolling up the roll.

To roll the rolls, start with the long side nearest you and roll away from yourself. It can take some practise, but it’s not that difficult. Try to keep it as tightly rolled as you can, and pinch the dough closed when you get to the other side.

Now take a sharp knife and cut the log into 12 equal pieces, which you will then transfer to your pans. They may need a little reshaping; this is normal and okay.

pre-baked cinnamon rolls

This is what they look like before they’re baked.

Preheat the oven to 350 while you let the rolls rise for 20-30 minutes. When they have doubled in size, you’ll bake them 20-30 minutes.

To glaze, mix 1-2 cups of powdered sugar with a tablespoon or so of milk and just enough water to make a thick gooey mass. You will glaze the rolls hot out of the oven, and the heat will thin out the glaze, so you want to start with it being very thick.

Enjoy. Enjoy to the fullest. I hope you have as much luck with this recipe as I’ve had.

Categories: dessert, nut-free, recipes, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Granola Recipe Template

Granola

Golden, crunchy goodness.

I just love granola. Especially I love chunky, nutty granola with raisins in it. While I’m still working on finding THE perfect granola recipe that fulfills all my wildest granola fantasies, here’s a basic granola recipe that I’ve found to be foolproof and delicious. You can eat it with any type of milk (almond milk is my favourite). Or, something my husband likes to do is just stir in applesauce and no milk, which is also very tasty.

7 c oats
1 c wheat germ
1 1/2 c cocoanut
1/2-1 c white flour (optional; use if you want it to clump)

1/2 c agave or honey
3/4 c melted butter, margarine, or olive oil (can use half applesauce)

1/2 c nuts, chopped
1 c sunflower seeds (or to taste)

1 c dried fruit, chopped up if it is not already small (like raisins)

Mix well, starting with all the dry ingredients. When they are combined, add the agave/oil. If it is too dry, add a little water as needed.

Now, here’s where most recipes will tell you to put the mixture on cookie sheets, and here’s where I say DON’T put the mixture on cookie sheets. Unless you want burned granola. Here’s what you do: you take two 13×9 pans, split the granola mixture evenly between them, and pack it down.

Bake at 275 for 20 minutes. Take out the pans, stir the contents up, and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. When that time is up, stir in your nuts and sunflower seeds and return to the oven for as long as it takes to finish cooking. You’ll know it’s done when it’s quite dry to the touch, but not petrified.

Once it’s done baking, stir in whatever dried fruit you have chosen to add. Let it sit out to cool completely, stirring occasionally to expedite the process. Put it into a tightly sealing container of some kind to store it.

NOTE: I don’t store it in the freezer/fridge because it goes so fast around here. If you think it might last a month or more at your house, fridge might be a good idea so the nuts don’t go bad before you eat it.

And, here’s a bonus recipe. Using the recipe above, I tweaked a few things and came up with….

Pumpkin Granola

PUMPKIN GRANOLA!!!

You use:

The same first 4 ingredients PLUS 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon

Reduce oil to 1/3 cup and add 1 cup pureed pumpkin. Instead of agave, use molasses.

Walnuts or pecans for the nuts

Raisins for the fruit (if fruit is desired)

***

You want another one?

CINNAMON RAISIN GRANOLA

The same first 4 ingredients PLUS 1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 c molasses or other sweetener

1 c Walnuts for nuts (skip the sunflower seeds)

1/2 c flaxseed

And, of course, raisins.
Have fun playing with granola and let me know if you come up with any tasty combos of your own!

Categories: breakfast, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Delicious Homemade Bread Anyone Can Bake

Someone once said:

If girls were taught how to cook, especially how to make good bread, their education would be of far greater value.

(Boys can benefit too!)

Now, how about a recipe using delicious grainy goodness?

I’ve had a lot of issues making bread. Most people have. But because I usually can’t bring myself to shell out $4 or more for a loaf of bread that’s actually reasonably healthy, I’ve made it myself. With endless issues. It sank. Or it was gooey. Or it felt like I should sell it to the third little pig for his house. You name it, it’s happened to me. I tried all the recipes friends and family would throw at me and checked out book after book from the library, and while I’d occasionally get a freak good result, the frustration and failure was monumental. I gave up for a long time and my husband took over the breadmaking for several months.

UNTIL I BEGAN USING THIS RECIPE, and I have never had a failed loaf of bread since (even though I continued on to modify it slightly, because that’s how I roll).

The measurements in black text make 1 loaf. The numbers in red are a double recipe for 2 loaves. I recommend making just one loaf for starters.

Ingredients:
1.5 (3) c warm water (if you’re going by a thermometer, 105-115 degrees; I just stick my finger in it)
1.5 (3) Tbsp sweetener of choice – agave, honey, or sugar
1.5 (3) Tbsp yeast
1/4 c (3/4c) ground flaxseed (optional)
1.5 (3) Tbsp olive oil
1.5 (3) tsp salt
1.5 (3) c white flour or (3/4 c) gluten flour
3-4.5 (6-9) c whole wheat flour

Instructions:
Place warm water in a large bowl. Add yeast and sweetener and whisk to dissolve yeast. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until you see the yeast bubbling and frothing rabidly on top of the water. (This is called proofing the yeast, to make sure it’s alive and functional.)

Yeast and sugar

Here is my yeast with three blops of brown sugar.

Whisked Up

Now I’ve added the 3 cups of warm water and whisked it up.

Frothing Yeastiness

IT’S ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE

Add flaxseed, oil, and salt. Add the white flour and stir 1-2 minutes. This will help develop the gluten to make a light loaf of bread.

Flaxseed, oil, and salt

Adding in my ground flaxseed, oil (corn oil in this case), and salt.

Add remaining whole wheat flour about a cup at a time until you can handle the dough without it sticking to your hands. [I don’t really count the cups I put in; I just add until it feels right, because it seems to vary depending on weather and temperature and other factors.]

Knead the dough in the bowl or on a floured surface for 5-10 minutes. Add flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to your hands. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp towel, and let rise in a warm place approximately an hour until doubled. [Just keep an eye on it, because I find it often will double long before an hour hits, and you want to not let the yeast die out. 30-45 minutes is usually what I do.]

Stirring

Stirring in my flour

Kneaded lump

It’s all kneaded and ready to rise. (Yes, the picture is blurry. I have lousy lighting conditions in my current place of abode.)

Punch down the risen dough and knead a little to work out air bubbles. Shape into a loaf (or two loaves) (or divide dough into 12-16 equal blobs and shape into buns!) and place in oiled bread pan (or cookie sheets for buns). Cover with towel again and let rise 30 minutes approximately, until nearly doubled. Preheat the oven to 350 during this time. [It will continue to rise the first minute or so in the hot oven, sometimes quite dramatically!]

First Rising

After rising for a while, it’s ready to punch down and shape into loaves!

Division

Here I’ve cut the blob of dough in two equal parts.

Rolling out the air bubbles

You can squish the bubbles out by hand if you like; I usually roll it out and then roll it up tightly.

Second rise

In the loaf pans ready to rise the second time.

After rising

Ready to go into the oven to bake!

Bake the loaf for 30 minutes, until golden brown and sounding hollow when tapped on the bottom. [After about 30 minutes, I take the loaf out of the pan and just put it right on the oven rack for another 10 minutes or so. This gets a good crust on the bottom and seems to help keep the bread from being soggy.] (Buns usually go 20-25 minutes, and you can just turn them upside down on the cookie sheets to crisp up the bottom.) Cool on a cooling rack.

All done!

Out of the oven, cooling on a cooling rack!

I also let the bread sit out at least overnight before putting it away. 24 hours would be ideal. It really cures it nicely.

In my next post, I’ll share some substitutionary ideas you can try out once you’ve mastered the plain template above!

Categories: around the kitchen, bread, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Every Blog Has to Have a First Post: Baked Oatmeal

21 years ago, on a dusky November evening, my family pulled into the driveway of some friends, who opened their home to us our first few days in our new state of Idaho while we found a place to live. This family loves to socialise, and they love food, and many of my favourite memories involve times at their house.

The next morning we were welcomed to consciousness by the warm loveliness of something I’d never encountered before in all my seven and a half years: baked oatmeal. It was love at first taste.

I have, over the years, made modifications to the original recipe so that I have a vegan version. (I’m not hardcore vegan, but prefer it on the whole, so much of what you see on this blog will reflect that.) How many does it serve? Well, my husband and I can clear out the entire pan in one breakfast. We are rather voracious consumers of foody goodness.

Baked Oatmeal

Warm, luscious breakfasty goodness.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

2 whole eggs, beaten (vegans: substitute 4 T water mixed with 2 T ground flaxseed)
½ cup honey (or agave, or just substitute water if you’d rather not have sweetener)
1 cup milk (soy, rice, cocoanut, whatever)
½ cup melted butter (Nucoa margarine or olive oil)
3 cups rolled oats (other rolled grains can be used, or gluten-free oats!)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups frozen blueberries, unthawed (fresh berries and any kind of berry can be substituted)

Beat the eggs. Stir in honey. Add milk and melted butter or oil.

Add dry ingredients. Stir in blueberries last.

Put into an ungreased 13×9 pan and bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes. It should look nicely browned on top without being burned. Serve warm, with milk of choice.

***

Make this version first, and then try the following if they appeal to you: substitute applesauce for half the oil; throw in some cocoanut or finely chopped nuts.

Categories: breakfast, gluten-free, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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