20 March 2011

lighthearted herb biscuits

The most successful men - and they're always men, because men are that much less self-conscious than women, who tend to self-censor - are successful because they don't give too much thought to their work. They just produce, produce, produce, without necessarily deliberating over whether or not what they are doing is good enough or even serves a purpose at all.

Out in public, I always see more men than women. Except for in clothing stores, there are more men everywhere: driving cars, walking on sidewalks, riding bikes, in grocery stores, in restaurants. Is it because they have more freedom? Their population is larger? Or is it because we women have a proclivity to stay inside, at least on drizzly days like these, and be domestic?

What with the storm today, I was in an awfully cozy mood, so I endeavored to bake gluten-free focaccia, for the first time, using a combination of a Moosewood Cookbook recipe and my memories of baking with Fab and Marcello in Copenhagen last spring.

What I didn't count on, however, was the fact that amaranth flour is a lot heavier than all-purpose flour, and maybe that's why the dough didn't rise. Or maybe because I didn't use any starch or xantham gum. (Baking is complicated enough. Successful gluten-free baking may be beyond me - which is precisely why I usually avoid it.) But I did have plenty of rosemary, oregano and olive oil to make a hot, savory and satisfying treat.

Now, I could have gone to any one of the three health food stores in my neighborhood and picked up a perfectly adequate baking mix that would have delivered predictably perfect results. But I wanted to use what I had, and I like to improvise, so when my dough had been "rising" for an hour but not budged a smidge, I took it up, kneaded in a smattering of baking soda and baking powder (just in case) and divvied it up into heart-shaped biscuits on a baking tray.

When they came out of the oven, they were dense with steam, crispy and just-so savory. The herbs in the nutty bread were perfect, but it could have used a little less salt.

Next time, I'll try to get my proportions right - but at least my intuition wasn't completely wrong on this first try.

1 comment:

emm said...

gf baking is all about experimenting ;-) Good on you for giving it a go! I've had so many disaster's in the kitchen over the past few years!!