Monday, September 10, 2007

Cob Oven Baking

We have a lovely second open house yesterday, despite cloudy drizzling weather. Thanks to all who came out to see our place, and for all your support and appreciation!

As anytime when guests come over, one of the features of the afternoon was fresh baking from the wood-fired cob oven. I try to bake once a week in the cob oven, especially during the summer months when I don't want to heat up the house. After baking breads, the oven is perfect for cookies, then granola, slow-roasting vegetables, and finally dehydrating fruit or tomatoes overnight. The result of oven roasted and dried roma tomatoes is stunning - rich, tart flavour, delectable colour, and all done on "residual heat", without running our electric dehydrator.

A few guests asked about our wheat-free recipes for the cookies, and the rolls. The cookies were our all-time favourite spelt chocolate chip cookies, and the rolls had a mixture of rye-oat-barley-spelt flour, and are a simple quick yeasted bread that always turns out perfectly! I like to add seeds (sesame, flax) to the mix, and sprinkle them ontop of the rolls just before baking. Here are the recipes. Enjoy!

Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup soy margarine
1 1/2 cups brown or white sugar
2 free-run eggs, or 2 Tbsp egg replacer
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups spelt flour (or all purpose is fine)
2 cups whole oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 Tbsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips

1) Cream margarine and sugar, then add eggs and vanilla; mix well.
2) Combine all dry ingredients, other than chocolate chips. Add to wet and mix well.
3) Blend in chocolate chips.
4) Make 1/4 inch balls and flatten slightly.
5) Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 F on ungreased cookie sheets, or until golden.

Four-Grain Dinner Rolls
adapted from ExtraVeganza, by Laura Mattias (one of the best vegan cookbooks around!)

2 tsp dry traditional yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup soy milk, heated
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp white vinegar
3 1/2 cups flour (I use combination of rye-oat-barley-spelt)
Handfull of sesame and flax seeds, optional

1) In small bowl combine yeast and warm water and set aside.
2) In a separate large bowl, combine soy milk, maple syrup, oil, salt, and vinegar.
3) Mix 1 1/2 cups of the flour into the soy milk mixture, stirring well to combine.
4) Add the yeast mixture, combining all ingredients together.
5) Add remaining 2 cups of flour, stirring to form a soft dough.
6) Place in oiled bowl, and make sure all of the dough is lightly oiled.
7) Cover with clean towel and let rise for about 1 1/2 hours, until doubled.
8) Press down dough and divide into two halves.
9) Roll out one half of dough on floured board in a circular shape. Cut into 12 pie slices.
10) Roll each slice toward the middle, from wide end to pointed end.
11) Place on lightly greased baking sheets, brush with water and sprinkle on seeds.
12) Let rise again until doubled about 35-40 min.
13) Bake in preheated oven (400 F) for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.

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