03 October 2009

I've been seeing other grains

Wheat and I have one of those on again off again relationships. Right now we're on the outs and this time maybe for good. I've never been diagnosed with celiac disease (the inability to digest gluten), but I know that my body doesn't like it when I eat a lot of foods containing gluten. Lately, my body has been screaming at me not to eat gluten. Following a gluten free diet is challenge enough, but throw in the commitment to a vegan lifestyle and we're talking hardcore diet restrictions. I've experimented with a gluten free (and vegan) diet a few times the past couple of years. My downfall is always baked goods.

I've found a really good GF mix for chocolate cake/cupcakes and a decent mix for a GF pizza crust and I've even seen some GF vegan veggie burgers out there (gluten is used in almost all faux meats). But trying to find a palatable GF bread that is also vegan is near impossible. And baking anything not from a mix requires investing in a dozen different kinds of GF flours and, it would seem, a degree in chemistry. (I have neither.) Dining out? Dinner at a friend's house? Family get-togethers? Good luck.

Despite this seemingly implausible diet, I'm giving it another try. From here on out (actually, since yesterday), I'm gluten free. Knowing that I was going to make this commitment when I was craving scones on Thursday, I set out to find a recipe for vegan and gluten free scones. I came across this recipe. Intrigued by the use of coconut milk, I decided to give it a try. I tried the recipe twice the past two days, using two different GF flour mixes. Here are the results:

For the first batch, I followed the recipe and used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Mix. The scones came out with a nice texture and good crumb, but the use of garbanzo and fava bean flours in the mix gave the scones a decidedly "beany" taste. I wasn't satisfied and decided to give it another go.

For the second batch, I deviated from the original recipe a little. This time I used Bob's Red Mill GF Pancake Mix. I omitted the lemon zest and added vanilla. I also topped the scones with cocoa powder and cinnamon. The flavor of the second batch was definitely more pleasing, but the texture was too heavy, grainy and dry.

So both experiments were a bust, but I haven't given up yet.

No comments: