This weekend, I decided to try mixing in some barley flour into my whole wheat pizza dough recipe (well, it’s not really my recipe, I got it from this blog). Barley flour still contains gluten (but is lower in gluten than whole wheat flour) so obviously is not an appropriate choice for those with gluten sensitivities – but it is very high in fiber and an alternative to always using wheat.
The low gluten content makes it a good flour to mix in with other flours when baking something that needs to rise. In my recipe, I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1.5 cups of barley flour in my pizza dough. It resulted in a very rustic looking crust that wasn’t as easy to work with, but the nutty flavour of the barley came through. I also added a spring of minced rosemary and green garlic into the dough which made the crust much more flavorful.
I must confess, it was also a great way to use up the barley flour I have in my pantry – I’m starting to run low on whole wheat flour and this helped me with my “Make It Do” project.
2 cups 100% whole wheat flour and approx 1/2 cup for dusting
1 1/2 cups barley flour
2 teaspoons of honey
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of table salt
1 tablespoon of active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water approx 110 degrees
3 tablespoons of ground flax seed (optional)
1 spring fresh rosemary leaves, minced
2 stalks green garlic, minced
Dissolve the honey into the warm water in a medium sized bowl.
Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Set your timer for 10 minutes (if the yeast is active, it will foam up in 10 minutes).
Once the yeast is ready, mix in the oil, salt and herbs
In a wide, shallow bowl, mix the flour with the ground flax. Slowly pour in the water and knead the dough into a ball.
Cover the bowl with a towel, or instead, cover it with an inverted pizza pan (which is what I chose to do).
Place the bowl in a warm area for a couple of hours to allow it to rise. My oven has a bread proofing setting which worked wonderfully. I’m sure you could warm up the oven to its lowest setting and then turn it off and use the residual heat to proof your dough (make sure you allow enough time for the oven to cool so it doesn’t cook the dough.
Roll out your dough and place on a lightly oiled pizza pan. Top with your favourite toppings and bake at 450F for 11 to 12 minutes.
This weekend’s pizza was topped with homemade pizza sauce, mozza, arugula, mushrooms, onions and green peppers. I think this recipe would taste great with the crust made on a barbecue (but you’ll have to try it for yourself and let me know how it goes because we got rid of our rarely used barbecue).
This particular update isn’t going to be that exciting…I posted a picture of my pantry in my kickoff post and as you may have been able to tell, I’m not about to run out of grocery any time soon.
I also think I did fairly well in not buying any extras – we did have friends visiting over the weekend, and I almost managed to feed them with food I had in the house. I used dried green lentils, potatoes, onions and garlic in the moussaka I made (but did have to go out to buy eggplants and zucchini); I had all the ingredients at home to make tzatziki (including delicious green garlic from our garden), but did have to buy some whole wheat pita; for dessert I was able to make lemon bars and cherry chocolate ice cream (I bought cream from the store, but I didn’t really have to confess that since it is an allowable item on my list). I also had enough ingredients to make a butternut squash lasagna (using the leftover filling from the raviolis I had made – I had frozen the extra).
I feel a little bit guilty about confessing all of this to folks who were inadvertently part of my experiment this weekend. But I think they walked away well fed .
I think this project will get more exciting once I start running out of things. So far, it has been a little too easy!
I added Meyer lemons to my CSA delivery this week – I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with them, but I ended up making lemon bars yesterday. My second option was to make a marmalade that a reader had posted in blog comments but I opted for the lemon bars because we had friends in town, and everybody should have the opportunity to indulge in lemon bars.
I used to have a lemon bar recipe that used tofu as the base, but I’ve made a conscious decision to eliminate soy from my life in as many areas as possible – I generally feel better when I avoid soy. This does put a damper on a lot of vegan recipes – luckily, a dear friend reminded me of the lemon bar recipe in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar which uses agar instead of tofu as the binder. I’ve used agar in the past haven’t had any consistent luck with it. This recipe called for agar flakes though – it took longer to dissolve, but it set much better than agar powder, in my opinion.
I took a few liberties with the recipe: I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose flour in the crust; I made my own powdered sugar for the crust by pulsing granulated sugar in the food processor (I was out of powdered sugar and in keeping with the Make It Do spirit, I improvised). The food processor worked perfectly fine to allow the sugar to blend into the crust, but it wasn’t fine enough to sprinkle on top. Personally, I think the lemon bars looked fine without the sugar. I also opted for almond milk instead of soy milk.
Next time I make these lemon bars, I think I would cut back on the crust to make it thinner, or increase the quantity on the lemon mixture. Not that it will change the fact that I’m about to indulge in one right now.
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup nonhydrogenated margarine
3 tbsp agar agar flakes
1-1/3 cups water
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest (I used Meyer lemons)
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp arrowroot powder (or tapioca starch)
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup soy milk (I used almond milk to make this recipe soy-free
Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking pan.
Pulse flour, powdered sugar and cornstarch in a food processor. Add in margarine a few spoonfuls at a time and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Press the mixture into the pan – refrigerate for about 30 minutes and then bake for 40 minutes. Allow the crust to cool.
In a sauce pot, soak the agar agar in the water for 15 minutes.
Zest your lemons and squeeze your lemon juice. Mix the arrowroot powder into the lemon juice to dissolve.
After the agar agar has soaked, turn the heat up and bring to a boil for 10 minutes (or until the agar is completely dissolved). Add the sugar and turmeric, boil until dissolved (approx 3 minutes).
Lower the heat to medium and add the arrowroot powder mixture, then add the lemon zest and soy milk. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens (about 5 minutes). It should only be bubbling lightly at this point.
Pour the mixture into the crust and allow it to cool for 20 minutes. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.
I recently came across a blog called Make It Do, where the author is planning a year of using up what she already owns and not buying anything new (with some exceptions of course). I found this so refreshing in a day and age of overconsumption and attachment to material things. It inspired me to implement this in my own life, but in the one place it would hit me the most – my kitchen.
I’m such a sucker for new food products and gadgets, and I must confess, my pantry and freezer are overflowing with items. I am sure that we could survive a pretty long time without having to purchase anything, so I’m going to give it a shot and see how long I can go without buying anything for my kitchen.
Of course, there will be exceptions so here are some ground rules:
Perishables such as milk, cheese and yogurt will be allowed.
Replenishing daily supplements (ie. vitamins, protein powder) are ok.
If we have dinner guests or house guests, additional shopping will be allowed, but the real challenge would be to try to “Make It Do”
My CSA delivery will continue every week, but I will stick to the 6 items I have signed up for every week.
Produce items that are staples in our diet that aren’t available through my CSA are allowed – but I’ll keep you posted on what those items are so you keep me honest.
This will be quite easy in the beginning I’m sure as my pantry is full of legumes, beans and grains – it will get more interesting as I start to use up items. I’m sure it will be quite eye-opening to see what I actually do use on a regular basis vs what just takes up space in my pantry and freezer. I also see a lot of bread-making in my future (I bought a lot of ingredients when I got my bread machine…let’s just say I haven’t been putting a lot of it to use).
I think I already may have a breaking point – I’m almost out of my favourite Earl Grey Tea – we’ll see how long I can last with my other tea chest options. It will be interesting to put a stop to my Amazon Prime One-Click habit!
Hmm…perhaps I should have consulted with the huz before deciding to implement this – or maybe he won’t notice?