Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Revisiting a Past Recipe

Last year's Lavender Nut Tea Loaf, in pieces
Nearly one year ago, I created a recipe for a dessert loaf I called Lavender Nut Tea Loaf. I had an idea and put it together, baked it. It smelled heavenly. It ended up tasting sublime. The part in between was the rub. Trying to take it out of the loaf pan was a complete and total disaster. It came out in bits and pieces, as it stuck to the pan. 

All these bits and pieces were eaten, but there was no way to take a lovely photo of any of it, as it just broke up so completely. I titled that blog "Triumph and Failure Hand in Hand." Today I was thinking about that recipe and decided to take another look. Believe me, I have thought of it many times over this past year, but only today it seemed I had both the inclination and the time to revisit this recipe.

Thinking back, I was of the impression I had used yellow summer squash in the recipe, but that was incorrect. Today I did have some little patty-pan squash on the counter, so in making a revision of the recipe, and I did add some of those. Other things I decided to change were lowering sugar content as well as fat content. I skipped eggs completely and used flax meal and water as an egg-substitute (soak for 10 minutes - 1 tablespoon of flax meal with 3 tablespoons water to equal 1 egg). I used applesauce instead of some of the fat. I kept the same amount of lavender flowers in the recipe since these were the main flavor component.

Today's loaf, perfect and whole
In the past, using gluten free flours has seemed to result in a more moist bread, so I went that route. I found, when breaking out the calories, carbs and all those other nutritional considerations, that gluten free flours are far higher in carbs than regular all-purpose flour. Oh well. I used the 6 cups brown rice flour, 2 cups potato starch and 1 cup tapioca starch recipe mixture for my gluten free all-purpose flour mix. To the 2 cups worth of this flour blend used for the loaf, I added 1/2 teaspoon of guar gum.

When mixing up the final recipe, I completely forgot to add in the nuts. I intended to use 3/4 cup, just as in last year's recipe. Instead, I lowered the amount, since the batter was already in the loaf pan, and just lightly chopped and pressed them onto the top of the batter before baking. The bread rose beautifully and baked in about 48 minutes. It is still cooling in the kitchen, so I have yet to see how this comes out of the pan. I did spray the pan with cooking spray and then used one narrow piece of parchment to line the pan across the long sides. I pray this will be enough to release the loaf. I will find out shortly. Here is my revised recipe, gluten and egg-free.

Lavender Nut Tea Loaf II

makes one loaf
Lavender Nut Tea Loaf II

3 tablespoons (0.18 oz. / 5 g) dried lavender flowers
3/4 cup (6 fl. oz. / 180 ml.) 1% buttermilk
2 tablespoons (0.50 oz. / 14 g.) golden flax meal
6 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 1/2 cup yellow summer squash, grated
1/2 cup (4 oz. / 113 g) unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup (3.67 oz. /  104 g.) sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 packets Sweet Leaf Stevia
2 cups (4.70 oz. / 132 g.) gluten free all-purpose flour mix
1 teaspoon (0.14 oz. / 4 g.) baking powder
1 teaspoon (0.18 oz. / 5 g.) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (0.07 oz. / 2 g.) guar gum
1/2 teaspoon (0.11 oz. / 3 g.) salt
1/2 cup (1.85 oz. / 51 g.) walnuts or pecans

Spray an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment, at least one way. Spray the parchment. Set pan aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 on Convection Bake). 

Set the lavender flowers in the buttermilk to soak for at least 15 minutes. Set the flax meal into the 6 tablespoons of water to soak for at least 10 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine the grated squash with the cooking oil, applesauce, sugar, vanilla and stevia packets. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk or sift together the gluten free flour mixture with the baking soda, baking powder, guar gum and salt. Set aside. 

To the squash mixture, add in the buttermilk and lavender mixture with the soaked flax meal and all its liquid. Stir well to combine. Add in the dry ingredients, stirring until all the ingredients are well moistened. You do not have to worry about over beating with gluten free flours. Either add in the nuts to the batter and mix, or pour the batter into the pan and place the nuts on top. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out with barely a crumb or two.  Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Based on 12 slices, each slice contains: 225 calories, 3.5 g protein, 4.6 g fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 
42.5 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 42 mg potassium and 256.5 mg sodium.

To make this recipe vegan as well as gluten free and egg free, substitute a nut or seed milk for the buttermilk, reduce the baking soda to 1/2 teaspoon and increase the baking powder to 1 1/2 teaspoons. If nut allergies are a problem, simply leave out the nuts.
Lavender Nut Tea Loaf, perfect and whole

The Verdict

The loaf came out of the pan with great ease, even leaving the parchment behind in the pan. The ends did not stick at all. I believe this recipe revision would allow for not lining the loaf pan at all. 

The flavor is as good as I remembered, i.e. delicious! The loaf baked and tested done all through, yet is still so moist it is difficult to slice. Not impossible, mind you, only difficult. Using regular all-purpose flour would likely remedy this part, as wheat flour seems to be drier in general. In future I might bake it a bit longer or add in an extra 1/4 cup of the GF flour blend to the recipe. 

I am pleased..... :)

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.