This post is also the second annual installment of Destination Baking--once again we are in beautiful Bailey Island, Maine (our 10th year coming here). We are having a wonderful time, but miss Marissa.
We have enjoyed seeing wild turkeys and eating free-range lobsters.
And if you are ever in the Mid-Coast Maine area, be sure to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in Boothbay. It is absolutely wonderful.
Now on to the baking. In the interest of full disclosure, I baked the breads for this assignment at home before we left because it was easier to make the gluten-free dough there rather than schlep all the special ingredients to Maine. But I did bake here. I mixed up the dry ingredients for the Whole Wheat Master and the Quinoa Bread and brought them along in zip-lock bags. Then when we got here I just needed to add water, mix, and let them rise. I used them to make boules, English muffins, focaccia, and sweet rolls.
As for this assignment, it is our last assignment involving gluten free bread. I made a half batch, since we were only making two breads. While I sympathize with those who are gluten intolerant, I am glad I do not have to bake this way all the time. I just never seem to be able to get the amount of ingredients quite right, whether I use volume or weight, although to some extent it may be that I am expecting the dough to feel more like dough with gluten. "Not quite right" was certainly not the case with this dough, however. I am not sure where I went wrong, but I must have been way off in my measurements. I weighed the ingredients, and I wonder if one of my conversion factors was incorrect. Judy over at Judy's Bakery and Test Kitchen posted on the discussion board that Jeff and Zoe had revised their weights for some of the ingredients, but I have not had the chance to check those against the weights I used. Or maybe I just screwed up. Whatever the cause, I ended up with a batter. And a pretty thin one at that. I worked extra flour into the dough (I used soy flour because I was low on the flours used in the recipe) until I thought it was about right, but it was purely by guess and by gosh.
First up was a loaf of Gluten-free Brioche. I used my brioche pan, and although the dough was sticky, much like a soft cookie dough, it was not hard to plop it into the pan. It baked up pretty well, and tasted good, especially toasted. I have been trying to come up with a description of the texture. It was sort of like a cross between a corn bread and a pound cake.
The second part of the assignment was “Super Sam” Gluten-free Cinnamon Buns. The buns were, as my peeps would say, a hot mess (especially right out of the oven).
I knew I was in for trouble when the directions called for rolling the dough out on a silicone mat so that the mat could be used to help roll up the dough. But at first things went pretty well. I rolled the dough out using the silicone mat on the bottom and plastic wrap on the top--to prevent sticking. Then I topped it with brown sugar mixed with cinnamon and pecans.
As you can see from the picture, my "buns" are even about the same color as The Blob--and they GREW too!!
The two on the top, the last two I made, ALMOST look like buns, especially in the dark, without your glasses, if you squint, and have the light behind them. (But then I look my best in those circumstances, too.)
So, instead of buns, I guess I made “Super Sam” Gluten-free Cinnamon Monkey Bread.
I topped it with the glaze and cut it into wedges to serve, having abandoned all pretense of buns.
So that is it from Bailey Island, Maine. We only have 6 episodes to go, so be sure to check in next time.