Friday, June 17, 2011


Yesterday I had two laundry baskets overflowing all over my bathroom floor with clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away, and another load in the dryer.  I just hate that.  But not enough, obviously, to do anything about it.  I pretty much looked at that laundry, blinked, and headed to the kitchen to mix up some dough.  'Cause that's the proper way to handle laundry overflow, you know.  Actually, now that I think of it, I took a nap first.

Remember how I used to rave about my laundry line?  How I loved hanging laundry?  Yeah.  Well.  I haven't hung laundry in a long time.  It's partly, I confess, because I seem to have a hundred million things to do and a perpetually fussy baby, and frankly, it's easier to throw it in the dryer (the laundry, not the baby).  But the main reason is that my back aches all the time.  It's that danged Pregnant Pelvic #$&*% Dysfunction.  So I haven't been carrying out my laundry (and I confess that I have a little guilt over the lack of frugality here...).

But this post is not about laundry!  No!  It's about dough!

It's related, though, I promise.  Laundry... back pain... dough!  Get it?  No?

Okay.  See I figured out that if I don't eat wheat, my back gets better.  Remarkably better.   Like, I can walk around and do stuff.  Pretty much normally, except for this belly that is starting to get in the way a little.  As long as I don't eat wheat!  Bizarre?  Maybe.  Funny thing is, I don't have to avoid gluten all together, just wheat.  I can eat other gluten grains such as barley, rye, spelt and kamut with no problem whatsoever.  And for whatever reason, this problem only manifests itself during pregnancy (I guess I had blocked it from my memory, but I now recall being off wheat during my pregnancy with Evan), but I can imagine that may change as I get older.  Eventually, it will probably be all the time.  But for now, when I'm pregnant, no wheat for me.  In some ways, it kinda makes me mad.  Generations of wheat overdose has apparently led to  widespread intolerance of it.  I've known a number of people who found relief from joint pain by avoiding wheat (not even all gluten!), and my chiropractor concurs that she, too, has seen it many times.

It's mainly not a big deal to me.  But.  There is one little, okay, very big thing.  I really miss my sourdough bread.  A lot.  I have not yet succeeded in making a wheat-free alternative.  Wheat just works for good, artisan-stlye bread.  Other grains have less and more fragile gluten and simply do not give the rise and structure of wheat doughs.  I am planning to try again with spelt and rye next week and see if I can come up with something acceptable.  But for now, I'm trying to make quick breads and other wheat-free things that I can eat.   The problem is that then I have to bake.

(I make this sound like I eat bread all the time.  Not true.  It's a smallish part of my diet.  I mainly eat a lot of other things, especially animal foods that we produce ourselves --lots of yogurt and cheese!-- and garden produce.  And chocolate, of course.  But I need a little carb content in my life, especially while pregnant and nursing!)

So.  Enough talk.  To the dough!

I mixed up a big batch of kamut dough.  Kamut is an ancient grain similar to wheat, but different.  The flour has a texture almost like cornmeal and a gorgeous golden color.  It's pretty fragile and hard to work with, and also kind of expensive. I prefer to mix it with another grain rather than use it by itself (except for tortillas-- it makes fabulous tortillas by itself!).   I would normally use spelt (also ridiculously expensive!  That's my main complaint about this wheat-free thing!), but I'm out until my co-op order next week.

I had two plans for this dough.  First I flattened out a ball of it...

And slathered it with my home-canned tomato sauce, oregano from the herb garden, pepperoni (from WalMart!) and my goat-milk mozzarella.

Evan helped, see?  He's very good at sitting on my feet or hanging onto my legs and walking everywhere I do.

I rolled the filled dough very carefully (this is so much easier with a wheat dough!) and plopped it into a greased bread pan and sprinkled herbs and cheese on top.   I got this idea from a dear friend of mine who has six kids and some very creative ideas for feeding them.  Pizza bread!  Advantage over regular pizza?  Well... none, really, it's just something different and fun.

While that was rising, I used the rest of the dough to shape some cinnamon raisin bagels.

Except I went to the pantry and discovered that I was out of raisins.  Well, I found some ancient raisins that had been in there who-knows-how-long and they were a little... crunchy.  But they would have to do, because my bagels had to have raisins!

When they were all shaped, I let them rise, too.

Why did I take it into my head to make bagels?  Well... I went to the health-food store to get some sort of non-wheat bread to have in the freezer for "emergencies" and all I could find where gluten-free breads made with rice and soy and such which are, in my opinion, not fit to be called by the name of "bread."  Okay, so I'm a snob.  Anyway, the only thing I could find was this package of spelt bagels that cost over $6 with my discount.  Gack!  But I bought some, and they're terrible.  So I did what I should have done in the first place and made my own.

After the bagels were risen, I put the pizza bread in to bake and started boiling the bagels.

Boiling is what gives them their wonderful chewy exterior.

When the pizza bread was done, we had it for supper while the bagels baked in the oven!

It was dense (because it's not wheat!) but very, very yummy!

I totally forgot to take a picture of the bagels when they were all done, but here's a picture of my bedtime snack--

Half a cinnamon raisin kamut bagel with fresh ricotta, maple syrup, and cinnamon! Yummy!

Worth it. Totally.


  1. You're on a roll!

    Or...a bagel.

    Looks delicious!

    Evan still has the mohawk going on. And a beautiful smile!

  2. I am so jealous that you tackle bread so handily.....I know, I know...I too could tackle bread, but I never seem to get to that item on the "to do" list, sorta like that laundry for you! Mine, however, is the first thing each problem with laundry! Baking, however......darn....Have a blessed day!

  3. I'll make all the bread you can eat, if you'll do all my laundry! :-)

  4. If you ever want to put up a granny cottage for two older people I will be your laundry lady and you can bake me sour dough bread.
    I so admire your style.
    Your right about the expensive crappy breads at health food stores. Snob club!
    You however are a bread artist! I haven't made any sourdough since my fall and am just beginning to handle dough again.
    My starter went down the garbage disposal so I would have to start over.
    I didn't really have the knack of the gorgeous loaves you bake. I did make a heavy crunchy bread that my family liked with a mixture of flours and rye gave it a really rustic delicious taste, if you don't mind dense.
    I think these observations about wheat are very interesting.
    Grains seem to make my daughter gain weight really fast and give her a big sweet tooth. Weird.

  5. that pizza roll looks wonderful! Where can I find the recipe? We have pizza here at least once a week, and I'd like to shake it up a bit

  6. Hi, Jules! You don't really even need a recipe... You can just use your regular pizza dough (or any loaf bread dough) and roll it up as I described. I think I usually bake it at 400 for 35-45 min. Seems like I usually have to bake it just a little past when it looks done in order for it to be done all the way through.

  7. Oh, and leave some dough along the edges so that when you roll it, you can close up all the seams. If the insides leak out, it'll burn all over the pan. Pinch up any holes as you roll to keep the insides inside! Enjoy!