For the past three weeks, I have dreamt about the inside of a house. It is not just any house, it is a mansion, a schloss in Bavaria, I decided. Outside the floor-length windows in the main hall, it s always purplish, cloudy dusk over snow-covered, black, rocky mountains. I see the northeastern view. A gallery runs around the inside of the hall, separating first from second floors, but I haven’t seen the stairs. Curiously, the walls are either plain dark wood paneling or whitewashed plaster. Different people I know from my current life have appeared in my dreams there. I don’t know what it means, other than it’s some sort of mashup of the pirate feast and SCA events and Nosferatu and Carmilla.
I suppose, were I to wake up in such a schloss one day, I’d have lovely breakfast pastries and hot chocolate for breakfast. These being dreams, it wouldn’t matter what they were made of–vegan and gluten-free or not! I have dreamt of eating things that turned out not being VGF and then worrying about getting sick. Like right now, I went to Chipotle, and now my stomach hurts. The lady grabbed a handful of cheese before I said no cheese, and some ended up in my lettuce. I picked out what I could see, but my stomach is squirming. Sad face.
I made Welsh Cakes for St David’s Day on 1 March. While I would not find these in a Bavarian schloss, I would find them in a Welsh castle! The ancient grains flour, maple syrup, chia seeds, and shortening are global twists on the original recipe.
Modified from King Arthur Flour
1 cup GF oat flour
1 cup King Arthur Flour Ancient Grains blend
1 cup millet flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1/4 cup organic palmfruit shortening
1 cup raisins
2/3 cup nondairy milk (I used unsweetened almond)
2 teaspoons chia seeds
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup of arrowroot or tapioca starch for rolling
In a small measuring cup, combine the nondairy milk and chia seeds and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. With a pastry blender or two butterknives, cut in the shortening until the mixture forms small pebbles of dough (yes, this is a huge reduction of the amount of fat in this recipe; the mixture will be dry). Stir the maple syrup into the chia mixture, then pour the chia mixture into the flour mixture. Fold in the raisins and mix well until the dough comes together in a slightly sticky ball.
On a clean, floured surface (throw some waxed paper on the counter and use a few drops of water beneath it to stick it in place), turn out the dough. With a floured rolling pin, roll it to a 1 1/2 inch-thick round, constantly checking to make sure it’s not sticking to the waxy paper. Divide it in half, wrap one disk in plastic, and refrigerate the wrapped one while you work with the other.
Heat a nonstick griddle or cast-iron pan over medium-low heat. Roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness. With floured cookie cutters, cut out shapes, reroll, and repeat as necessary. Add as many cutouts as will fit to the griddle and cook until golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden on the other side. Repeat with the remaining dough, allowing to warm to room temperature before rolling and cutting.
I made small skull and tombstone cookie-sized cakes, rolling it thinly for the first round.
I increased the amount of baking soda in the recipe above since they didn’t rise much on two teaspoons. I rolled the second batch thicker and used big cookie cutters for pumpkin pastries! These taste like Animal Crackers, though the main spice in those is mace.
“Animal crackers in my soup…” is more like “Skulls and pumpkins with my smoothie…” for this taphophile.