Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Gluten Free Breadsticks (egg free, dairy free, gluten free)

If you were to look at a map of my brain you would see vast swathes of inactive grey matter. ‘Trigonometry’ reads one, ‘Logical Thinking’ another, ‘Ability to respond Rationally When Tired’ yet another. You would also see some interesting, mountainous spikes labelled; ‘Ability to Rant’,Plate-Smashing-When-Furious Capability’ and ‘Slightly Sick Sense of Black Humour’.
For every blank swathe and mountainous spike there is at least one deep, dark pit. ‘Inability to Keep Up With The Washing’, ‘Ignores Dust For Weeks’, ‘Does Not Regularly Change Sheets’, ‘Does Not Unpack Shopping Bags for Days’. It is because of these domestic chore-related dark pits that I feel an overriding sense of failure when I walk through my front door. And I spend a lot of time behind my front door...not doing the boring chores I'm supposed to be doing and thus feeling like a failure.

It’s not all gloom and doom though, I’m beginning to think that feeling like a failure on a daily basis is a good thing. It means that I have created a fantasy world. This world is a little like the Tardis; it doesn’t take up much space on my brain map, but if you open the door marked ‘Fantasy World’ you’ll be sent hurtling down an Alice In Wonderland-esque hole, and who knows where you may land? Come on, let’s go and see…

The party is in full swing. The enormous, tastefully decorated, tidy, clean and elegant house is looking magnificent. Exotic ornaments hint at a life well travelled, and quite stunning photographs on the walls suggest that the owner could be related to Ansel Adams. You feel a little overawed as you peer into the oak-panelled drawing room; there is an electric hum to the air, beautiful people conversing with knowledge and sophistication. Then your hostess sees you and approaches with a friendly welcoming smile; it’s all ok, no need to stand on ceremony here.

She welcomes you warmly and deftly grabs a glass of champagne from a passing waiter,
Here, drink this, I’m so glad you could come, how are the children?’After listening to you attentively she is called away by one of her catering staff, anxious for her to check their work in the kitchen. As she walks gracefully towards the kitchen, you are struck by what a marvellous physique she has. How can a woman who has had four children look so fantastic? She could easily be mistaken for a world-class tennis player, and you feel sure that she must have a live-in hair stylist; the sleek and shining mane could belong to a model.

‘Makes you sick doesn’t it?’ comments a guest, ‘I wouldn’t mind if she were a bitch, but she is simply the kindest, most thoughtful creature I have ever met’.

It’s true’ adds another guest, ‘a patient loving mother, so understanding of her husband’s frequent business trips, a real flair for maintaining domestic order and her clothes...! Do you know I’ve never seen her scrape her hair into a slightly greying ponytail, wear ripped jeans, pull on an old duffle coat and then hope she can get away with it if she dabs some lip gloss on her chapped lips!’

Other guests shake their heads in amazement, ‘She really is a unique and special person’.

Then the hostess appears from the kitchen. She is laughing gaily with one of the staff and looks quite simply radiant. She heads towards you bearing a silver platter. As she draws near, you can see a tempting array of bowls; guacamole, salsa, hummus, it’s all begging to be sampled. She smiles at you,
‘Here, try some, and – please – let me know what you think of the breadsticks. They’re a new recipe, so do be honest about what you think, constructive criticism is very valuable to me’.Her lapis lazuli eyes shine with fervour as she adds,
‘It’s so important to be humble in life isn’t it?’You willingly accept the breadsticks and scoop up tasty mouthfuls from the bowls. For an instant your world sways blissfully to a new and exciting culinary beat,
‘Oh, those are delicious’ you breathe.

She smiles simply and a flattering blush colours her smooth, flawless cheeks,
‘Thank-you. Thank-you very much indeed’
As her long slender legs glide away, you are quite simply slack-jawed with amazement; can this woman be for real?

Hope you enjoy these dear readers; in fantasy or in reality, they taste pretty good!

Gluten Free Fantasy Breadsticks
If you are desperate for breadsticks for your grumpy, crimson-cheeked, teething baby to chew on; please don't be put off by the salt and pepper pictured on these breadsticks. The lovely hostess mentioned above added that for her grown up party. You don't have to though; simply leave them naked.

100g / 1 cup cornflour / cornstarch
50g / 1/2 cup of potato flour
100g / 1 cup brown rice flour
1.5tsp dried yeast
0.5 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp sugar
0.5 tsp salt
50g / scant 1/4 cup dairy free spread
180ml (approx) tepid water
  • Heat the oven to 190 degrees celsius and line a baking tray (or two) with baking parchment
  • Put the cornflour, potato flour, rice flour, dried yeast, xanthan gum, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Mix with a mini whisk to ensure even distribution of ingredients
  • Put the dairy free spread into the bowl, and rub it in to the flours until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs (my eldest daughter came up with that plan; she's so clever)
  • Add the tepid water a little at a time, you may not need it all. You should end up with a thick mix, a bit like a thick cake mix. Beat with a wooden spoon for a minute or so, to incorporate all the ingredients and to get rid of any lumps
  • Now, take a piping bag and choose a thin nozzle; mine measures about 5mm in diameter
  • Dollop some mix into your piping bag and very gently pipe long, elegant breadsticks onto the baking trays
  • Pour some olive oil into a bowl and painstakingly brush the surface of each stick with oil. I used my finger, but one of those silicone pastry brushes would probably be quicker. If you want to season the sticks, sprinkle over some sea salt and black pepper
  • By the time you've piped out all of the mixture and daubed the sticks in oil, you can put the baking tray straight into the oven - no need to leave them to prove
  • Bake for about 10 minutes or until they are golden brown
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool
  • Shimmy out to your waiting guests. You are magnificent and you are sumptuous...and you really need to get a housekeeper to maintain order in your house

© Pig in the Kitchen

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Potty Mummy said...

Pig, you are fabulous darling, simply fabulous. Though you did miss out the bit about your supermodel Marc Jacobs-clad and Jimmy Choo-heeled blogging friends... (Though I know that is simply because you are far too busy planning the fund raiser for the starving children of the world whilst training for the Paris Triatholon...)

Pig in the Kitchen said...

PottyM, did you hear about my fundraiser? I was trying to be so discreet about that. Next time, I shall work you into my fantasy, don't you worry!

Guineapigmum said...

I think you may live in my house, Pig. Although you missed out the one about not emptying the washing machine and having to do the washing again. And again. Whilst stepping over the clutter that's in the way of the machine and around the hoover that you got out with good intentions but haven't yet used.

But of course, all that stepping over and around must be good training for the Paris triathlon.

Btw, I eventually got around to making those bread rolls. Not as good looking as yours but tasted excellent. Now for breadsticks...

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Oh GPM, yes! I'd forgotten about the washing machine! And instead of hanging it out, just dumping it into an Ikea bag on the cellar floor, 'to hang out later'...which of course turns into 'a few days later'... such a relief to know I'm not the only one!

Hurrah for the bread rolls, hope the breadsticks are yummy 4 u!

dulwichmum said...

These look simply delicious. How do you do this sweetie? You really are a God send.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Dulwich Mum, mwah! thank-you! I suspect my fantasy life resembles your actual life...

the mother of this lot said...

I panicked a bit then. I didn't read the first sentence properly and I thought you meant COULD do trigonometry.

Then logic prevailed and I thought 'No, that can't be right' so I read it again, and thankfully, you appear to be as useless at it as I am.

Order restored.

Iota said...

Pig, Pig, Pig - you must have telepathy. The first bit of this blog could have been written for me. I live in a sea of clutter, I am tossed on the waves of disorganisation, I am only just keeping my head above the waters of chaos, I flounder on the ocean of despair. Kind souls throw me rafts from time to time, but alas, I am past redemption. I simply turn my back on them, swim gaspingly to the computer keyboard, and lose myself in the virtual world of blogging. It's denial, I know, but how else am I to survive? (Actually, I spent 2 hours this evening going through the two mile-high piles of admin that have been hanging around accusingly for weeks on my kitchen counter. Every last item I managed to bin, deal with, move to a box of filing, or put in a 'to do' pile. Hurrah! Now there's just that 'to do' pile...)

Marianne said...

I decided to declutter this spring holiday and started in my son's old bedroom, now vacated in favour of the study, where he has set up his pit.

Panic quickly set in as I realised that we still have every single teddy, lego brick and book the boys have ever owned. It would take for ever to go through the lot and how can I decide what to let go? The answer to the question of what to dispose of was a terse 'no'. I've shoved it all in the cupboard under the eaves and am trying to forget it's there. Until the next move that is, but that's another day.

Kitty said...

Hi. Thank you so much for visiting my blog ... my goodness I've had a lovely time visiting you. Such beautiful photographs of delicious-looking food!

Take care. :-)

Anonymous said...

Pig, you're a star! I've been missing bread sticks:)
I dream of having a huge kitchen, with a huge cooker so I can fit all the pans on in one go, (multi food intolerances and 2 intolerant veggie teens)! I also need a huge chilled larder, a washing machine that loads, washes, drys, airs, irons, and puts it's contents away, and crockery etc that washes itself up and puts itself away. Anyone know where I can find Merlin?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

TMOTL, well you really don't know me at all if you think for a second that I can do Trigonometry. all that Soh Cah Toa formula rubbish made my brain turn to fudge. Rest assured, I'm definitely useless.

Iota, us kindred messy spirits really should stick together, there is such comfort to be derived from fellow messers. There's a mum at school and we challenge each other to do little jobs, 'i cleared out a drawer today', 'I filed all the post and dusted the top of the television'. there's probably a very lucrative business around sending Tidy Text Alerts to messy people...(another of my procrastinating ideas)

Marianne, can't believe you still have every toy they ever owned! You are obviously not a proponent of the 'black bag principle'.This is when the mess gets so bad, you just scoop everything into a black bag and throw it away.

Kitty, i in turn had a fab time at your blog, i think i might be craving one of your lovely monkeys! i quite fancied some of your chocolate brownie fudgey icing thing too!

Anon/Lunar, oh the big kitchen dream, I have that too. Mine will be enormous and flooded with healing sunlight. I shall glide around happily (possibly, and bizarrely, in a 50's full skirt, heels and a pinny), churning out enormous spreads, raising ecstatic children and never letting pasta sauce spray all over the massive cooker. it will be a self-cleaning cooker. My naked housekeeper (former member of chippendales, but with a doctorate in astro physics) will keep everything in shape, he will wear a black bow tie as he works.
Hmmmm, think i've said too much!
I'm so glad it's friday!

The Lehners in France said...

Hi, I called in via dumdad. Was it you to whom I served my breadsticks? I'm so glad you liked them dear. I wish! My hair's scaped back, my jeans are ripped and I don't even put lip balm on my lips. I'm certainly not an amazonian tennis pro that's for sure, just a Dordogne Pixie. So glad I found you though I have friends visiting this year with wheat, dairy and nut allergies. The breadsticks look yummy. Debs

Mya said...

Oh Pig these look really quite scrumptious. I shall be serving them at my next soiree.

Don't bother cleaning your house, do what I do. I ask visitors to remove their glasses (if they wear them) or to don sunglasses (if they don't.) That way, no one is alarmed or embarrassed by the shockingly low standards of hygiene chez moi. Perfect.

Mya x

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Oh Pig, what a divine story and a delicious recipe. Definitely up to your usual high standards - I can't wait to try them. M xx

jeanie said...

Found you on one of those "oh that looks like an interesting comment" click tours that sometimes can waste a morning when you should be doing something else!

And wow - what a wonderful blog - and tell me, if we have never met before (in the blogosphere or real life) how can you picture my world so well?

Mimi Lenox said...

You've been royally tagged by Mimi Queen of Memes. Have fun!
Message In a Bottle

Frog in the Field said...

Does this mean I'm a failure too?
Bread sticks for nibbles before dinner this evening I think, mmmm.

Frog in the Field said...

ps. One of my piglets snuck in and helped himself to my shopping that I hadn't put away...oops!
I think fresh mango is so good for their skin, bless!

elizabethm said...

Can I come to one of your delicious parties? I promise to shave my legs, cut my toenails, wear my silk and satin and discard my thermals and fleece. Pretty certain from your blog that your fabulous breadsticks are not only non fattening but actually help to maintain glossy hair and perfect unlined skin. I want some.

rilly super said...

if someone made a phrenology head to represent us women, and you in particular PITK, it would have to use very small writing to fit it all on, although not as small as for a man of course, the place where their emotions come from being that much smaller than the brain, sigh

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Ooh, I have to try these out. Thanks, Pig!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm writing a feature for a national broadsheet on blogging mums. I love your blog and wondered if you would be interested in talking to me? tamsink@blueyonder.co.uk

Elsie Button said...

Dear lovely hostess, i don't think this is fantasy - i think it is all real - it is, isn't it? I am so excited about the breadstick recipe - i think i will go up in betty's estimations if i manage to pull this one off.

Grit said...

if i make the breadsticks do i get the lifestyle too? i am off into the kitchen first thing tomorrow. if i can find it under the tonnage of crap in the hallway.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

dear lovelz blog readers. i promise i will be all over mz next comments box. i shall answer all comments personallz and with pizazz and wit. I shall not let things slide, i shall not drink too much swiss wine, and i will definitlez not use a non-qwerty kezboard. that is whz all the y's have been replaced with zzzzz's. iäm currentlz en suisse using a suisse kezboard...itäs not good, altho the cheese, wine and mountains are.
cheerts+" pigx

AutumnRose said...

I'm glad I've found you! My dh is on a gluten-free diet, and I am now domestically challenged!
I'll be browsing a lot, what a fantastic blog :) I've blogrolled you!
AutumnRose x

Elsie Button said...

Dear pig i know you don't do awards but i have given you one anyway...

Brom said...

I had gwakkymolly last nite (No idea how to spell it) but although coming from close to it's native origins I'm sure it wasn't half as good as yours!.

The Swiss seem to be having an effect on you - nice! ;-)

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Sweet Autumn Rose, so glad you found me too! good luck with the dietary challenge; it's not much fun is it?

ElsieB, having you visit is award enough! And thank you for lovely award [Pig grins happily and thinks warm thoughts about ElsieB; about how Elsie B should try and sell her etchings because they are rather damn good]

Brom, gwakeeemowlee eh? So are you in Mexico? I'm heading over to see. I'm now back, sober and sensible and ready to resume proper blogging business!

Sheltie Girl said...

These are simply beautiful. Thanks for sharing your recipe as I'm going to need to give these a try.

By the way...shed your sense of failure...leaving the wash, drying your child's underwear with a hair dryer since you haven't managed to get the wash from the washer to the dryer yet, taking several days to unload the groceries, IS NORMAL. That's what I say...it's everyone else who isn't normal. Well it's that or they don't have kids and pets or they've got someone to clean their house for them.

When my kids were little, the only reason my house was clean was because I had a cleaning service. Now that my kids are older and they have to help clean...well we live with a bit of dirt, dust and hairballs.

Sheltie Girl @ Gluten a Go Go

Pig in the Kitchen said...

ahhh sheltie girl, thank you for your healing words! had never thought to dry undies with a hairdryer! fantastic. good luck with the breadsticks,

Lowood6 said...

Thanks PITK - just got to try this one, it's so lovely!!! I almost felt as though I fitted your (fantasy) description of the 'it'-mum, except that I got my 3yo to pipe the dough - it actually resembles 2 trays full of worms (boo hoo), but anyhow, the whole experience was wonderful. I can't stop eating it now...!

Robyn in Sunny South Africa said...

So I finally twigged how to post a comment on your blog instead of emailing you! A huge thanks for the creative wheat etc free bread recipes - we were beginning to think that we'd be doomed to a very thin 9 year boy for a very long time but he's fallen head over heels in love with your Swan Lake Loaf - and it works in the bread machine - hooray!! You've made 2009 a much brighter place already. And I think that a good belly laugh has to be shifting some of the blubber mine's accumulated, surely?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hello Robyn in Sunny SA (i'm not jealous at all when we're covered in snow)
thank-you so much for your kind comment and ALSO your lovely email. I've replied to the latter, you may want to check your junk mail folder.

So pleased that the site is of use to you, and very happy your son likes the bread...i've never tried it in the breadmaker, you have set me a challenge!

I had no idea that laughing was an effective blubber removal tool, I shall adopt your approach forthwith.