Monday, September 25, 2006

TV Based Learning and Mincepies

Today Joshua watched another hour of the Secondary Science programmes I'd recorded off of the Learning Zone. Over the course of the day, he has also watched another mind-boggling three hours of the Blue Planet - having discovered that his Nan had the series on video!

Samuel watched some Class TV, becoming very interested in the Pathways to Belief. He also practised some sums, making them up himself. To be fair, he made them quite hard!

William spent almost an hour with his Nan on his sticker/learning books.

In the late afternoon I decided to finally overcome my fear and try to make gluten free pastry! For some reason I expected it to be quite hard, but after having spent over 3 weeks researching every recipe I could find for pastry, I decided on what to do. I didn't want to use a mixture of different flours - though I do have potato, corn, rice and buckwheat flours - I wanted to be able to use Doves Gluten Free Plain Flour. It's quite reasonable in cost, considering its gluten free, and I wanted something that felt easy to make.

In case you are interested, I've put the recipe below (as well as on our site). The recipe is for sweet pastry, however if you remove the sugar and use lard or half lard, half butter, you can use it as a savoury pastry. You can also add an egg yolk if you want a rich pastry.

GF Sweet Pastry

225g Doves Plain Gluten Free Flour
110g Butter
1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum
4-6tbsp water
30g sugar

Mix the xanthan gum with the Doves flour. Cut the butter into small pieces, then using just the tip of your fingers, rub it in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix gently. Then add the water a tablespoon at a time. I found 4tbsp usually works but it can depend on the temperature of your kitchen. Now start to gather the crumbs together. Don't despair! At first you will think it is too crumbly, but don't add more water. The secret here is - unlike normal pastry - to kneed the dough. Kneed it for two minutes. Your dough should now be smooth, soft and holding together quite well. If it is really still very crumbly, add a tiny bit more water and kneed again. I didn't rest the dough, just floured a surface and rolled it out.

It survived 3 re-rolls as I used up all the pieces (to make mincepies using Sainsbury's mincemeat which is gluten free) and I was very impressed. Cook at about 190° (180° fan oven)/350° F/gas mark 4 for between 15 and 20 minutes.

Great to have an excuse to make mince pies - as of COURSE I needed to test the recipe before Christmas to make sure it worked.. ;0)


Anonymous said...

Yes, I need to start making mince pies too so that I can test them before Christmas :)

stef_n_dawniy said...

sounds good - ann where do you get your Lactolite milk from - have i spelled that right ?
dawniy xx