Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Best Blog Tips
Using my new Mini Super Peel to load the pizza onto the peel.

NOTE: This is a long mish-mosh of stuff today! I'm going to be pretty busy until next week, so I thought I'd just post everything I have!

I was fascinated by the Super Peel, The Ultimate Baker's Transport Tool. It's a fantastic way to get pizza, bread, and other baked goods from the counter, onto the peel, and then onto a baking stone or pan without messing up your masterpiece! You can read all about it on the website.

My problem was that I bake my pizza in my Cuisinart Brick Oven-- a counter-top oven with a 12" square interior. (Read about it here.) The Super Peel is 14" square. So, I wrote to Gary, the owner, just to suggest that he might think about making one that fits in popular smaller ovens. Well, he made me one-- as a prototype only, but he will probably be making them for sale soon, so keep an eye on his website! I got it last week (my Christmas present a little early!) and it works beautifully! It also looks pretty neat:

Here it is without the cloth:

And here it is with the cloth:

Here are some more comments from happy bakers.

You can watch videos of how it works here.

THE CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIRE ON DENMAN ISLAND...it's a 2-day affair, a Christmas tradition, with great arts and crafts-- really high quality. My granddaughters made homemade lollipops, candied apples, and other treats to sell at the children's booth.

The scarves-- made by my 9-year-old grandaughter and her friend!

Our friend's Bev's lovely pottery display

Jacquie's funky French fry stand

My talented good friend and dance teacher Bronwyn with her beautiful pottery and tiles.

Two of our young friends, Leticia and Tasha, with their yummy-smelling handmade soap--cocoa, chai spices, coffee...

MORE WAYS TO USE MY WHOLE GRAIN SOURDOUGH PANCAKE BATTER... I am really happy with my vegan, whole grain pancake batter. It's light and delicious.

Really bubbly whole grain pancake batter!

I've been keeping a wholewheat starter or two just for that recipe, so that it's all-whole grain.

If you are unfamiliar with sourdough, see http://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.com/2006/04/1906-earthquake-in-sf-my-grandfather.html  My San Francisco starter, how to make it vegan and how to use and care for it is at that link.  I actually have two vegan sourdough starters-- both are very reliable. I also use the "Oregon Trail Sourdough Starter", which I treat the same way. You can get a free (dried) starter (and it's a great story that goes with it!) hereYou just pay postage(PS: I don't use the sugar and potato they call for in the instructions., and it works fine.)

If you would like a longer version of all this info, with recipes, write to me via my contact page.

I made delicious waffles with the same batter (nonstick waffle maker with oil spray just to be safe!):

And, when the extra batter had been in the fridge for a couple of days and thinned out, I made crepes with it:

NOW, ABOUT THAT SPREAD... We like my Coconut-Corn Buttery Spread, but sometimes, for a treat, I make the following spread, adapted from a recipe in my book Nonna's Italian Kitchen. It just makes vegan margarine into a homemade reduced-fat spread, but it's quick, easy, cheap, and you know what goes into it!

Printable Recipe


This easy, homemade spread contains half the fat of butter or margarine, but spreads and melts nicely, and tastes great. 1 serving= 1 tablespoon

10 tablespoons (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) nondairy milk
10 tablespoons(1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) palm oil-free vegan buttery spread (try my homemade Buttah)
4 teaspoons Instant Clear-Jel (see Cooking Tips below about this product and Commonwealth country sources)
OR 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix the ingredients together in a food processor and whiz until very smooth. Scoop into a covered container and refrigerate until firm.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per tablespoon)
: 54.2 calories; 93% calories from fat; 5.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 76.0mg sodium; 9.5mg potassium; 0.7g carbohydrates; 0.0g fiber; 0.2g sugar; 0.7g net carbs; 0.2g protein; 1.5 points.

Cooking Tips

Instant Clearjel® is a modified corn starch, which simply means that it is precooked, used to thicken recipes. And the vegan ice cream made with it does not crystallize, or get rock-hard. It's creamy, and has no starchy mouth feel.

For clump-free, smooth results: "...it is best when first combined with dry ingredients, before adding liquid. It will begin to swell or thicken as soon as it is added to water, milk or juices; it will impart a smooth, short texture when fully hydrated, reaching its full thickness within 5-10 minutes (without requiring any cooking). Instant Clearjel® can be used in cooking as well. The viscosity will increase slightly upon heating. It has excellent heat and acid resistance and can be used in acid containing foods and in those applications where heating is required. It has good cold temperature storage stability, making it particularly well suited for refrigerated and frozen foods." http://recipes.wikia.co/wiki/Instant_Clearjel®

America's Test Kitchen recommends it for fruit pies, BTW.

It isn't available on store shelves-- here in Canada I had to get 11 lbs. of it from a bakery supply company (Snowcap), but maybe a bakery would sell you a smaller amount. You can now order it in Canada from the Gourmet Warehouse (Vancouver):

n the US, you can mail-order it from (and I believe that they all ship to Canada): amazon.com 
Barry Farm and
King Arthur Flour 


1 comment:

sir said...

Bryanna, lovely to see pics of the craft faire, thanks for posting them! It does make me homesick, though.
Merry Christmas to you and your clan!
Kim Backs