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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sweet Pea's Vacation and Gluten Free Bread

This week is the harvest festival here in Arroyo Grande. On Saturday what seems like the entire town, turns out to see the parade of autumnal cheer. My mother, in particular, is very excited about driving a tractor in the parade. I hope to see you all there in a festive mood!

Not only is this week harvest festival, but it also lends host to my paternal grandmother's 80th birthday, my sister-in-law's 27th birthday, and last (and least) my vacation.

So what have I been doing on the first couple of my days off? Well, Sunday I kidnapped my mother and we drove 315.5 miles up to Elk Grove to visit my aunt (Sweet Pea Senior, side note, in the family I'm Sweet Pea Junior). Then yesterday we whirlwinded around town, going to Restaurant Depot, and The Nugget (one of my new favorite places). At the Depot we were searching for King Arthur Flours, and chocolates and quality ingredients in bulk. I'm guessing that they don't get much call for many of those items and so do not keep them in stock.

At The Nugget, I fell in love (don't tell my boyfriend). Think of it as a cross between New Frontiers and Whole Foods, and I believe that I don't have to describe it any more than that. Being so far up north, they carry different products than those stores I frequent down here. Of course, I stopped by the bakery department where I purchased two items. One was this gorgeous chocolate tulip cup filled with chocolate cake, chocolate ganache and raspberry jam. Then whipped cream piled on top, with chocolate batons and fresh raspberries. It was a showstopper, but as fond as I am of raspberries, I would have preferred more raspberry. The second pastry was a magic bar, which might be the inspiration for a new bar. Think of a seven layer bar, based on a brownie. Have I attracted your attention?

After leaving the Nugget (we spent 2 hours roaming the aisles), Mom and I departed for home, where we snuggled up into our own routines and wished for sweet dreams

Then some fun experimenting occurred!

If I didn't know that this bread was gluten free, I would probably assume that it was a type of quick bread. In fact, it tastes almost exactly like beer bread, it is just not as sweet, and instead of baking soda, I used yeast. Next time I would let it "ferment" in the fridge overnight.

Hmmm, I'm finishing up this post the day after the bread was baked, and it became dry very quickly. It tasted amazing straight out of the oven, but it definitely only has a few hours for a shelf life. I'm thinking it is the nature of the beast, but keep experimenting I shall. 

If any of you are interested in the recipe for this bread, please leave me a comment, and I will post it for you.

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