Sunday, October 06, 2013

Dumb Mistake Taught Me More About Baking Pie Crust


Something dumb I did revealed the importance of moisture in pie crust. It happened a couple weeks ago, before I used gluten in dough.

For lunch at work, I heated up some pie in a microwave. I had used either whole wheat flour or garbanzo bean flour with coconut oil for crust. Eating a whole piece at one sitting had gotten difficult. I had taken to keeping leftovers. If leftovers looked sparse, I would just add more pie for the next lunch.

My pie usually goes pop in the microwave. Many things go pop in the microwave. I thought nothing of it.

Ten minutes after lunch, co-workers closer to the lunch room commented about burnt popcorn and asked me if I had burnt anything. Other people in our building often makes microwave popcorn.

Nothing about the pie struck me as burnt. Maybe dry, but not burnt. I said my lunch didn't have anything to do with it. The other company probably just burnt the popcorn. It made more sense. I didn't remember anything about me burning the pie.

So. . .turns out I burnt my pie. Pungent burnt scent permeated the back half of the office. The strongest of it came from the microwave. It wouldn't go away for the rest of the day. I had no choice except conclude the pie got burnt.

Liquid bubbles and boils around the edges of my gluten pies in the oven. Seeing that, I saw an unanticipated way that gluten behaves. It retains moisture when cool. Definitely a useful characteristic to keep in mind. Good to know for using microwaves in the future. Dry stuff burns in the microwave.

Also useful to know of a desired characteristic for two uses:

  • To use for gluten-free cooking and baking
  • To adjust the recipe for texture

It will be interesting to see what I can do with this information and understanding.

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