vital wheat gluten: this bread lived on without it
We will be pulling up stakes and moving the the D.C. Metropolitan area in 3 short months. If you have ever been part of a military family you will be familiar with gradual withdrawal from your old duty station that begins once you get orders. The to-do lists are generated, and maybe you start to pull away from your friends and coworkers hoping that goodbye will be a little less painful. You get rid of the flotsam and jetsam that accumulate in 2 years time, saving precious little to bring on to the next phase of your life. It makes you hone down your possessions to what really matters.
No, we don't have to worry about packing--they do that for you. And they will pack anything including a full wastebasket and a terrarium. True story. If you are moving overseas you can't take everything, and you quickly realize that if you lived without it for 2 years you probably don't need it. Sophie will hesitatingly part with toys she has outgrown much earlier than a non-military child would. She will begin 8th grade in a new school. She will see the world, but at a price.
I am whittling down my pantry which will likely make for some interesting meals in the coming weeks. Today I focused on using up as much rye flour as possible. Armed with a Kindle copy of "Healthy Bread in 5 minutes a Day"--excellent because it is one less book on my shelf but I do miss the ability to page through with ease--and "Good to the Grain," I baked a few new recipes. Military folks do new well.
Rye Crumble Bars
1 1/2 cups jam/fruit butter (I used some peach butter I had put up last summer--bonus pantry clearing)
1/2 cup rye flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole rolled oats
3 TBS dark brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 TBS rye flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 TBS sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
3 oz. butter, melted and cooled
Rub a 9" springform pan with butter. To make shortbread crust combine flours/sugar/salt in a large bowl. Add melted butter and vanilla and stir until thoroughly combined. Press the dough evenly into prepared springform. Put in freezer x30 min while you make the crumble topping
Add all of the crumble ingredients except the butter to bowl of food processor. Pulse until oats are partially ground. Pour mixture into a bowl. Add butter and stir with your hands, squeezing the dough as you mix to create small crumbly bits. Set aside.
Bake frozen shortbread at 275F for 50-55 min or until golden brown and firm when touched. Remove from oven and increase temp to 350F.
Spread jam over shortbread and top with the crumble. Bake for 50-55 min or until golden brown.
When pan is cool enough to handle but still warm run a sharp knife around the inside to loosen any fruit that may have stuck to pan while baking. Remove the ring. Cut into wedges once completely cool.