Cooking with the Wolfman: Indigenous Fusion (Douglas and McIntyre, 2017) by David Wolfman and Marlene Finn is a fusion of many things – not only bringing together classic cooking with Indigenous recipes, but combining personal reflections from the authors alongside diverse stories and practices of indigenous nations throughout the Americas.
Wolfman and Finn’s book has also been recently nominated for two awards: Finalist at the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the Cooking category, and Best Book of the Year category at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Yantai, China.
The following excerpt is their Gluten-Free Potato and Corn Bread recipe.
NOTE: You can find potato starch, cornstarch and xanthan gum in health food stores or bulk stores.
This recipe is gluten free. It sucks to have celiac disease, as Marlene does, or be wheat sensitive like her sister Nancy. They have no choice but to learn to be creative using gluten-free flours, and that takes a lot of experimenting. (Our nephew James Chum, on the other hand, makes a point of asking for extra gluten in anything we serve him!) We’ve tossed more than a few rock-hard buns out the back door to the raccoons after not-so-successful attempts at gluten-free baking. You know they’re bad when even the raccoons won’t touch them!
Some people regard potato flour as a really versatile ingredient for making bread, as well as sauces and soups. To make potato flour by hand in the traditional way, you would need to cook and mash potatoes before dehydrating them and pulverizing them into powder. Can you imagine the work that was involved in doing all of this after first having to dig up tubers or drag them up from swamplands in a canoe or down from the mountains as Indigenous people have done for thousands of years in Peru? Incredible! In this recipe, though, I cheat by using potato starch and cornstarch. Don’t confuse flour with starch. Potato flour is made from whole potatoes (i.e., skins included), whereas potato starch is just the starch from the potatoes. You can’t substitute one for the other or the bread will be too dense and probably won’t rise.
This bread is better toasted and buttered than it is plain, but it can be used for sandwich making or crouton making too. Warning: Since this recipe uses only two very fine starches, be prepared for bread that has an entirely different texture and color than you expect bread to have, and eat it up as soon as possible, since it will become dry more quickly than regular bread.
• 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons/11 milliliters) active dry yeast
• 1 tsp (5 milliliters) sugar
• 1 1/2 cups (350 milliliters) cornstarch, sifted
• 1-1/2 cups (350 milliliters) potato starch, sifted
• 1 Tbsp (15 milliliters) baking powder
• 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) baking soda
• 2 teaspoon (10 milliliters) xanthan gum
• 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) table salt
• 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) liquid honey
• 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) vegetable oil
• 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) water
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
2. Warm the milk in a microwave very slightly, to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). Add the yeast and sugar. Stir and set aside, leaving the mixture undisturbed for 10 to 15 minutes to allow it to begin working (foaming).
3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine corn- starch, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.
4. Slowly add the milk mixture and the honey to the dry ingredients. Mix slowly with a wooden spoon. Add the oil and water, and mix. The dough will be heavy and thick; don’t overmix it.
5. Scoop dough into a greased loaf pan. Smooth out the top and cut a line down the middle using a knife. Bake for 25 minutes. Test doneness with a wooden skewer or sharp knife that, when inserted in the loaf, should come out clean.
6. Let bread cool, covered with a dish towel, for 10 minutes to steam before inverting it onto a cooling rack.
More from: Cooking with the Wolfman: Indigenous Fusion• Cooking Salt Alternative Recipe
• Celeriac and Apple Salad with Honey Vinaigrette Recipe
• Easy Deer Meat Lasagna Recipe
• Scalloped Rutabaga Recipe
From the book Cooking with the Wolfman: Indigenous Fusion, by Chef David Wolfman and Marlene Finn, © 2017. Published by Douglas & McIntyre. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.