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You've Gotta Try This To Make Life Interesting!

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I've bought Bob's Red Mill gluten free pizza crust mix and used it a few times for pizza (minus the eggs they call for, becuase I can't eat them)... and we were always happy with that as making pretty good pizza. But then one night I watched "Baking with Julia" and this idea popped into my head and we have really enjoyed the stuff I've made so far... wanted to post this in hopes that it would spice up the lives of others here, make things easy and tasty... here's what I did:

First of all... one day I am gonna post a video of this on my xxxxxxx account... but don't have time anywhere in the near future for that, so I'll try my best to describe it:

Take a bag of Bob's Red Mill gluten-free pizza crust mix... pour it into a bowl, and open up the yeast package and mix that into the dry pizza crust mix.

Then, add one-half cup of olive oil or whatever oil you like.

Now, add water, a little at a time (and sorry, I haven't measured... I always used to bake beofre going gluten free and got used to adding things until they looked right, so please bear with me while I attmept to describe this)... stir with a spoon, keep adding water a little at a time (approx. 1/3 cup at a time, probably) until all the dry is gradually mixed in, and until the glob becomes a very wet, "mud-pie" lump. Wetter than you would want bread dough. Not wet enough to no longer sit as a lump, but I have found the wetter you can make this and still keep it a lump, the more tender your final product will be.

Once you have a big wet lump there... you're ready for the next step. You don't let that lump rise, just go on to the next step. Quick and easy.

You divide the wet, Bob's Red Mill lump into two halves (because it's easier to work with smaller), and get two small cookie sheets ready.

To get the cookie sheets ready, you must use parchment paper... that's the only way this will work (at least for me!). Place a generous sheet of parchment paper over each cookie sheet... then wet your hands (they'll stick otherwise and tear up the delicate lump of dough) and pat 1/2 of the wet dough lump out... as thin as you can pat it... keep wetting your hands to do this... this is mud-pie country you're in... until you get a thin, smooth wet dough lining the small cookie sheet. Next... you place a filling of your choice down the center 1/3rd of this flattened sheet of dough.

Here's the fillings I've tried:

1.) Chicken pot pie filling... I used gluten-free pre-cooked chicken strips that I diced and added frozen carrots & peas, which I cooked in a skillet with gluten-free broth that I thickened with cornstarch... spoon that down the middle of the dough.

2.) Spinach/onion filling.... I sauted spinach chopped spinach leaves and diced onions and spooned them onto the dough (if you eat dairy products, some Philadelphia cream cheese, pepper jack, or provolone might go good on top of that...)

3.) Broccoli/sausage filling... I chopped steamed broccoli florets and also chopped up browned, gluten-free sausage links

4.) Berry Pie filling... I thickened frozen, mixed berries (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry) with cornstarch, and added enough sugar to make a "pie filling," or use any pie filling you can think of... after it's baked, you might want to add a glaze of some sort, icing, maple syrup, or just sprinkle a small handful of sugar on top of the dough.

Once you get your filling spooned onto the center 1/3rd of the lump of wet dough... you take a sharp knife and cut diagonal strips ( about an inch or so in between cuts) on the remainging outside edges of the dough rectangle.

Then, take one side and lift up the parchment paper to the center of the dough, then carefully strip away your cut edges from the paper, so that they stay up there on top of the filled lump of dough. Lift the second side up and strip away the same way... pat the edges of the strips together so they'll stick while baking (and even if they come apart some, it's okay... just looks prettier if they stick together and form a neat "braid-looking" thing) and you are left with a large piece of parchment paper with a filled, braided bread sitting in the center, waiting to go into your 375 oven and getting baked into a delightful main dish or treat. Throw the whole thing, cookie sheet, braid, and parchment paper, into a pre-heateed oven.

How long to bake...???? I have no idea... sorry, I don't measure or time... I play it all by ear... but I bake it until it all looks done. I let the dough on top start to have hints of browing... normallly, the times I have done this my fillings were already cooked... so it's the just uniform heating and the baking of the dough you have to worry about... and the dough is so thin it bakes pretty quickly... you could give it 20 minutes and if it doesn't look as done as you want, watch it another 5 or 10 minutes.

Everybody who has had this with us has really loved the four things I've come up with so far. I plan to try other fillings... such as peanut butter and jelly (not sure if I want to put the peanut butter into the dough mixture in place of the oil and then fill with jelly or pie filling, or mix the dough as above and put both the peanut butter and jelly or pie filling in as filling... gotta think about that one some more), refried bean or pinto bean/onion, or bean/salsa braid... pizza braid...taco braid... shrimp stir-fry braid... some sort of breakfast braid... any other fruit/pie filling-like braid and possibly even peanut butter/chocolate chip/coconut braid... for that I'd try sprinkling the top with shredded, sweatened coconut.

Anyway... I hope this doesn't sound too complicate... it's really not... it's pretty quick and easy... makes a great main dish or side dish or even dessert... does NOT taste like anyting gluten free at all... and I think a person could sit and think up all kinds of stuff to do with this sort of idea.

EDIT: Oops... sorry I didn't know you weren't supposed to link to youtube... link is off.

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