Before I started this blog, my intention was to take a few pictures and write down my favorite recipes to share with my twentysomething kids and some friends. Loved ones have been asking me for cooking ideas and instructions for many years and it always makes me happy to talk and think about food. Arranging food in my own pottery has been pleasure since I made my first bowl…and I knew that making images of my food in my pots is a special kick. I had no aspirations beyond sharing my interests with people who were already in my life.
Little did I know that I would fall in love with…can we call it an art form? That creating the blog would change my day to day life and influence the very way that I think and the things I do every day. Among other aberrations, I rarely take a bite of food before arranging and photographing it first. Nor do the very patient people around me. Thank you, Bob McGrath.
Thinking about food and about making pots much of the time is not new. Developing recipes is not new, either. But thinking about quantifying, naming, and describing the food, relating to hashtags, rich pins, lighting, food styling, props, and HTML…who knew?
Thus was spent winter storm Jonas. The recipe I am sharing with you today is the result of an enormous amount of thinking, experimentation, and testing (thank you again, Bob). I am really, really proud of this one.
Here in the new kitchen in the woods, the blizzard was a cozy, fun day of cooking, playing with pots and food, and eating. In solidarity with Our Mother’s color scheme, I chose a white vegetable and white pottery.
These versatile breads are gluten free. I learned about using tapioca flour in baked goods from Nigella Lawson. Her new cookbook includes an interesting recipe for Brazilian Cheese Bread. Tapioca flour is the starch in those puffy little gems. I’d been experimenting with gf broccoli and cauliflower breads and pizza crusts, and it occurred to me that tapioca flour might add the stretchy, chewy quality I was seeking. Bingo!!!
Cauliflower Cheese Breads
These can be made using either broccoli or cauliflower. They are great made into the little round or big round shapes you see pictured here. Or, make a single, big shape and cut into squares (or triangles) after baking. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m sure it would make a great pizza crust!
These freeze well. Microwave to thaw and then crisp up in the oven or toaster.
1 cup fully cooked, cooled, pureed cauliflower*
½ cup grated sharp cheddar
¼ cup finely grated parm
1 cup tapioca flour
salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
*the best cooking method is steaming, as you want the vegetable to be fairly dry.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until a smooth mass forms. I like to take a half tsp. of the mixture and microwave for 20 seconds or so to test for seasoning. Add salt and/or cayenne to adjust.
Place the mixture in a bowl and chill for at least an hour and up to a day; you want it to firm up and to hydrate the starch before you form the breads.
To make the little round breads, use a 1 tbs. scoop and place rounds on the parchment. Alternatively you can make any shape you like.
Bake until golden brown and puffed, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately.