Gluten-free Pigs in a Blanket

We all know men and women are somewhat different.

Men are simple. They roll out of bed in the morning, shower with one head to toe shampoo, brush their teeth and put on their favorite pair of jeans and a first clean shirt they’re able to find. They never worry if what they wear makes them look fat: after one glance in the mirror they conclude they look dashing and are ready to face the world. To them yes is yes and no is no. When they need something, they ask for it, and when they are quiet, they’re probably just thinking and want to be left alone. They don’t need much to be happy: warm food, warm bed and someone to share it with. Smiley woman, some beer, and a remote. Life’s great.

We ladies on the other hand are a tad more complex, and I’m not just talking about those hundred different products on the bathroom counter. To us, yes means no and no means yes, and do whatever you want means you better not even think about doing what you asked us about, or you’ll be terribly sorry. We look for a man who’s smart, caring, passionate, understanding, committed, great conversationalist, and good with kids. Romantic and easy on the eyes wouldn’t hurt either. When *we* get quiet, beware: there is an overwhelming chance we’re steaming mad inside, and even though we, too, are thinking, it’s probably pondering how to get back at the one who offended or hurt us. There are countless necessary components to our happiness, and we expect our man to know them all. Without telling him, of course; he should absolutely be able to figure it out – if he loves us enough, that is.

Allegedly men are from Mars and we are from Venus; our needs and desires are often thousand miles apart, and it takes time and effort to learn how to coexist peacefully and happily. But there is at least one need we both share, and that is the need to be appreciated for what we are and do in a relationship. Thankfully, the ways to a man’s heart are direct with no needless curves and longish detours… and one of the surefire ways to reach him is to simply serve him some good old uncomplicated man’s food!

So these little sausage rolls are my appreciation effort for the weekend, expression of love materialized! I know what you’re thinking: What’s so hard about rolling some dough around a sausage? Actually, given that these rolls don’t come from a Pillsbury can, are in fact gluten-free, and gluten-free dough is usually inherently un-rollable, these beauties truly made my day! For the first time in forever I was able to roll out the gluten-free dough without any real trouble and wrap it neatly around the filing. To Mr. Photographer’s delight, I see many more kitchen endeavors playing with this wonderful dough in my future! And I’m sure the picture-taking part will go smoother, too: It’s much easier to ask him to take a picture when he knows he can gobble up the food afterwards, than when I tell him: “No, that’s for the blog. Your food is over there.” 🙂

The party season is almost here. Please give these little piggies in a blanket a try; I’m sure they will be a wonderful addition to your entertaining repertoire!

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Gluten-free Pigs in a Blanket

(adapted from http://www.glutenfreeonashoestring.com; makes 16 small rolls)

  • 2 cups (280 g) good quality gluten-free flour mix (I used Manini’s)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your mix contains xanthan/guar gum already)
  • 3 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water, lukewarm, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (+ more for drizzling)
  • 16 mini weenies (make sure they’re gluten-free)
  • 2 egg yolks mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • caraway seeds for sprinkling, optional

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Method:
  1. Combine yeast, ¼ cup water, and sugar; let stand for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. Place the remaining dry ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. When the yeast is bubbly, add it to the dry ingredients together with oil. With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining water. Continue mixing on a medium speed for a couple of minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour, one tablespoon at a time. Form a ball from the dough, oil it all over to prevent cracking, and let it rise, covered, in a warm spot for about 45 minutes, until it doubles in volume.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C).
  4. Divide the risen dough into four equal parts; keep the remaining dough covered while working with one piece of dough. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a rectangle roughly 8 x 6 inches; dust dough with more flour if necessary to prevent it from sticking. Cut the rectangle into 4 strips, each 2 x 6 inches.
  5. Pat dry four mini-sausages and slash each one lengthwise about halfway through. (This will prevent the sausages from bursting out of the dough while baking.)
  6.  Assembling the rolls: Place one sausage on a strip of dough and roll it tightly. Moisten the edges of he dough with a little bit of water to keep the rolls neatly closed around the sausage.
  7. Place the pigs in a blanket on the baking sheet and continue working with the remaining balls of dough/sausages.
  8. Brush the rolls with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds if using. Bake for about 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown.
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