Quick Bites from Pender

Lamb Lavash Dog Treats – Recipe

In Recipes, Tuesday Dooze on January 27, 2010 at 5:01 am

lamb-lavash-dog-treats

So I’m now pretty sure that some of you out there think I’m just a little off my rocker after this post…but I live on the west coast — actually, an island off the west coast — doesn’t that give me license for a little eccentricity to begin with?

Anyway — some of you already think I’m a little batty.  Now I’m about to tell you about how I used some leftover glace de viande to turn a middle-eastern cracker recipe into the tastiest dog treats around.  (I know — I snacked on a couple hot out of the oven.)  I understand that this is only going to make the bad impression worse — trust me, I’ve lived in a small community for 7 years — I know what happens when the rumours start…

lamb-trimmings-for-lavash

fennel-mortar-pestle

I had a perfectly good dog biscuit recipe that I used for years.  I never heard any complaints about it either  — not from our Dalmatian, Pongo (Dooze I), nor from Koda (Dooze II).  Of course, no dog is likely to complain about beefy cookies with little bits of roasted lamb fat in them, are they?

But I was struck suddenly with the lavash idea as I was pulling the lamb trimmings from the freezer, and, well, I have this blog thing now, so creative is good, right?

lamb-lavash-rolled

Add a little crushed fennel seed for flavour and digestive health, and the result is a version apparently more popular than its predecessor:

dooze-koda-waiting

Yes, he got a couple…he always gets his share — no, he did not get them all.

Lamb Lavash Dog Treats Recipe
adapted from this recipe in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

Yield:  1 sheet pan of treats

Whole Wheat Flour 1½ C 200 g
Unbleached Bread or A.P. Flour ½ C 70 g
Brown Rice, Cooked (optional) ½ C
Salt ½ t 4 g
Instant Yeast ½ t 2 g
Vegetable Oil or Bacon Fat 2 T 30 g
Demi-Glace or Glace de Viande (optional) 1-2 T 20-40 g
Beef Stock, homemade or low sodium, at room temp. 2/3 C 170 g
Tasty Toppings (see Tips below) TT

C=Cup            g=gram      t=teaspoon        T=Tablespoon

TT=to taste

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the flours, rice (if using), salt, and yeast. Stir briefly on low to combine.  Add the oil, demi or glace, and just enough beef stock to bring everything together into a shaggy mass (rough ball). You may not need all of the stock.

Switch to the dough hook and mix on low speed for 2 minutes, then increase speed by one notch and mix until firm and satiny, but not tacky to the touch. (5-7 minutes more.)

Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover.  Allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in size – about 90 minutes.  Or, retard the dough in the fridge overnight. (See Tips)

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled counter.  Press the dough into a square and dust the top lightly with flour.  Roll it out to a paper-thin sheet measuring about 15”x12” (38cmx30cm).  You may have to allow the dough to relax for 5-10 minutes from time to time.  At these times, lift the dough from the counter, and then lay back down.  Cover with a towel or plastic wrap while it relaxes.  After rolling to the desired thickness, allow to rest 5 minutes, then transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Trim off excess if the dough hangs over the edge of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 375˚, and adjust the rack to the middle position.  Mist the top of the dough with water and sprinkle with your desired toppings – sparingly – a little goes a long way.

Pre-cut the dough into squares a good size for your dog (mine were about 1”x1”.  They don’t need to be fully separated – just well scored.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crackers begin to brown evenly across the top.

When baked, remove the crackers from the oven, and let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Separate into individual treats and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.  Freeze for up to 2 months.

Tips:

  • I added cooked brown rice to the dough because I had it — a little roughage never hurt anyone.  Ditto for the glace de viande — a little dramatically reduced brown stock never hurts when you want beefy flavour – that said, I wouldn’t go out of my way to make it just for this recipe.  He is A DOG, after all.
  • I always save the trimmings when we have a rack of lamb. (Which is basically when I find it in the Meat Dept’s “Expiring Today” bin at the grocery store.  What can I say?  My mother and grandmothers lived through the Depression — I watched.  I learned.)
  • Trimmings from pork or beef would work well too.  I put the trimmings on a rack to allow them to drain while they roast in a 375° oven until a crispy, golden brown.  When they’re cool, chop finely and sprinkle on top of the moistened dough.
  • Other topping ideas:  crushed fennel seed, flax seed, chopped parsley, grated cheese, etc.  Please ensure that none of your chosen toppings are harmful to your dog (like onions, garlic and chocolate for example)
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