We spoil Loki and Snap a lot; they eat specialty food (grain-free, expensive specialty food) and they get expensive, specialty treats as a result. But, grain free specialty dog treats don’t grow on trees, but ingredients for them tend to. We give them a ton of sweet potato as treats, because of its cost, and because they absolutely love it. A lot, and I mean A LOT, of sweet potato is put in with their meals per week. Happy puppies mean happy humans.
So, since I teach, and since I have some time off, I’m trying out some of the dog biscuit recipes I’ve seen floating around. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll find one that our pups enjoy, does not cost an arm and a leg to buy, and that doesn’t spend an hour in the oven heating up our house in the summer. I’m going to go ahead and let them decide which they like the best.
We popped the sweet potatoes into the toaster oven (Alton Brown nukes his, but we were cooking sweet potatoes for the week). Brian ground the oats and set a cup or so aside, etc. We basically followed the directions.
So, this where we ran into some issues. The 1 cup or so of oat flour left over really was not enough to combat the stickiness of the dough. We couldn’t get it to roll out properly, and perhaps if we were better bakers, we could have gotten it to work. It could be the brand of oats or oat type I bought, or it could be that we did not process the oats long enough. Brian also guesses it might be that we baked our potatoes instead of microwaving them. It could be that the recipe doesn’t work as advertised; however, we’re assuming that baking the potato led to a higher moisture content. We really aren’t sure, and this is no test kitchen. If the pups like it, we’ll re-evaluate the oat flour/potato baking situation.
Instead, we looked sadly at our dirty food processor and decided to throw caution to the wind…and pulled out some good ole fashioned all-purpose flour.
Also, unlike Alton Brown, we don’t own cute corgis or bone cookie cutters. In fact, we couldn’t even find our stash, otherwise the dogs would have gotten star or Christmas tree biscuits. Instead, we found our small measuring cup and used that. This, too, worked.
At one point, I got overzealous in my cookie cutting and the dough became stuck in the cup. I tried shaking it, and sometimes that worked. Eventually, I just hit the top like a ketchup bottle. The best measuring-cup-as-cookie-cutter tip I can give is to sort of wiggle it down. Be gentle, or, as we tell our dogs when they get crazy, eeeeaaasssyyyyyy.
Brian put the biscuits into the oven and then quickly started on dishes. How did I luck out on this? For those of you who are on clean-up duty, the dough easily breaks apart and goes down the drain. Clean-up on this one is relatively easy. The ingredients are common ones and easily found in the grocery stores. The actual mixing of the ingredients was quick and simple, but if you don’t own a full-sized food processor, you probably want to choose a different recipe. The oat flour needs a food processor; you might be able to use a blender, but you wouldn’t be able to mix the dough in it.
After 30 minutes, we took them out and checked the bottoms to make sure they were lightly browned. The biscuits were a little soft in texture, but we figured the hour rest in the oven would harden them.
Brian basted the treats and put them back into the oven to rest. The entire process, aside from resting the biscuits, took about an hour, with half of that being bake time.
Tomorrow, we’ll try them out on the pups and see if they approve.