Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Coca Leaf Focaccia with Smoked Salmon, Brie Cheese and Spinach Chipotle Vinaegrette

Food of the Andes!
     First of all, if you are drug tested in the work place, then one piece of this coca leaf focaccia bread will cause you to fail a drug test.  Coca leaf flour and coca tea leaves are legal, but extracting the active alkaloids is not.  Not all coca leaf is potent, but the flavor of all coca leaves tastes just about the same.
     Coca leaf is not only chewed or drank as a tea in South America.  Powdered coca leaf is referred to as coca flour.  Coca leaf is very nutritious as well as being the worlds best natural stimulant.  Ancient civilizations in South America worshipped coca.  And for a good reason.  Coca leaf gives unsurpassed stamina, cures altitude sickness and provides the body with many basic nutritional requirements.  Coca leaf is one of the strongest antioxidants on earth.
     Natives that live in the high Andes, combined coca leaf with maca root in arid desolate areas.  Those two plants products combined, provided every nutrient, protein and vitamin that the body requires.  High Andean natives needed no other food source to live upon.  The coca leaf increased oxygen intake and that made it possible for the high Andean natives to do much more than just survive.
     Ground coca leaves can be baked just like regular wheat grain flour or combined with wheat flour.  The bread dough is green colored, but it turns brown as is bakes and ends up being like the color of pumpernickel.  Coca leaf flour tastes great in bread.  Coca syrup is still used to flavor many cola beverages.  Coca leaf flour has spinach like undertone flavors, because the chlorophyl is still present in the ground coca leaves.
     The active alkaloid on coca leaf rapidly degrades when heat is applied.  Thin bread causes less degradation of the active alkaloids, than thick bread, because less baking time is required.  Still, after eating one slice of coca leaf focaccia, a slight numbing effect can be noticed in the mouth.  For the active alkaloid to be absorbed through the skin within the mouth, the PH of the mouth must be raised to 9.0 PH.  9.0 PH will free the active alkaloid from the vegetative matter.  Most public tap water from a faucet will test as 8.3 PH to 9.4 PH.  The addition of baking soda to a coca leaf bread recipe will certainly raise the PH of the saliva in a mouth.  If oral absorption of the active alkaloids is not a prime concern, then the ingestion of the bread will result in an effect that is similar to drinking coca leaf tea.  The nutrients will be beneficial and the increased intake of oxygen will help maintain high altitude stamina.
     As far as the effects of coca leaf alkaloids are concerned in coca leaf flour, they are about as mild as a cup of coffee.  The difference is that there is no shakiness of the hands and the effects last less than 30 minutes.  Coca leaf focaccia will not cause coffee like jitters, but is will increase stamina and mental clarity.
     I do not promote drug usage, but I also do not consider natural plants to be drugs.  They are just simply there.  You either like the taste of the plant, or you move on to dine on something else.  If we all ate the same food as everybody else for every meal of everyday, that would contribute to humans becoming sheep.  Treat the natural medicinal plants with respect, if your tastes point you in those directions.  By all means, do not go baking a batch of coca leaf focaccia for a business function.  Everybody would risk failing a drug test, even though the level of active alkaloids is very low.
     Coca Leaf Focaccia Recipe:  
     If you have dough making experience, then this will be easy.  
     High gluten flour is best for this recipe, but bread flour can be used.  Pizza dough is focaccia dough or Italian bagette style bread dough.  No oil in the mixture will produce a dough that is like many Italian breads that are not enriched with fat or like a French baguette bread dough.  Many pizzeria chefs do not add oil to a pizza dough and that is correct pizza dough too.  
     Focaccia style doughs require enrichment with fat.  Olive oil is a fat!  Oil strengthens and elongates the gluten strands of the dough.  It only takes a very small amount of oil to produce a nice texture.  The elastic gluten strands give pizza dough the ability to be stretched and tossed in the air!
     The coca leaf flour simply takes the place of a portion of the wheat flour in this recipe.  Baking soda for raising the PH level of the bread is optional.  
     Add 2 tablespoon of fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon of dry yeast to 16 ounces of tepid luke warm water in a mixing bowl.
     Place the mixing bowl in a luke warm place like on top of a warm oven, with a dry towel under the bowl.
     When the yeast activates, add 2 teaspoons of sugar to proof the yeast.
     Add about 1 cups of high gluten flour.
     Add 1 cup of coca leaf flour.
     Note:  So far this is a 50/50 proportion of coca leaf flour and high gluten flour.  After more wheat flour is added and after benching, the proportion of wheat flour will be much higher than coca leaf flour.  That is the goal.  The coca leaf flour is supposed to be a nutritious and flavorful flour additive.  If a stronger active alkaloid effect is desired from the coca leaf, then I would suggest studying chemistry, instead of culinary arts!  If the coca leaf flour proportion is too high, then the bread will have the texture of crackers or dehydrated spinach.
     Add 2 teaspoons of sea salt.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda.  (optional)
     Stir the mixture with a spoon, till a very loose wet dough is formed.
     Start adding a little bit of flour at a time,while stirring, till a loose dough is formed.
     Add a little more flour at a time, while mixing with your fingers, till the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
     Note:  You will be able to feel when the dough is starting to get elastic.  It will stick to your hands when made correctly, but that will change after rising twice.
     Add flour, while hand mixing, till the dough can pull away from the sides of the bowl.
     Cover the dough in the mixing bowl with a dry towel.
     Set the bowl on top of an oven in a luke warm area, with a second towel underneath the bowl to protect the dough from too much heat.
     When the dough rises more than double, beat it down with your knuckles and gather the dough like a ball in the bowl.
     Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise again.
     When it rises the second time, beat the dough down and knead firmly with your hands for 1 minute.
     Place the dough on a floured counter top.
     Roll the dough into a large ball.
     Cut the dough ball in half into 2 portions that are easy to work with.
     Roll and tuck each dough portion with with your hands to make smooth dough balls.
     You can cover and refrigerate each dough ball for a few days or freeze the dough portions for later use.
     Pat the green dough out on a floured counter top into a flat focaccia flat bread shape.
    Transfer the green focaccia dough to an oiled sheet pan.
     Reshape the dough if necessary.
     Brush the green focaccia dough with virgin olive oil.
     Bake the focaccia in a 350 degree oven, till the bread is firm but not crusty.
     Remove the pan from the oven.
     Brush the bread with virgin olive oil again.
     Place the bread pan back in the oven.
     When the focaccia is done baking, it should be slightly crusty, but soft in the middle.
     Sprinkle coarse sea salt on the bread as it cools.
     Cut the bread into pie shaped slices.
     Coca Leaf Focaccia with Smoked Salmon and Brie Cheese Garnish:
     Top 2 coca leaf focaccia bread slices with thin sliced smoked salmon and brie cheese.
     Place the bread in the 350 degree oven till the cheese softens, but does not brown.
     Chipotle Vinaegrette Recipe:
     Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl.
     Add 1 teaspoon of pomegranate vinegar.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced chipotle pepper en adobo.
     Whisk the ingredients together to make a loose vinaegrette.
     Coca Leaf Focaccia with Smoked Salmon, Brie Cheese and Spinach Chipotle Vinaegrette:
     Place the 2 smoke salmon and brie garnished coca leaf focaccia slices on a plate.
     Place a small mound of baby spinach leaf on the plate.
     Spoon the vinaegrette on and around spinach.
     Unreal flavor!  The chipotle vinaegrette spinach salad compliments the flavor of the bread.  The coca flour focaccia has a deep spinach like aroma with a pretzel like flavor from the baking soda.  Coca flour bread always turns out very dark in color.
     This bread is an energy and stamina booster.  You simply will not run out of breath even under heavy exertion after eating coca leaf flour focaccia, till about an hour later.  The is no famous euphoric effects from the small amount of active alkaloids present in this bread.  This bread is very nutritious.  If you are a mountain climber, this bread is the cure for altitude sickness.  By the way, eat the bread quickly before your mouth goes slightly numb.  Coca flour does have a local anesthetic numbing effect, so making an after dinner speech may not be wise!  ...   Shawna

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