My parents called this weekend with the news that they had had to put down our dog, Kimmiq. At 13.5 years, which is incredibly old for a Black Labrador Retriever, his health was failing him, so it was time. Obviously I’m heartbroken, but when it’s time, it’s time. He had a great life—hiking, swimming, canoeing, playing, cuddling, and a million games of fetch.
We got Kimmiq only a few months after our previous black lab passed away, when I was 9. We were moving to Yellowknife, NWT at the time, and visited the breeder where we’d gotten our previous black lab on our drive there. There was a litter of out of season puppies, so of course we had to take one with us! I still remember how calmly Kimmiq watched us when we approached the kennels, despite all his brothers and sisters yapping away. He was a timid guy, but exuberant and always good natured. Kimmiq, when pronounced properly, means “dog” in Inuktitut.
I think that if you can have even a quarter of the passion that black labs have for food, you’re a foodie. Nothing brought Kimmiq to the kitchen faster (assuming he wasn’t already there) than the scraping of a frying pan. If you have a furry friend, I’m sure you know all about it. I don’t get to make these for my dear old guy anymore, but why don’t you make them for your four-legged best friend just to say how much you love him/her? It seems fitting that this little tribute to Kimmiq is all about food.
Dog Bone Treats
Cooking time: 25 minutes prep, 45+ minutes baking
- 3 1/2 cups plain flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rye flour (or whole wheat flour)
- 2 cups bulgur
- 1 cup cornmeal (polenta in Australia)
- 1/2 cup instant milk powder *
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast (one envelope)
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3 cups prepared chicken or beef stock
- 1 whisked egg for glaze, optional
Preheat your oven to 300 F / 150 C. Mix the yeast into the warm water and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until it becomes frothy. Meanwhile, combine flours and other dry ingredients well.
Make sure your chicken stock is lukewarm, then combine with the yeast. Combine with the dry ingredients just until mixed, then turn dough out of bowl onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until the dough sticks together well and is firm. Roll out to about 1 cm thick, and cut out to desired shapes. Time to get out your cookie cutters! Or, slice into rectangles, as these keep quite well without breaking in cookie tins. Brush with the egg glaze if desired.
It’s very important to not let the dough rise at this stage. If it rises too much, your treats will break apart and get very crumbly on your carpet! So work quickly. Putting the dough in the fridge for a while will also slow its rising—just knead it a bit more to get out any extra bubbles.
Bake on greased cookie sheets for 45 minutes. Then, turn your oven off and leave the treats in for several hours or overnight, so they can harden and turn crispy. Serve with a good scratch behind the ears. Enjoy!
* Note: I’m not entirely sure how crucial the dried milk powder is in this recipe, I’ve always used it but if you don’t already have it in your pantry it might be a pain to find and buy. From what I can guess on the ‘net, you should be okay omitting the dried milk powder and replacing 2 of the 3 cups of stock with milk, just dissolve your stock mix into the milk/water combo instead.