As promised, here is the report on Luther's new favorite treat, the crunch-bone! It started with a birthday present: a cookbook and cookie cutter.
An egg, a cup each of crunchy peanut butter, wheat germ, water and 3 cups of King Arthur whole wheat flower, half cup of rolled oats, and a couple of tablespoons of oil and you've got a heavy dough! Roll out to however thick you want the biscuits and cut out your shapes. No, they don't rise, so put them as close together as you like. I baked at 300 for three-quarters of an hour. You'll want to leave them in the oven after you turn off the oven for another hour or so, so they get nice and hard. These are dog biscuits, after all! In fact, they look pretty much the same coming out of the oven as they did going in. Here they are, all finished, close up. In an open taste-test between these and his erstwhile favorite, the Beggin' Strip, Luther selected the crunch-bone.*
Insofar as the ingredients of the Beggin' Strips are:
ground wheat, corn gluten meal, wheat flour, ground yellow corn, water, sugar, glycerin, soybean meal, meat, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, bacon fat (preserved with BHA), salt, phosphoric acid, sorbic acid (a preservative), calcium propionate (a preservative), natural and artificial smoke flavors, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6), choline chloride
and the ingredients of the crunch-bone are:
whole wheat flour, wheat germ, oats, peanut butter, oil and water
I am delighted that Luther prefers the crunch-bone!
A dog of impeccable taste.
Having made the second batch last night, I would report that the main problem now is that it's rather difficult to make these things. He gets one whiff of the crunch-bone ingredients and I can hardly work for him being under foot, nosing under my arms and trying to steal the dough off the counter. I practically had to lock him in his lair to get the cookie trays into the oven! Oh, and I can not photograph him with the crunch-bone - it doesn't last long enough. There is no posing to be had, only crunching (and then licking up the crumbs). None of which is exactly photographable. . . .
By the way, to make up for the lack of preservatives, I keep out a few days worth of crunch-bones and freeze the rest, replenishing the supply from the freezer as needed.
*The test consisted of placing a Beggin' Strip in the palm of one hand, and a crunch-bone in the other. Both hands, next to each other, were outstretched to Luther. Luther smelled first the crunch-bone, then the Beggin' Strip, and then returned to the crunch-bone, which he carefully lifted with his teeth and carried back to his lair, to be devoured.