Pantries in the United States are blessed. We have so many types of whole grains and seeds to cook and bake. An excellent new resource includes the ingredient pages with images and descriptions of ancient and specialty wheats, corn, grains and seeds found at PanhandleMilling.com. Baking formulations are also being added by Chef Stephanie Petersen for a plethora of savory and sweet biscuits, tortillas and breads.
The health benefits of making at least half of the grain foods eaten every day “whole grain” are many. The WholeGrainsCouncil.org offers teaching resources and infographics to illustrate what “whole grain” is and how to recognize whole grain foods using the foods label and with their Whole Grain Stamp. The many benefits of eating cooked whole grains and baking with whole grain flours, rolled grains or meal are illustrated using their infographic.
Another helpful guide to define what grains are “ancient,” and what are “pseudo” is Ancient Wheat and Pseudo Grain prepared by the Wheat Foods Council.
Cooking and baking with whole grains, the flour and meal produced from them can be fun as well as challenging. In baking, if too much non-wheat grain is substituted, results may be disappointing. Access Baking with Whole Wheat Flour 101, and make a note: Almost any recipe that is already great could be baked with a mixture of non-wheat whole grain flours or meal if it is no more the ¼ or 25% of the flour in the recipe.
- Example: A pancake recipe calls for 2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour—you can use 1 ½ cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour plus ½ cup of a multi-grain mixture like cornmeal, flax meal, oatmeal, sorghum, spelt or other flours
The Home Baking Association members include many historic, regional mills. Stone-Buhr Flour buys regionally and mills soft Pacific Northwest Wheat, ideal for flat breads, crackers, Asian noodles and pastries. Bake your own whole grain cracker to celebrate whole grain month.
Bake your grand finale to September by choosing another historic flour to bake whole wheat biscuit whole grain, biscuit and breakfast celebrations.
“Biscuit Month” has come again and brings to mind a life-long challenge for me—to bake a really great biscuit. Is it because I was born in northern Iowa that I am biscuit-challenged? Lack of success is not for lack of trying. For anyone else who’d love to improve their biscuit baking skills, I’m trying these remedial steps for improvements:
- Start with the right wheat flour from the six classes of Wheat and Flour 101 Flour used in biscuit baking should be “softer,” (lower in the flour proteins called gluten). Famously good biscuit bakers also bake with self-rising, all-purpose, and for whole grain biscuits, whole white wheat.
- Learn the difference in leavening commonly used in biscuit baking, baking powder and baking soda, and use the correct one. What’s the difference between Baking Soda and Baking Powder?
- Entrust your efforts to test kitchens that know biscuits, Crisco Baking Powder Biscuit.
Include one of the longest sources of soft wheat flour milling for biscuits, Southern Biscuit flour. If these brands are not available near you, find a self-rising flour for starters.
- Watch a pro–fifth generation milling CEO and biscuit baker–Robert Harper. Robert will share his best family biscuit favorites from Hopkinsville, Kentucky as he prepares Cinnamon Biscuits at www.sunflourflour.com
- Finally, the best way to groove what you know is to share it—teach it. A ready-to-go lesson, Explore Biscuit History and Traditions, available from those who’ve produced the baking powder to leaven biscuits for over 150 years. Buttery Breakfast Biscuit lesson.
Keep in mind, the biscuit should be served with butter! Explore a whole flight of deliciousness, sweet or savory here!
Have you discovered, only much too late, interesting national observances that might be beneficial to your classroom lesson plans and community programs? For example, did you know September 17th is Apple Dumpling Day? You don’t have to be in the dark any longer. The Home Baking Association regularly compiles these interesting events and celebrations for your convenience. Download our Quarter 3 PDF here!
1: Lazy Mom’s Day
2: Macadamia Nut Day
4: Labor Day
5: Cheese Pizza Day
6: Coffee Ice Cream Day
7: Beer (Bread) Lover’s Day
9: Teddy Bear Day
10: Grandparent’s Day
11: Hot Cross Bun Day
13: Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day
14: Cream-filled Donut Day
16: Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day
Boys & Girls Club Day for Kids
17: Apple Dumpling Day
19: Butterscotch Pudding Day
20-22: Rosh Hashanah
21: World Gratitude Day
Pecan Cookie Day
22: Ice Cream Cone Day
23: Great American Pot Pie Day
26: Pancake Day
Johnny Appleseed Day
29: Coffee Day
August puts the “wrap” on summer and the soft-opening of fall. Is that why someone deemed it National Sandwich Month? People are still planning summer Family Fun at the same time they’re back-to-school shopping! In honor of both summer and fall, the sandwiches could be the ice cream variety or the lunch-box specials kids can look forward to in school.
For one of the most popular meal delivery systems in America, let’s take a minute for sandwich history. “The bread-enclosed convenience food known as the “sandwich” is attributed to John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792), a British statesman and notorious profligate and gambler, who is said to be the inventor of this type of food so that he would not have to leave his gaming table to take supper.”
The best sandwiches begin with great bread. There are sandwich breads for everyone’s taste, including Gluten-Free Paleo! There’s the basics– Whole Wheat and White Buns and gourmet Asiago Herb Hoagies or choose from the winning bakers at nationalfestivalofbreads.com.
Peaches are the perfect fruit to celebrate for a month. It seems like there’s a new peach variety coming into our local market every couple weeks. Peaches are the longest running fruit of summer, taking us from June to Labor Day! Check out these remarkable peach recipes from HBA’s members:
By the 2nd week of August, peaches give the nod to Apple Week. Try recipes to enjoy for breakfast like the Apple Cinnamon Rolls or wrap a slice of Spiced Apple Bundt Cake to make the trek back-to-school a little sweeter for your kids.
Bake for Service Learning: Host a Home Room Parent Party,
complete with Baking Crafts and Activities to build relationships AND benefit the classroom.
- Bake Vanilla or Chocolate cupcakes and frost with plain icing.
- Create designer Rainbow Sugars for signature cupcake décor.
- Get stepping. Showcase and sell the cupcakes via a Cake Walk.
- Ask the teacher what she’s needing for the classroom and contribute cake walk funds.
Have you discovered, only much too late, interesting national observances that might be beneficial to your classroom lesson plans and community programs? For example, did you know July is Culinary Arts Month? You don’t have to be in the dark any longer. The Home Baking Association regularly compiles these interesting events and celebrations for your convenience. Download our Quarter 3 PDF here!
1. Gingersnap Day
4: Independence Day
5: Graham Cracker Day
Apple Turnover Day
9: Sugar Cookie Day
11: Blueberry Muffin Day
12: Pecan Pie Day
15: Tapioca Pudding Day
16: Corn Fritters Day
Ice Cream Day
17: Peach Ice Cream Day
20: Lollipop Day
23: Vanilla Ice Cream Day
25: Hot Fudge Sundae Day
26: Bagelfest Day
30: Cheesecake Day
31: Raspberry Cake Day
July 2017 Summer is no time to stop baking! It’s the perfect month to celebrate Culinary Arts Month and polish baking creativity and skills by preparing for local, county and state fair competitions.
Gain the competitive edge.
1. Start with tested recipes from HBA Test Kitchens.
2. Meet HBA members who sponsor fair baking awards. www.chsugar.com; www.dominosugar.com; www.kswheat.com; www.okwheat.org
3. Sculpt specialty rolls, braids and centerpiece entries
Need help? Talk to a baker–
call OR log on
Need some Grilling Month goals? Add grilled pizza or flatbread to your skill set!
Ice Cream Month could scoop a new recipe every day. Kids and grandparents will love Chocolate Pudding Popsicles for starters!
July Belongs to Blueberries Month bakers will love Blueberry Banana Bread and Blueberry Bread Pudding. Add a blueberry search at www.landolakes.com and you’ll find too many options to count. I’ll start with a blueberry flan! Kids can Book and Bake with Blueberries for Sal!
Let Picnic Month begin with something new! Pack Focaccia Picnic Sandwiches or an ethnic hand-held meat pies, Russian Piroshkis or Bierocks.
Try a new method and dry griddle bake Soft Wrap Bread. Boiling water is mixed with the flour, “cooking” the starch and resulting in a soft, pliable product to cradle what comes off the grill.
Check out the latest summer Food Safety Guidelines.
Bake for Service Learning: Early starts on cooking and baking skills matter! With summer learning a priority, baking is “STEAM” education. Bake with friends, sibs, and when you baby-sit to teach children baking basics.
Find starter resources (English and Spanish)
Ten Tips for Baking Success with Kids
Age-appropriate Thrill of Skill
Food Skill Check List
Portable Kitchen videos/recipes
If you’d like to learn more about baking events and celebrations this quarter (July, August, September) download this handy calendar pdf