Category Archives: Educator Resources

History and Traditions

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Baking at home is has deep roots in America. We had to bake for ourselves over history! In my 1906 Annie R. Gregory cookbook, she quotes Ruskin, exemplifying how we can grow to value “homemade” food traditions.

“To be a good cook means the economy of your great-grandmothers and the science of modern chemists. It means much tasting and no wasting. It means English thoroughness, French art and Arabian hospitality. It means, in fine, that you are to see that every one has something nice to eat.” 

 Step one: Choose to begin or continue to make baking a family tradition.

 Step two: See how kids of any age can help create baking traditions.

Want something simple?

 Step three: See what’s the latest in retro-tradition? Bundt Cakes! Try the 2017 Recipe of the Year and host a coffee, tea time or potluck.

Speaking of cookbooks… Build more traditions AND support baking education with Baking with Friends and The Cultured Chef found at HomeBaking.org

 

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Baking for My Valentine!

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This week we celebrate week two of Bake for Family Fun Month with “Baking for My Valentine” themed recipes and activities. People have long baked for the simple reason they want to do something special for those they love, and we’ve got them covered! Here are three great ideas to make your Valentine’s Day celebrations spectacular.

Idea 1: Visit Bake for Family Fun Valentine baking ideas at the Home Baking Association website for hundreds of ideas! Seriously, it’s Valentine’s Day Central with plenty to share.

Idea 2: Find baking tips and How-to-Bake videos
and more

Idea 3: Make a plan to mix and fix for someone special.

Only time to measure, not bake? Prep a DIY Cookie Mix in a Jar

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The Power of Eggs

eggs_blogEvery ingredient in baking packs its own unique power.   January is perfect to focus on the simple but powerful egg. Here to help is the 2016 Home Baking Association educator award winner, Delaine Stendahl. Her new lesson, The Power of Eggs, is now available online. In her award-winning lesson, bakers explore how eggs function to:

  1. Leaven, or add air spaces. Long before we had baking soda or powder we relied on beaten whole eggs or whites to add air to batter. Waffles and angel food cakes are perfect examples of beaten egg white foam used to leaven in recipes.
  2. Bind, or hold together ingredients when baked, like cracked wheat and lean beef meatballs, soft cookies, cake or muffins.
  3.  Coagulate and hold the shape and open texture of baked goods, like cream puffs and popovers. Meringue can stand alone when baked as a gluten-free cookie like the Forgotten Cookie (Baking with Friends, HomeBaking.org ) or topping a pie or even as a pie shell. My mother made meringue as a savory egg-in-a-nest entrée.
  4. Emulsify or hold together in suspension two ingredients that don’t like to mix, as liquid and fat in a pudding or a lemon curd .
  5. Provide smooth texture in the pound cake or egg-rich yeast breads, and Portuguese Sweet Bread.
  6. Add color and browning with egg as an ingredient or by using an egg wash brushed on the surface of breads just before baking. View How to Use an Egg Wash. Also, check out our Dough Sculpting 101 lesson–  Learn to egg wash, p. 3
  7. Nourish morning, noon, snacks or night. Eggs, at only 70 calories each, add 13 essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B12, D and E, choline, and iron, 6 grams protein, and minimal sodium and sugars.

The Power of Eggs as a baking ingredient is delivered via foods we love. Eggs are great to “use what we have on hand” for family meals, crepes, egg noodles, omelets, frittatas, make-ahead stratas, hard-cooked in sandwiches or tossed salads and for nutritious desserts like early colonial puddings , custards, and flan.

Want to learn more? Check out A Bakers Dozen DVD Lessons for Better Baking or A Bakers Dozen Lab Manual for more about eggs as the super baking ingredient.

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Don’t forget to enter YOUR great baking lesson. You may receive the 2017 Educator Award. Go to HomeBaking.org for more info.

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Top 10 List of “do-ables”

This year has dealt a tough hand on our pre-Holiday gift preparations. No doubt I’m not the only one pinched for time. With under 10 days until Christmas Day, I’m hoping friends and family will grant us the gift of the 12 days of Christmas!

My Top 10 list of “do-ables” includes:

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10: Order NOW gift bags and tags—large, medium and small. Stock up on cute jars for mixes and Sugar Scrubs.

9: Toast a boatload of nuts and seeds for maximum flavor in all things baked.

8: Bake biscotti in large quantities. Double Chocolate Pecan will be the flavor-of-2016 for all my hot beverage seeking friends and family.

7: Homemade Caramel Corn ‘n Nuts will be perfect to gift with a good book or movie. I’ll make two batches.

6: Choose from a wide array of options and prepare Sugar Scrub for those who apply their sugar rather than savoring it.

5: Friends living by their onesy love to savor the season. Prepare jars of DIY muffin-mix. Include a six-cup muffin tin and attach the stir-in options.

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4: Prepare homemade fruit syrups  AND vast quantities of homemade Pancake or Waffle Mix to divide among friends with children. Don’t be afraid to make the mix with half whole wheat flour!

3: These Make-It-Yours cookie options will delight. Draft a grocery list to have the options at-the-ready.

2: Gift fresh-baked Cheddar Casserole Bread. Add a mini-tub of homemade Southwest Butter

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1: While working on gifts 2 to 10, get your bread machine in gear– you’ll be ready when guests arrive with Fruit of the Vine Rosemary Olive Snack Bread.

More tips and recipes from Red Star Yeast

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Celebrate National Breakfast Month

September is National Breakfast Month

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If back to school means back to busy mornings at your house, don’t let the hectic rush force you to sacrifice breakfast. September is National Breakfast Month – a good time to commit to incorporating a smart morning meal into your family’s daily routine.

Make sure that breakfast is as healthy as it is tasty by including grains and protein as part of the meal. Grains are an important part of daily dietary needs; strive for two or three servings each morning to get a good start on the six servings you need each day. Protein means staying power: these foods will keep you and your kids feeling energized all morning long. Here are some tips to help ensure that your family gets a nutritious start to even the busiest of days:

  • Making a simple, healthy breakfast can be one of a young child’s first “I can do that!” moments in the kitchen. Set out two or three boxes of favorite cereals and teach your preschooler to pour it into a bowl. Use a small scoop or measuring cup to demonstrate portion size. Incorporate her participation into the morning routine, and before you know it, she really will be handling it by herself.
  • Teach kids the difference in the nutrition profile of cereal by using the “topping” method. Three-quarters of the bowl could be a whole grain, low-sugar cereal.
    Colored cereals or those with higher sugar content can be sprinkled lightly on top.
  • Use weekends wisely. If you’re whipping up pancakes or waffles one lazy Saturday morning, make an extra batch to be enjoyed during the week. Wrap in plastic, store in the refrigerator or freezer, and warm in the microwave or toaster when ready to eat.
  • For a fast, tasty start to the morning, nothing beats the simplicity of toast. Top with peanut, almond or cashew butter, or melted goat or feta cheese, for protein staying-power. A sprinkle of fresh herbs like chopped basil or sage, or a spice like ground ginger or cinnamon, adds important anti-oxidants.
  • Also easy: Toast an English muffin or bagel, and add a sliced hard-boiled egg, slice of ham, Swiss cheese or anything else you have on hand that appeals to your taste buds for a quick breakfast sandwich.
  • Absolutely no prep time? Open a box of whole wheat crackers, grab a banana or apple, and head out the door!
  • Kids will enjoy creating their own combinations of breakfast trail mix. Fill small plastic baggies with a mix of healthful, whole grain cereals, sunflower seeds, chopped almonds or walnuts and dried fruit. Keep a stash on hand to grab when eating in the car.
  • And finally: Get in the habit of taking 10 minutes before turning off the kitchen lights each night to set up for the next morning. Make sure that backpacks, homework and balls for after-school soccer practice are in place. Recharge your cell phone. Clear the kitchen counter. Little tasks like these take up valuable time on busy mornings; addressing them the night before will leave more time to focus on breakfast the next day

 

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Summer Baking Calendar & Ideas

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July 9—Can you believe National Sugar Cookie Day is on #SweetTreatSaturday!

Start with the pros! At Land O’Lakes, C&H Sugar, Domino Sugar, and Hecker’s Ceresota.

National-Parks-and-Recreation-Month-MCS-770x414Why not celebrate Park and Recreation Month with a picnic!? These Lemon Bars from “Jiffy” Mix will surely brighten up your next picnic

July 14, National Summer Learning Day, reminds us to not snooze and lose reading and measurement math skills! Sounds like baking to me! Check out the latest “Book and Bake

In the Kitchen Blog

Summer has a reputation. Teachers and parents fear students will “snooze and lose” reading and math skills. We’re here to tell you, baking is the answer! Not buying it? Find out more information here

Here are the ABCs to bust the summer snoozers:

A: Baking is “all things wheat harvest”—from Texas to North Dakota! Take a virtual wheat farm and harvest tour with our wheat commission members and the farmers they serve.

Send your “summer school” student to view Sprouting Up: Wheat Foods for Kids  and the Whole Grain Council’s featured whole grain of the Month Wheat 

You can also “meet a wheat farmer” via Find the Farmer at Stone Buhr or Meet our Farmers 

B: Book and bake, Blueberries for Sal to see that “baking works!”  Take it to the next level…enter the county fair!

C: Celebrate National Parks or stay local! It’s Park and Recreation Month!

Prep your dough using Bread in a Bag, pack it on ice and head to your favorite park to grill flat bread or pizza 

or, create your own Jurassic Park!

Who said reading, math and science can’t taste great too?

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Steps to Home Baking Food Safety

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The recent recall of 10 million pounds of home baking flour products is a wake-up call for us to do our part to “groove” essential home, community and classroom baking practices to insure food safety problems are not us. Food safety should ALWAYS be part of food, nutrition and STEM learning objectives.

Steps to home baking food safety include

FIRST: Review “Core Four” food safety practices and download teaching resources

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SECOND: Apply and teach home baking core food safety practices

 CLEAN: Replace kitchen cloths and towels daily; change baking mitts or hot pads after use.

BEFORE BAKING: (do in this order)

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  1. Tie back long hair, remove jewelry
  2. Wash hands with warm water and soap
  3. Wear a clean apron…clothes carry dirt and germs from where you’ve been
  4. Wash counters, assemble ingredients and tools needed for recipe
  5. Re-wash hands before beginning to measure, mix or portion products

AFTER BAKING:

  1. Wipe flour and batter from stand or hand-held mixers, counters
  2. Scrape mixing tools and bowl of excess batter, discard and load dishwasher
  3. Wash hands before packaging baked and cooled products in food-safe packaging

 SEPARATE: Follow storage and use rules for fresh eggs or egg substitutes and all perishable ingredients.

  • Shell eggs in a separate small bowl to avoid shell in batter
  • Separate the bowls and utensils used for eggs or other perishables from dry ingredients and dry measuring tools.
  • Cool baked goods on wire racks placed separately from mixing counter and tools

BAKE/COOK: It’s the facts…unbaked ingredients, dough or batter should not be consumed…Salmonella and E.Coli are NOT a treat…no “licking” spoons, beaters or bowl.

  • Use a toothpick to check center of pancakes, waffles, quick breads, and cakes for raw batter. Brown crust color does not mean the middle is done.
  • For oven-baked products, place food thermometer probe in center of product and pan Internal temperature guide:

Cheesecake – 150°F. (remove from oven—temperature will rise to 160 ° F.)

Meringue pies, quiche and bread pudding – 160 ° F.

Custard pies, flan, crème brulee – 170-175 ° F.

Yeast breads: Soft rolls -190 degrees F.; Crusty bread – 200-210° F.

Cakes, quick breads, scones: 200 to 205 ° F.

(Temps courtesy of Crafty Baking)

  • Mix egg wash and apply just before placing product in a heated oven; discard remaining egg wash.

CHILL: Keep refrigerator at 40 degrees F. or below

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  • Cool products on clean wire cooling racks, not counter tops
  • Refrigerate after two hours at room temperature: Unbaked batter or dough,

pies, cheese-filled breads or baked goods with perishable filling ingredients (eggs, custards, cheese, pizza, meats, casseroles, cream pies and puffs)

 THIRD: Download the newly revised Home Baking Food Safety 101 Fact Sheet

 

 

 

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