Category Archives: Home Baking Association

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

cookieinajar

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Week One: Bake for Family Fun Month

Week 1: Let’s Get Started Baking

If you don’t bake, or teach baking, why get started?

Today my top three reasons to step into the kitchen and bake with family or children in our world include words-to-the-wise from child development professionals.

Baking builds STEAM at home You can model experimentation and apply science, tech, engineering, art, math PLUS culture, history and literacy, by baking.

Step 1: Science and math both require accurate measuring skills! Check this out!

Step 2: Conduct a measuring experiment at home, some additional kitchen science about yeast.
51whbyegzdl “Can-Do Kids”: Author Richard Rende, child development psychologist, explains, “Getting in the kitchen together contributes to raising confident, successful team-players. When children help create the meal, they get curious; they build cognitive and multi-sensory connections.”

 

Step 1: Post a skills check list for each person to see their skills and techniques grow.

Step 2: Groove your kitchen and baking food safety guidelines.

End picky, less-than-healthy expensive eating. Begin anytime, but especially young…age 2 or 3! Kids who help create what’s served up want to taste it! Stanford U. Professor Maya Adam, MD confirms, “What about adding value to your family’s day-to-day interaction by spending more time in the kitchen and involving the children whenever possible? Some parents are understandably worried, but the health risks of not teaching a kid to cook are far greater than giving them a sharp object!”

Step 1: Choose simple recipes, list ingredients, shop and get started.

Step 2: Everybody cleans up!

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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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Smart Snacks

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Crisp fall days remind me of great after school snacks. We knew the ropes. We could have a piece of fruit, 2 cookies and milk. The fruit and the cookies were small in those days. What came next was equally important: a list of chores – indoors or out. We lounged about a half hour, then it was time to get busy.

“Smart snacking” wasn’t on the radar then, but our snack limits and activities (chores) were–all without a government agency within 200 miles. Today government gets involved because so many children are overweight or obese and snacks make up at least 27% of their daily calories. (Trends in Snacking Among U.S. Children view here)

HBA staff rolled up their sleeves to address the latest snack guidelines for schools along with Kansas State Department of Education’s Team Nutrition. Guidelines for in-school snacks can be found here.

Our goal: Provide bakers at home, in Family & Consumer Sciences classrooms, school clubs and cafeterias A Baker’s Dozen Smart

Snack Baking Recipes!

The Top 5 “smart snack baking” steps we used for developing the recipes include:

  1. Use 51% or more whole grain – whole wheat flour, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, flax meal are whole grains used in the recipes. Every serving is 8g or more whole grain.
    Baking with Whole Wheat Flour
  2. Portion control— we have to lose the “mega-sized” rolls, bread sticks, cookies, cupcakes or bars. A look at the Portion Distortion Interactive quizzes helps tell the story of our American weight gain.
  1. Control sugars with an icing drizzle…no ½-inch frostings.
  2. Reduce saturated fat—cream vegetable oil with butter and used flax meal egg substitute in some recipes. Check out this Kitchen Science handout
  3. Home-baking recipes are often less sodium than commercially baked goods. Using vegetable oil and unsalted butter also reduce sodium.

HBA can’t assign active chores for kids to get them moving, but we can offer A Baker’s Dozen Smart Snack Baking Recipes. The recipes can all be served or sold in school hours and include:

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Breakfast: Oatmeal Fruit Bars; Apple Cinnamon Rolls; Carrot Streusel Coffeecake

Breads: Bread Sticks; Confetti Cornbread (still testing!) and Soft Pretzels

Cakes: Buttermilk Chocolate; Carrot Cupcakes and Spice Snack Cake

Cookies: Cinnamon Crunch; Double Chocolate; Oatmeal; Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip; Soft Sugar

Dessert: Country Fruit Cobbler

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Celebrate National Breakfast Month

Who knew breakfast would ever be a hard sell? For a gazillion years it was a no-brainer. Humans need breakfast to launch the day. With National Better Breakfast Month off to a good start, here are some top picks for eating breakfast as the anchor of all things healthy, wealthy and wise.

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For those who “just want a few more minutes of sleep,” prep ahead. Mix Crockpot® Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut oats the night before. No half-and-half on hand? Sub ½ cup 2% milk plus 3 teaspoons melted unsalted butter.

Pre-mix the batter like these Overnight waffles (photo above) or the dry ingredients for pancakes.

If you need gluten-free, don’t miss this great recipe! (Good Morning Pancakes)

Pre-bake and freeze and re-heat Quick Granola Breakfast rolls, waffles, or hand-held
hot pocket sandwiches or a cousin called bierocks

Last but not least, fresh-from-the-bread-machine bread with peanut butter, oranges and milk!

If you’re a teacher or student, expand the learning AND breakfast options.   Once a week offer a Breakfast Club with your classroom. Here’s how one middle school did so with a Life Skills class. School Nutrition Association’s SmartBrief Sept. 6, 2016,

Two resources to check out include

If you’re draggin’ long before lunch even when you eat breakfast, something’s not right. There’s breakfast and there’s grabbing an energy beverage, soda, coffee or candy bar. Get in balance with some good guidance like The Wheat Foods Council
Back-to-Breakfast Tool Kit of research-based recipes, blog posts and tweets.

 

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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

coolingracks

  • 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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Educator Award Winner Announced

Delaine Stendahl, a Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher from Whitehall, Wisconsin has won the 2016 Home Baking Association Educator Award contest with her entry The Power of Eggs.

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Each year the HBA has recognized outstanding educators with innovative programs for teaching kids of all ages to bake in communities and classrooms throughout the nation.  Family and consumer science educators and youth leaders for 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, Camp Fire USA and other after-school or community programs are encouraged to share their successful baking programs.

Charlene Patton, Executive Director Home Baking Association, says the association believes baking plays an important role in the development of healthy children that are socially and academically well-rounded.  Baking provides an opportunity to share family time and a joy of baking for others while learning life skills.

Math, science experiences, comparison shopping, examining the reaction of baking ingredients are all aspects of the baking process.

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