Every 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:
- 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.
- Bind, or hold together ingredients when baked, like cracked wheat and lean beef meatballs, soft cookies, cake or muffins.
- 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.
- 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 .
- Provide smooth texture in the pound cake or egg-rich yeast breads, and Portuguese Sweet Bread.
- 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
- 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.
Don’t forget to enter YOUR great baking lesson. You may receive the 2017 Educator Award. Go to HomeBaking.org for more info.
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:
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.
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
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
1 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon Fleischmann’s® RapidRise Yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water (90° to 100°F)
1/2 teaspoon Fleischmann’s® RapidRise Yeast
1-1/4 cup lukewarm water (90° to 100°F)
3-1/4 cups bread flour
1-1⁄2 teaspoons salt
To make the Poolish: Stir together flour and yeast in a medium bowl. Stir in water until blended. This dough will be like thick cake batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight or up to 24 hours at room temperature. The dough will become frothy and have lots of little bubbles.
To make the Dough: Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water in a large bowl. Stir in Poolish and mix until thoroughly blended. Add 3 cups of the bread flour and salt. Stir until combined. Dough will be soft and slightly sticky like biscuit dough. Add remaining 1/4 cup bread flour, if necessary. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
Turning Dough: Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes using a dough scraper if necessary to pick up and fold the dough over. Place in a large ungreased bowl. Cover and let rest 1 hour. With a slightly wet hand give the dough several turns by sliding the hand down the edge of the bowl, lifting and stretching the dough up and over the center. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat 7 times until you have gone around the bowl twice. Cover and let rest 1 hour. Repeat turning and resting once more for a total of 3 hours rising time.
Primary Shaping: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With floured hands gently press to deflate dough. Divide in half or thirds. If dough is too sticky, dust surface lightly with bread flour and use a dough scraper to pick up and fold over dough several times as for kneading. Return to Primary Shaping. Working with each portion separately, on a lightly floured surface with floured hands shape into a rough rectangle (6 x 9-inches) with a short edge toward you. Fold the far edge of the dough toward the center about 2 inches, gently stretching the bottom of the dough over the edge and pressing the edge to dough under it. Repeat folding and pressing until a roll is formed. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
Final Shaping: Working with the seam side up, flatten the dough to a rough rectangle (6 x 9-inches) with a long edge toward you. Now fold the far edge toward the center about 1 inch, pressing into the dough under the edge. Repeat folding and pressing several times working toward you, until almost to near-edge. Fold up near-edge and pinch to seal. Turn the loaf over and gently roll back and forth under two hands to about 14 inches long. (Never use a rolling pin.) Place seam side up on a towel or parchment paper generously dusted with bread flour or rice flour. Cover and let rise 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until double. Repeat with remaining dough.
For best baking results, place a baking stone, pizza stone or unglazed ceramic tile on bottom shelf of oven. Preheat oven to 475°F for 20 minutes to allow stone to get to temperature. Depending on the size of your baking stone, bake 1, 2 or 3 loaves at a time, placing seam side down on parchment paper. Score each loaf with 2 to 4 slashes using a sharp knife or blade. Slide the dough with parchment onto bread peel or rimless baking sheet. Carefully slide onto heated baking stone, immediately spritzing the oven with water around the dough 7 to 10 times. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes spritzing every 5 minutes 3 more times. Bake to an internal temperature of 200°F. Remove from oven and parchment; cool on wire rack. Bake remaining bread.
Recipe provided by Fleischmann’s Yeast
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.
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.
|September is National Breakfast Month
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
Ok, my game face is on! This year BAKE your Super Bowl team support. Both teams have famed local wheat flour and cornmeal mills fueling their success. If you’re not sure what a “flour or cornmeal mill” is, check it out at North American Millers Association. You’re going to fall in love with milling’s local, historic food connections!
If you’re not sure why flour and cornmeal are important to athletes, check out the basics on eating for duration competitions like the Super Bowl, and for personal fitness.
If all you want to do is bake to dominate with a Denver wheat flour, check out Ardent Mills, headquartered in Denver, CO. They mill Ultragrain® wheat flours, available in most supermarkets in both all-purpose and whole white wheat flours. I’m liking their Mediterranean Olive Bread, a no-knead batter bread, baked in a casserole! It’s perfect for a “great spread” or a dip-holding bread bowl! There are a lot more “options” to run with too, check them out here!
Panther fans should totally bake their best with Tendabake® flour and Southern Biscuit® flour and cornmeal mixes from Renwood Mills. This mill’s North Carolina connections go back eighty years. There’s no better Bowl victory food then a Confetti Cornbread or Cheddar Chive Biscuits. Crockpot your favorite chili OR soup… and it’s game on!
A surefire recipe for entertaining your kids—after school, during school breaks, vacations or “staycations”—is to bring them into the kitchen. Mastering cooking techniques can be more than entertainment; it can reinforce math skills such as counting, measuring and separating, as well as improve hand-eye coordination.
Clabber Girl has safety guidelines and a list of age appropriate skills at Family Fun Guidelines. When you have finished your baking project, download and print their School of Baking Certificate!
February is Bake for Family Fun Month!
There’s a new lesson plan for each week in February. Each lesson plan is designed to inspire home bakers while teaching fundamentals of cooking.
Week #1 – Let’s Get Started Baking – Bake Buttery Breakfast Biscuits and learn how leavening makes batters rise.
Week #2 – Baking For My Valentine– Bake up some Red Velvet Cupcakes, download and color a Valentine card.
Week #3 – History and Traditions – Corn bread, Johnnycake – history of corn and other names for corn.
Week #4 – Baking For Others – Muffins – done the way you like them! Sweet or savory muffins are delicious family fun treats to bake and share.
Clabber Girl is a member of the Home Baking Association, an organization dedicated to Promoting home baking by providing educators tools and knowledge to perpetuate future generations of home bakers.
Other Family Fun Activities
Elephant Ears! – A lesson plan for baking that outlines main baking ingredients and their functions. Recipe – Elephant Ears
Make Bunny Ears! – A sweet twist on Elephant Ears – Have fun baking and learn measuring, and teamwork.
Pancakes, from ancient times to today’s breakfast table and beyond… – Start a new tradition from an old-time favorite! Strawberry Muffin Tops
Chocolate Raspberry Whoopie Pies – for gifting at Valentine’s day or any time!
Bunny Cake – Delicious and fun cake to bake and decorate. Fun for all ages!
Home Made Pizza – Made your way, or bake for others. Bake up a delicious and healthier pizza crust.