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.
|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
As much as I enjoy Downton Abbey, history and tradition embodies why I bake. American families and communities most often did not come with a wait and culinary staff. “Doing for ourselves” included baking.
To quote Ruskin from a 1906 Cook Book compiled by Annie R. Gregory,
“ 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 everyone has something nice to eat.”
This week’s Bake for Family Fun month connections highlight baking history and building our own traditions.
- Make time to Book and Bake. “Book” time to read a book and recipe for a meal or snack. Blueberries for Sal is a classic.
- Include, or require, young children and teens in the kitchen. Create a “baking corner” to work where they lay out tools and ingredients to prepare staples like Biscuits or America’s Favorite Batter Bread
- Weekly home crafted pizza is an essential tradition to help teens build assets and manage food budgets.
- Place your orders for Whole Grain All Star Pizza
- Doughnuts and fritters have long been a weekly treat in many homes! Consider a DIY dozen—it can cost less than $3.00—baked or fried
- Pancake “art” is a fabulous family tradition. You won’t see IHOP making “your name here” cakes. or squiggle the batter for critters or shapes for max creativity. Remember: pre-oil, then heat the griddle or skillet, flip the shape when bubbles appear on the batter surface and flip ‘em only once for maximum fluff factor.
This week our daughter baked banana bread from a home town Centennial cook book. Virginia Becker, a genuinely wonderful woman and creator of the recipe, is surely smiling down on her magic mix of only six ingredients.
January’s a welcome “back to the basics” after the holiday hustle. It’s also National Book Month! If you didn’t get a great food prep book in your gift mix, check out on-line reads like Oklahoma’s Best of Baking. Baking helps match 2016 New Year’s Resolutions to
- use fewer resources and do-it-yourself (Keep the Dough in Your Pocket chart)
- avoid fast-food drive thru to save $$$ and calories; and
- log 10,000 daily steps… shopping, cooking and baking
To get started…
A: See How to Measure Flour video in the HBA Glossary, go to Flour entry.
B: Game download, Measure UP! Activity
C: DO practice measuring and mixing a homemade wholegrain pancake mix!
Learn leavening basics like the difference between baking powder and baking soda
A: View leavening videos plus links in Glossary, www.homebaking.org Go to Chemical Leavening and Yeast entries.
B: Read Baking Science: Cause and Effect, What Happened to the Yeast Bread
- DO read recipes and bake Biscuits with the pros, http://www.landolakes.com/recipe/2934/perfect-buttermilk-biscuits
Plus www.marthawhite.com and www.clabbegirl.com
Or lose your yeast anxiety with step-by-step How to Bake a Loaf of Bread, and Our Best Recipes at http://redstaryeast.com/recipes/
Put skills to work for meals at home…
A: Chicken and Dumplings or Biscuits, OR this great recipe
OR Chicken and Biscuit dinner
- Made-by-Me Pizza (personal pan or family-sized) works for us once a week!
- Homemade Pizza vs Takeout
A Chicago Style Pizza buff? Try Chicago’s #1 pizza flour and recipe for Thick Crust Pizza Dough!
DO get started with Cheese Marinara Pizza
Twitter Chat! #dinnerpower Join FCCLA and Home Baking Association as we discuss “Youth Empowerment at the Dinner Table” on June 24th at 8PM (EST). Check out this informative website TheFamilyDinnerProject.org for more information.
Are you lucky enough to personally know a budding young baker? Today Jula K. wrote “Last year I gave my 12-year old niece Baking with Friends. She loves baking. What is a good follow-up baking gift?”
If you give a baker Baking with Friends, www.hombaking.org then they’ll want to:
- …read more books about bakers! Wrap in a baker’s apron a copy ofLarissa’s Breadbook: Ten Incredible Southern Women and Their Stories of Courage, Adventure, and Discovery, by Lorraine Johnson-Coleman.
- …learn about food and cultures from all over the world with The Cultured Chef: An International Cookbook for Kids by children’s author Nicholas Beatty Include a real set of oven mitts or the “better spatula”
- …try a gourmet baker’s mix
- …bake with “real deal” baking tools. Truly helpful are a bench knife, baker’s bowl scraper (www.homebaking.org), standardized stainless steel measuring spoons and cups, crepe or baking pans, wire cooling racks and a cookie scoop! A great member source can be found here.
- …explore the very real science of baking and how recipes are tested and problems solved. Gift the baker with a food thermometer and digital electronic scale and a card directing them to our member’s test kitchens here. HBA’s Baking Lab Manual and Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here for More Food: Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking are great for teens!
- …give gifts of their baking. Provide a gift “kit” of labels, recipe cards and baking bags to “bake and take” their specialties. Include ingredients! Butter, flour, sugars. Download recipes, gift labels here:
Click Here to download these gift tags from C&H Sugar
Click Here to download these gift tags from Land O’Lakes
Click Here to download these gift tags from Domino Sugar
- …make a difference and have a bake sale for No Kid Hungry! Website
Enjoy baking for all and may the benefits be returned in a baker’s dozen ways!