Tag Archives: sharon davis

Biscuit Bonanza

“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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. Entrust your efforts to test kitchens that know biscuits, Crisco Baking Powder Biscuit.

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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.

  1. 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
  2. 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.

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Keep in mind, the biscuit should be served with butter!  Explore a whole flight of deliciousness, sweet or savory here!

 

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Tweet Yourself to a Better Breakfast: Celebrate Better Breakfast Month

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If you’re on the run like most, consider tweeting the links below to yourself and friends. This wealth of great breakfast bootie is meant to be shared, partly because making your own breakfast will save you cash.

My top three picks this fall include:

1. DIY breakfasts have saved me at least $16,000 to-date. (Yes we do eat breakfast out too.) Biscuits, muffins and pancakes are just three options for home baking savings while serving breakfast at home.

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2. Leftover slices of pizza or quiche make great grab-and- go breakfast. Beginner breakfast pizzas can be made in 20 minutes. Keep on adding your savings. Indie servings like these at your favorite coffee stop cost about $5.

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3. The masters of overnight breakfasts have grasped the issues. Getting up to Peaches and Cream slow-cooked steel-cut oats or Chai Buckwheat Groats lets you sleep a little longer if you prep the night before.

Finally, you will never go wrong with a freezer that contains a good Pumpkin muffin. Add some great Energy Bars or Whole Grain Jam Bars, both packed with essential nutrients, flavor, and you too can save a grand or ten over time.

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A Month for Sandwiches, Family Fun and Peaches!

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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.

montaguFor 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.”

Source, World Wide Web, 7/1/17 Foodtimeline.org

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.

Get Peachy

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lazy_daisyPeaches 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.

  1. Bake Vanilla or Chocolate cupcakes and frost with plain icing.
  2. Create designer Rainbow Sugars for signature cupcake décor.
  3. Get stepping. Showcase and sell the cupcakes via a Cake Walk.
  4. Ask the teacher what she’s needing for the classroom and contribute cake walk funds.

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Summer Bakers Going Strong

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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.

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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

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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!

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Russian Piroshki

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

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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

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National Festival of Breads Was A Smashing Success!

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Ronna Farley of Rockville, Maryland, is the grand prize winner in the 2017 National Festival of Breads baking competition, sponsored by King Arthur Flour, Red Star Yeast and the Kansas Wheat Commission.

DIYWWWafflesSummer may not be everyone’s favorite season to bake. Statistics say a lot less flour is sold in the hot months.  But personally, I know thousands who never miss a baking beat in the heat. They’re the passionate, the competitive, the DIY fresh-is-best bakers and teachers of children, grand children and teens.

A few thousand of these summer bakers gathered at The National Festival of Breads June 17 in Manhattan, KS, our nation’s only amateurs-only bread-baking competition sponsored by King Arthur Flour, Red Star Yeast and the Kansas Wheat Commission. There they observed eight finalists bake to win.

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Ronna Farley of Rockville, Maryland, took the grand prize with her whole grain Seeded Corn and Onion Bubble Loaf.

You’ll love the creativity of these home bakers in the hall-of-fame archives from all five National Festivals

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Equally avid were the hundreds seated at the baking demos and stopping by our exhibit. Teachers were gathering baking science, math and literacy connections for their agriculture, English, speech, early childhood, culinary, elementary, middle school, family and consumer sciences, foods and nutrition classrooms.   Add the volunteer leaders teaching grand children, 4-H, youth library programs and afterschool groups and we should all re-double our efforts to share the wealth baking provides. Thanks is always due to those who teach.

Baking is the perfect way to keep children learning throughout the summer.  Explore yeast leavening science and learn the difference between baking powder and baking soda! Choose from history and cultural recipes.

Assign baking A-Z exploration in our Baking Glossary. Connect with baking help plus tips and techniques from our member’s test kitchen pros.

Catch the passion to go from virtual to actual and get the flour, butter, and leavening in the bowl!  You can “bake for good,” bake while you camp, take the baking math challenge of measuring and mixing to savor summer success.

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March Forth Into Baking!

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I’ve always wondered if March is Nutrition month because EVERYONE needs great nutrition to power Spring Break! Fortunately it’s Flour and Noodle Month, and will power-you-up for the beach, mountains, a road trip or a great family project.

Just thinking …“too many carbs?” ‘Tis the month to get the facts. Grains are a balanced supply of BOTH protein and carbs!

To dig deeper, the research paper, Wheat, Gluten and Health: The Science Behind Gut Health and Food Intolerances offers great insights.

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Before or while you hit the road or skies, take a virtual flour mill tour and get the facts for wheat flour, oats and corn nutrition. Check your geography and see if you’ll be near one of America’s grain mills. èVisit on-line ardentmills.com, farmerdirectfoods.com, graincraft.com,heckersceresota.com , hudsoncream.com, ndmill.com, panhandlemilling.com renwoodmills.com, www.stone-buhr.com sunflourflour.com You might “find-a-farmer” near where you are too using these sites.

For the road, Bake a Smart Snack or a DIY thin wheat cracker,  TIP: Bagels and biscotti pack great for treks and trips!

Don’t let rain or snow spoil your break! Pack a mix or flour for DIY fresh tortillas or a flat bread for the grill or griddle —Making Flat Breads, using the Pita Bread recipe or pizza dough

Making your own Homemade Noodles is a great adventure many adults and kids have never had! Noodles may be whole grain (1/2 whole wheat or spelt flour, ½ enriched flour), and feel free to knead in a couple tablespoons frozen spinach or fresh chopped herbs.

For a perfect finish, wrap or top your tortilla, flat bread or noodles with sauteed vegetables!

Finally, all great Spring Breaks make time for a good food AND a good read! Join the whole country and Read Across America …all month!

Some picks for “foodies” young or old?

Everybody Makes Noodles, by Norah Dooley.

The First Tortilla: A Bilingual Story, by Rudolfo Anaya

Tortillas: A Cultural History, by Paula E. Morton.

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Need Baking GPS? Try   Wheat Flour 101

Baking with Whole Wheat Flour 101, How to Measure

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Baking for Others

Week 4: Bake for Family Fun Month

Baking for others can “lend a humane hand” in multiple ways. Three top-of-mind baking action options include

  1. Plan a baking fund-raiser or sale for a local need.

Visit Bake Sale Central and Bake for No Kid Hungry for great guidance.

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Partner with “baking the world a better place” and Stop Hunger NOW, another great home baking association member action.

  1. Bake and Take: Whether baked from a mix or from scratch, it’s the act that counts! Remembering those who are often overlooked can happen ANY day, but start today.

When baking for those with special dietary needs,

DYK there’s a special Bake and Take Month and Day? Join others in March

  1. Teach others to bake, then share.

Bake for Good offers direction, curriculum, and expertise.

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Learn about their options, including self-directed resources.

  • You’ll love the Everyday Whole- Grain Bread step-by-step recipe.

Portable Kitchens is a way to share the wealth of your food skills. Teach baking and cooking activities in classrooms and out-of-school programs without kitchens. Resources includes

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