Monday, September 28, 2009

Grind your own flour! Freshly ground flour contains all of the good stuff that's been removed and sold back to you in separate containers. There are many kinds of grinders - some with stone burrs and some with steel. Mine is an attachment to my Kitchenaid. I grind different wheats and corn for my breads and baked goods. It's easy, quick and certainly healthier. You get extra fiber, vitamins and minerals and it hasn't been sitting on a store shelf for months. Once a week, I grind my flour and store it in the refrigerator, using it up by the end of the week. I can recommend a terrific book on the subject, Flour Power by Marty Basey. In this comprehensive book, the author describes different wheats and their uses, where to purchase them, and the pros and cons of many kinds of grinders. It's very easy and takes very little time for all of the benefits. And you can't beat the taste!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Low/No Sugar Banana Bread with Whole Wheat and Oatmeal

Container: 9"x5" loaf pan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Adapted from
Updated 1/25/10


1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I add my home ground flour here)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup oatmeal, quick cooking

1/3 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup bananas, ripe, mashed

Topping: 3 tablespoons white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Add ins:  I layer the bottom of the pan with sweetened coconut or 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon sugar or add 1/4 cup walnuts or 1/4 cup chocolate chips.


Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Spray or butter a loaf pan. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar topping on bottom of pan.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Stir in the oatmeal.

Add eggs, oil and bananas. Stir until just combined.

If adding blueberries, spinkle a teaspoon of flour over them and jiggle them around to cover. Fold them in the batter.

Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into center of bread comes out clean. Cool in pan about 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap and cool in refrigerator before serving.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Whole Wheat Hamburger Rolls

Here is my entry into homemade hamburger rolls. They are wonderful, so easy to make and nutritious to boot. I grind my own flour and add it to regular all purpose flour in my recipes. The freshly ground flour adds so much goodness and the rolls stand up to a juicy burger. No more squishy burger rolls! Here's the recipe:

Whole Wheat Hamburger Rolls Recipe (Makes a dozen large rolls)

1-3/4 cups potato water*

1 pkg (2 1/2 tsps) active dry yeast

1 Tbsps + 1/2 tsp sugar

1 Tbsps honey

1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder

2-1/2 tsps salt

3 Tbsps melted butter

4-1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

1 large egg beaten with 2 tsps water, for glazing

1/2 cup sesame or poppy seeds (optional)

In a small bowl pour in 1/2 cup of the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast and 1/2 tsp of sugar into the warm water. Stir to dissolve and let stand at room temp until foamy, about 10 minutes. In a large bowl combine the remaining 1-1/4 cups water, whole wheat flour, yeast mix, powdered milk, the remaining sugar salt and butter. Add 2 cups of the flour, beat hard until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft, shaggy dough is formed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 4 minutes, dusting with flour only 1 tbsp at a time as needed to make a soft smooth dough. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the bowl, add dough and turn to coat the top and cover with a tea towel. Let rise at room temp until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°F. Gently deflate dough and turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Grease a baking sheet. Divide dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each into a round ball and place each ball seam side down and at least 2" apart on baking sheet. Flatten each ball with your palm. Cover loosely and let rise until puffy, about 20 minutes. Brush each roll with the egg glaze and sprinkle tops with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Bake 20-25 minutes or until slightly browned and firm to the touch. Transfer immediately to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before splitting. *If you don’t have potato water left over from boiled potatoes you can easily make some by peeling and cubing a potato. Place it in a microwave safe bowl with 1 ¾ cups of water, cover and microwave for 3-4 minutes or until the potato is easily pierced with a fork. If not done, re-cover and microwave for another minute or until done. Let water cool to room temperature.

Take a bite out of your taxes

Tax time is always stressful. If Uncle Sam is going to take his share, I thought I'd take a bite out of doing my taxes. I used a recipe for a petit beurre cookie and with my Brigitte cookie cutter, pressed out the word "TAXES". Then when I started to do my taxes, I had some "Tax"cookies to help get through the process. Especially enjoyable with tea.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pullman Bread (or Pain de Mie in French)

Today I received my Pullman Loaf pan that was ordered from a nice gal in Arizona by way of EBay. I have been looking for a good, smaller, covered bread pan to make sandwich bread and finally found it. It's beautiful. The recipe that I used was tweaked from several good ones. I've seen them made with milk, dried milk, potato starch, soy milk, honey, cheese and a whole host of delicious ingredients. As this is my first foray, I decided to try to keep it simple. Here is the recipe:

1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons honey
2-1/3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/3 tablespoons dried yeast
2 cups white flour
1 cup home ground whole wheat flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons soft butter

Note: I used a Pullman Bread Pan that measured approximately 10 inches long by 3 inches high.

Heat milk in a saucepan until it reaches about 100 degrees F. Add honey and yeast and let stand for 5 minutes to foam. (If it doesn't foam, the yeast could be too old and you will need to try with fresh yeast.)

Pour the milk in your mixer and add the rest of the ingredients. Beat, starting out slow when combined, change to your dough hook and machine knead for five minutes.

Remove from bowl, butter or oil bowl and return dough, turning it over to coat. Let rise in a warm place, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until doubled. Turn the dough out and with a rolling pin, roll it out to about 10 inches by 8 inches. Roll it up and pinch the seams closed. Butter your Pullman pan on all sides and the inside of the cover. Place the dough, seam side down in the pan, slip the cover on securely and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough is about 1/2 inch from the top of the pan *you can peek after about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for about 45 minutes. Remove the cover and if pale, set the bread on a rack in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until nicely browned.