Monday, March 10, 2008
Baking Homemade Bread

I spent the weekend baking from scratch with Piney.

I know. I know.

That sentence used to be a dichotomy, or a major contradiction (Me vs. Baking).

However, I am rethinking my ways.

My thoughts were that I could increase the health of my family, decrease our expenses and reduce our trash through baking large amounts of healthy snacks from scratch instead of buying expensive, excessively packaged, individually wrapped, preservative laden snacks.

So I started my experiment with baking oatmeal bars, bread and cinnamon rolls (O.K. I realize that last one is not healthy). Click on each one to see the recipe I used.

What you can’t see in the photos below; however is how I burned the bottom of the first batch of cinnamon rolls and then undercooked the second batch. Also, my bread didn't rise as much as it should have- but they were still both really good!

And I am NOT giving up. I realize that it is a work in progress.

The only issue is that I need more healthy snack recipes- ones that taste good too. I don't own any good cookbooks. Do you guys have one that you could recommend? Or a good baking website? Any good recipes you could share?

I am looking for whole-grain snack recipes. Preferably bars- they seem to be the easiest.

Any help would be appreciated!


Blogger Michelle Smiles said...
Anything involving yeast and dough requires practice to get it right. So keep at it and you'll be a pro in no time! Good luck!

And for cooking, I tend to like - if you read the reviews, people try the recipes and tweak them to perfection and tell you what to add or take out. But I don't bake so I don't have any baking specific sites.

Blogger Beth said...
I just recently started making pizza dough and it is definitely a work in progress. But now that I have that down, I think I need to try some other things from scratch!

Blogger Rachael said...
Good luck with that! Sounds great! (but I can't see the pictures :( ).

I occasionally become inspired and bake bread. It is SO much better than what you can buy in the store, even when made by a novice (such as myself). I don't know why I don't do it more often! (Well, time and mess!)

Here are some online sites with healthy recipes (the first one has recipes from Cooking Light magazine and the second one from Shape):

Anonymous -d said...
those looking so yummy!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Baking is my absolute favorite thing to do in the kichen. Forget the main course, lets go straight to dessert. Quaker has great recipes,
My kids love the chewy oatmeal bars. I try to put dried apricots in them, yum...but if we don't have those on hand any fruit, dried, frozen, fresh will do. My son takes these to school in his lunch, has them for breakfast, snack, dessert, you name it. The site also has other great recipes. Feel free to make things your own, by adding or taking away ingredients. You'll do great. I also have a great recipe for sweet rolls (handed down through the family), if your interested I'll dig it up. I only make them for special occassions.

Chewy Fruit & Oatmeal Bars

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
One 8-ounce container vanilla or plain low-fat yogurt
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. skim milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup diced dried mixed fruit, raisins, or dried cranberries

Preparation Steps
Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, combine sugars, yogurt, egg whites, oil, milk, and vanilla; mix well. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix well. Add to yogurt mixture; mix well. Stir in oats and fruit.
Spread dough onto bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan.
Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered.

Cook Tips and Variations
Each bar contains .5g oat soluble fiber.
Recipe Yield:
2 dozen bars
Serving Size:
1 bar
Nutrition Information: Calories: 145, Calories from Fat: 20, Total Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 60mg, Total Carbohydrates: 43g, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Protein: 3g
©Copyright The Quaker Oats Company, 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Blogger Elle said...
Ok, you get this from the woman who bakes everything from scratch. Start small. You can't go from nothing to everything overnight. I don't do my own chips and crackers yet, but do bread, cookies, pasta and tortillas. But I've been doing it for years.

Suzanne had a no knead bread that is supposed to be fantastic. See if you can find it on her site. This is the best sugar free cookbook I have. It is full of so-called healthy snacks. But before you go buy it (oh and they take pay-pal) read In Defense of Food. It's right up your alley.

From there get the Bread Bible by Rose Levy-Beranbaum (sp?). The Pan di Mai is the easiest sandwich loaf for the beginner. I make the cracked wheat loaf every week, but basic white sandwich loaf is the best. Her pizza crust isn't the best, but Betty Crocker has a great one for that. I do use the Bread Bible for a great Indian dish called Kheema Prantha and the Irish Soda Bread is the best I've ever made. Her instructions are clear.

Also, when you make bread, flour is not interchangeable. If a recipe calls for bread flour, use bread flour. If it calls for all-purpose use that. I buy all King Arthur flour. It is the best. Don't go cheap on your flour and make sure the stuff you buy isn't bleached or bromated. Good luck.

Blogger Tami said...
Keep it up. You're doing great! I use for a lot of my recipes. I don't know how healthy they tend to be, but there's a pretty wide variety of options.

Blogger jeneflower said...
Thanks for the great recipes and resources!

Blogger Denn said...
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

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