Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Using Farro to Make Hearty Bread

Most posts that promote the virtues of farro suggest you eat it as part of a salad, soup, or breakfast bowl. But I found at least one recipe for using farro to make bread, and that recipe is shown below.

Farro is an 'ancient grain' with lots of protein, magnesium, and zinc. It's known for its nutty flavor and chewy texture.

Our recipe is adapted from https://www.thespruceeats.com/farro-bread-recipe-3062249. There are plenty of excellent recipes and insights on this website.

To find out more about farro, proceed to https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/farro-benefits .

RECIPE (makes one medium loaf):

1/4 cup farro
3/4 cup boiling water
1 and 1/2 TSP salt
1 and 1/2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP molasses
1 TBSP brown sugar (add more if you want to sweeten up your loaf)
1 and 1/2 TSP Red Star platinum dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup whole milk (room temperature)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 and 1/4 cups of all-purpose unbleached flour

Directions:

*Stir the yeast into the warm water and let it activate while you do the next step.
*Cook/soften the farro in the boiling water for 15 minutes or until all the water is gone. Stir frequently during the cooking. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a minute, then mix in the salt, molasses, butter, and brown sugar. Let this cool down for a 3-5 minutes.
*Put the water/yeast into your EZ DOH container, and add the whole wheat flour, milk, 1 cup of the all-purpose flour, and the farro mixture. Use the hand-crank to blend everything together (about 2 minutes), and then add the other 1 and 1/4 cup of flour and hand-crank for another 2-3 minutes  to get a smooth, elastic mixture.
*Empty the dough into a container that is coated with olive oil. Turn the dough a few times to coat your dough ball, cover the container with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to let it rise for at least an hour (or until it has about doubled in size).
*Take the risen dough, shape it into a loaf and put it into a loaf pan that has been lubricated to prevent sticking (we used olive oil). Cover with a tea towel and let it rise again (until doubled).
*Place in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the temperature in the middle of the loaf reads 185-190 degrees.
*Use a knife to coax the bread from the pan and allow to cool on a rack.
                                                                             
This loaf is a hearty, relatively dense bread with a surprisingly rich texture that stayed fresh for days. In some ways it resembled a pound cake in texture, and I had to be careful when toasting it so it wouldn't fall apart.
                                                                               

The dark color is a result of both the whole wheat flour and the molasses. If you want to find ways to incorporate ancient grains like farro into your diet, this recipe can be a good starting point.



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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Nutritious and Delicious Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls in Under an Hour!



                                                                   
Fresh from the oven, the 3 balls of dough in each cup have formed a cloverleaf shape.
 
We are big fans of Red Star Yeast, and we are proud to include samples of their platinum instant yeast with every EZ DOH shipment. So, when we saw the recipe on their website for "45 Minute Herbed Wheat Cloverleaf Rolls" https://redstaryeast.com/recipes/45-minute-herbed-wheat-cloverleaf-rolls/, we figured we'd see if we could make a similar recipe using our EZ DOH. We are happy to report that the recipe below turned out great. We even substituted unsweetened macadamia milk into the recipe instead of regular milk, to encourage folks who can't tolerate cow's milk to try similar substitutions in other recipes.

INGREDIENTS:

2 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 packages Red Star Platinum Superior Baking Yeast
1/2 TSP salt
1 and 1/2 TSP of Frontier Co-op Italian Seasoning (use more if you like your herbs!)
1 cup Unsweetened Macadamia Milk (warmed to 125 degrees)
1/4 cup warm tap water
1/4 cup raw honey
1 medium egg (room temperature)
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
4 TBSP butter (melted and cooled)

DIRECTIONS:

We placed the whole wheat, yeast, salt, and Italian Seasoning right into the EZ DOH container, and mixed thoroughly with a whisk.
We used a whisk to mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl (milk, water, honey, and egg).
We then added the wet ingredients right into the EZ DOH container and started hand-cranking for 2 minutes. This produced a well-mixed and loose dough.
We added in the cup of All-Purpose flour and the butter, and then thoroughly worked this mixture with 3 solid minutes of hand-cranking.
Now comes the messier part. Sprinkle some flour on a clean counter, and dump the dough out and give it a gentle kneading, adding more flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking too much to your hands. Then cut your ball of dough into 12 equal (roughly) pieces. Then cut those pieces into 3 pieces and roll them into little balls (36 balls).
Get a 12 cup muffin tin and grease it to prevent sticking. Place 3 little balls of dough into each cup of the muffin tin, and then put them in a warm place for 15-20 minutes to rest (and RISE).
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees, and then bake your rolls for 10-12 minutes when they should be golden brown (and measure 190 degrees on the inside).
                                                                             
These whole wheat rolls have excellent texture!






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Friday, November 15, 2019

Thanksgiving: Make 'Parker House' Dinner Rolls and Sandwich Rolls at the Same Time


                                                  Original Parker House Hotel in Boston                   

The recipes for "Parker House" dinner rolls date back to at least the 1870's, when the original recipe was first printed in the April, 1874 edition of the New Hampshire Sentinel. The most popular story of the real origin of these much-admired rolls is that the baker at the Boston Parker House Hotel threw a batch of unfinished rolls into the oven after an altercation with a guest. Somehow, these rolls came out of the oven with a crisp, buttery shell and a light and fluffy texture inside. And, they appeared to have the shape of a folded 'pocketbook'. The rest is baking history.

Research tells us that the original Parker House Hotel opened its doors on October 8, 1855. Guests included Charles Dickens in 1867-1868, along with many other famous people. In addition to the Parker House rolls, the hotel/restaurant also developed the Boston Cream Pie. Here's a link to the history of the Parker House Hotel, which is still in operation on the same site today (rebuilt in 1927).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omni_Parker_House

GETTING BACK TO THANKSGIVING ROLLS, we wanted to make dinner rolls and sandwich rolls (for 'after dinner' sandwiches) from the same batch of dough using a recipe that's close to the original one. Here's our recipe for making a small batch (12 dinner rolls and 5 sandwich rolls), and of course you can easily double this recipe as long as your EZ DOH mixer has the stainless steel dough hook that can easily handle large batches.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 package of dry yeast (NOTE: one package of Red Star contains 1/4 ounce which is 2 and 1/4 TSP
1/2 stick of unsalted butter (4 ounces).
1/4 cup sugar
2 small eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 TSP salt
3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

DIRECTIONS:

*Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, cut the butter into small pieces and stir them into the milk along with the sugar and then let it cool down.
*Dissolve yeast into warm water and stir until some foam bubbles appear.
*Place 1 and 1/2 cups of the flour into your EZ DOH container and add in the salt and stir to mix. Add in the milk mixture, the beaten eggs, and the water/yeast mixture and mix until smooth. Then slowly add in the the rest of the flour and slowly turn the crank and work the dough thoroughly for about 5 minutes. You'll develop a smooth dough with good stretch qualities, which helps form the desired texture.

Remove the mixing attachment, cover the container and let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour (or until it doubles in size). If you prefer a more 'hands-on' experience, remove the dough from the container and place on a lightly floured surface and hand knead for a minute. Rinse the container, apply some olive oil to the bottom and sides, and then place your dough ball back in to let it rise (again, covered and in a warm spot).

After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and form your rolls. We made 12 dinner rolls that each weighed 1 and 1/4 ounces, and five sandwich rolls that weighed 2 and 1/2 ounces. Place them on a greased cooking sheet, cover lightly with plastic wrap, and let them again rise until they double in size. True Parker House rolls get flattened and then folded over (for that pocketbook appearance).
You can flatten them with your hand and use a dull knife to form a slightly off-centered crease, and then fold them over and place the shorter side down before placing on greased sheet and letting them rise.

They should about double in size in less than an hour. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes when they should be golden brown and the centers should measure 190 degrees. You can remove the smaller ones a few minutes before the larger ones, but we removed all of ours after 20 minutes and they were all brown on the outside and had great texture on the inside. Place them on a cooling rack for a few minutes and they're ready to serve.
                                                                   









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Saturday, November 2, 2019

HEALTHY DOG BISCUITS THE EZ WAY

                                                                           

According to the latest statistics, there are about 90,000,000 pet dogs in the USA! Dog food is a huge business, but beware of the ingredients in your pet's dog biscuits because many are filled with chemicals and ingredients designed to keep those biscuits edible for a LONG time. Here are the label ingredients from 3 popular brands:

Ingredients: Beef, Meat By-Products, Soy Grits, Sugar, Liver, Salt, Propylene Glycol, Garlic Powder, Caramel Color, Natural Smoke Flavor, Potassium Sorbate (Used As A Preservative), Sodium Nitrite (For Color Retention), Red 40, BHA (Used As A Preservative), Onion Extract.  

Ingredients: Chicken, Corn Syrup, Soy Flour, Wheat Flour, Corn Starch, Water, Propylene Glycol, Animal Fat (BHA Used As A Preservative), Animal Digest, Calcium Sulfate, Soy Protein Concentrate, Sugar, Beef, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Phosphoric Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Sorbic Acid (Used As A Preservative), Red 40 Lake, Garlic Powder, Natural Smoke Flavor, Iron Oxide, BHA (Used As A Preservative), Citric Acid (Used As A Preservative). 

Ingredients: Wheat Flour, Beef Tallow Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Wheat Gluten, Lecithin, Chicken By-Product Meal, Animal Digest (Source of Liver Flavor), Lamb Meal, Oat Fiber, Mono and Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Garlic Powder, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6. I-5051

As a healthy alternative, you can have family fun making your own dog biscuits using your own ingredients. There are many recipes available that are tailored to help address specific health issues (overweight, diabetes, joint pain, anxiety, etc....). Here are a few SIMPLE recipes with known, healthy ingredients which you can easily modify as needed to best suit the needs of your pet.

                                                             
BASIC DOG BISCUITS:

INGREDIENTS: 
2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour  (or whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup of peanut butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup of water (add more as needed to form your dough)

We mixed the ingredients in our EZ DOH mixer for about 3 minutes to achieve a nice ball of dough. We used a rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 1/4" thickness, and then cut the dough into various shapes (if you don't have any cookie molds, just use a drinking glass or pizza cutter). Keep re-rolling the 'leftover' dough from the cut-outs so there is no waste. We made 40 biscuits from this recipe.
Place your biscuits on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown.
Even with no preservatives, these will keep fresh and crisp for at least a week (store them in a cookie jar or paper bag).

SIMPLEST DOG BISCUITS EVER:

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 jars of baby food (4 ounce jars/container). The possibilities are endless.
1/4 cup water (add more as needed depending upon the baby food)

Mix the ingredients in your EZ DOH (or another mixer), adding water as needed to get the right dough consistency. We used the blueberry/banana baby food, but nearly all baby foods have only healthy ingredients clearly listed on their labels. Again, we rolled the dough out to a 1/4" thickness and then cut it onto various shapes using cookie cutters, and repeated the process to use up all the dough. 
We baked them for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees F. When they turn brown and are crispy, take them out and let them cool down.

NOTES: Few if any baby foods contain onions, grapes, or raisins (which are not good for dogs!!) It's always a good idea to double-check. Consult with your vet or do your own research to determine what ingredients are best for your pet.



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Friday, May 3, 2019

Serious Bread Baking

A number of EZ DOH bakers have told us that they regularly use their EZ DOH mixer to make sourdough bread. Judging by the large amount of pictures of sourdough loaves on Pinterest and Instagram, there are LOTS of people who enjoy the challenge of making their own sourdough loaves using their own natural 'starters'. Here's our sourdough bread picture, courtesy of one of our customers from the bread basket of Canada (Saskatchewan).



It is believed that a type of sourdough bread was being made by the Egyptians, using a natural 'starter' or 'wild yeast', as early as 1500 BC. You could say this type of bread has withstood the test of time, as it appears to be gaining popularity due to various health benefits associated with sourdough bread.

In addition to providing essential elements such as selenium, thiamine, manganese, niacin, and iron, sour dough bread is often easier to digest for many people (when made with a starter rather than using baker's yeast).

There are hundreds of different recipes and articles that discuss 'natural starters' and the benefits sourdough bread in great detail. One thing is for certain, using an EZ DOH mixer makes the entire process of making sourdough bread easier and neater.
                                             


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Thursday, April 4, 2019

EZ DOH's recipe for a fun molding dough is child's play!


                                                                       
                                These are all the ingredients you'll need (plus water)


There are many 'recipes' for making a molding dough that children and people of all ability levels can use to be creative and make shapes with by using their own hands. This recipe, using our EZ DOH hand-crank mixer, enables children to easily and neatly make the dough themselves (which can also be a fun learning process).

In this electronic age, it's nice for young people to have an opportunity to make something with their own hands, and enjoy the feeling of creating shapes using their fingers and imaginations.

Our recipe calls for simple ingredients, but you can find many other recipes (both edible and inedible) that use similar (but different) ingredients, and different ways to mix the ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

2 and 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 package of jello (3 ounce package). We used lime but any flavors/colors will work!
2 TBSP salt
2 TBSP  of cream of tartar powder
2 TBSP of cooking oil (we used canola)
1 cup of hot water (roughly 150 degrees)

DIRECTIONS:

To keep things neat, we did everything in our EZ DOH hand-crank mixer (older models with the plastic dough hook may struggle with this heavy dough). Start the process by putting one cup of flour in the mixing container, along with the other dry ingredients (jello, salt, tartar) and the oil. Give it a few turns with the crank and then add in the water and start mixing. It will only take a minute (with a little help from a rubber scraper) to blend everything. Then start adding in the remaining flour (about 1/2 cup at a time) and keep cranking to get a good blend (about 1 minute of cranking every time you add some flour). Of course, the cranking will get more difficult as you proceed, so at the end an adult may need to do the final cranking. Here's how it will look when you're done.

                               This recipe provides plenty of forming dough!

As an alternative to making your own dough, there's another 'made in the USA' product that's called Eco-Dough https://ecokidsusa.com/ that you may want to check out. Eco-Dough is also sold at
https://anytownusa.com/pages/search-results-page?q=eco+dough, which only sells products made in the USA (like EZ DOH).

No matter how you go about making or acquiring your molding dough, the main thing is to make something creative and have fun. After you're done playing, keep your dough in a plastic bag so it doesn't dry out (if it does dry out, you can restore it by adding a little water and working it into the dough).
                                                       
                                                           
                              These may not be fancy, but you can recognize them!
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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Yeast Pancakes and Waffles for Breakfast


                                                               


                                                                       
                                     Yes, we do make real maple syrup here in Ohio!

The USA produces over 4,000,000 gallons of REAL MAPLE SYRUP annually, with Vermont, New York and Maine leading the nation. Our neighbors in Canada produce even more, and Canada usually produces close to 70% of all the REAL MAPLE SYRUP produced in the world.

To help make certain this pure and natural product is fully enjoyed, we're featuring a yeasty twist on traditional pancake and waffle recipes. As a bonus, these recipes can be made and refrigerated the night before, so all you need to do is heat up your skillet, griddle, or waffle maker and start cooking while your coffee is brewing (and bacon sure goes well with both pancakes and waffles).

Yeast Pancakes Ingredients

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 package Red Star Active Dry Yeast (2 and 1/4 TSP, 1/4 ounce, 7 grams)
1/4 Cup Water
1 and 1/4 cup whole milk
2 Large Eggs
1/4 Cup Melted Butter
2 TBSP Sugar
1 TSP Baking Soda
1/2 TSP Salt

                                                                   
                                                               


Directions:

Combine 1 cup of flour with the yeast in your EZ DOH container and mix well with a whisk. Combine the milk and water and heat to about 125 degrees. Add this heated liquid to the flour/yeast and mix well with either a whisk or the EZ DOH mixing attachment. Then cover this mixture and let it rise for one hour in a warm spot.

While this batter is rising, beat the 2 eggs and melt the butter. Let the butter cool down and then mix these 2 ingredients together.

Combine the remaining one cup of flour with the sugar, baking soda, and salt.

After the batter has risen, stir it down and add all the other ingredients and mix them thoroughly using the mixing attachment. Since this is a batter, there's little resistance (compared to any bread dough) so this can be a safe and fun job for young children and people of any ability level.

After a thorough mixing the batter should be smooth. You could certainly go right ahead and make your pancakes now, or as mentioned above refrigerate the batter until the following morning. This recipe should yield 16 pancakes (4 inches in diameter).

                                                                       

Note: If you refrigerate the batter overnight, you'll need to add a little milk or water to get the right consistency to the batter. Add blueberries or vanilla or whatever you like to the batter, but don't forget to have butter and maple syrup available for toppings.

Yeast Waffles

Since we enclose a sample of Red Star yeast with our EZ DOH mixers and feature their yeast in most of our recipes (and since they have some great pictures of their waffles!), here's a link to their recipe:
https://redstaryeast.com/recipes/crispy-yeast-waffles/ . Their website is a great resource for understanding yeast, and they have many wonderful recipes and tips (and pictures like this one).


                                                             


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