baking http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7673/all en-US 10 Smart Uses for Food That's About to Go Bad http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_herbs_kitchen_000057836846.jpg" alt="Woman finding smart uses for good that&#039;s about to go bad" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It happens all too often that we buy food that we don't get around to eating fast enough, and it ends up on the verge of spoiling. But all isn't lost when there's a soft spot in your fruits and veggies. Turn lemons into lemonade &mdash; literally &mdash; plus a few more edible hacks with these smart uses for food that's about to go bad.</p> <h2>1. Make Smoothies and Bread Out of Bananas, Zucchini, Sweet Potatoes, and Carrots</h2> <p>Banana bread is best when the bananas have been left on the counter to turn into black vessels of near mush &mdash; we all know that &mdash; but there are other fruits and vegetables that can be utilized in a similar manner before they're completely wasted.</p> <p>Zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach all can be salvaged for smoothies, and in some cases, like zucchini, baked goods. I can't give you my grandma's recipe for the latter &mdash; she'd have my head &mdash; but you can try somebody else's grandma's recipe for moist, delicious, <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/6698/moms-zucchini-bread/">spicy zucchini bread</a>.</p> <p>As for the smoothies, it helps to have a <a href="http://amzn.to/1NWuFdJ">juicer</a> to separate the pulp when using carrots and spinach for smoothies, but you can strain it all the same, and many blenders these days can pulverize the ingredients so there's nary a stringy piece in the drink. I always recommend the <a href="http://amzn.to/26TUnpA">Ninja brand</a>, but another may work better for you.</p> <h2>2. Make Vegetable Stock From Near-the-End Veggies</h2> <p>If you have a crisper full of veggies that are on their last leg, turn them into a stock that you can freeze and use later in soups and other recipes.</p> <p>&quot;You can save all the bits and ends from vegetables you've trimmed throughout the week (stems of broccoli or leafy greens, ends of carrots, garlic and onions, soft tomatoes, or wilted greens), gradually adding to a freezer bag, and when it's full you'll be ready to start a new batch of veggie stock,&quot; says Rebecca Lewis, HelloFresh's in-house registered dietician. Here's a recipe:</p> <h3>Ingredients:</h3> <ul> <li>2&ndash;3 pounds vegetable peels (enough to fill a 1 gallon freezer bag). Suggested vegetables: onions and garlic (including skins), peeled carrots, fennel, celery, leafy greens (kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens), and herbs</li> <li>12 cups water</li> <li>1 bay leaf</li> <li>6&ndash;8 peppercorns</li> <li>1 t salt</li> </ul> <h3>Method:</h3> <p>Empty the gallon baggie of veggie trimmings into a large stock pot along with the bay leaf and peppercorns. Add eight cups of water and see where your water level is. Remember it &mdash; this will be the level of where your stock will roughly be after reducing it. Then add the other four cups of water and the salt.</p> <p>Bring to a slow simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to maintain the simmer, keeping the pot uncovered. When the liquid has reduced to the point you recalled earlier, taste the stock. If it doesn't seem concentrated enough, simmer for another hour or two.</p> <p>Remove the stock from heat and strain through a colander. Squeeze all of the stock out of the veggies then discard the veggies. You should end up with roughly eight cups of concentrated stock.</p> <h2>3. Freeze Herbs in Olive Oil</h2> <p>I love cooking with fresh herbs, but it's annoying to buy a huge bunch when I only need a little for the recipe I'm making, like a chicken noodle soup. Parsley and cilantro are the major culprits in this dilemma, and cilantro, in my experience, tends to go bad much quicker than parsley.</p> <p>To get the most herb for my money, I started chopping them up all at once when I get home (or when I first need them for a recipe). I put a bit of the chopped herbs in a plastic baggie in the fridge so I can cook with them throughout the week. I put the rest in ice cube trays with olive oil, place them in the freezer, and then transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag for sautéing and other recipes later. This is a really simple and easy way to preserve your herbs instead of buying a new bunch every time and throwing half of it away.</p> <h2>4. Infuse Olive Oil With Herbs and Peppers</h2> <p>People pay a pretty penny for flavored olive oils at fancy gourmet supermarkets, but you can make your own at home by putting your on-the-verge-of-spoiling herbs and peppers in the bottle for preservation and flavor. Let it sit for at least a week for maximum flavor, and either use them in your own cooking or give them as gifts if they're in a presentable bottle.</p> <h2>5. Place Vanilla Bean Pods in Sugar</h2> <p>If you have an unused vanilla bean after a round of baking &mdash; this is particularly useful at holiday time &mdash; consider adding them to your sugar to enhance its flavor. You can place the pods directly in the sugar or slice them open and scrape out the insides and mix them in the sugar. If you want to do it the easy way, just put the pods in the sugar and let them sit for two weeks. Your sugar will have an amazing vanilla taste and scent.</p> <h2>6. Put on a Pot of &quot;Peasant Stew&quot;</h2> <p>I'm not a huge fan of soups and stews &mdash; I'm a very picky eater and totally &quot;anti-chunk&quot; in my food (my fellow finicky foodies know what I'm talking about) &mdash; but cookbook author Cynthia MacGregor's idea of taking just about anything you have lying around the kitchen and making a meal out of it before it goes bad seems pretty ingenious. She didn't invent it, of course, but it sure sounds like she's perfected it.</p> <p>&quot;Ideally you'll start saving food for a peasant soup/stew as you go along, freezing whatever will freeze well,&quot; she says. &quot;When you have one or more foods that won't freeze well or have reached their outer limit, or you're just in a cookin' frame of mind, defrost what you've saved frozen &mdash; from complicated recipes down to simple simmered veggies &mdash; in a suitably large cooking vessel. Add whatever you want, from herbs to wine to chicken stock to garlic to onions to Worcestershire sauce to plain yogurt or sour cream &mdash; the list goes on.&quot;</p> <p>Got celery that's looking droopy? Toss it in. Got nothing crunchy in the fridge and you'd like to sink your teeth into something? Try a can of water chestnuts. Want color? Add a jar of pimentos. Looking to make the stew/soup more hearty? Add potatoes or, for a twist, yucca. Taste as it cooks.</p> <h2>7. Cut Old Bread Into Croutons and Bake</h2> <p>Instead of throwing away your stale bread, cut it into cubes, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and dried herbs if you'd like, and place it in the oven in a single layer on a baking sheet for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. You'll have perfectly crispy croutons every time. This hack is for stale bread only, by the way; moldy bread is not salvageable &mdash; just throw it away.</p> <h2>8. Puree Delicate Berries for Yogurt and Dessert Toppings</h2> <p>I have a love-hate relationship with berries &mdash; strawberries and raspberries, in particular &mdash; because they spoil so quickly. I've picked up raspberries from the market that have gone bad within 48 hours of purchase, and considering how expensive they can be, it's not something to which I look forward.</p> <p>Now, if I know I'm not able to eat the amount of berries I've purchased within that short window of time, I'll take a portion out for other purposes. One thing I like to do is mash up raspberries and mix them in my yogurt. If you do this and store them in an air-tight container, they last up to a few more days than if they were left in the fridge whole. As for other berries, like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, I like to either boil them down with a bit of <a href="http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/blueberry-compote.html">water, sugar, and lemon juice</a>, which makes a nice, thick sauce for desserts or pancakes, or freeze them to throw in smoothies.</p> <h2>9. Make Patties or Fritters Out of Beans, Grains, and Shredded Meats</h2> <p>What to do with those little bits of beans, grains, and shredded meats that may not be substantial enough for a decent meal? Turn them into patties or fritters says Liza Baker, an integrative nutritional health coach.</p> <p>&quot;Cooked beans, vegetables, grains, and even flaked fish and shredded meat and poultry can be mixed with egg, some bread crumbs (gluten-free or not), and some herbs (dry or fresh) and/or spices and quickly browned in a little butter or olive oil (or ghee or coconut oil) and served on their own, on a bun, under an egg (poached or fried), or crumbled into a wrap,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>10. Use Old Lemons as a Cleaner</h2> <p>Lemons too soft and bitter for anything but the trash? Not so fast. Even if the lemon is past when it tastes its best, its lemony power can still be used to clean and sanitize surfaces in your home. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-use-your-food-that-dont-involve-eating?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways to Use Your Food That Don't Involve Eating</a>)</p> <p>&quot;If you have lemons that are going bad, they can be used as a cleaner,&quot; says money-saving enthusiast and blogger Karen Cordaway. &quot;If you have stains that are hard to get off of your pans or stove top, mix baking soda, vinegar (tablespoon of each), and some lemon to scrub off those stubborn stains. It works extremely well.&quot;</p> <p><em>How do you extend the life of your foods that are about to go bad? I'd love to hear some of your ideas in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beer-donuts-and-11-other-recipes-you-can-make-with-beer">Beer Donuts and 11 Other Recipes You Can Make With Beer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-easy-and-delicious-recipes-for-your-dutch-oven">18 Easy and Delicious Recipes for Your Dutch Oven</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-10-simple-swaps-will-make-your-baking-so-much-better">These 10 Simple Swaps Will Make Your Baking So Much Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tasty-ways-to-cook-with-wine">12 Tasty Ways to Cook With Wine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-easiest-food-budget-wins">The 9 Easiest Food Budget Wins</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink baking desserts dinners food waste groceries herbs lemons recipes smoothies snacks stocks using up ingredients Thu, 12 May 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1705413 at http://www.wisebread.com These 10 Simple Swaps Will Make Your Baking So Much Better http://www.wisebread.com/these-10-simple-swaps-will-make-your-baking-so-much-better <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-10-simple-swaps-will-make-your-baking-so-much-better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/baking_chocolate_cake_000076272187.jpg" alt="Making simple swaps that will make baking so much better" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ever get halfway into baking a cake and realize that you are missing one of the ingredients? Or, maybe you have a recipe that you love, but feel so guilty making it due to the fat or calorie content. Time for a &quot;swap,&quot; or a substitution. Here are 10 that you may even prefer to your regular recipes. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-indulgent-desserts-that-are-actually-good-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Indulgent Desserts That Are Actually Good for You</a>)</p> <h2>1. Double the Benefits of Juicing</h2> <p>Like to make carrot-ginger juice in your juicer? Save the pulp! My regular muffin recipe calls for &frac34; cup of milk; I just decrease that to ⅓ and then use a cup of pulp. Talk about healthy <em>and</em> frugal.</p> <h2>2. Not-So-Many-Pounds Cake</h2> <p>The next time you make pound cake, lighten it a little with avocado. Try using &frac14; cup of butter and &frac12; cup of mashed avocado instead of, well, the pound of butter. The result will be a moister, silkier texture &mdash; and you get the healthy benefits.</p> <h2>3. Buttermilk Makes It Better</h2> <p>I can always tell a baker (or a lover of fried chicken) if I open their refrigerator and find buttermilk. Just substitute buttermilk for the liquid in a boxed cake mix. You won't believe how much better the texture will be. I use low-fat buttermilk and it works well.</p> <h2>4. Yogurt</h2> <p>This swap works really well in a <a href="http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/easy-lemon-loaf/c9b25edf-afc8-4476-b840-0623b345a31e">white cake mix</a>, making a delicious lemony loaf. The yogurt makes it very light (and it will have fewer calories). Don't completely substitute yogurt for butter or oil, though. Taste of Home has these helpful guidelines:</p> <ul> <li>When a recipe calls for butter, replace half the butter with half as much yogurt. For instance, instead of 1 cup butter, use &frac12; cup butter and &frac14; cup yogurt.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>When a recipe calls for shortening or oil, replace half the oil with &frac34; the amount of yogurt. For example, instead of 1 cup oil, use &frac12; cup oil and &frac14; cup plus 2 tablespoons yogurt.</li> </ul> <h2>5. Reduce Those Chocolate Calories</h2> <p>Just substitute mini-morsels for full-size chocolate chips. You still get the chocolatey flavor, but just less of it.</p> <h2>6. Coffee Lover?</h2> <p>To a Devil's food cake mix, substitute cooled coffee for the water. That gives it a rich &quot;mocha&quot; flavor. I like to bake in a bundt pan and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.</p> <h2>7. French Toast</h2> <p>My husband always adds a teaspoon of Angostura bitters, rather than vanilla, to the milk-egg mixture and then soaks the bread. This adds a flavor reminiscent of cloves and allspice.</p> <h2>8. Banana Bread</h2> <p>I like a really tropical flavored banana bread. To my regular recipe, I add 1&frac12; teaspoons of coconut extract instead of vanilla. Then I top the dough with sweetened, flaked coconut before baking.</p> <h2>9. Chocolate-Orange Cake</h2> <p>Another great swap is to use orange juice in place of water in a chocolate cake mix. Drizzle with ganache; garnish with orange sections dipped in melted chocolate.</p> <h2>10. Get Rid of (Some) of the Guilt</h2> <p>Substitute applesauce for oil in a brownie mix. They will be a little drier, so plan to eat them immediately (joke).</p> <p><em>The final word? Experiment! Take a look in your pantry and refrigerator; investigate using healthier substitutions. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-10-simple-swaps-will-make-your-baking-so-much-better">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-ice-cream-cakes-for-your-next-celebration">10 Cool Ice Cream Cakes for Your Next Celebration</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad">10 Smart Uses for Food That&#039;s About to Go Bad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tempting-no-bake-desserts">10 Tempting No-Bake Desserts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-classic-desserts-we-all-miss">17 Classic Desserts We All Miss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink baking desserts ingredients recipes substitutions sweets Tue, 26 Apr 2016 09:30:27 +0000 Marla Walters 1696222 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Delicious Ways to Save Stale Bread http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-ways-to-save-stale-bread <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-delicious-ways-to-save-stale-bread" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000069487909_Large.jpg" alt="how to save and reuse stale bread" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After about three days of purchase, I'm eyeing our loaves of bread, planning the possibilities. Shall I make croutons? Stuffing? Bread pudding with bourbon sauce? See, stale bread can still be saved!</p> <p>If you don't have time to deal with stale bread at the moment, just toss it into the freezer. When you're ready to make any of the items below, it won't have suffered much more in quality once it's defrosted.</p> <h2>1. Homemade Croutons</h2> <p>My family eats these out of the pan as fast as I can toast them. Just about any bread (except sweet ones) work. Adding warm, freshly baked croutons onto a salad is so delicious, especially if that salad also contains some avocado, tomato, and onion.</p> <p>Here's how to do it: Slice up your stale bread into cubes. Heat a large skillet and add about four tablespoons of olive oil. Add your bread cubes and toss them until they are covered in oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt and any other herbs you like (dried parsley and oregano are good). Over low heat, toast until golden-brown and crispy. Serve immediately. Or, just eat them right out of the pan.</p> <h2>2. Strata</h2> <p>A strata is an almost souffle-like casserole, usually prepared the night before &mdash; which makes it so easy to turn it into breakfast in the morning.</p> <p>Spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray. Lightly butter slices of stale bread and put a layer on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Repeat until the pan is almost full, like you are making a lasagne. Next, crack four to five eggs &mdash; depending on how big a strata you are making &mdash; and whisk together with a half-pint of whipping cream. Pour over the top, add more cheese, and let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.</p> <p>In the morning, pop it into the oven at 350&ordm;F for about an hour (check it at 45 minutes). It will be puffy, cheesy, and delicious. Caution: This doesn't work as well with whole-wheat bread, so stick with French or sourdough. This recipe is very versatile. You can also add a layer of ham or tomato slices on the top. A layer of spinach is good, too.</p> <h2>3. Cornflake-Covered French Toast</h2> <p>Make French toast as usual, except... after dipping the bread in egg/milk, dip it into crushed corn flakes before adding to the skillet. Fry until golden and crispy. Keep pieces warm at 200&ordm;F in the oven until ready to serve. I like mine drizzled with honey.</p> <h2>4. Stuffing</h2> <p>Stuffing is just too delicious to only eat at Thanksgiving. It also <em>needs</em> stale bread, so that it soaks up all the delicious things you will add to it.</p> <p>Here is how I make mine:</p> <p><strong><em>Ingredients</em></strong></p> <ul> <li>10 cups of stale bread cubes (toast in a low oven and cool down, to make sure it will really soak up the other ingredients)</li> <li>1 shallot (a whole shallot, not a section), finely chopped</li> <li>&frac14; cup butter</li> <li>2 T olive oil</li> <li>1 cup sliced celery (with leaves)</li> <li>1 t salt</li> <li>&frac12; t pepper</li> <li>2 t poultry seasoning</li> <li>2 cans chicken broth, heated</li> </ul> <p><strong><em>Method</em></strong></p> <p>Melt butter and olive oil; add salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Add shallot and celery; stir until tender. Add bread cubes and stir until coated, and gradually add in chicken broth. If you like a moister stuffing, add hot water until desired consistency is achieved.</p> <h2>5. Meatloaf and Meatballs</h2> <p>I would be remiss if I didn't mention stale bread in meatloaf or meatballs. Our mothers and grandmothers called this &quot;stretching&quot; meat, but it does more than that. Adding bread gives the loaf, or meatballs, a lighter texture, and helps to bind the meat together. I soak my stale bread in milk before adding to the meatloaf mixture. This will keep the meatloaf more moist, too &mdash; no brick-like loaves.</p> <h2>6. Bread Pudding</h2> <p>It may be worth letting your bread go stale just so that you can make this bread pudding. If you don't like a traditional recipe with raisins, substitute chocolate chips. I like both, frankly. I also like mine with a bourbon sauce, but it's also good with some whipped cream. I have had a version with chopped pecans, and that was also a nice addition &mdash; just toast them first. No, the sauce isn't kid-friendly &mdash; although Grandma Ruth allowed us to have some at Christmas, when I was a kid. We'd sneak spoonfuls of it later.</p> <p><strong><em>Ingredients</em></strong></p> <ul> <li>2 cups milk, scalded and cooled</li> <li>4 thick slices of bread, lightly toasted</li> <li>3 T butter, melted</li> <li>&frac12; cup packed brown sugar</li> <li>&frac12; t cinnamon</li> <li>⅓ cup raisins OR chocolate chips (or both!)</li> <li>3 eggs, beaten</li> <li>1 t vanilla</li> </ul> <p><strong><em>Method</em></strong></p> <p>Grease or spray a casserole dish (9 x 9 x 2), or a little larger. Cut or tear bread into pieces and place into casserole dish. Drizzle with butter; sprinkle with sugar. Add the raisins or chocolate chips.</p> <p>To beaten eggs, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and cooled milk. Pour over bread mixture and bake at 350&ordm;F for an hour, or until knife comes out clean.</p> <p>To make the hard sauce:</p> <ul> <li>1 stick butter, melted</li> <li>&frac12; cup brown sugar</li> <li>1 cup of Jack Daniel's Bourbon</li> </ul> <p>Melt butter; stir in brown sugar until melted. Add bourbon. Pour over bread pudding. Swoon.</p> <h2>7. Bread Salad (Panzanella)</h2> <p>This is more of a <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/09/classic-panzanella-salad-recipe.html">&quot;stale bread in summertime&quot; recipe</a>, because in addition to the bread, you'll need ripe tomatoes and fresh basil. (You can get those things at a high-end grocery store in the winter, but then your budget will feel it.) I was concerned that the consistency would be soggy, but toasting the bread cubes and draining the tomatoes ensures it isn't. You can easily make this a main-dish salad by adding some sliced salami.</p> <h2>8. Bread Soup (Ribollita)</h2> <p>This is a lovely old recipe which comes from Tuscany. Done in a traditional manner, it takes about 25 hours. Yes, that includes soaking beans. I don't know about you, but it's a pretty rare week when I can devote 25 hours to making soup. Fortunately, there exists<a href="http://www.loveandlemons.com/ribollita-tuscan-white-bean-soup/"> this recipe</a>, which is not only delicious, but can be put together shortly before dinnertime. French or sourdough breads also can be used.</p> <h2>9. Bread Crumbs</h2> <p>Talk about a handy thing to have around, and they're so easy to make!</p> <p><strong><em>Ingredients</em></strong></p> <ul> <li>8 slices of stale white bread</li> <li>1 T Italian seasonings</li> <li>1 t garlic salt</li> <li>1 t onion powder</li> <li>1 t paprika</li> <li>1 t dried parsley</li> </ul> <p><strong><em>Method</em></strong></p> <p>Preheat oven to 300&ordm;F. Tear up the bread and put it in your blender or food processor. Pulse until you have crumbs.</p> <p>In a large bowl, combine the crumbs with the rest of the ingredients. I like to rub them together with my hands to make sure it all gets well-mixed.</p> <p>Spread onto a large cookie sheet and toast for five minutes. Remove and cool for 20 minutes. Store in airtight container. These can be used on pastas, meat, lasagnas, and so much more!</p> <h2>10. Homemade Shake'N Bake</h2> <p>No need to purchase bread crumbs when you have your own! Try dredging thinly-pounded chicken breasts in plain yogurt, with a little lemon juice, and then adding in bread crumbs. Bake at 375&ordm;F for 50 minutes. Or, dredge a thin pork chop in an egg wash, then bread crumbs, and fry. Lastly, coat some halibut or cod with mayonnaise. Cover in bread crumbs, sprinkle with parmesan, and broil.</p> <p>Lastly, if you are just too overwhelmed by thrifty cooking, there is still no need to waste food. Tear up your bread and go feed the ducks!</p> <p><em>How do you use up stale bread? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-ways-to-save-stale-bread">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-uses-for-stale-bread">17 Uses for Stale Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-bread-fresh">How to Keep Bread Fresh</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">How to bake sourdough bread (and save a buck on every loaf)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-63-best-cooking-hacks-for-busy-people">Flashback Friday: 63 Best Cooking Hacks for Busy People</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink baking bread Cooking cooking hacks food hacks food tricks food waste recipes stale bread Tue, 19 Apr 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Marla Walters 1693273 at http://www.wisebread.com Your Kitchen: Splurge on This, Save on That http://www.wisebread.com/your-kitchen-splurge-on-this-save-on-that <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-kitchen-splurge-on-this-save-on-that" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000064301007.jpg" alt="Learning when to splurge and save in the kitchen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you like spending most of your time in the kitchen? Whether you cook or bake, you know there are a ton of gadgets and gizmos out there to help you in the process. The thing is, you don't need them all. Here are just a few items you might consider splurging on, and others that aren't necessarily worth the money.</p> <p>Note: Your own list will have a lot to do with your favorite cooking or baking activities, so we'd love to hear your picks in the comments!</p> <h2>1. Mixer</h2> <p>Splurge: If you're anything like me, you're concocting something baked on the daily. I use my&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1pcX7gn">KitchenAid stand mixer</a> ($150 to $250+) almost exclusively. It comes with beater, whisk, and dough hook attachments that work wonderfully for most tasks. I've been known to bake brownies, pizza dough, and a double batch of bagels all in the same day, so help with the heavy lifting is important. Bakers over at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chowhound.com/post/kitchenaid-mixer-749393">ChowHound</a> share that this stand mixer does indeed make baking faster and more efficient, definitely earning its value a million times over.</p> <p>Save: If you'd rather simmer soup than bake a cake, you might want to skip any type of mixer and just stick with standard whisks and spoons. You can get most basic, occasional baking done this way, from chocolate chip cookies to no-knead breads. If you'd like something motorized, I've also fallen in love with my&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/21nndON">KitchenAid hand mixer</a> &mdash; it whips up frosting in seconds, creams together sugar and butter like a dream, and costs less than $40.</p> <h2>2. Knives</h2> <p>Splurge: Cooks rely heavily on knives to slice and dice. Though you don't need all the many options you'll get in a big set, it's worth investing in a few quality pieces for your collection. Start with a quality&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1QlueFt">chef's knife</a> ($100+). Consumer Reports shares that knives that are forged versus stamped may cost more, but they'll <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/kitchen-knives/buying-guide.htm">hold up better over time</a>. They are created from a single piece of steel and won't bend as much with use.</p> <h2>3. Mixing and Prep Bowls</h2> <p>Save: The sky's the limit with the prices you'll see on bowls. I use a vintage Pyrex set handed down to me by my husband's grandmother. My mom, on the other hand, has used the same set of&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1QlMluN">stainless steel mixing bowls</a> ($15+) since her wedding shower back in 1980. You really don't need to go expensive on this item. Same goes with prep bowls. You can skip them entirely (I do) or pick up a <a href="http://amzn.to/1QlMq1G">set of four</a> for under $6.</p> <h2>4. Cast Iron</h2> <p>Splurge: You've probably heard of the many merits of a cast iron Dutch oven (perfectly even cook with roasting, braising, frying, baking, etc.) and wondered about the top-notch brands. When asked, readers of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2009/02/le-creuset-is-it-worth-it.html">Serious Eats</a> weighed in on the matter. Their overwhelming response?&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1Qlvh8l">Le Creuset</a> ($170+) is worth the price, especially if you plan to use it often. Check local shops (and hunt around online) for the best sales and deals. That way, you can build your lifetime collection slowly. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-to-pick-the-best-cookware-for-your-needs?ref=seealso">How to Pick the Best Cookware for Your Needs</a>)</p> <p>Save: You'll also find a ton of cast iron cookware at a fraction of the price, which might work well if you're only going to use it every now and again. Read reviews before you buy and look for notes on chipping and cracking (a common complaint with enamel on cheaper coated cast iron). Another good budget option might be&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/21noCox">Lodge</a> ($40+). Though a good number of their pans are not coated and need to be seasoned before use, they still offer the benefits of cast iron.</p> <h2>5. Digital Scale</h2> <p>Save: I've learned the importance of weighing ingredients versus measuring with my baking. My digital scale has been a big help with preventing bread-related mishaps. My <a href="http://amzn.to/1Up1il0">kitchen scale</a> only cost me around $10. You don't need one with lots of bells and whistles. A simple weight will do in a pinch.</p> <h2>6. Food Processor</h2> <p>Splurge: I use my food processor almost every day. It blends together a perfect hummus, makes an amazing pesto, whips up delicious pasta dough, and even gifts me with crazy-good homemade peanut butter, among many other things. It's not hard to spend well over $100 on one (I've have this&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1QixAwh">Cuisinart 11-Cup Pro</a> model for the last eight years) &mdash; but the cheaper options, in my experience, don't hold up to frequent use. I've burned out many motors in my time.</p> <p>Yes, you can get by without a food processor &mdash; but with its versatility, you won't want to. In fact, you may end up saving money by making things you usually buy at the grocery store from scratch. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy?ref=seealso">35 Grocery Items You Should Make at Home &mdash; And 5 to Buy</a>)</p> <h2>7. Grater</h2> <p>Save: Though I use a grater frequently, I wouldn't say it's an item you need to buy at a premium. The most important feature, in my opinion, is that it's easy to clean. Beyond that, you will probably want a couple different size options, course to fine. You can get away with spending less than $7 for a <a href="http://amzn.to/1Qlwixc">simple grater</a> that works well.</p> <h2>8. Veggie Peeler</h2> <p>Save: Same goes with a vegetable peeler. We had a fancier model that recently bit the dust. I replaced it with a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1Up1yAw">$6 basic peeler</a>, and I couldn't be happier. When you're looking at peelers, try to find information on rust. The one I bought guarantees not to rust for 10 years!</p> <h2>9. Thermometer</h2> <p>Splurge: I'm a vegetarian, so I didn't know how important it is to have a good thermometer until a friend clued me in. You don't want to over- or under-cook an expensive piece of meat, for example. And you can buy a cheap thermometer that will record an accurate temperature and serve you well.</p> <p>Why is this one a splurge? A <a href="http://amzn.to/21npyt3">quick-read thermometer</a> will give you that reading in a blink (four seconds), which might mean the difference between delight and disaster.</p> <p><em>Save or splurge: What's on your list?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-kitchen-splurge-on-this-save-on-that">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">How to bake sourdough bread (and save a buck on every loaf)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-kitchen-luxuries-that-are-worth-it-and-5-that-arent">5 Kitchen Luxuries That Are Worth It (and 5 That Aren&#039;t)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping baking Cooking gizmos kitchen gadgets tools worth the money Mon, 14 Mar 2016 11:30:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1666848 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Kitchen Mixing Spoons http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-kitchen-mixing-spoons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-kitchen-mixing-spoons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_mixing_spoon_000021801060.jpg" alt="Woman using best kitchen mixing spoons" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every chef needs a good mixing spoon (or set of spoons). Nowadays, you can choose spoons that double over as spatulas, have &ldquo;stay cool&rdquo; handles, are heatproof, and offer all sorts of interesting features. To help you find the right one for your kitchen, we&rsquo;ve compiled a list of some of the best mixing spoons available.</p> <h2>What Is a Kitchen Mixing Spoon?</h2> <p>A kitchen mixing spoon makes it easier to cook and prepare meals. Whether you need a tool to combine ingredients for cooking or baking, or need something to scrape the bottom of the sauce pan with after you prepare dinner, a mixing spoon (or cooking spoon) is an essential tool in every kitchen. Kitchen spoons can wear down, become discolored, or even crack over time due to continued use. By selecting a high-quality, durable spoon and caring for it well over time, you can expect years of reliable use.</p> <h2>Top 5 Kitchen Mixing Spoons</h2> <h3>Lipper International 826 Bamboo Kitchen Tools</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0037NZ5ES/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0037NZ5ES&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6BO6SGPUVZ76NNAG"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/lipper.jpg" width="240" height="160" align="right" alt="" /></a>As Amazon&rsquo;s number one best seller in cooking spoons, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0037NZ5ES/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0037NZ5ES&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6BO6SGPUVZ76NNAG">Lipper International Set of Bamboo Kitchen Tools</a> offers the tools you need for any recipe. The set comes with three wooden spoons and three wooden spatulas in a mesh bag. The complete, but minimalist set is made of bamboo wood, so they are harder and more durable than maple, and have a natural color, not a stain.</p> <p>The beautiful, practical spoons are easy to clean. Simply wash in mild soap and water and dry thoroughly. Many chefs argue that using a wooden or bamboo spoon is the best way to go, and some recipes specifically call for a wooden spoon. Taking good care of your wooden and bamboo spoons is key to ensuring they can perform reliably for years to come.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0037NZ5ES/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0037NZ5ES&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6BO6SGPUVZ76NNAG"><em>Currently $6.86 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>BEST Large Silicone Kitchen Mixing Serving Spoon By Chef Frog</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KXCJ56U/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00KXCJ56U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=634XFS5RGCPT4MOX"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/best%20spoon.jpg" width="240" height="121" align="right" alt="" /></a>This <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KXCJ56U/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00KXCJ56U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=634XFS5RGCPT4MOX">Large Silicone Kitchen Mixing Serving Spoon by Chef Frog</a> is unlike any other. Perfect for home or professional use, the sturdy mixing spoon features bright lime green silicone to match any decor, and has a convenient hook for easy access. The silicone-coated head prevents scratches and damage to delicate cookware. It is also stain resistant, so you don&rsquo;t have to worry about what you&rsquo;re using it with. The BPA-free, food grade silicone serving spoons are dishwasher safe and heat resistant to 450&deg;. The unique &ldquo;stay-cool&quot; stainless steel handle is large and comfortable to grip for extended periods of time and will remain cool in your hands, so you can continue stirring without worrying about hand cramps or burns. The high quality spoons are made to last, so you can count on dependable performance for years.</p> <p>Many reviewers agree that this is the strongest, thickest spoon in their kitchen, ideal for tough cooking jobs. If you like this spoon, Chef Frog offers a variety of spoons, including a slotted spoon, slotted spatula, pasta fork, and ladle.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KXCJ56U/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00KXCJ56U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=634XFS5RGCPT4MOX"><em>Currently $12.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>OXO Good Grips Wooden Spoon Set</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008H2JLP8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008H2JLP8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=35VTL436R6OIPGSS"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/oxo_0.jpg" width="163" height="240" align="right" alt="" /></a>If you&rsquo;re looking for the perfect set of wooden spoons, look no further. You can&rsquo;t go wrong with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008H2JLP8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008H2JLP8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=35VTL436R6OIPGSS">OXO Good Grips</a>; they just make kitchen items better. The OXO Good Grips Wooden Spoon Set includes a large, medium, and small wooden spoon. The solid, one-piece wood construction and natural oil finish make these perfect to use anytime, including on non-stick cookware. Each spoon has a hook on the handle for easy access and storage. The comfortable handles make it easy to use for large jobs and continual stirring. Each spoon head is also broad so that you can scoop large portions of food at a time.</p> <p>They also feature a straight-sided shape so that you can easily reach along the walls and corners of your cookware. They are backed by outstanding online reviews and a satisfaction guarantee. Reviewers agree that these are higher quality than your average spoons, but it is important to hand wash them and care for them well to ensure they can continue to meet your needs for years to come. If you like this spoon set, OXO also offers other wooden utensils, such as a slotted spoon, salute paddle, turner, and corner spoon.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008H2JLP8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008H2JLP8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=35VTL436R6OIPGSS"><em>Currently $11.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Le Creuset Silicone Large Spatula Spoon</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004S7UG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00004S7UG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GDJAXCJFKZS7Z5YY"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/le%20creuset.jpg" width="54" height="240" align="right" alt="" />Le Creuset Silicone Large Spatula Spoon</a> is the spoon that all others are compared to. Many independent review sites and professional chefs agree that this spoon is their favorite because no other spoons can compete with its durability. The premium quality silicone spoon is microwave, oven, and freezer safe. It is heat resistant to 800&deg; and will not scratch or damage your delicate cookware. The large, flexible spoon can double over as a spatula to cleanly scrape both flat and curved surfaces. It can bend and mold to fit your bowls so that you get every last drop. There is also a unique shallow indentation specially made for stirring sauces.</p> <p>The silicone construction and special stain-proof coating will also prevent it from staining, cracking, or fading over time, and can even prevent it from absorbing flavors and odors of food. To thoroughly clean it, it is best to remove the wooden handle to wash by hand, and place the silicone head in the dishwasher. Available in six attractive colors, you can easily find the perfect one to complement your kitchen decor.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004S7UG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00004S7UG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GDJAXCJFKZS7Z5YY"><em>Currently $10.89 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Tovolo Silicone Mixing Spoon</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X7FOI8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000X7FOI8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JRBX5OPKJ46O3FQ6"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/tovolo.jpg" width="53" height="240" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X7FOI8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000X7FOI8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JRBX5OPKJ46O3FQ6">Tovolo Silicone Mixing Spoon</a> is a solid, durable nylon spoon with silicone covering is heat resistant up to 600&deg;. It has a durable stainless steel handle and is heavy enough to feel sturdy in the hand, but light enough to allow you to stir for long periods of time. The silicone construction will not scratch or harm your cookware. It is also stain resistant, dishwasher safe, and won&rsquo;t absorb flavors or aromas, so it can provide you with years of dependable use.</p> <p>If you like the Tovolo Silicone Mixing Spoon, Tovolo offers a range of kitchen tools, including a slotted turner, ladle, slotted spoon, spatula, tongs, and much more. Available in seven bright, long-lasting colors, you can find the perfect one for your kitchen or to give as a unique gift.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X7FOI8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000X7FOI8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JRBX5OPKJ46O3FQ6"><em>Currently $10.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p><em>And those are our recommendations for the best kitchen mixing spoons. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-kitchen-mixing-spoons">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-usb-powered-fans">The 5 Best USB-Powered Fans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-robotic-mops">The 5 Best Robotic Mops</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping baking kitchen utensils mixing spoons product reviews utensils Thu, 29 Oct 2015 09:16:54 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1588136 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Cool Jobs for Foodies http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-jobs-for-foodies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-cool-jobs-for-foodies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_cupcakes_000013090905.jpg" alt="Woman finding cool jobs for foodies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Chef, cookbook author, newspaper columnist... there are some really high-profile &quot;foodie&quot; jobs out there that look fun and exciting. But how about the rest of us regular folk who want to work in a food-related field? Are there opportunities? The good news? Yes, and in many of them, you can transition gradually <em>and</em> make money while you do so. Here are 12 cool foodie jobs that &quot;regular people&quot; can do.</p> <h2>1. Cake Decorator</h2> <p>The best special-occasion cake that I ever purchased was for my daughter's 18th birthday. Her high school art teacher made it. Not only were the cake and frosting delicious (and you know this can be a tricky point), but the decorating was stunning. Due to her art background and love of baking, her teacher was able to successfully move into a new career.</p> <p>Another example. When my daughter was four, I ordered one of those cakes with the Barbie doll in the middle. I had to order it <em>six months</em> in advance because they were so popular. A local stay-at-home mom had made a niche business of doing nothing but kids' birthday cakes and they were in huge demand. She could barely keep up with the orders.</p> <p>Looking for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career">side job that can move into a full-time gig</a>? If you have artistic ability, and love to bake, this might be for you. No formal degree is required, but you might want to take classes at a culinary school. Growth is predicted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to be better than average, and specialty cake decorators make between <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/12/my-life-as-a-cake-designer">$21,000 and $42,000 per year</a>. My job search revealed that those employed in supermarkets can obtain &quot;...Competitive pay plus benefit packages of health, dental, vision, and 401K.&quot; Smaller bakeries did not tend to offer benefits and pay was based on experience.</p> <h2>2. Niche Farmer</h2> <p>Do you have a green thumb, or are you really good with livestock? Niche farming may be just the ticket for this &quot;foodie&quot; job.</p> <p>The beauty of it is that you can start niche farming while you still have your day job. Some of my &quot;niche farmer&quot; friends raise lamb, grow mangoes or coffee, keep bees, sell worms for gardens, and have free-range chickens. All are employed by full-time day jobs, but are working toward easing themselves into farming. Here is the amazing thing: It's <em>working</em> for all of them. They are able to farm, or garden, on the side and sell everything they grow/raise/make.</p> <p>People love high-quality, organic products. Making the bridge from full-time worker into full-time farmer is a little anxiety-provoking, though. My friend Thomas, who raises sheep, tells me &quot;I need to be hungrier&quot; &mdash; meaning, he needs to be motivated to give it his all. Erick, who raises worms (vermicomposting), says he needs to work on his marketing and not rely on word of mouth. Scott, who grows coffee, found that re-branding and getting his product into a local grocery store made the difference.</p> <p>Having niche farming as a sideline gives you the space to perfect your craft, until you are in a financial position to make the jump. There is a lot of information to pore over about the necessary education and the economic outlook for <a href="http://organic.about.com/od/startanorganicfarm/tp/Steps-To-Becoming-An-Organic-Farmer.htm">organic farming</a>.</p> <p>Interested in niche farming?</p> <ul> <li>Do your research.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hit the farmers markets.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Talk to meat and produce managers in grocery stores &mdash; Would they be able to buy your product? Do you need organic certification?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Become an expert in your product.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Check zoning laws.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Learn marketing, or hire someone who knows how and has a successful track record<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Start small.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Caterer</h2> <p>Love to cook for others? Have access to a commercial kitchen? Catering may be the ticket for you.</p> <p>Let's discuss two levels. First, as a professional caterer, it isn't a cheap career to get into. You will need access to a certified kitchen, a business license, and insurance. In most states you will need to pass a health inspection and food handler class, too. Check your state's requirements before you leap.</p> <p>Caterers also need strong marketing skills (you need to get the word out) and some technological ability (for a website). Catering isn't just about cooking what you want to make, either. Although you should be able to offer standard items, you will need to be able to present other ideas to a client (along with prices per head) and test recipes ahead of time. Finding wholesale vendors is another must.</p> <p>Lastly, you will need to hire help, so you'll need a short course on Business 101 (payroll, I-9's, workers' compensation, billing, etc.) As you can see, startup costs can run a minimum of $10,000. How much will you earn? The average looks to be between $27,000 and $35,000 per year. If you are strongly drawn toward catering, try it out. Go to work for a caterer or a restaurant that offers catering.</p> <p>Now, a second option. If you are someone with a great home kitchen and you love to cook, you may still be able to pursue this on another level. You may be hired to make dinner for friends, a birthday cake, hors d'oeuvres for a party, etc. My friend Jane did this for years, while practicing psychotherapy as her day job. She'd suggest a menu; show up with the food and flowers; serve, and clean up. I would only suggest doing this on a small-scale level, for friends or well-known business contacts, and I wouldn't hold myself out as a professional &mdash; just as a friend who loves to cook. Jane enjoyed her day job, but just loved to cook so much, that she wanted to do more of it.</p> <h2>4. Food Blogger</h2> <p>I just Googled &quot;food blog&quot; and was returned 420,000,000 results. So yes, a lot of people are already doing it, but if you want to do your own, there is no reason that you shouldn't.</p> <p>Every blog I follow (and I follow a lot of them) brings something different to the party. I am never at a loss for cooking ideas. What sorts of skills do you need? Some technological ability is a plus, although you can put together a blog in an afternoon using Weebly, GoDaddy, Blogger, WordPress, or another easy web-building package. Being able to write well is essential. Taking good photographs is also important. And bloggers who blog regularly will get more traffic.</p> <p>If you want to set up your own site and earn money, I strongly recommend you read this post from<a href="http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/11/12/how-to-make-money-from-a-food-blog/"> Sally's Baking Addiction</a>. You will also benefit from some networking (both on the Internet and in person). Surprisingly, the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't list &quot;food blogger&quot; as a separate occupation yet (they should Google it); they lump it in with bloggers. They do, however, offer a very informative article about <a href="http://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2012/fall/art02.pdf">how to blog</a>.</p> <p>You can also sell your blogging work on a freelance basis. Sign up for a number of sites that will send you alerts for work. It's best to set up a PayPal account, as many employers like to use this service for payment.</p> <h2>5. Candy Maker</h2> <p>As I write about this fun job, I am munching a piece of lemon bark recently sent to me. It's delicious! I have known this particular candy maker for close to 15 years, and am delighted to see she's still doing her thing.</p> <p>Candy making is an art as well as a science. It's very challenging. I only know how to make one kind of candy, and it's exhausting every time I do it. My friends who use Etsy to sell candy claim it is easy to set up shop. (Here are their <a href="https://blog.etsy.com/en/2008/selling-your-edibles-on-etsy/">requirements for selling edibles</a>.)</p> <p>The aforementioned lemon bark is made in a culinary incubator facility &mdash; offering shared, part-time kitchen rental. You may also be able to rent space in a commercial kitchen during their off hours. Your best bet may be a church kitchen, which otherwise does not get a lot of use.</p> <p>Other considerations: packaging, mailing, a website, marketing. How much can you expect to earn? Working for yourself, maybe initially $10 an hour. If you want to work on a candy production line in a candy factory, you will probably make more like $8.25 per hour, although some do offer benefits. It would probably be great experience, though, if you want to go into business for yourself eventually.</p> <h2>6. Restaurant Critic</h2> <p>I doubt I am alone in picking restaurant critic as a dream job. Eating delicious food, writing about it, and no dishes to wash! Nice work if you can get it, right?</p> <p>The average <a href="http://www.indeed.com/salary/Food-Critic.html">annual salary</a> is around $47,000, but can be a lot more if you're working for television or a prestigious food magazine. Some critics have backgrounds in journalism or communication, or are experienced writers. I was surprised to read that up to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/times-insider/2015/02/16/restaurant-critic-pete-wells-on-how-he-does-his-job/?_r=1">30 or 40 dishes are tested</a> after multiple visits. Food critics may join the <a href="http://www.afjonline.com/FoodCriticsGuidelines.cfm">Association of Food Journalists</a>, which sets forth standards for objectivity and provides resources. Like other jobs, though, there are drawbacks:</p> <p>&quot;Nobody will think you deserve the gig you've got, including your friends.&quot; &mdash;Todd Kliman, Washingtonian wine and food and editor and critic.</p> <p>Or this, from <em>NYT </em>Restaurant reviewer Pete Wells: &quot;You can put down your tiny violins; it doesn't take much to see that the problems of an overfed restaurant critic don't amount to a hill of fava beans in this crazy world.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;You will gain 20 to 30 pounds. Even if you exercise four days a week. More if you don't.&quot; <em>&mdash; </em>Jonathan Kauffman, editor of <em>Tasting Table SF</em> and former dining reviewer for <em>SF Weekly</em> and <em>Seattle Weekly</em>.</p> <p>Interested in becoming a food critic?</p> <ul> <li>Learn to write well.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Develop your palate and become very well-educated about food and food preparation.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Gain some restaurant experience.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Read cookbooks, study various cooking methods, and try them yourself.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Blog, volunteer to write reviews for small-circulation papers, and apply for food-related writing jobs.</li> </ul> <h2>7. Cookbook Author</h2> <p>Yes, you too can write a cookbook. Finding a publisher, alas, can be a more difficult project. However, don't give up! Thanks to the advent of self-publishing, you can write your own book, market it, and sell it yourself, or team up with a bigger outfit, like <a href="http://craftdrawer.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Write-and-Publish-a-Cookbook-for-Kindle">Kindle</a>. You can buy cookbook-writing software. There are how-to books on <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0738214043/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0738214043&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=7KYOZ3CKQOAAINYL">how to write cookbooks</a>. There are many resources available, as this field is huge.</p> <p>Can you make money at it? Yes, but the trick seems to be to find a popular subject (i.e., gluten-free cooking, or vegan recipes, for example). You need to find a good niche, which means doing a ton of research. I have purchased cookbook e-books; they are usually less expensive and some have great recipes. However, unless you can hit the trifecta (writing, editing, and photography), you should probably consider hiring recipe testers and a cookbook editor, described below.</p> <h2>8. Recipe Tester</h2> <p>These jobs are hard to find, but I promise, they are out there (and I have done it). Aspiring cookbook authors (above) need to test recipes. A recipe tester does just that &mdash; makes the recipe to the author's exact instructions.</p> <p>You need to take copious notes and probably complete questionnaires electronically. Pay varies, which can be a challenge, because you will need to purchase many ingredients to test. If you can take a decent photograph to send to the cookbook writer, so much the better. An important aspect of being a recipe tester is confidentiality, and in my experience, you'll be asked to sign an agreement to ensure it.</p> <p>A good place to find recipe-testing jobs is to look on popular food blogs wherein the blogger has published cookbooks. A second recipe tester industry exists with large companies, but those jobs are harder to come by.</p> <p>What sort of a background do you need to get hired?</p> <ul> <li>Experience in cooking<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Excellent written communications skills<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Decent photography skills<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Diplomacy &mdash; to communicate needed changes without offending the cookbook author<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The ability to move quickly &mdash; you may be testing 10 recipes per week, and feedback must be given on a weekly basis</li> </ul> <h2>9. Cookbook Editor</h2> <p>Continuing in the vein of cookbook author and recipe tester, a third party needs to come into play: the editor. Recipes need to be appealing, clearly written, and list items in a logical sequence. It is vitally important to keep the author's &quot;voice&quot; intact (after all, it's their book, not yours).</p> <p>This is another very ticklish job, because like a recipe tester, you do not want to offend the author. Pay varies. Some editors work for famous publishing houses; some work freelance. If you work freelance, you will often be asked to bid on a job. If you think you'd like to take a crack at freelance editing, check out Upwork, Freelancer, Craigslist, or LinkedIn, where you can find job notices. Some go beyond editing &mdash; check out this gal's <a href="http://today.cofc.edu/2014/04/30/want-job-19-cookbook-editor/">fun job</a>.</p> <p>What makes you a good editor candidate?</p> <ul> <li>Excellent command of English</li> <li>Experience with proofreading</li> <li>Diplomacy skills</li> <li>Above-average knowledge of food</li> <li>Above-average cooking skills</li> </ul> <h2>10. Cooperative Extension Educator</h2> <p>Cooperative extensions are often found in places where agriculture is a big part of the community. I knew two ladies employed by cooperative extensions, Carol and Evelyn, and they both loved their careers. Their daily duties were largely made up of teaching cooking, teaching food safety, presentations, and leading 4-H groups.</p> <p>I took many a class at my California cooperative extension; I learned a lot about food safety. I can still hear Carol's mantra: &quot;Keep hot foods hot, and cold foods cold.&quot; They had large classroom-style kitchen facilities with state-of-the-art equipment. Another co-op extension acquaintance was Gary, who was a livestock specialist. He would perform home visits and offer advice about keeping livestock.</p> <p>You can still take classes at some cooperative extensions &mdash; the one closest to me just taught &quot;Mastering Food Preservation.&quot; In perusing available jobs, they appear to be mostly benefited, with pay based on experience, and a master's degree required. These were also family-friendly jobs; all three of the people mentioned above had families. You also need above-average communication skills (written and oral), and to be able to effectively work with kids and the public.</p> <h2>11. Food Product Demonstrator</h2> <p>I think there are two camps of demonstrators &mdash; the ones who have it sort of rough at Costco, trying to describe the product before it is snatched off of their trays, and the ones in upscale markets who actually get to visit a little and tell you about the food. I still remember trying my first bite of Dubliner cheese from &quot;Irene&quot; in an upscale market. And yes, I bought the cheese.</p> <p>Entry-level average pay for a food product demonstrator is $11 per hour; more experienced demonstrators can command $20 and up. Average growth is predicted in the field. If you are looking for seasonal, part-time, or temporary work in the &quot;food field,&quot; it might be perfect for you. Demonstrators should be personable, engaging, patient, and well-groomed. Training is on-the-job.</p> <h2>12. Food Stylist</h2> <p>Ever make something really delicious, and want to post it on Facebook , only to find that the picture looks terrible? Why does food look so great in the magazines or on TV? The answer: Food stylists.</p> <p>Food stylists make food look amazing in pictures (or on television). It's tricky stuff, keeping food looking great under hot camera lights and/or for long periods of time. Some food stylists are also photographers, or at least have a strong knowledge base about photography. They also need to know a lot about food and cooking. Some work for television shows or magazines, some are freelance. The BLS does not give a specific economic outlook, but I was surprised to find seventeen job listings in a quick search.</p> <p>Interested in this field? Consider what you need.</p> <ul> <li>A degree in Culinary Arts (helpful)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Above-average knowledge about photography<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Creative background; really good at art<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Good &quot;people&quot; skills to enable you to work with chefs, photographers, clients, etc.</li> </ul> <p><em>Tell us about your current &mdash; or planned &mdash; foodie career!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-jobs-for-foodies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-ways-to-save-stale-bread">10 Delicious Ways to Save Stale Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-ways-to-use-up-your-summer-tomatoes">The 12 Best Ways to Use Up Your Summer Tomatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-perfectly-respectable-uses-for-instant-mashed-potatoes">5 Perfectly Respectable Uses for Instant Mashed Potatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-simple-kitchen-skills-every-frugal-person-should-master">16 Simple Kitchen Skills Every Frugal Person Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Food and Drink baking catering Cooking food lovers foodies new jobs recipes writing Wed, 07 Oct 2015 17:00:41 +0000 Marla Walters 1583575 at http://www.wisebread.com The 12 Best Ways to Use Up Your Summer Tomatoes http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-ways-to-use-up-your-summer-tomatoes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-12-best-ways-to-use-up-your-summer-tomatoes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000071431989.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to use up summer tomatoes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every year it's the same thing: beguiled by seed catalogs, my neighbors plant too many tomatoes in the spring. Although thrilled with their bumper harvest in June, by August, they are so sick to death of eating tomatoes, they are only too happy to donate their surplus to me.</p> <p>You say tomato, I say &quot;I can eat that for you if you don't want it.&quot;</p> <p>I hate to brag, but I am really good at eating tomatoes. As evidence, here are my favorite ways to never waste a summer tomato.</p> <h2>1. Throw a Tomato Party</h2> <p>If I didn't throw parties, I would never clean my house. So, I am constantly looking for excuses to put on my party pants, if only to please my tidy husband. I have to credit my friend Mere with this party concept. When she has too many tomatoes to eat on her own, so she invites a few friends over for a tomato-centric <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-potluck-parties-that-help-you-share-the-wealth">dinner party</a>.</p> <h2>2. Fry Green Tomatoes</h2> <p><a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/fried-green-tomatoes-with-shrimp-remoulade">Fried green tomato</a> sandwiches are one of my very favorite foods. In truth, my real motivation for growing my own tomatoes is to ensure access to unripe tomatoes for frying all summer long. (Green tomatoes are hard to find, even at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-this-not-that-at-the-farmers-market">farmers markets</a>). Because I eat so many of my tomatoes green, I rarely end the summer with one gigantic tomato harvest that requires emergency consumption before they rot on the vine.</p> <h2>3. Pickle Them Green</h2> <p>While canning vine ripe tomatoes is a great way to preserve them for later enjoyment, tomatoes are a low acid food and require extremely careful preparation to <a href="http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/how-to-can-tomatoes-at-home-safely-zm0z85ja.aspx">avoid spoilage and botulism</a>. If you are a novice canner, or just want to avoid the worry, why not <a href="http://www.homesicktexan.com/2010/10/pickled-green-tomatoes.html">pickle your tomatoes</a> instead? Pickled cherry tomatoes make a great gift for your favorite mixologist. Use them in drinks instead of an olive or caper!</p> <h2>4. Use Them as Currency</h2> <p>Today I was paid in avocados. My local pop-up farm stand traded me avocados for two dozen canning jars I'd picked up for free off of Freecycle. I couldn't be more thrilled with this transaction. I downsized the contents of my garage by two boxes, and I'm making guacamole to go with my <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/pico-de-gallo-83371">pico de gallo</a> made from neighbor-salvaged tomatoes.</p> <p>Since nothing beats the flavor of homegrown produce, tomatoes especially are high-value bartering commodities. Trade them for other varieties of local produce or for services with your neighbors. Last week I needed a dessert for a potluck dinner, so my neighbor agreed to make me her legendary flan in exchange for a jar of pickled tomatoes.</p> <p>Or, sell your tomatoes to a local restaurant for cold hard cash.</p> <h2>5. Make Artisanal Ketchup</h2> <p>A few years ago, I made homemade mustard and ketchup as holiday gifts. People are begging me to repeat that gift this year. I used this <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Ketchup">ketchup recipe</a> from <em>Saveur </em>and a dozen different varieties of heirloom tomatoes. I have to say that the flavor of this ketchup was spectacular. However, fair warning: unless you want to stand over your stove for four hours like I did in order to cook the liquid down, do not multiply the recipe, and only use paste tomato varieties.</p> <h2>6. Una Palabra: Gazpacho</h2> <p>Just like Americans use squishy bananas to make banana bread, Spaniards use almost gone tomatoes to <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/gazpacho-51121580">make gazpacho</a>, a delicious cold soup. Gazpacho can also be used as a homemade <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/fresh-tomato-bloody-marys-354189">Bloody Mary mix</a>.</p> <h2>7. Cook Winter Soup in Advance</h2> <p>Hate chilled soups? Then skip the gazpacho and just make an enormous batch of your favorite <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/roasted-tomato-soup-recipe.html">tomato soup</a>, and freeze it in individual serving containers for future lunches. This is a great way to get that taste of summer in the dead of winter.</p> <h2>8. Bake Them Into Bread</h2> <p>Speaking of banana bread, squishy tomatoes can be used to make <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/tomato-bread">tomato bread</a>. So yummy.</p> <h2>9. Create Frozen Treats</h2> <p>Gazpacho popsicles are a favorite starter for my backyard BBQ parties. Or, if you own an ice cream maker, make this <a href="http://www.ediblecommunities.com/piedmont/recipes/summer-2013/tomato-sorbet.htm">tomato sorbet</a> that is based on Thomas Keller's recipe from the famous French Laundry.</p> <h2>10. Remember the '90s With Sun Dried Tomatoes</h2> <p>Sun dried tomatoes were the kale of the 1990s. Remember how they were on everything? Although <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/919661/how-make-sun-dried-tomatoes-olive-oil">sun dried tomatoes</a> are no longer trendy, they are still delicious, and so easy to make at home.</p> <p>Since I live in a hot and dry climate, I can actually dehydrate my tomatoes in the sun, using a drying frame I built from two salvaged window screens. However, if you live in a climate where the weather never reaches 90 degrees with less than 60% humidity, you should prepare them <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/oven-dried-tomatoes-recipe2.html">dried in the oven</a>, <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/homemade-sun-dried-tomatoes-microwave-136682">in the microwave</a>, or in a <a href="http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2012/03/how-to-make-your-own-sun-dried-tomatoes.html">food dehydrator</a>. Don't have a food dehydrator? Me neither. I just use my <a href="http://www.pickyourown.org/tomatoes_sun_dried.htm">hot car</a> instead.</p> <h2>11. Bake Christmas Cookies and Cakes</h2> <p>Tomato <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cornmeal-thumbprint-cookies-tomato-jam">thumbprint cookies</a> are a twist on the usual jam-filled treat, and can be used as either an appetizer or a dessert. No time to fuss with cookies? Green tomatoes are the secret ingredient in this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/green-tomato-cake-with-brown-butter-icing-recipe.html">Bundt cake recipe.</a></p> <h2>12. Donate Your Tomatoes to Charity</h2> <p>Apologies in advance if this is an overshare: I have overactive kiwi vines. In addition to consuming the front of my house <em>Little Shop of Horrors</em>-style, the kiwi plants produce around 200 pounds of kiwi fruit each year. Once a year I donate my surplus fruit to my local food bank. Food banks are always short on fresh produce, so donating home grown tomatoes is a great way to give a little bit of happiness to people in need. You won't enjoy the tomato flavor personally, but you will enjoy the good tomato karma and a tomato tax write-off instead.</p> <p><em>Do you have too many tomatoes? What is your solution to this &quot;problem?&quot;</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-ways-to-use-up-your-summer-tomatoes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-preserve-your-early-harvest">7 Easy Ways to Preserve Your Early Harvest</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-ways-to-save-stale-bread">10 Delicious Ways to Save Stale Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-jobs-for-foodies">12 Cool Jobs for Foodies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-home-canned-foods-that-beat-store-bought">5 Home Canned Foods That Beat Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink baking canning Cooking fruits harvest preserving recipes tomatoes Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:00:19 +0000 Max Wong 1538263 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Quick Bread and Biscuit Recipes That Bake in a Flash http://www.wisebread.com/10-quick-bread-and-biscuit-recipes-that-bake-in-a-flash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-quick-bread-and-biscuit-recipes-that-bake-in-a-flash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/homemade-cheddar-cheese-biscuits-iStock_000056627776_Small.jpg" alt="cheddar biscuits" title="cheddar biscuits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I make a lot of slow cooker soups and stews for dinner, but &mdash; alone &mdash; they never quite feel like a full meal. Over time, I've learned a great variety of quick bread and biscuit recipes that require few ingredients and, more importantly, no rise time before baking. Try to commit a few of these recipes to memory, and you'll feel incredibly empowered in your kitchen. You'll eat better, too! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-baking-mixes-that-save-money-and-time?ref=seealso">10 Homemade Baking Mixes That Save Time and Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. Baking Powder Biscuits</h2> <p>The secret to quick breads and biscuits is baking powder. These simple <a href="http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/baking-powder-biscuits-recipe">baking powder biscuits</a> are incredibly easy to make, and you'll want to bake them again and again. I actually freeze large batches by letting the biscuits cool completely, slicing in half, and then freezing flat on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Wrap each biscuit in plastic wrap, and then place inside a larger airtight container. Thaw in the afternoon for biscuits by dinner.</p> <h2>2. Olive Oil Biscuits</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.tasteasyougo.com/2011/02/simple-olive-oil-drop-biscuits.html">olive oil biscuits</a> have great flavor and texture, and you can jazz them up with infused olive oils or keep them plain. It's up to you. The milk in this recipe will definitely give a fuller flavor, but vegans can easily substitute water or a nondairy milk in its place.</p> <h2>3. Whole Wheat Biscuits</h2> <p>For more nutrition, try making <a href="http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/04/08/super-easy-recipe-whole-wheat-biscuits/">whole wheat biscuits</a>. The recipe is similar to those above, just with a different flour ratio to account for how the whole wheat variety absorbs more water. I like using white-whole wheat flour because it keeps biscuits both fluffy and nutritious.</p> <h2>4. Drop Biscuits</h2> <p>If you're feeling particularly lazy, consider making <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/drop-biscuits-recipe.html">drop biscuits</a>. You'll toss all the ingredients together in a food processor, spoon the mix out of your bowl, and drop onto parchment paper. No processor? No problem. You can easily make this recipe by hand. Just use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse meal.</p> <h2>5. Cheddar Bay Biscuits</h2> <p>These <a href="http://damndelicious.net/2014/02/03/red-lobster-cheddar-bay-biscuits/">cheddar bay biscuits</a> are one of my favorite sides to whip up with tomato-based soups. The secret is in the spices and seasonings, including garlic powder and cayenne. I like using sharp cheddar for a bolder taste. And the butter topping isn't a must, but you'll definitely want to try it at least once.</p> <h2>6. Dinner Rolls</h2> <p>I didn't know you could make soft, puffy rolls without yeast. This <a href="http://www.giverecipe.com/no-yeast-cotton-soft-dinner-rolls.html">&quot;cotton soft&quot; dinner rolls</a> recipe taught me otherwise. The pillowy texture comes from not using any water in the recipe. Instead, the liquids are yogurt and olive oil. Oh, and the yield of this recipe is 40 rolls, so feel free to cut in half or freeze your leftovers.</p> <h2>7. Cornbread</h2> <p>Chili just begs for <a href="http://www.redaprongirl.com/easy-southern-cornbread-recipe/">sweet cornbread</a> on the side. This recipe calls for sugar or honey, but you can also use sweeteners like maple syrup or agave, depending on your preference. Be sure to add the cornmeal slowly, depending on what kind you use. I like stone ground instead of fine because it's not as dry when baked.</p> <h2>8. Buttermilk Bread</h2> <p>I so appreciate the versatility of this <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-buttermilk-quick-bread-with-10-different-variations-164621">buttermilk bread</a> recipe. You can switch it up with all sorts of different add-ins to suit your tastes and pantry contents. If you don't have buttermilk in your refrigerator, replace it with a combination of regular milk (or substitute) and yogurt, or alternatively, milk and a squeeze of lemon to thicken.</p> <h2>9. Beer Bread</h2> <p>I like serving this three-ingredient <a href="http://www.wineandglue.com/2014/02/three-ingredient-beer-bread.html">beer bread</a> with fondue. The trick is using self-rising flour, which is basically just flour with a leavening agent. The kind of beer you use is up to you, but the flavor will definitely come through in the final loaf. Experiment with your favorite brews &mdash; that's part of the fun.</p> <h2>10. Banana Bread</h2> <p>For a sweeter side, try this <a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/banana_bread/">banana bread</a> recipe. You'll need two or three very ripe bananas, butter, sugar, an egg, vanilla, baking soda, and &mdash; of course &mdash; all purpose flour. Here's another opportunity to get fancy, since you could easily toss in raisins or even shredded carrots for extra flair.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite quick prep and bake bread recipes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-quick-bread-and-biscuit-recipes-that-bake-in-a-flash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">How to bake sourdough bread (and save a buck on every loaf)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread">A Beginner&#039;s Guide to Homemade Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-uses-for-stale-bread">17 Uses for Stale Bread</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink baking biscuits bread easy recipes Mon, 16 Mar 2015 16:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1338521 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Homemade Bread http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-delicious-recipes-for-homemade-bread <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-easy-delicious-recipes-for-homemade-bread" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sliced-wheat-bread-Dollarphotoclub_55596913.jpg" alt="sliced wheat bread" title="sliced wheat bread" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever noticed that healthier bread is way more expensive than its white, fluffy counterparts? It makes sense, as quality ingredients come at a premium. However, you can enjoy better health and delicious breads for less by making them from scratch at home. You can even make one of these tasty recipes from start to finish in just one hour! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-baking-mixes-that-save-money-and-time?ref=seealso">10 Homemade Baking Mixes That Save Time and Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. Everyday Whole Wheat Bread</h2> <p>This <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-whole-wheat-bread/">whole wheat bread</a> recipe makes three loaves, so you can eat one now and freeze the rest for later. The mix of bread flour and whole wheat creates a hearty texture that's perfect for toast and sandwiches alike. Just be sure to follow the directions carefully, as you'll mix in similar ingredients in a specific order.</p> <h2>2. White Sandwich Bread</h2> <p>If you love <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-basic-white-sandwich-bread-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-166588">white sandwich bread</a>, make it better for you by baking it at home. Store bought breads contain chemicals and weird additives, but what you'll find in this dough is simple flour, water, yeast, milk, sugar, and salt.</p> <h2>3. Rye Bread</h2> <p>Or try Emeril Lagasse's <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/homemade-rye-bread-recipe.html">rye bread</a> recipe. You can find rye flour right along with all the usual suspects in the baking aisle at your grocery store. The caraway seeds are key for getting that classic flavor, so don't leave them out.</p> <h2>4. Pumpernickel Bread</h2> <p>Classic <a href="http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-pumpernickel-bread-recipe">pumpernickel bread</a> is wonderful to have on hand for canapés or standard sandwiches. This particular recipe gets its dark color from a hint of unsweetened cocoa powder and molasses. If you want to try this recipe in a bread machine, you'll need to occasionally scrape the sides of your pan since this dough is quite thick.</p> <h2>5. Sourdough Bread</h2> <p>More experienced bread bakers might like to take their skills to the next level by creating <a href="http://www.theclevercarrot.com/2014/01/sourdough-bread-a-beginners-guide/">sourdough bread</a> at home. You'll first need to inherit or mix together a starter, which is (at its most basic) just water and flour mixed together and left to sit for five days. The process sounds involved, but once you get the hang of it, you'll want to make this round every week.</p> <h2>6. No-Knead Bread</h2> <p>One of the simplest, most satisfying recipes you can try is for <a href="http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread">no-knead bread</a>. The trick here is combining all the ingredients (by stirring, not kneading) and then letting it sit overnight or longer. From there, you'll shape into a loose round and let rise again before baking in a heavy covered pot.</p> <h2>7. Multigrain Boule</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/seeded_multigrain_boule.html">multigrain boule</a> looks impressive and tastes great. It's also high in fiber and features a blend of delicious seeds for a distinct nutty flavor. You'll grind brown rice in your food processor before mixing together the rest of the ingredients and letting rise 15-30 hours. And baking it inside a Dutch oven is key for that bakery crisp crust.</p> <h2>8. Ezekiel Bread</h2> <p>I'm addicted to those frozen whole grain breads you'll find in the health food section at your grocery store. But here's a recipe for <a href="http://readynutrition.com/resources/man-cannot-live-on-bread-alone-or-can-he_02032012/">Ezekiel bread</a> you can make at home. Combine dry lentils, beans, wheat berries, spelt, millet, and more in a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=flour%20mill&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=NCAX2RD2WDECJO5E">flour mill</a> before mixing with the rest of the ingredients. Then divide into two loaf pans and bake.</p> <h2>9. Naan</h2> <p>Most stores I frequent now sell naan along with the pitas and wraps. It's so gratifying to make <a href="http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/homemade-naan-step-step-photos/">naan bread</a> at home, so why not give it a try? The coolest thing of all is that after 25 minutes of prep and a one-hour rise, you &quot;bake&quot; the naan on your stovetop. It takes a mere two minutes to brown up this way.</p> <h2>10. One Hour Sandwich Bread</h2> <p>When you don't have time for all the waiting, this <a href="http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/one-hour-sandwich-bread/">one hour sandwich bread</a> will come to the rescue. Versus the active dry yeast called for in most recipes, you'll use instant yeast, which has a much faster rise time. What intrigues me most about this recipe is how you start baking the loaves in a cold oven.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite homemade bread recipe? Please share a slice in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-delicious-recipes-for-homemade-bread">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">How to bake sourdough bread (and save a buck on every loaf)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread">A Beginner&#039;s Guide to Homemade Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-quick-bread-and-biscuit-recipes-that-bake-in-a-flash">10 Quick Bread and Biscuit Recipes That Bake in a Flash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-simple-tips-to-improve-homemade-bread">4 Simple Tips to Improve Homemade Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-ways-to-save-stale-bread">10 Delicious Ways to Save Stale Bread</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink baking bread easy baking quick bread Thu, 12 Feb 2015 10:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1288240 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Homemade Baking Mixes That Save Money and Time http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-baking-mixes-that-save-money-and-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-homemade-baking-mixes-that-save-money-and-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother-daughter-home-baking-Dollarphotoclub_76084109.jpg" alt="mother daughter baking" title="mother daughter baking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I used to bake from scratch quite frequently. You really can't beat a batch of homemade brownies or a loaf of crusty bread, am I right? However, as my life has morphed and changed, my time in the kitchen has dwindled. I eventually found myself relying more heavily on boxed mixes to get by. After a while, I decided to start making my own to save money and banish the questionable ingredients.</p> <p>Here are some mixes I've made for my kitchen that you should consider stocking in yours.</p> <h2>1. All Purpose Mix</h2> <p>My mom always had a box of Bisquick on hand for making biscuits, waffles, and all sorts of baked goods. Try this <a href="http://www.kitchennostalgia.com/canning_and_preserving/homemade_bisquick_mix_recipe.html">all purpose baking mix</a> to fill that gap the homemade way. The magic is in the shortening, which you'll pulse into the flour and other ingredients until the mix resembles fine crumbs.</p> <h2>2. Gluten-Free Mix</h2> <p>If you're sensitive to gluten, try this <a href="http://alittleinsanity.com/all-purpose-gluten-free-flour-mix-recipe/">gluten-free flour mix</a> that works for breads, muffins, cookies, etc. Comparable store bought mixes are around $8 per four cups. This one costs just $12 for a whopping 18 cups of flour. Now that's some major savings!</p> <h2>3. Pancake Mix</h2> <p>I keep a container of <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/04/planning-ahead-homemade-pancake-mix.html">DIY pancake mix</a> on hand for busy weekends when I want something substantial to put on the table at breakfast. And creating it couldn't be easier! Tip: I like using wheat pastry flour to make my pancakes fluffy and light.</p> <h2>4. Brownie Mix</h2> <p>Here's <a href="http://www.pbs.org/parents/kitchenexplorers/2011/09/15/diy-brownie-mix/">homemade brownie mix</a> without all the extra ingredients. Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and even mini chocolate chips. When you're ready to bake, you'll add &frac12; cup hot water, ⅓ cup oil, two eggs, and two teaspoons vanilla extract.</p> <h2>5. Cake Mix</h2> <p>This basic <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/homemade-yellow-cake-mix.html">yellow cake mix</a> would work wonderfully for birthday cakes or weekday cupcakes. They key ingredient is nonfat dry milk, which gives the whole cake a fuller flavor. Add in the oil, eggs, and vanilla extract when you need a treat on the hurry.</p> <h2>6. Bread Maker Mix</h2> <p>As if baking loaves inside a machine couldn't be easier, now you can make your own <a href="http://www.budget101.com/content.php/419-bread-machine-mix">bread mix</a>. Be sure to use bread flour because it contains more gluten, giving the final result the right texture you're after.</p> <h2>7. Cornbread Mix</h2> <p>For quick <a href="http://realhousemoms.com/homemade-cornbread-mix/">quick cornbread</a>, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and mix well. When it's time to bake, add butter, egg, milk, and honey and maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.</p> <h2>8. Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix</h2> <p>Skip those store-bought tubes of dough and whip up your own <a href="http://www.fivehearthome.com/2013/09/02/homemade-chocolate-chip-cookie-mix-for-fresh-chewy-cookies-in-a-flash/">chocolate chip cookie mix</a> from scratch. I make cookies all the time, so I can see this one being a huge time-saver for me. The cookie recipe says to use four cups of mix, but I'd split the recipe in half for a smaller batch.</p> <h2>9. Muffin Mix</h2> <p>You can take this <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/homemade-muffin-mix">muffin mix</a> to the sweet or savory, depending on your needs. What's inside is just flour, sugar, shortening, baking powder, and salt. This recipe will get you a heaping four batches, and I can't wait to try the cheesy cheddar variation.</p> <h2>10. Tortilla Mix</h2> <p>My husband and I eat more tortillas than I'm comfortable sharing. So, we decided this year that we'd like to make our own. This <a href="http://heart-hands-home.blogspot.com/2011/08/tortilla-mix.html">DIY tortilla mix</a> produces delicious wraps at a fraction of the price you'd pay for them at the store. Just combine mix with warm water and knead before cooking atop your stove.</p> <h2>Baking Mix Tips</h2> <ul> <li>Store all baking mixes in airtight containers. Gallon zip bags work well and allow you to write contents directly on whatever you're storing (use permanent markers so nothing wipes off). Otherwise use clean plastic or glass containers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Always label whatever mix you've made along with any notes on quantity, allergy information, and &mdash; of course &mdash; the date. If you aren't using zip bags, write this info on an index card and staple or tape to your mix if you need more space.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Furthermore, include clear notes for whatever wet ingredients you must add to the mix to make the finished product. Write out specific bake times and any other special instructions (especially if a mix works for several purposes) whenever necessary.</li> </ul> <p><em>Do you use pre-mixed homemade baking mixes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-baking-mixes-that-save-money-and-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/another-36-uses-for-tin-foil">Another 36 Uses for Tin Foil</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dump-cake-and-other-sweet-easy-treats">Dump Cake and Other Sweet, Easy Treats</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-places-to-stash-cash-in-your-home">The Best and Worst Places to Stash Cash in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-the-most-of-a-tiny-kitchen">7 Ways to Make the Most of a Tiny Kitchen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink General Tips Home baking baking mix batter bulk cooking cookies pancakes premix Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1283487 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Incredible Microwave Baked Desserts http://www.wisebread.com/10-incredible-microwave-baked-desserts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-incredible-microwave-baked-desserts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000043316482_Large.jpg" alt="cake in a mug" title="cake in a mug" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Think your microwave is only for heating and reheating? Think again. You can bake up a number of warm, gooey treats in individual portions to suit your diet and your on-the-go lifestyle. Once you get the hang of this new style of micro-baking, you won't soon forget it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-microwave-besides-food?ref=seealso">8 Things You Can Microwave Besides Food</a>)</p> <p>Check out these amazingly easy recipes, most of which come together in less than five minutes.</p> <h2>1. Chocolate Brownie I</h2> <p>Mix batter in a mug to make these delicious <a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/brownie_in_a_mug/">microwave brownies</a>. All the ingredients are the same as what's in your regular batch &mdash; flour, sugar, cocoa powder, etc. &mdash; but the serving size is sweetly single.</p> <h2>2. Chocolate Brownie II</h2> <p>If you have dietary restrictions, this <a href="http://petiteallergytreats.blogspot.com/2014/05/brownie-in-mug-gluten-free-and-vegan.html">gluten-free vegan brownie</a> recipe will change your life. I like how the author places a muffin liner in her mug for easy cleanup. Those of you without avocado on hand can easily substitute coconut, canola, or even olive oil in its place.</p> <h2>3. Blondies</h2> <p>These decadent <a href="http://poorcouplesfoodguide.com/2014/08/06/recipe-microwave-mug-blondie/">two-minute blondies</a> come together in a pinch. Microwave them in either a mug or ramekin for best results. And make them fancy by adding peanuts, caramel, and chocolate chips for a melted turtle crunch topping.</p> <h2>4. Oatmeal Muffins</h2> <p>I first fell in love with microwave baking with this <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2011/06/hearty-pecan-chip-micro-muffins.html">pecan-chip muffin</a> recipe. Over time I learned to use the base ingredients (flour, oats, banana, milk, baking powder, and oil) with a variety of add-ins in equal ratio for a different muffin each morning.</p> <h2>5. Blueberry Muffins</h2> <p>I was always afraid that if I used fruit, my muffins might explode into a juicy mess. Not with this <a href="http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=975928">blueberry flax micro-muffin</a> recipe. If you're not keen on using standard pancake syrup, try agave nectar, honey, or real maple syrup. The orange zest is sure to take this one over the edge into favorite breakfast territory.</p> <h2>6. Chocolate Cake</h2> <p>You can have your cake and microwave it, too. This <a href="http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/the-moistest-chocolate-mug-cake/">chocolate mug cake</a> takes a mere minute to rise and set. The center is undeniably fudge-filled. Top with a dollop of Nutella for extra goodness.</p> <h2>7. Vanilla Cake</h2> <p>Bake up a batch of <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/microwave-cake/">vanilla microwave cakes</a> and wow your friends with your skills. Spray ramekins with cooking spray so nothing sticks and fill each half full to avoid spill-over. Then cover with plastic wrap and leave room for a little steam to escape. Cook one minute. Done!</p> <h2>8. Chocolate Chip Cookies</h2> <p>Yes, you can also bake <a href="http://www.sweetestkitchen.com/2013/06/microwave-chocolate-chip-cookie-in-a-mug/">chocolate chip cookies</a> in a microwave. The best part? When you're done cooking, you can top the warm cookie in the mug with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A single-serve treat in one handy dish.</p> <h2>9. Peanut Butter Cookies</h2> <p>The same goes for <a href="http://www.number-2-pencil.com/2012/03/10/peanut-butter-cookie-in-cup/">peanut butter cookies</a>. (Are you pinching yourself yet?) This recipe gets its unique flavor from dark brown sugar, so don't skimp on this ingredient. And follow the instructions carefully &mdash; you only add the yolk of the egg &mdash; save the whites for a lean omelette.</p> <h2>10. Fruit Cobbler</h2> <p>A box of baking mix can yield endless desserts in your kitchen. Try whipping up this <a href="http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/build-your-own-microwave-mug-cobbler/8bb858a3-9ed8-4b38-98cd-d5a3d34aa21d">microwave cobbler</a> with any fruit you have on hand. You first mix the fruit with sugar on the bottom of the mug before topping with the Bisquick topping.</p> <p><em>Do you use your microwave for more than popping popcorn? What are your favorite recipes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-incredible-microwave-baked-desserts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad">10 Smart Uses for Food That&#039;s About to Go Bad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-bonkers-candy-corn-recipes">20 Bonkers Candy Corn Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-10-simple-swaps-will-make-your-baking-so-much-better">These 10 Simple Swaps Will Make Your Baking So Much Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread">A Beginner&#039;s Guide to Homemade Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-ways-to-have-ice-cream-for-breakfast">10 Healthy Ways to Have Ice Cream for Breakfast</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink baking desserts easy desserts microwave treats Fri, 23 Jan 2015 12:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1282529 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make Scrumptious, Quick Homemade Rolls http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-scrumptious-quick-homemade-rolls <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-scrumptious-quick-homemade-rolls" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/baking-3488493-small.jpg" alt="baking" title="baking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes, my inner June Cleaver kicks in, and I want hot rolls with dinner. Such was the case a few weeks ago, when we were having friends over. I thought crescent rolls would look sporty with the meal, but I didn't have any on hand. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf)">How to Bake Sourdough Bread (and Save a Buck on Every Loaf</a>)</p> <p>A bakery downtown had some rolls, but not crescents &mdash; and I didn't want to pay $2.70 apiece. I then tried calling another bakery, where I was informed that I would have to put in an order, two days ahead of time, via their website. So much for instant gratification.</p> <p>So off to the grocery store I went. The store &quot;bakery&quot; rolls <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">looked pretty boring</a>. My other choice was the Doughboy's canned dough, but that wasn't quite the homemade flavor that I was looking for.</p> <p>Undaunted, I picked up flour and yeast and decided I'd make them myself. How hard could it be? I knew I'd beat the bakery price, besides!</p> <p>The first thing I did, once back home, was to dig out my mother's roll recipe. Her recipe makes the best rolls in the world, but it ain't for sissies. I only had about an hour and a half before I was serving dinner, so these had to be fast. Pen in hand, I revised the recipe, hoping a simpler version would be good.</p> <h2>Quick Chive Rolls</h2> <p>(Makes approximately two dozen)</p> <ul> <li>2 packages of &quot;Rapid Rise&quot; yeast (this allows you to skip the &quot;rising&quot; step and save time)</li> <li>&frac12; cup warm water (not hot, or you'll murder the yeasties)</li> <li>3 tablespoons of white sugar</li> <li>4 cups white flour, plus a little extra for rolling out dough</li> <li>&frac12; cup instant mashed potatoes (dry)</li> <li>1 <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-salt-is-best">teaspoon salt</a></li> <li>&frac12; teaspoon baking soda</li> <li>1 &frac12; cups buttermilk (I used low-fat, but regular would work fine)</li> <li>&frac14; cup oil (I used olive, but Mom liked her Canola)</li> <li>&frac14; cup chopped, fresh chives</li> <li>Approximately 3- 4 tablespoons butter, melted</li> <li>Crisco, for greasing baking sheets</li> </ul> <p>I used my KitchenAid mixer for this recipe, as it has a dough hook and really handles mixing easily. However, you do not need one &mdash; you just need a big bowl and some elbow grease. You will have to knead your dough by hand, if you don't use a dough hook. If you haven't done that before, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWj8oHMPFm0">this YouTube video shows how</a>.</p> <p>If you don't have buttermilk around, you can use a substitution. To a cup of milk, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir gently and allow it to stand for five minutes.</p> <p>Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.</p> <h2>Mixing and Kneading</h2> <p>The first thing we are going to do is to get our yeast going. Open up the yeast packages and place them in a bowl or Pyrex measuring cup. Add <em>some</em> of the sugar &mdash; 1 tablespoon &mdash; and the warm water. Stir and let it wake up. It'll start growing. Yeast is fun. If it doesn't grow, it's dead &mdash; start over with fresh yeast.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" border="0" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_41" alt="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0101.JPG" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0101.JPG" /></p> <p>Here is how the yeast looks, when it gets going.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" border="0" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_42" alt="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0103.JPG" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0103.JPG" /></p> <p>Next, sift together the 4 cups of flour, salt, and baking soda. When that is sifted, add the mashed potato flakes and stir until nicely combined.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" border="0" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_43" alt="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0102.JPG" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0102.JPG" /></p> <p>While the yeast is doing its thing, warm up the buttermilk. Do not boil it &mdash; you just want it nice and warm. My mother used to say, &quot;Like a baby's bottle.&quot; Remember, we don't want to kill the yeast.</p> <p>In your large bowl or mixer bowl, add the yeast mixture to the buttermilk mixture, as well as the additional three tablespoons of sugar and the oil. Gently combine. Add the chopped chives and stir to distribute.</p> <p>Gradually add in the flour-potato mixture. If I am using a mixer, I let it knead for about five minutes. If you are doing this without a mixer, when your dough is combined, take it out and knead it on a floured surface for ten minutes.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" border="0" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_44" alt="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0107.JPG" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0107.JPG" /></p> <p>Here comes the fun part!</p> <h2>Shaping the Rolls</h2> <p>Separate your dough into halves.</p> <p>Sprinkle your work surface with flour, and roll half of the dough out into a 12-inch diameter circle. It doesn't have to be perfect (obviously). Mine looks more like a paramecium.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" border="0" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_45" alt="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0109.JPG" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0109.JPG" /></p> <p>Using a pastry brush, brush melted butter over the surface of the circle.</p> <p>Cut the circle into 12 slices, like a pizza.</p> <p>Beginning at the wide edge of one of the dough slices, roll into a crescent. Place rolls onto a greased cookie sheet. Give them space so that they don't bake into each other. Don't worry if the shapes aren't perfect (look at mine!). I guarantee they will taste great.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" border="0" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_46" alt="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0112_0.JPG" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0112_0.JPG" /></p> <p>Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter, and bake for 13 minutes. Keep going with the other half of your dough.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" border="0" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_47" alt="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0113.JPG" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0113.JPG" /></p> <p>Set your oven timer for 13 minutes. At the 13-minute mark, your rolls should be nicely browned. Cool on a wire rack.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" border="0" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_48" alt="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0118.JPG" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u805/DSCN0118.JPG" /></p> <h2>Variations</h2> <p>One of my friends told me that dill or any combination of chopped herbs worked nicely in this recipe, too.</p> <p>Substituting some whole wheat flour in place of the white flour adds nutrition and gives the rolls a nutty flavor.</p> <p>They also freeze very well, and if you microwave them for about 30 seconds they taste like they just came out of the oven.</p> <p><em>Do you have a favorite, quick bread or roll recipe? What do you do <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/quick-pantry-snacks-for-unexpected-guests">when company's coming and dinner needs one more thing</a>? Please share it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-scrumptious-quick-homemade-rolls">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-delicious-homemade-gluten-free-bread">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Delicious Homemade Gluten-Free Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread">A Beginner&#039;s Guide to Homemade Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">How to bake sourdough bread (and save a buck on every loaf)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-baking-mixes-that-save-money-and-time">10 Homemade Baking Mixes That Save Money and Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink baking dinner rolls homemade bread Tue, 25 Jun 2013 10:24:30 +0000 Marla Walters 980119 at http://www.wisebread.com A Beginner's Guide to Homemade Bread http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fresh_bread.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="147" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;d venture to say there are very few people who can resist fresh, homemade bread; when I pull a loaf out of the oven, a crowd inevitably forms around it, and we wait for it to cool so we can slather it with butter while it&rsquo;s still warm. A fresh loaf of bread seems a bit miraculous when you make it yourself, as you watch a few simple ingredients rise into a golden dome under the oven light. It always led me to assume that making bread was difficult or complicated. What I found out is that it can be very simple &mdash; if, unlike me, you choose the right approach.</p> <h3>How <em>Not</em> to Start</h3> <p>When I decided to start making bread, I was charmed into it by a beautifully illustrated book and followed book written by a famous artisan baker. I followed the instructions for making sourdough starter &mdash; essentially a smelly, homemade yeast, created by allowing grapes to ferment with flour and water for several weeks. Then I proceeded to dive into artisan bread recipes that involved several painstaking steps &mdash; and many days &mdash; to complete. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">How to Bake&nbsp;Sourdough Bread</a>)</p> <p>I produced countless loaves of bread that were so flat and dense you could hardly cut into them. One loaf of raisin brioche rose to monstrous proportions in the oven, pushing raisins out of its billowing sides; another burned black on the outside and oozed wet dough in the center.</p> <p>After flipping around in that first book, I realized that there&rsquo;s a method to learning how to bake more complicated recipes successfully. The first page of the book dealt with making a simple white bread.</p> <h3>Step 1: Start Simple</h3> <p>Making bread is chemistry, which means there&rsquo;s a certain ratio of ingredients that will produce that soft, chewy, texture. Most baking books start with white bread. This is because a simple loaf of white bread is the easiest kind to make successfully. When whole-grain flours are added in large proportion, things get a little more complicated, and you&rsquo;re more likely to end up with a brick than anything that resembles real bread.</p> <p>Start with white bread or wheat breads with a low proportion (less than 30%) of whole-grain flour until you get the hang of things. Once you master this, you&rsquo;ll have the basic skills that are required to make more difficult recipes work.</p> <h3>Step 2: Know Your Ingredients</h3> <p>If you haven&rsquo;t made bread before, you might assume that flour is flour. Not so. Bread flour isn&rsquo;t a gimmick; it&rsquo;s flour that contains a higher proportion of protein, or wheat gluten. This is what gives bread dough its elasticity. If your recipe doesn&rsquo;t state the kind of flour you should use, consider trying each once. Some people like the airy texture all-purpose flour can create. If you are sensitive to gluten, getting the right texture will be more difficult, but a good gluten-free cookbook should help.</p> <p>Yeast is another key ingredient in bread baking. Make sure you get the type the recipe calls for &mdash; either active dry yeast or instant yeast. You should also keep your yeast in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer to keep it fresh for longer. It&rsquo;s alive, so treat it gently by letting it warm to up to room temperature before adding it to a recipe.</p> <h3>Step 3: Understand the Basics</h3> <p>Making a simple loaf of bread involves the same basic steps: mixing, kneading, rising, shaping, and second rising. This sounds like a lot, but most of it is actually hands-off; just set your timer and let the flour and yeast mingle in privacy.</p> <p><strong>Mixing</strong></p> <p>This generally involves combining all the dry ingredients and all the wet ones, then combining the two and mixing until a kneadable dough forms. Just follow the directions in your recipe, and pay attention to any instructions about temperature &mdash; lukewarm liquids are often requested and will affect how the yeast responds.</p> <p><strong>Kneading</strong></p> <p>This is the fun part, and it generally needs to be done for 6 to 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic, but still pliable. You can also do the mixing and kneading in your bread machine using the dough cycle. Just be sure to put the yeast on the bottom, followed by the dry ingredients and then the liquid. This prevents the yeast from being activated too early.</p> <p><strong>First Rising</strong></p> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve kneaded the dough, you can make it into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap, and put it in a warm place to rise. I like to put it in the oven and turn the light on; the warmth from the light bulb provides just the right amount of heat. This takes 30 minutes to an hour, or until the ball has swelled to twice its size.</p> <p><strong>Shaping</strong></p> <p>This is when you deflate the dough and shape it for baking, either by putting it into a bread loaf pan or shaping it freeform on a pizza stone or cookie sheet. Then, cover the loaf with a towel for its second rising.</p> <p><strong>Final Rising</strong></p> <p>After being deflated, the bread should double in size again. This should take a little less time than the first rising &mdash; about 30 to 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to the temperature specified in the recipe during this time.</p> <p>Once these steps are completed, put the bread in the oven, set the timer, and wait for what seems like forever.</p> <h3>Step 4: Learn When It&rsquo;s Ready</h3> <p>I&rsquo;ve cooked bread to a deep, acrid brown. I&rsquo;ve also pulled it triumphantly from the oven when it looked just right &mdash; only to discover it was still raw in the middle. So how do you know if your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-uses-for-stale-bread">loaf of bread</a> is ready? Use the time and temperature specified in the recipe as a guide. When the bread is a deep, golden brown and smells like toast, it&rsquo;s probably ready. To be sure, take it out of the oven, flip it over, and tap the middle of it with your finger or a spoon. If it sounds hollow, it&rsquo;s cooked through.</p> <h3>Try, Try Again</h3> <p>Bread is alive, so learning how to consistently make great bread takes practice and patience. Over time, you&rsquo;ll learn to know when the dough is the right consistency and when and how to make adjustments to fix it. You&rsquo;ll probably also learn that loaves that rose a little too much, rose not quite enough, or are a little overcooked still taste pretty fantastic, especially compared to the dry, uniform <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">slices from the supermarket</a>. Learning to make bread is a process that takes time to perfect. Fortunately, the process is far from painstaking as even an imperfect loaf of fresh bread demands to be eaten.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-simple-tips-to-improve-homemade-bread">4 Simple Tips to Improve Homemade Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-ways-to-save-stale-bread">10 Delicious Ways to Save Stale Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-quick-bread-and-biscuit-recipes-that-bake-in-a-flash">10 Quick Bread and Biscuit Recipes That Bake in a Flash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">How to bake sourdough bread (and save a buck on every loaf)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-delicious-recipes-for-homemade-bread">10 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Homemade Bread</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable cooking baking bread Fri, 27 Jan 2012 11:24:19 +0000 Tara Struyk 877202 at http://www.wisebread.com Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mulberry kids 3.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">It&rsquo;s one of my favorite times of year.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>The volunteer mulberry trees in my yard have begun popping with mulberries, and the kids have come inside from a morning out in the yard with purple mouths and sticky hands.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I&rsquo;ve never been a huge fan of cooking with the berries &ndash; we usually just grab some off the tree, wash, and eat.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>This year, however, I&rsquo;m determined to supplement my groceries with the tiny dark berries.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Here are my favorite ways to put them to good use.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">What&rsquo;s a mulberry?</b> These tiny, purple/black berries look like tiny raspberries, but aren&rsquo;t as tart or sweet.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>They are actually at bit on the bland side, as berries go, and they fall easily from the tree when ripe. (The berries set on a white color, then darken through varying stages of pink, red, and finally purple/black when ready to eat.)<span style="">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">How do you harvest them?</b><span style="">&nbsp; </span>There are as many ways to pick the berry as there are to eat them.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I use a combination of letting<span style="">&nbsp; </span>the kids go out every morning when it is cool and climb up into the tree to hand pick them.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>They eat half of everything they harvest, but it is a fun activity for them to do in June, and it gets some of the picking done with no effort on my part.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>When my husband and I have found that most of the berries are ripe, we put down a large blanket under the tree and shake the branches, letting the ready ones fall to the blanket below. (Obviously, you will want to use an old sheet or blanket, as it will get rather stained in the process!)<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Then we shake all the berries to the edge of the blanket, dump them into a bucket, and bring them in for rinsing.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(I use a salad spinner to rinse and gently extract the water from them.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>They are very delicate!)<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img alt="" style="width: 249px; height: 332px;" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u148/mulberry_kids_1.jpg" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">What are they good for?</b><span style="">&nbsp; </span>Like most berries, they can be used for baking, jellies, and desserts.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>My favorite way is to eat them by themselves, and they should be used within 2 days of picking for the best flavor.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I&rsquo;ve also found a few very good recipes for ever the beginning berry hunter to explore:<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Mulberry Muffins (via Marilyn Maggio at </strong><a href="http://www.allaboutstuff.com/Cooking/Multiple_Mulberry_Recipes.asp"><strong>AllAboutStuff.com</strong></a><strong>)</strong></p> <p>&frac14; cup shortening&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 5 teaspoons baking powder<br /> 1/3 cup sugar&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 1 teaspoon salt<br /> 2 beaten eggs&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 2/3 cup milk<br /> 2 cups flour&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &frac12; cup mulberries</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar together. Add eggs and mix well. Sift 1 &frac12; cups flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add this mixture to egg and sugar mixture alternately with milk. Sprinkle mulberries with remaining flour and stir lightly. Bake in grease muffin pans for 25 to 30 minutes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><o:p><br /> </o:p><strong>Mulberry Preserves (via </strong><a href="http://www.justberryrecipes.com/ber-0143214.html"><strong>Just Berry Recipes</strong></a><strong>)</strong></p> <p>20 fl Juice from damaged mulberries<br /> 2 1/2 lb Sugar (5 cups)<br /> 2 lb Mulberries</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Using damaged mulberries, reduce them to juice in the usual way. Put the juice into a preserving pan with the sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring, and then skim. When moving vigorously, tip in the mulberries. (They should be ripe but not soft enough to mash.) Take the pan from the stove and leave until the fruit is warmed through (taste one). Then put back on the heat and boil gently for about 15 minutes. Pour carefully - so as not to break the fruit - into a large bowl. If, however, you are using a stainless steel preserving pan, you can leave the mulberries in it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Next day, bring to the boil and simmer steadily for 15 minutes, or until setting point is reached. The point of this careful method is to keep the fruit as intact as possible. You can avoid breaking the fruit 'by gentle stirring, and by simmering the fruit very slowly. Put into jars to store.</p> </blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">Other fabulous ideas include:<o:p></o:p></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style=""><a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Mulberry-Pie/Detail.aspx">Mulberry Pie</a><o:p></o:p></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style=""><a href="http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/407172/mulberry_cobbler_recipe.html">Mulberry Cobbler</a><o:p></o:p></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style=""><a href="http://www.fiery-foods.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=1996:mulberry-madness&amp;catid=104:sweet-heat&amp;Itemid=148">Mulberry Ice Cream</a><o:p></o:p></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style=""><a href="http://www.recipezaar.com/Mulberry-Wine-67442">Mulberry Wine</a><o:p></o:p></b><b style=""><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">(Note: It is not completely agreed upon whether you have to remove the stems in every recipe you make.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Some baked items, like pies, can contain stems.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>They will soften and absorb the flavor of the dish, and no one will likely notice them.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Other dishes, like the ice cream, will require you to remove the stems and caps&hellip; a very time-consuming practice.)</b></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ftasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FTasty%2520Treats%2520to%2520Make%2520With%2520Mulberries_0.jpg&amp;description=Tasty%20Treats%20to%20Make%20With%20Mulberries"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Tasty%20Treats%20to%20Make%20With%20Mulberries_0.jpg" alt="Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-delicious-dishes-you-can-make-with-a-can-of-tomato-soup">11 Delicious Dishes You Can Make With a Can of Tomato Soup</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-perfectly-respectable-uses-for-instant-mashed-potatoes">5 Perfectly Respectable Uses for Instant Mashed Potatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-recipes-perfect-for-the-traveling-chef">5 Easy Recipes Perfect for the Traveling Chef</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-dishes-made-better-with-salsa">15 Delicious Dishes Made Better With Salsa</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-delicious-raw-recipes-to-try-this-summer">11 Delicious Raw Recipes to Try This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink baking Cooking easy recipes Food mulberries recipes Tue, 16 Jun 2009 19:19:56 +0000 Linsey Knerl 3273 at http://www.wisebread.com How to bake sourdough bread (and save a buck on every loaf) http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fresh-baked-loaf.jpg" alt="Just-sliced loaf of fresh-baked bread" title="First slices" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="205" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I doubt if the cost of yeast is really breaking your household budget. If you bake a lot you probably already buy yeast in bulk, so you're not paying the per-packet price anyway. And yet, baking sourdough bread (or rolls or pizza crust) is just so cool. My wife and I haven't bought yeast for years, but we bake bread all the time. And that's what this post is about--baking sourdough bread.</p> <p><img width="300" height="296" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/bubbles.jpg" alt="Sourdough starter" />Carrie wrote a great post on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-kitchen-could-be-a-yeast-farm">getting your sourdough starter going</a>, so I'll mostly skip that step. You can catch wild yeasts in your kitchen, spend a few dollars on a packet of fancy &quot;San Francisco&quot; sourdough starter, or just use your last packet of store-bought yeast to kick off your starter. It doesn't matter.</p> <p>I'm going to use that phrase a lot: It doesn't matter. By that I don't mean that the bread will come out the same no matter what you do. What I mean is that <em>it will be bread</em> no matter what you do. In fact, that's the theme of this whole post: Making bread is easy. It's possible to screw it up, but most people succeed on their first try. My wife and I have been baking bread at least once a week for years and we haven't had a failure yet.</p> <p>So, assuming you have a jar of starter--even if it's just a couple cups of water, a couple cups of flour, and a packet of store-bought yeast--here's what you do. When you're done, you'll have a fresh-baked loaf of bread. You'll also once again have a jar of starter--which is why you'll never have to buy yeast again.</p> <p>Whichever technique you use to create your starter, remember that it's a living thing. We think of ours as a pet. (We named her Bubbles.)</p> <h2>Feed your starter</h2> <p><img width="300" height="237" align="right" alt="Starter after feeding" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/after-feeding.jpg" />Step one is to feed the starter. You have to do this every week or so whether you're going to bake anything or not, so you might as well bake something.</p> <p>Feeding your starter just means putting it in a big bowl and adding some water and some flour so that the yeast have something to eat. After a week, even in the refrigerator where yeast grows pretty slowly, the yeast will have eaten pretty much all the sugar in the flour, so you have to give it some fresh flour if you want it to live.</p> <p>So, how much water and flour do you need to add? It doesn't matter. What I usually do is add as much water as I want for whatever I'm baking. If I'm baking a full-size loaf of bread, that's usually two cups of water, for pizza dough, one cup. (Lately I've been using a bit less for bread, because I had a couple of loaves rise so much they didn't fit in our bread box.) I add about as much flour as I added water.</p> <p>The books say to add all-purpose flour, because whole-wheat flour has oils that can go rancid.</p> <p>Let your starter feast on that fresh flour for a while. How long? It doesn't matter. The yeast will start growing right away, so in as little as 20 minutes you'll have doubled the amount of yeast. You could go on to the next step as early as that, if you're in a big hurry. You could leave it over night, if you wanted to bake bread first thing the next morning. I usually feed Bubbles right after breakfast and then go on to the next step right after lunch.</p> <p>The books on these things always emphasize that you should keep your starter in a glass jar, as the alcohol and acid produced can leach things you don't want to eat out of metal or plastic containers. For the same reason, they often say to use a wooden spoon rather than a metal one.</p> <p>The starter won't grow very fast while it's cold, so it's good if the water you add is warm. Just make sure it isn't so hot as to kill the yeast. (The books say 110&deg; F. I just go with &quot;warm&quot; and haven't killed Bubbles yet.) You can add cold water and it'll still work, it'll just take a little longer.</p> <h2>Save your starter</h2> <p><img width="300" height="242" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/dough-and-starter.jpg" alt="After saving the starter" />This is the only other step that's different from making bread with store-bought yeast. Once your yeast has had a chance to feed for a bit, pour some back into the jar where you keep your starter. How much? It doesn't matter. I always pour back 2 cups so that we always have the same amount. One cup would be enough. You could pour back variable amounts if you wanted.</p> <p>Put something over the jar with your starter, but don't close it up too tightly. The covering is to keep dust out, keep the starter from drying out, and keep it from exchanging smells and flavors with everything else in your fridge. Since it's alive, though, it'll produce carbon dioxide, and if you have a tight lid the pressure can build up enough to break the jar.</p> <p>Put your starter in the fridge. You can leave it for a week or two. If you're going to go be away from it longer than that, you can freeze it. It may not be as lively as usual the first time or two you use it after that, but it'll usually survive.</p> <h2>Make dough</h2> <p>With the part of the starter that you didn't put back in the fridge, make bread dough. Making bread dough, of course, is easy--just add flour until it's dough and knead it for a while.</p> <p><img width="300" height="287" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/ingredients.jpg" alt="Bread ingredients" />What flour? It doesn't matter. Whatever you like. All-purpose flour will make fine bread. I like bread made with whole wheat flour better, so I almost always use mostly whole wheat flour. I like the way the bread comes out if I use some bread flour, though, so I usually do. You can also put in moderate amounts of all kinds of exotic flours, if you want. We got a big bag of rye flour for 99&cent;, so I've been putting some of that in every loaf just lately. I often put in a third of a cup of rolled oats or of corn meal, just to add a bit of complexity to the bread. I don't think I've ever added brown rice flour to the bread, but I bet it would be good. I almost always add a couple tablespoons of flax seed meal for the fiber and the omega-3 fatty acids.</p> <p>There's a lot of other things you can add. You can put in some oil or butter, if you want. I usually don't, because the bread is just as yummy and lower in fat without it. You can put in some sugar, if you want. That can speed up the rising a bit, by giving the yeast some simple sugars to eat. If you put in a lot, it can also make the bread a little sweet, if you like that. I've been known to add sugar in many different forms--white sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses. Just lately we've been adding corn syrup. (We've had this bottle for years, because our previous cat had diabetes and our vet suggested we keep it on hand in case of insulin shock. Rather than throw it out, we're putting a tablespoon or so in loaves of bread here and there.)</p> <p><img width="300" height="267" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/kneading.jpg" />We don't put salt in our bread, because we like it better without, but lots of people do. (If you make your bread in a bread machine, don't skip the salt. Salt retards the growth of the yeast; if you skip it, the timing in the bread machine will lead to the bread rising too quickly and then partially collapsing. If you're baking it yourself, you can just go by how the bread looks and it'll be fine.)</p> <p>Add whatever flour and other ingredients you want. Once it's not too sticky, start kneading. Add flour as necessary until you get dough. That's really all there is to this step.</p> <h2>Let the dough rise</h2> <p>I usually do two risings. I form the dough into a ball, put it back in the same bowl I used to mix it, and then cover it with a piece of plastic wrap. (The tradition is to cover it with a damp cloth. It doesn't matter. The covering is just to keep dust out of the dough and to keep it from drying out.)</p> <p>The traditional rule of thumb is to let the bread &quot;double in bulk&quot; at each rising. I usually do a short first rising--just 20 or 40 minutes--and then form the loaf and let it rise again in the loaf pan. You can also just do one rising, forming a loaf and letting it rise in the loaf pan right from the start. You get bread either way.</p> <p><img width="300" height="279" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/dough-in-bowl.jpg" alt="" />How you do the rising makes a difference in the texture of the bread--whether it has lots of little holes or fewer, larger holes. If your starter is a San Francisco-style culture, doing a long first rising and then a long second rising may give you bread that's more sour than you get from just one rising.</p> <p>One thing about sourdough is that there's likely to be a lot of variability at this stage. Depending on a lot of different things--how long it's been since the last time you fed starter, how long you fed it this time, how much sugar you put in the dough, how moist the dough is, how much you kneaded it, and no doubt lots of other things--the bread can double in bulk in anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 or 4 hours. (This is probably the reason that people ever even invented yeast packets.)</p> <p>Forming the loaf?&nbsp; Just knead the dough into an oblong blob that'll fit in your loaf pan.&nbsp; You probably want to grease the pan so the bread will come out easily.&nbsp; Drop the blob in the pan and let it rise.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Bake the bread</h2> <p>Once the bread has risen enough, turn on the oven and bake it. I bake mine at 350&deg; F, but I'm sure you could bake it at other temperatures.</p> <p>I do a couple of things to save energy, and because I like the way the bread turns out. One is to just put the dough into a cold oven and then turn the oven on. Unlike with cakes and pies, there's no need to preheat the oven. Another thing I do is to turn the oven off about 15 minutes before the bread is ready to come out--it stays hot long enough to finish the bread.</p> <p>You're supposed to be able to tell of the bread is done by thumping on the bottom of the loaf and listening to the sound, so I always do that. My bread is always done, though, so I've never heard what it sounds like if it isn't done.</p> <h2>Quality control</h2> <p><img width="184" height="300" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/saved-starter.jpg" alt="" />The bread will slice better if you let it cool some before you cut it. But who can wait that long?&nbsp; We always cut a couple of slices right away and perform quality control.&nbsp; Fortunately, it's always of high quality.</p> <p>Besides just eating it yourself, you can also give bread away to friends and relations.&nbsp; It's always appreciated as a gift by people who imagine that it's a lot of work to bake bread.&nbsp; In fact, though, it isn't.&nbsp; The only real issue is wall-clock time.&nbsp; It probably only takes about half an hour of actual work to bake a loaf, but that half hour is spread over at least half a day.&nbsp; If you have to spend all day at work, it would require some pretty fancy scheduling to be able to be there for each step along the way.&nbsp; So I&nbsp;can see why some people buy store-bought bread.</p> <p>If you can bake your own bread, though, there's only one reason not to make it sourdough bread--if you bake so rarely that your starter would die between loaves.</p> <p>As I say, we haven't bought yeast in years, so baking sourdough bread does save us a bit of money--but that's not why we do it. We do it because it's fun, because we enjoy kneading the dough, because fresh bread is better whether it's sourdough or not, because we can make the bread exactly the way we like it, because we can make it different every time, because we can use premium ingredients--and still make it cheaper than store-bought bread. But mostly because it's fun.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-ways-to-save-stale-bread">10 Delicious Ways to Save Stale Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-simple-tips-to-improve-homemade-bread">4 Simple Tips to Improve Homemade Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-many-reasons-besides-frugality-to-do-for-yourself">The many reasons--besides frugality--to do for yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-kitchen-could-be-a-yeast-farm">My Kitchen Could Be a Yeast Farm</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dump-cake-and-other-sweet-easy-treats">Dump Cake and Other Sweet, Easy Treats</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink baking bread bread dough Cooking DIY Homemade how to how to bake bread photos pizza dough sourdough sourdough bread Fri, 13 Mar 2009 18:40:13 +0000 Philip Brewer 2930 at http://www.wisebread.com