holly homemaker

Saturday, October 15, 2011

DIY homemade french bread

I started with someone else's recipe, but it didn't turn out the way I liked.  So, I've changed this up a bit (mixing time, amount of flour, rising time...) and am going to claim this recipe as my own! :)  I am so excited about how amazing it is - I hope you'll try it and love it too!

 French Bread Recipe (makes 2 large loaves)
2 1/2 c. warm water (I run my tap water as hot as it will get)
2 T. yeast
3 T. sugar
2 T. white vinegar
Place these 4 ingredients in your mixing bowl and let sit until bubbly (5 minutes).  While waiting for it to bubble, put a small covered pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. (for later use).
Once the ingredients in the bowl are bubbly, add:
1 T. salt
1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
7 1/2 cups flour
Knead on speed two in your mixing bowl (don't forget to use your dough hook!) for 1 minute.  Check dough consistency - if it seems too dry, add a bit more water, if it's too wet, add a bit more flour - honestly, I've never had to add anything, so hopefully you won't have to either!  After checking, knead on speed two for 5 minutes.
Place mixing bowl with dough and the small pot of boiling water into the oven (not turned on).

Let rise for 15 minutes.
Remove the mixing bowl and small pot from  the oven.  Turn the oven on to 170 degrees.
Punch dough down in bowl; then remove and place dough onto a greased counter top or cutting board and divide into 2 pieces.  Shape into long thin loaves.

Place onto a greased cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with corn meal (I get corn meal by grinding popcorn kernels in my wheat grinder).  Give the bread about 5 deep slashes on the top with a sharp knife, then brush the tops of the loafs with beaten egg white.

Place the loaves into the 170 degree oven and let rise for 15 minutes.

 After rising for 15 minutes, turn the oven up to 350 degrees (do NOT open the oven door!) and set the timer for 30 minutes.  (this is how long I bake it, but do it a few minutes longer if you don't think it's brown enough)  Take out of the oven and remove the loaves from the cookie sheet and let them cool on a wire rack (this will keep the bottoms from getting soggy).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

DIY Homemade yogurt using nonfat powdered milk

This is another thing I have to credit my sister for getting me into!  It is very simple, cheap, tasty, and fast to make if you have a yogurt maker.    If you are already into using plain yogurt, then it's a given that you should try this!  If your new to eating plain yogurt (like me!), then try using it in smoothies, mix with fresh fruits or homemade jam for a snack, or I even love to eat it on oatmeal waffles with fresh fruit on top.  I've even tried it in some recipes as a substitute for sour cream, cream cheese and mayonnaise!

After purchasing (or borrowing) a yogurt maker, follow the maker's directions.  For my yogurt, this is what I do:
1. Measure 4 cups of water into a sauce pan*.  Whisk in 1 2/3 cups dry powdered milk.
 2. Cook on medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the milk and steam is rising off the surface.

3. Remove from the heat.  Add the thermometer and let sit until the milk is at the correct temperature. (the booklet that comes with your yogurt maker will tell you what temperature)

4.   Add 1 Tablespoon of plain yogurt (you can use store bought or plain homemade yogurt from a previous batch) to the milk mixture and whisk until well blended.

5. Pour milk into the cups of the yogurt maker and place lids on.

6. Put the cups into the yogurt maker, put the lid on, plug in, and turn on. Let it sit for 8 to 10 hours (read the instructions in the booklet to know how long to leave yours on)

7. Put cups of yogurt into the fridge and now you have roughly 6 cups of plain yogurt.

*I've adapted my recipe to fit a bit more yogurt into the cups, so I measure 5 cups of water and 2 c. plus 4 tsp. of dry powdered milk - then I fill each cup all the way and get about 8 cups of yogurt each time.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Homemade Granola Bars!

These are amazing! If you are a fan of Quaker chewy granola bars, then this recipe is for you. I doubled the recipe, baked them in a jelly roll pan and then cut them into 32 "bars" once they were cooled. Then I individually bagged each one in a snack size baggie and put them in the pantry - now we have a stash of healthy and affordable granola bars that we can grab when we are on the go. My kids can't get enough of them!

Chewy Granola Bars
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup brown sugar
¾ cup chocolate chips (or dried fruit, mini m&ms, cashews, you get the idea.. :)
½ c. coconut (or anything else you might like!)
½ cup crispy rice cereal or nuts
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon

½ cup canola oil
½ cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract

(Here's how I like to do it each time:)
Grease large cookie sheet/jelly roll pan and preheat the oven to 350.
4 c. rolled oats
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. coconut (I buy the unsweetened "flakes" at stores that sell them in bulk)
1 c. crispy rice cereal
 3/4 c. ground flax seed (measure after it is ground - I currently buy a bag of ground flax seed from Costco)
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips or mini m&ms
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon

1 c. canola oil
1 c. honey
4 t. vanilla extract

Mixing directions

Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease a 9×13 pan.
In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, chocolate chips, coconut, crispy rice/nuts, salt and cinnamon.
In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, thoroughly blend oil, honey, and vanilla; pour into oat mixture, and mix with spoon until the mixture is evenly coated.
Press evenly into the prepared baking pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes in the oven (it will still be very soft coming out of the oven).
Cool completely in pan before turning out onto a cutting board and cutting into bars.
*If you turn it out while it’s warm, the mixture will fall apart, and you’ll get granola, or very misshapen bars.

The credit for this recipe goes to my friend  - you can check out her blog and granola bar recipe here