How to Make Homemade Doughnuts

On July 21, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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    We got to have our grandkids stay with us for ten days, earlier this summer, and one morning one of them said that they sure wished that we had some doughnuts. Grandma was still running around in her pj’s, at that time, and pretty comfortable staying that way, so I said, “Let’s make […]

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homemade doughnuts recipe at Busy-at-Home -#doughnut #pastry #homemade #doughnuts

You know you want a bite of one of these — or two–or three.  :-)

 

We got to have our grandkids stay with us for ten days, earlier this summer, and one morning one of them said that they sure wished that we had some doughnuts. Grandma was still running around in her pj’s, at that time, and pretty comfortable staying that way, so I said, “Let’s make some!”  Never mind that I had no idea what I was doing.  The grandkids wanted doughnuts and doughnuts we would have.  lol  After looks of disbelief and wondering if I was actually some sort of magical doughnut fairy, the kids were pretty excited to hear  we could make doughnuts in our kitchen.

Kids anticipating homemade doughnuts recipe at Busy-at-Home -#doughnut #pastry #homemade #doughnuts

These happy faces are anticipating some magical doughnut deliciousness, so now, Grandma has no choice, but to deliver. Sweet Grandaughter on the right was so excited that no matter how many pictures I snapped, she was moving and I have seven shots, all with her blurred out. But, even blurry, she’s beautiful, and there’s no way you can’t fall in love with those gorgeous toothless grins of  doughnut anticipation!

 

When they saw me pulling ingredients from the cupboard they realized this was going to take a little longer than they expected, but any time you are making dough, it’s pretty easy to keep kids busy.  They love getting their hands in it.  And then watching it grow is another magical experience that they won’t soon forget, even if they need to invest a little time in the process. It’s well worth the effort to bake bread (or any dough product) with kids.  They learn a lot and you all have great fun!

The recipe comes from this treasured old family cookbook.  I learned a couple of things in the process of making them, that will make my doughnuts even better, next time. (Yes, I do believe there is going to be a next time!)  First off, I rolled the dough way too thick. I rolled mine out to about 1-inch in thickness, when I was cutting the doughnuts. Because I started too thick, I didn’t wait long enough for them to raise, because they “looked raised enough”.  Next time I will roll them to 1/2-inch thickness and allow them to rise to fully double in size before frying them.  That will result in a lighter, airier texture to my doughnut.  The second thing is to simply be patient and allow them to fully rise.  My doughnuts were delicious, in flavor, but heavy in texture.  Next time, I will remember that the best doughnuts come to those who wait…patiently. :)  An animation of the steps I took to make this yummy pastry, is posted below the recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

 

Homemade Doughnuts

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 1 cup milk, warmed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • oil for frying (I use coconut oil, but any vegetable oil should work)

Instructions

  1. Mix the warm milk, flour and yeast and set the bowl aside to "proof".
  2. In another bowl, beat the egg, sugar, butter and salt until thoroughly combined. (The butter needs to be melted, but cool enough that it won't cook the eggs when they mix.)
  3. Beat the butter and yeast mixtures together, until it is light and all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Add the final 2 cups of flour and knead to form a soft dough. (you can add a little more flour, if necessary, but while the dough should not be sticky, it WILL be very soft.)
  5. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size.
  6. Roll out on lightly floured counter or Silpat to about 1/2" thickness.
  7. Cut doughnuts and allow them to rise, again, until doubled in size.
  8. Heat oil in a pot with deep sides, to 375 degrees.
  9. Once the oil has reached the correct temperature, gently add a raised doughnut to the pan and allow it to brown on one side, gently turn it and brown it on the other.
  10. Remove the doughnut form the oil, drain on paper towels or a brown paper bag.
  11. Warm doughnuts can be tossed in sugar, or after cooled, glazed with a powdered sugar glaze.
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BLT Poppers Recipe – a Simple, Delicious 4th of July Appetizer

On June 1, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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4th of July in our hometown, Seward, NE, is a HUGE deal!  Our little community of about 6,000 residents becomes a small city of 40,000 – 50,000, each year, when we celebrate Independence Day.  We have the proud designation of Nebraska’s 4th of July City and when we throw a party…well, let’s just say, you […]

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BLT Poppers Recipe by Busy-at-Home - #KraftRecipes #ad #recipe #appetizer

BLT Poppers! You’ll be the talk of every summertime party, when you serve these delicious little morsels!

4th of July in our hometown, Seward, NE, is a HUGE deal!  Our little community of about 6,000 residents becomes a small city of 40,000 – 50,000, each year, when we celebrate Independence Day.  We have the proud designation of Nebraska’s 4th of July City and when we throw a party…well, let’s just say, you know you’ve been celebrating!  :) Activities and fun begin early in the morning, with the anvil firing, and continue long after dark, culminating in a spectacular fireworks show.  The courthouse square is the center of most of the day’s events and nobody wants to miss any of them.  Games, shows, craft fair/farmer’s market, parade, shopping, a three-block food court, contests, car show, an air show, and so much more, pack the agendas of every Seward resident.  Traffic on the two state highways that cut through our town, literally comes to a stand-still with all the pedestrian traffic; and you know what…it’s okay.  It’s the 4th of July! And it’s about family and friends, fun and festivities…oh… and food.  It’s about lots and lots of food!

Even with all the activity downtown, it’s fair to assume that many of us will have company or be hosting guests in our home, at some point throughout the twenty-four hours that is the 4th of July.  The food for this special day celebrates all the best tastes of summer and will likely involve fresh garden produce, grilling, more salads than you can count and trays and trays of finger food.  Oh and homemade ice cream.  That’s sort of a rule.  :)

BLT Poppers Recipe by Busy-at-Home - #KraftRecipes #ad #recipe #appetizer

Finger food is quick and easy to prepare, as well as simple for guests to eat. These little one-bite wonders are perfect 4th of July fare.

For me, having the best for my guests, and still having time to enjoy all the day has to offer, means I want recipes that will WOW! their tastebuds, but be quick and simple to prepare.  My delicious BLT Poppers recipe delivers on each of those requirements.  You’re going to love it!  I developed this recipe for Kraft as a member of their Kraft Tastemakers team and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family.  Pop one of these scrumptious little appetizers into your mouth and close your eyes. You will literally taste one of summer’s flavor icons — a delicious BLT sandwich with fresh tomatoes and lettuce from the garden.

Kraft Fresh Takes and butter - #KraftRecipes #ad #recipe #appetizer

Simple ingredients.

To create the appetizer crusts, all you have to do is mix Kraft Cheddar Jack and Bacon Fresh Take packets with melted butter.  Press them into mini muffin tins and bake.  Talk about simple.  David loves how these crusts mimic the texture of toasted bread on a BLT; and I have to tell you, the flavor is absolutely spectacular!

While the crusts are baking mix up the simple filling.  Again, it’s only two ingredients — PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese and Kraft Bacon-flavored Mayo.  I told you! Delish!

Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Kraft Bacon Mayo, Oscar Mayer Bacon - Ingredients for Busy-at-Home's BLT Poppers recipe #KraftRecipes #ad #recipe #appetizer

Again, simple ingredients make this recipe a breeze to prepare and a tasty treat to enjoy!

As soon as the crusts are out of the oven and cooling, pop a baking sheet with four strips of Oscar Mayer bacon, into the oven.  Pre-cutting the bacon into the bite-sized pieces I needed for the appetizers saved so much time!

BLT Popper Crusts by Busy-at-Home - #Kraft Recipes #ad #recipe #appetizer

Baked and cooled in a snap! These may be tiny, but they are powerhouses of flavor!

This is a good time to mince up the romaine lettuce and grape tomatoes, too.  Then all that’s left is quickly assembling your fabulous BLT Popper appetizers.

Pipe the filling into the cooled crusts with a pastry bag or a zip-top bag that has the corner snipped off.  Center one bacon piece in the middle of each popper and then garnish with the minced lettuce and tomatoes.

BLT Popper recipe by Busy-at-Home - #KraftRecipes #ad #recipe #appetizer

I think this recipe is a smart idea for packing maximum flavor in a single bite and I can’t wait to include them in our 4th of July appetizer line-up for our favorite guests! They’re beautiful to look at and delicious to eat!    What are your favorite finger foods to serve on the 4th of July?  How do you keep things quick and easy in the kitchen over the holidays?  I’m excited to hear what you’ll be cooking!

Get the complete recipe and instructions for BLT Poppers in the recipe section at Kraft.

 

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How to Make Your Own Squares of Chocolate for Baking

On April 12, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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Growing up, the most used cookbook in our home was one that had been my great grandmother’s.  She had given it to my mom, and as a child, it’s one of the first recipe books I remember reading and using.  I loved it best because it was old.  Even in my childhood I was fascinated […]

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Recipe to make your own 1 oz squares of chocolate | Busy-at-Home

Squares of chocolate chopped for use in a recipe.  I don’t, normally, keep them on hand.

Growing up, the most used cookbook in our home was one that had been my great grandmother’s.  She had given it to my mom, and as a child, it’s one of the first recipe books I remember reading and using.  I loved it best because it was old.  Even in my childhood I was fascinated with history and things from the past.  I was also captivated by the fact that my mother’s hand-written notes left a trail through all the recipes she had used. I could know how well she liked a recipe by the obvious wear on the pages, often splatters and stains that I suspect could more likely be attributed to we kids as we learned to cook, using her favorite recipes.

Hearth and home cookbook plus my squares of chocolate recipe

That first picture is what the original cookbook looked like. In some wonderful stroke of Divine providence, I discovered this copy for sale online and grabbed it up. I’ve never seen another since. The second shot is of our actual uber-loved volume, handed down through three generations in our family. The cover is gone. It’s been spilled on and stained. Notes are penned throughout. It has definitely been used. It’s a treasure-trove of childhood memories, for me, and a glimpse into history.  It’s usually secreted away in a sealed bag, to preserve what’s left of its pages and print, but I couldn’t resist pulling it out and sharing it with you.

Hearth and Home is a collection of recipes that I believe had been contributed by women from my great-grandmother’s church; and sprinkled throughout the text were quotes or “words of wisdom” from the recipe’s contributors.  I think it’s fun to see that back then, they wrote down a recipe, (that most likely had been in their head for decades); and they wrote them, as they were stored in their heads.  Many of the details were “just assumed”.  :) There was no formal format for writing down a recipe, as most were probably handed down by word of mouth from one generation to the next.  Often my mom’s notes in this cookbook were to add in an oven temperature and cooking time, as the contributors would naturally assume that those things would “just be understood”.  The other thing that struck me as I thumbed through the pages this evening, is that every page was HAND-written.  After comparing the handwriting on many pages, I’m convinced that the same person carefully copied each recipe into the book.  What a treasure it is!

cookbook pages plus squares of chocolate recipe

1. “Be careful of your thoughts.  They may break into word at any time.”  That tidbit of wisdom is timeless! 2. Three underlines under the title! I’m guessing that was a good one! 3. I remember Mom making ketchup and after seeing the condition of this page, I wonder if this was the recipe she used. The instructions also made me chuckle, as Mrs. George Biere obviously believed we would all understand to put the spice-filled cheesecloth into the pot with the other ingredients and then to remove the cheese cloth of spices, before we decided to thicken with cornstarch.  It’s just common sense, right?  :)

Some of Mom’s notes were more detailed than just temperatures and times, though.  If I look very closely, the faint outline of her homemade noodle recipe is penned onto the inside of the back cover. And though it has been missing for many years, the memory is so vivid to me of two recipes that always lived on the inside of the FRONT cover of our Hearth and Home cookbook.  The first was for my Grandma’s sugar cookies and the second was just a small note in the upper corner with the formula to substitute for a one ounce square of unsweetened chocolate.  That formula is in my head, now, as I saw it so many times over the years. But as I thought about it, I realized that I often do exactly what the wonderful ladies from the Bethel Evangelical Free Church did way back then.  I know it, so I assume everyone else does, too.  So much of what is second-nature to me, I take for granted that others will have already been taught.  Great pieces of knowledge,  heritage and wisdom are lost for that way of thinking; so today, I am determined to share with you the formula for a square of chocolate.  I’ll categorize it in our Kitchen Basics section.  And to further enhance your vast database of kitchen knowledge, I’ll give you the formula for semi-sweet chocolate, too. :)

handwritten notes in a cookbook plus a squares of chocolate recipe

It’s such a nostalgic moment to thumb through these pages and find my mom’s very familiar handwriting.

With the seemingly limitless digital age we live in, things like old cookbooks aren’t pulled off the shelves very often, any more.  We really have lost some of the magic and memories that they could hold for us, but the wisdom can definitely still be carried forward.  I don’t stain many cookbooks, these days, but I wonder if my flour-crusted laptop, Kindle and camera will hold any secret treasures or memories for my own kids and grandkids?  :)  I sure hope so!

What to Substitute for a 1 oz. Square of Chocolate in a Recipe

Rating: 51

1 minute

1 ounce (square) of baking chocolate

What to Substitute for a 1 oz. Square of Chocolate in a Recipe

Ingredients

    For 1 ounce of Unsweetened Chocolate
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter
  • For 1 ounce of Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

Instructions

  1. For either recipe, simply melt the butter and combine the ingredients.
  2. I'm also guessing you could substitute coconut oil or olive oil for the butter. This is just the way I learned it and, back then, the fat of choice would have been lard or homemade butter. I use butter, today, when I make it.
  3. It doesn't get much simpler than that! :) Now, go make something fabulously chocolate. You have all the keys to the kingdom!

Notes

Some handy conversions to know, if you need multiple squares of chocolate:

4 Tablespoons = 1/4 cup, 8 Tablespoons = 1/2 cup, 12 Tablespoons = 3/4 cup, 16 Tablespoons = 1 cup

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Gluten-Free Blue Corn, Brown Rice and Oat Flour Blend Recipe

On March 27, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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This post contains Amazon affiliate links. I love this Gluten-Free Blue Corn, Brown Rice and Oat Flour Blend Recipe for making muffins and quick breads, corn bread, waffles or pancakes. Using this gluten-free blend lets all your family and friends enjoy your baking talents. This is just one of several possible gluten-free flour blends, you can […]

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This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Milling blue popcorn flour.

Milling blue popcorn for my gluten-free corn flour blend.

I love this Gluten-Free Blue Corn, Brown Rice and Oat Flour Blend Recipe for making muffins and quick breads, corn bread, waffles or pancakes. Using this gluten-free blend lets all your family and friends enjoy your baking talents. This is just one of several possible gluten-free flour blends, you can create in your own home, without the unwanted additives and prohibitive cost.  It’s a win for everyone.   If you’re looking for other gluten-free flour blend recipes, check out my Brown Rice, Amaranth and Oat Blend, with instructions for custom blending your own family’s favorite.  The blue corn is just a fun touch I added to make some treats for our granddaughters, Blue “Pixie Dust” Crepes filled with Honey, Berries and Yogurt and Blue Pixie Dust Tea Cakes (Gluten-Free Blue Corn Muffins with Blueberries).  You could definitely substitute yellow corn flour, in place of the blue.  I used blue popcorn to mill the flour in this recipe.

Blue corn flour milled from Amish Midnight Blue Popcorn - Gluten-Free Blue Corn

Blue corn flour milled from Amish Midnight Blue Popcorn.

Blue (or Yellow) Corn Gluten Free Flour Blend

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight container, in the fridge or freezer.
  2. Use in muffins, quick breads, corn bread pancakes, waffles etc.

Notes

The links in the recipe are to the grain I use to mill my own flour, however you can easily find the flours already milled by clicking one of those links and then doing a search for that specific flour. Amazon has a great variety and typically some of the best prices.

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Gluten-Free Blue Corn Muffins with Blueberries

These Gluten-Free Blue Corn Muffins with Blueberries were made with this flour blend.

 

 

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Blue Pixie Dust Inspiration for Fun and Healthy Gluten-Free Snacking – Two Tasty Recipes

On March 27, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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Blue Pixie Dust is not something I typically find on my list of ingredients, when I begin a new recipe; but having raised four daughters and being blessed to spend lots of time with our beautiful granddaughters, I have enjoyed an abundance of fairy-imaginative play, stories, toys and movies.  There was no doubt in my […]

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Blue Corn Crepes with Honey, Berry and Yogurt Filling - Gluten Free and Delicious!   .   .    #ProtectPixieHollow #CollectiveBias #shop

These delicious blue corn crepes are filled with a mixture of fresh blackberries, raspberries, plain Greek yogurt, and raw unfiltered local honey.  They’re light, healthy and gluten-free — perfect for breakfast OR dessert!

Blue Pixie Dust is not something I typically find on my list of ingredients, when I begin a new recipe; but having raised four daughters and being blessed to spend lots of time with our beautiful granddaughters, I have enjoyed an abundance of fairy-imaginative play, stories, toys and movies.  There was no doubt in my mind that something so magical could definitely inspire recipes, conversation and giggles.  I was happy to accept this fun challenge from #ProtectPixieHollow and #CollectiveBias and share the news about the soon to be released DVD of Disney’s The Pirate Fairy.  It’s release is a topic of excitement and great anticipation for our granddaughters.  This sweet six-year-old, in particular, often regales us with her version of the tales of her favorite Tinkerbell movies, and is fairly bubbling over in her delight, imagining just what The Pirate Fairy must be about.

granddaughter-eating-blue-pixie-dust-crepes    .   .    #ProtectPixieHollow #CollectiveBias #shop

I love this little chatter-box, toothless grin and all! She is full of stories and enthusiasm! Her imagination has few limits and she is excitedly sharing what she believes “The Pirate Fairy” movie will be about, between bites of Blue Pixie Dust crepes.

The Pirate Fairy will be released on April 1, in a special Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital HD set, at Walmart.  This exclusive and limited edition package will include a free gift with purchase, the Pixie Hollow Bake Off DVD which includes 10 animated shorts. The Pixie Hollow Bake Off DVD follows Tinker Bell as she challenges Pixie Hollow’s culinary superstars when she refers to the art of baking as “just tinkering with flour.” Your children’s favorite fairies will use their talents to help Tinkerbell in a head-to-head bake-off with head baking fairy Gelata (voice of Giada de Laurentiis) and her Baking Fairies. The winning cake will be featured at Queen Clarion’s Arrival Day Party.  I can’t wait to pick up our copy at Walmart and watch it with the girls!  What could be better than fairies AND baking!!???!!!  :)

 



Trailer – The Pirate Fairy on Disney Video

Well, you know how it goes when the imagination starts running.  I couldn’t do just ONE Blue Pixie Dust recipe.  After all, we DID have all this blue pixie dust.  Waste not, want not.  So, I also made some Blue Pixie Dust Tea Cakes.  Now, you know as well as I do that presentation is a HUGE part of making any dish special. I could have told everyone that they were blue corn muffins with blueberries.  They were.  And the fact that they were much healthier than most desserts, didn’t keep them from being absolutely delicious, but had I presented them as blue corn muffins, there would have been substantially less fanfare.  :)  Thus, I served Blue Pixie Dust Tea Cakes, baked in the shapes of the flowers that Tinkerbell and her friends love so much.  I flipped the muffins upside down so the moist, colorful, berry-studded bottoms were facing up and no frosting or drizzle was necessary to convince anyone these were tea cakes.  Now, that’s presentation!  It makes the ordinary something special and imagination-inspiring.

Blue Corn Muffins with Blueberries - Gluten-Free and Delicious!    .   .    #ProtectPixieHollow #CollectiveBias #shop

Simple, healthy and gluten-free, sweetened with a touch of raw, unrefined sugar and studded with frozen blueberries, I present to you…Blue Pixie Dust Tea Cakes.

 

I’m sure you’ve been concerned about where on earth I could find the ingredients for such magical treats.  Well, no worries!  Most of them were picked up right inside my local Walmart.

Frozen berries at Walmart. #ProtectPixieHollow #CollectiveBias #shop

I can quickly pick up everything I need for recipes and my weekly groceries, all at the same time. Even when berries aren’t quite in season, the frozen berries at Walmart have always proven to be high quality and affordable.

The only truly tricky one, was that magical Blue Pixie Dust.  What creative ideas do you have for blue pixie dust?  Well, you know my newest kitchen tool is my flour mill and I got the idea to use blue popcorn and grind my own blue pixie dust flour.  It was perfect!  And before you panic, you can easily do it, too!  I milled my own, but if you don’t have a flour mill, you can buy blue corn meal and turn it into flour by grinding it in your heavy-duty blender.  I tried it in mine, just to be sure and it worked like a charm.  So, now you know the secret to obtaining blue pixie dust!

Freshly milled, blue corn flour.   .  .  .  #ProtectPixieHollow #CollectiveBias #shop

I milled this fresh, blue corn flour from organic blue popcorn. It’s perfect as Blue Pixie Dust!

 

I had never made crepes, before, but they’re just thin pancakes.  Right?  lol  So, there is a slight learning curve to making them, (translated as I threw away the first four, so don’t give up) but once you get onto it, they’re actually as simple as I had first suspected.  Make sure your pan is preheated at medium to medium high.  Only fill the center of the pan and then tilt and swirl the batter in a thin layer across the entire bottom of the skillet.  Practice and you’ll be a pro in no time!  Also, my original recipe used no sweetener of any kind in the crepe.  I felt like the berries and honey in the filling would be sweet, enough, but it turns out they still needed a little something for us.  After making them again, I added some honey to the batter.  You could easily leave it out if your family prefers.  Enjoy!

Blue Corn Crepes with Honey, Berry and Yogurt Filling

6-8 crepes

Ingredients

    For Crepes:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon high quality sea salt
  • 1 cup blue corn flour
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2-3 Tablespoons honey, (raw, unfiltered and local if you can get it)
  • For Filling:
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey, (raw, unfiltered and local if you can get it)
  • 3 cups berries (I used fresh blackberries, raspberries and blueberries - fresh or frozen work)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon

Instructions

    For Crepes
  1. Preheat a 6 or 8 inch skillet or crepe pan over medium heat. Lightly oil the bottom of the pan.
  2. Pour all liquid ingredients into your blender pitcher and blend until combined.
  3. Add the corn flour and salt and blend on high speed to remove all lumps and create a thin, smooth batter.
  4. Pour batter into the center of your pan, covering the inner half of the pan bottom. Then gently, but quickly, tilt and swirl the pan to spread the batter over the outer half, until the bottom of the pan is coated in a thin layer of batter.
  5. Place the pan back on the burner and cook until the crepe is golden brown on the bottom and the top is nearly dry and full of "popped" bubbles.
  6. Flip the crepe and cook for only a few seconds more. The second side will be much lighter in color than the first, (which made these perfect for our "pixie dust" dessert, since the blue side could be rolled to the outside of the filled crepe).
  7. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a plate while you finish cooking the rest of the crepes.
  8. For Berry Filling
  9. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl, until berries are thoroughly coated.
  10. To Assemble Crepes
  11. Crepes can be rewarmed, quickly, in the microwave or served cold. If rewarming, heat for only a few seconds, 10 or less. Place a generous scoop of filling down the center of each crepe and fold one side in over filling.
  12. Fold the second side, over the first.
  13. I made a drizzle design on the plates with honey and placed the filled crepe in the center, then drizzled a little more honey over the crepe and garnished with a mint leaf.
  14. Enjoy!
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As I mentioned, before, with my abundance of lovely blue pixie dust, I decided to make one more fun treat.  I think you and your family will love these easy and gluten-free Blue Corn Muffins with Blueberries.

Blue Corn Muffins with Blueberries

12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 280 grams Gluten-free Blue Corn Flour Blend (MUST be weighed!)
  • 122 grams (1/2 cup) sugar (I used Zulka Morena unrefined sugar.)
  • 12 grams (1 Tablespoon) baking powder, aluminum-free
  • 4 grams (1/2 teaspoon) Celtic Sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (could substitute butter, not margarine), melted
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Instructions

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil, milk eggs and vanilla.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Add blueberries and mix thoroughly.
  5. Grease cups of a 12 cup muffin tin or line with muffin papers.
  6. Fill cups about 3/4 full with batter.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Leave in tins for about 10 minutes and then remove from tins and cool on a wire rack.
  9. Enjoy!
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So, is there Blue Pixie Dust in your future?  I hope so!  What creative ideas do you have for healthy snacks your kids will love?  Be sure to pick up a copy of The Fairy Pirate, at Walmart on April 1, to get all kinds of imaginative inspiration!

Gluten-Free Raspberry Cinnamon Muffins Recipe

On March 2, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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Here it is.  The promised muffin recipe.  You’re going to love them!   Print Gluten-Free Raspberry Cinnamon Muffins Recipe Ingredients280 grams Gluten-free Whole-grain Flour Blend (MUST be weighed!) 122 grams (1/2 cup) sugar (I used Zulka Morena sugar.) 12 grams (1 Tablespoon) baking powder, aluminum-free 4 grams (1/2 teaspoon) Celtic Sea salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon […]

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Here it is.  The promised muffin recipe.  You’re going to love them!

Gluten-Free Raspberry Cinnamon Muffins

No one would guess these are gluten-free. They taste like a regular whole-grain muffin. Slightly sweet and PERFECT texture/ crumb! Lots of possible fruit and spice combinations, too, I think.  Delish!

 

Gluten-Free Raspberry Cinnamon Muffins Recipe

Gluten-Free Raspberry Cinnamon Muffins Recipe

Ingredients

  • 280 grams Gluten-free Whole-grain Flour Blend (MUST be weighed!)
  • 122 grams (1/2 cup) sugar (I used Zulka Morena sugar.)
  • 12 grams (1 Tablespoon) baking powder, aluminum-free
  • 4 grams (1/2 teaspoon) Celtic Sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, coarsley chopped

Instructions

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix the milk and vanilla in a one-quart bowl or measuring cup.
  3. Melt the butter in the microwave and then mix it into the milk and vanilla, whisking quickly as you pour it in. You will end up with tiny, drops of soft butter floating on the top, as it rehardens, but it will be okay. Trust me. Those little drops of butter will mix into your batter easily and this will prevent the egg, you're about to add, from cooking in the hot butter.
  4. Add the egg to the milk and butter mixture, whisking until it is thoroughly combined.
  5. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and pour the liquid ingredients into the center.
  6. Mix until all the flour and liquid are combined and no dry powder remains. Unlike working with flours that have gluten, you can't really overwork or toughen your baked goods by stirring too much. The gluten is what causes tough baked goods when overworked. Since you are working with gluten-free ingredients you can stir to your heart's content.
  7. Gently fold in the raspberries.
  8. Place cupcake papers in muffin tin, or grease the muffin tin well, and fill each cup about 3/4 full.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Enjoy!
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Are you experimenting with gluten-free baking?  What have you loved?  What hasn’t worked out as well?  Do you have a good tip or idea you’d be willing to share?

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a day packed full-to-overflowing with blessings!

Make Your Own Gluten-Free Whole-Grain Flour Blend (Brown Rice, Amaranth and Oats) to Substitute in Favorite Recipes

On March 2, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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As a participant in the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge, I received a WonderMill Grain Mill and compensation to test the appliance in my own kitchen and to create five recipes using freshly milled, whole grain flour. The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product.  This […]

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As a participant in the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge, I received a WonderMill Grain Mill and compensation to test the appliance in my own kitchen and to create five recipes using freshly milled, whole grain flour. The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product.  This post contains affiliate links marked with an *.

Gluten-Free Symbol | Busy-at-Home © 2014

Last week, I shared a little about my need to become more knowledgeable and skilled in the art of gluten-free cooking and baking. Yes, there is DEFINITELY an art to it.  My traditional way of baking and measuring, simply won’t work with these new ingredients. It requires a little “un-learning”, which comes easier to me, now, in this menopausal stage of life.  :)  I feel like “un-learning” is sort of a natural state for me, at my age.  With age and “wisdom”, comes the understanding that you really don’t know everything you thought you did and even if you do, you won’t remember it.  lol  It seems to be working out for me, anyway. I guess I’ll go with it.

There is so much information available, about gluten-free baking, it can be pretty overwhelming to sift through; and without an advanced chemistry degree, it’s sometimes hard to discern who ACTUALLY knows what they’re talking about.  :)  After reading many, many articles and blogs, I have to tell you that the most helpful have been the blogs of people who live without gluten every day of their lives.  They’re hard-core, all-in, and they know from personal experience, what works and what doesn’t.  I’m so excited and grateful for those who have already done the hard work of pioneering — blazing the trail for the rest of us.

I’m not much of a re-invent the wheel girl, so it helps to have some great role models.  The one I feel that has been the most helpful to me, personally, is Shauna James Ahern, over at Gluten-Free-Girl and the Chef. She doesn’t just share gluten-free recipes, though she DOES have so many that look absolutely scrumptious.  She’s a teacher, whether that’s what she set out to be, or not.  I feel as though I’ve attended “gluten-free school”, after studying her wonderful blog, and I understand so much more than I did, before I arrived there. What I love about Shauna is that she provides me with the information, formulas, tips and ideas to create my own custom gluten-free flour blends and use them in recipes my family is already familiar with and enjoys.  Her site is a wealth of information and I can’t encourage you enough, to go, and rifle through its pages, to glean those nuggets of knowledge that will inspire you on your own gluten-free journey.

Gluten-Free Grains Infographic | Busy-at-Home © 2014

To create a gluten-free flour blend that works in your everyday recipes, providing you with the textures and “mouth-feel” that you’re used to, you need a proper balance of proteins (grains) and starches.

This flour blend recipe was part of my guest post, today, over at the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge.  You can check out that post to get all the details about my continuing experiments, and all that I’m learning, with the WonderMill Grain Mill.  I am loving it SOOOOO much!  It makes me feel sort of accomplished and crafty, using it, though it really involves no skill on my part. I flip the switch, pour in the grain, and the mill does all the work.  If there was a way to take credit for it, I would do it, but take my word for it, milling your own flour with a Wondermill is a no-brainer.  It’s simple, it’s quick and it’s healthier for my family.  What’s not to love?

WonderMill Grain Mill

* My well-used WonderMill. Oils in grain begin to oxidize and turn rancid within 72 hours of milling. That’s why whole grain flour you purchase at the market, should be stored in the freezer, to preserve freshness and nutrition. The reality is, however, you have no idea how long it took that flour to reach the store, and then how long it has been sitting on the shelf. The way around this for commercial producers is to produce “white” flour, which is simply milled grain that has had the bran and endosperm removed before grinding, removing the healthy oils that cause their storage problems. Unfortunately, the healthy oils, vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber that our bodies need, are contained in the bran and endosperm. See why milling fresh flour, on your kitchen counter, is a great benefit for your family’s health?  Saving for a mill is a good investment.

 

Ok, so let’s get to the recipe.  I read that to make my own gluten-free,

  1. all-purpose flour blend, I needed to use 600 grams of any combination of gluten-free starches that I liked and 400 grams of gluten-free whole grain flours.
  2. whole-grain flour blend, I should combine 700 grams of any of the whole-grain flours and 300 grams of the starches.
  3. To use either of them in recipes, I would need to substitute 140 grams of the blend, for each cup of flour the recipe called for.

Based on what I had in my house, I mixed up this first whole-grain blend.  I immediately used it to bake some beautiful and delicious muffins.  I was hooked.  Very, very excited.  Now, lest you think that everything comes up roses the minute you switch to gluten-free baking, let me introduce you to my attempt at using this blend to make whole grain tortillas.  Failures and mistakes will happen, and yes, I cringe a little at the cost of learning, but the truth of the matter is that it is something that’s important to know and I WILL figure it out, eventually.  Don’t give up.  You learn from what didn’t work, make adjustments and try, again.  It’s worth the effort and initial expense to be able to serve delicious, satisfying food that is healthy for the people we love.

homemade tortillas

Aren’t they pretty? Lightly browned and inviting. Ptttewwww! Blech! Dry, crispy, unbendable, without cracking — basically not good. Yes, my first attempt at gluten-free tortillas is a bust. I will NOT give up, however. I’m pretty sure the problem has to do with that “un-learning” I mentioned earlier. The dough, substituting the blend for the flour in the recipe, turned out more like thick gloppy batter, than dough. So, my gluten-oriented brain kept adding more flour blend until I had a dough that I could roll out and cook. Bad call.  I have some ideas about solutions for this problem. I’ll keep you posted.

 

In the meantime, this first whole grain blend was most certainly not a bust in the Raspberry Cinnamon Muffins I will be sharing with you in my next post.  I am confident this blend would also be great in things like banana and zucchini bread, pancakes and waffles or brownies and cobblers.  As I continue to experiment and expand our gluten-free recipe file, I’ll share the recipes we develop.  In the meantime, mix up a batch of this blend to use in your own recipes.

gluten free raspberry cinnamon muffins | Busy-at-Home

Look at the texture! the crumb! These muffins were so delicious. Yes, I speak of them in the past tense, because they were gone in a blink. The whole family, even our white bread lovers, gobbled these whole-grain, gluten free beauties up.  You know you want a bite!  Fresh whole grain bread, sweet raspberries and melting butter —  now that’s breakfast !  mmmmmmm……..  So good!

 

The links you’ll see in the recipe are to the grains I purchase online, to make my flours. Living in a small town, I don’t have quick and easy access to health food stores that sell organic grains, or grains of any kind, really. Without a doubt, I will eventually learn which stores in the city (30 miles away) offer what I’m looking for at even more affordable prices.  Until then, this has gotten me started and it’s delivered directly to my door.  You may find that works for you, as well.

 

Gluten-Free Whole-Grain Flour Blend (Brown Rice, Amaranth and Oats)

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Carefully weigh out the flours and arrowroot.
  2. Mix until they are completely blended.
  3. Store, in a ziptop freezer bag, in the freezer.
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Have you been too afraid to attempt gluten-free baking?  What are the obstacles that hold you back?  What information or tips would make you more willing to give it a try? Maybe you’re an excellent gluten-free baker.  I would LOVE to hear from you.  Let’s dish!  What are you secrets for success?

I’m so glad you came by and I’m looking forward to your next visit!  Have a blessing-filled week!

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Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe

On February 27, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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This post contains affiliate links. Links followed by an ” * ” are affiliates.   You won’t need special skills or knowledge to wow your friends and family with this easy, gluten-free dessert.  You may feel like there are quite a few steps, but all of them are super simple.  It shouldn’t throw you into […]

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This post contains affiliate links. Links followed by an ” * ” are affiliates.

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake from Busy-at-Home.  It's gluten-free chocolate heaven!

Fudgy, creamy chocolate decadence. You’ll only need a thin slice of this rich, dense cake to satisfy your deepest chocolate cravings.

 

You won’t need special skills or knowledge to wow your friends and family with this easy, gluten-free dessert.  You may feel like there are quite a few steps, but all of them are super simple.  It shouldn’t throw you into a panic when you find out guests are eating gluten-free.  There are so many delicious recipes you can prep that will make them feel completely indulged without anyone else at the table feeling like they’ve missed out on something.

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake from Busy-at-Home.  Easy, delicious and gluten-free.

Baked in a spring form pan, you have lots of options to serve your Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake. Go rustic, elegant or casual depending on your setting.

A few weeks ago, our son-in-law discovered he would need to be eating gluten-free.  Since we are lucky enough to be able to share meals with him, our daughter and grandkids at least once a week, I wanted to start fine-tuning some recipes that I can prepare to let everyone enjoying a family dinner with us, be able to eat anything on the table. This Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake is one of them and you’ll be seeing more and more gluten-free recipes popping up on Busy-at-Home.  Enjoy!

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake

Rating: 51

16 servings

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake

Gluten-free and fudgy decadence in a simple, but elegant dessert.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup real butter (not margarine)
  • 1 lb semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar, (I used Zulka Morena* less refined sugar.)
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla* extract (I use the beans in the link, and make my own.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt*
  • powdered sugar and raspberries, (for optional garnish)
  • extra butter for greasing pan

Instructions

  1. First, prepare your pan. Grease a 9-inch spring form pan by spreading butter over the bottom and sides. Cut a circle of parchment and line the bottom of the pan with it. Tightly wrap the bottom, and up the sides, of the pan with foil.
  2. Set the prepared spring form into a large roasting pan.
  3. Start boiling a large pan of water, while you mix up the rest of the cake.
  4. Place the chocolate, cream and butter into the top of a double boiler (or in my case a glass bowl)
  5. (I don't have a double boiler, so I use a glass bowl over the top of a saucepan that has about three inches of boiling water in the bottom.)
  6. Melt the chocolate, butter and cream together. Stir, frequently, until everything is incorporated and the texture is smooth and creamy.
  7. Set the chocolate aside.
  8. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla until they are frothy and doubled in volume.
  9. Scoop 1/3 of the egg mixture into the bowl with the melted chocolate. Gently fold the eggs into the chocolate with a rubber spatula.
  10. Repeat the folding-in step two more times, until all the egg mixture is incorporated into the chocolate.
  11. Pour the finished cake batter into your prepared spring form pan.
  12. Now, grab that pot of water I had you start boiling, in the beginning. Gently pour it into the roaster, until it reaches the halfway level on the side of the spring form pan.
  13. Bake in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. The sides will have begun to set up and pull away from the edge of your pan, but the center of the cake will still be very jiggly and soft.
  14. Remove the cake from the oven and take the spring form out of the roaster. Remove the foil from the spring form and then set the pan on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Once it has reached room temperature, cover it and set it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
  15. Remove the cake from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving. Unfasten and remove the spring form's outer ring. At this point, you can simply leave the cake on the bottom of the pan, like I did, or invert it onto a serving plate, whichever you prefer.
  16. You can dust it with powdered sugar and/or garnish it with berries or mint leaves. It would be delicious with fresh, homemade whipped cream, too!
  17. However you decide to serve it, you will want to keep the slices "petite". Even though it is only a 9" cake, I cut it into 16 slices. It's super, fudgy and rich, so that was definitely a big enough piece, for one serving. Scrumptious!
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Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

On February 17, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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I don’t bake nearly as often as I did when the kids were younger, but once in awhile, I just need a chocolate chip cookie.  Yesterday, our daughter, son-in-law and all the grandkids were here and it seemed like the perfect time to whip up a batch of these delicious beauties.  They are stupendous!  Hands […]

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I don’t bake nearly as often as I did when the kids were younger, but once in awhile, I just need a chocolate chip cookie.  Yesterday, our daughter, son-in-law and all the grandkids were here and it seemed like the perfect time to whip up a batch of these delicious beauties.  They are stupendous!  Hands down, my absolute favorite cookie.  You would never guess that they contain whole wheat flour.  And as promised in my last post, I weighed out the flour for you so you can duplicate the same excellent results that I get.  If you don’t have a kitchen scale and will be measuring your flour by the cup, then be advised that I used the scoop and swoop method.  Still, weighing will get you the most consistent results.

Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe | Busy-at-Home

Yes, I know you definitely would love a bite of one of these! I wish I could hand you one of these warm, soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies right through the screen, but the next best thing is having the recipe. You can easily make these at home.

 

At first glance, my recipe may seem to include some “unusual” ingredients, but I promise you they are so mainstream in our house, that I forget to mention them to you in my recipes.  I just wanted to give a brief explanation and let you know that you can definitely make the substitutions, if you need to.  I just wanted you to have the exact recipe that I use, so you can be sure of the same yummy results.

I’ve talked to you, before, about Zulka brand Morena Pure Cane Sugar.  I buy it at Walmart and in the recipe, below, I linked it up to my Amazon affiliate for you, in case you can’t find it locally.  You could substitute regular granulated sugar, cup for cup, but I like using this unrefined, non-GMO pure cane sugar for its deeper, fresher taste in baked goods.  Because it hasn’t been refined, it retains some of the cane syrup which affects the color and flavor.  The granules are not as fine as granulated sugar, but incorporate and melt into my baked goods just like white sugar.  Because it is left unrefined, Morena sugar is not white, but its natural tan color.  I can purchase a 4 pound bag for less than the store brand 4 pound bag, at Walmart.  They have recently started stocking it in the baking aisle, though I used to only be able to pick it up in the ethnic foods aisle.  If you’re having trouble finding it, be sure to look both places.  You can print a coupon for 50¢ off Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar.

zulka morena pure cane sugar

Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar

I’ve been making my own vanilla extract, at home, for a little over a year, too,  and there is no rival for the flavor.  I prefer to use Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans when I make it.  My recipe does call for homemade vanilla, but you can substitute your preferred brand.

And the last ingredient I need to explain is Celtic Sea Salt.  You can use regular table salt, as a substitute.  I’ve just read so much great information about the health benefits of Celtic Sea Salt, that it didn’t make sense for our family to keep using processed table salt.  Here is a link to one article that was helpful.

Now, that you have an understanding of why I chose the ingredients that I did, I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as our family does!  Have a blessing-filled evening!

 

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 cups Morena Pure Cane Sugar (can substitute granulated sugar)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon homemade vanilla (or substitute any pure vanilla extract)
  • 2 cups (258 grams or 9.1 oz) whole wheat flour
  • 5 cups (678 grams or 1 lb 7.9 oz) unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt (or substitute table salt)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (12 oz) bag milk chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugars together in bowl of stand mixer.
  2. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  3. Add dry ingredients and mix until dough is uniformly combined. The dough will be very stiff.
  4. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  5. Roll into golf ball-sized balls and place on greased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 - 14 minutes.
  7. Cookies will still appear soft and some may even look doughy, but trust me, take them out just as the edges begin to brown and don't go longer than the recommended time. Your cookies will continue to bake for a minute or two even after they are removed from the oven. They will set up without becoming hard and crunchy. You'll have perfectly soft, chewy and delicious cookies.
  8. Enjoy!
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Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies | Busy-at-Home

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Do You Scoop and Swoop…or are You a Spooner? How You Measure Flour Affects Your Baking Success

On February 15, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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This post is all about sharing a secret that every successful baker must understand.  Armed with this knowledge, you will be well on your way to becoming a baking GIANT!  (or moderately sized with a GIANT baking heart, if you prefer.)  At least in your own kitchen.  :) It IS true that cooking a great savory […]

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This post is all about sharing a secret that every successful baker must understand.  Armed with this knowledge, you will be well on your way to becoming a baking GIANT!  (or moderately sized with a GIANT baking heart, if you prefer.)  At least in your own kitchen.  :)

homemade baguettes

Mastering the “baking basic” that I’m sharing, today, will have you tackling recipes without fear and winning! In a few weeks, I’m going to show you how to make these totally delish, crisp and chewy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, baguettes. You can DEFINITELY do it!

It IS true that cooking a great savory dish leaves a little more wiggle room for experimentation and creating a smashing success with just about whatever happens to be in your pantry.  A little of this, a dash of that and maybe even some of that leftover chicken from last night’s dinner and you can whip up a culinary masterpiece, with ease.

The chemistry of baking, on the other hand, is a little more particular, and requires precise measuring to create the necessary reactions when specific ingredients, in specific amounts, are combined.  Intimidating?  It doesn’t have to be.  As a matter of fact with just a little knowledge and a collection of basic formulas for the baked goods you love most, you can be comfortable baking every day.  AND, the more you practice, the more comfortable you will be to use what you know to experiment and get creative with baking, just the way you do when you’re cooking.

That’s the basis for a whole new category of posts I want to share with you in 2014 — Baking Basics. You’ll see it in the menu tabs above, and I’m hoping it will fill up quickly with posts you can reference, when you have questions. Identifying yourself as a scoop and swooper or a spooner is the first important baking basic I want you to think about, as it has a tremendous impact on your success when you’re baking.

WonderMill Flour Mill

My new WonderMill. I LOVE being able to use my own freshly-milled flour in our baked goods!

So, what’s the verdict? Are you a “scoop and swooper” or a “spoon and leveler”?  What about the recipes you use?  Were their authors scoopers or spooners?  It may not seem like a big deal, but I promise, understanding the difference will help you achieve much more consistent results when you bake.  Until I started baking large batches of breads, cakes or cookies for freezer cooking, I didn’t realize how significantly the way I measured flour would affect my final product.  After some time experimenting, I’m convinced that some of my friends who say they love to cook, but can’t bake, may find that this simple knowledge can change their minds.

measuring flour

The WAY you measure flour can make a huge difference in your finished baked goods. Do you scoop your flour or spoon it into the cup before leveling?  Neither is necessarily wrong, but they each result in vastly different outcomes.  Even baking experts don’t agree which is best, though they DO agree the difference is important.

The scoop and swoop method is exactly what it sounds like.  You dip your measuring cup into the canister to fill it and use a finger to swoop the little mound off, making the flour level with the top of the measuring cup.  Spooners add flour to their measuring cup, a little at a time, and then using the flat edge of a table knife or some other straight edge, level the top with great precision.  Each method incorporates a different amount of air into the flour and affects how much flour is actually in the cup.  Scooping and swooping adds more flour (by weight) to your recipe — as much as 20% more, depending on how vigorous a scooper you are.  :)  If you’re baking a recipe that calls for 4 cups of flour and the recipe’s author was a spooner, but you scooped, you would end up adding almost a whole cup more flour than the original author used in her recipe.  And when you are baking multiple loaves of bread, where 12 – 15 cups of flour may be used at one time, that difference becomes even more significant, using 3 or more extra cups of flour, compared to the original recipe’s author.  Holy bread brick, Batman!

No wonder so many people think they can’t bake.  This is quite a dilemma, since I don’t think I have EVER seen a recipe that stated whether the author scooped and swooped or spooned and leveled.  What’s a perfectionistic, wanna-be GIANT supposed to do?  Ideally, I would convince all of you to measure your flour by weight  and every recipe would be written with weight measurements.   The reality is, that’s probably not going to happen.  Oh, I’m definitely going to get some of you weighing your flour, but those of you who don’t have access to a scale, can still be great bakers.  You just have to keep certain facts in mind.

Finesseur Digital Scale

This Finesseur scale is the one I use. It’s a little pricey and you can definitely find cheaper models, but I was investing for long term use and I specifically wanted the tare feature that allows me to zero out the weight when I set an empty bowl or cup onto it, to measure ingredients into. I can quickly convert from pounds to ounces to grams, with the touch of a button. I really like this model. Whichever one you end up selecting, be sure you get digital, that can measure precisely in even small fractions of an ounce.

  1. If you don’t personally know the recipe’s author and how the flour was measured, your first attempt at making the recipe is ALWAYS going to be a trial run.  Don’t give up if a recipe doesn’t turn out the first time.  It may be as simple as adjusting the way you measured the flour, so always keep track of what method you used and try, again, using the other method.
  2. If the recipe gives weight measurements (oz or gm), in addition to volume (cups), then weigh your flour to get results consistent with the author’s.
  3. If you have a kitchen scale, you can update the recipes you use most often, and new ones that you try, by measuring out the flour in cups and then weighing the total amount.  Note the ounces and grams measurement on the recipe, so anyone using the recipe after you, will have access to the most accurate measurements and you won’t have to rely on memory when baking it, in the future.
  4. Be consistent in the method you use for measuring flour when you create your own recipes.  You’ll want to share with others who use it, what method you use, so they can come as close to duplicating your method, as possible.

    weighing flour on a digital kitchen scale

    I am a scoop and swooper, by nature, and I found that measuring in this way was yielding me, on average, 5 ounces of flour in each cup, when measuring finely ground, whole wheat flour. (Yes, the coarseness and type of flour you’re using can affect the volume, too.) Even more reason that weighing is a more trustworthy method of measuring every type of flour.

  5. If you can afford it, buy a kitchen scale.  Successful bakers and chefs rely on this method to achieve consistent results every time they bake.  5 ounces of flour is 5 ounces of flour whether you scoop it up in a cup or you spoon it delicately into the bowl.  It is the most accurate way to measure and to help ensure baking success.

    weighing flour

    When I spooned and leveled a cup of flour, the average weight ended up being 4.4 ounces. That doesn’t seem like a huge difference between the two methods — only .6 oz per cup. But what if a recipe called for 4 cups of flour. The difference then would be more than 1/8 cup for the total recipe. And for mixing up multiple loaves of bread, as I do, it would be more than a one cup difference. Baked goods with too much flour become dry, hard and crumbly. With too little flour, they can be doughy, not hold their form or spread too much. Are you starting to see why weighing flour can be the difference between success and failure when baking.

To give you one final illustration of the differences between volume measurement and weight measurement when it comes to flour, and why weighing is far superior, let me show you two bags of flour I recently milled.  One was milled from hard white wheat berries, the other from Einkorn wheat berries (an ancient variety, without all the modern-day modifications).  In a recipe, if I were using volume measurements, I would need almost twice as many cups of Einkorn flour to achieve the results I had with hard white.  Someone creating a recipe that says use x amount of cups of either one, would have to note what specific wheat their flour was milled from to get the same results for anyone else who used the recipe.  However, if they gave weight measurements, the recipe, as written, would work with either flour.

two bags of home ground flour

The difference in volume, between the two varieties is significant, but within .2 oz, for the entire bag, their weight is identical.

Have I convinced you, yet?  Are you already in the car on the way to Walmart to buy a kitchen scale?  :)  There are other factors that can affect the favorable results of your final baked products, but accurately measuring flour is at the top of the list.   From now on, recipes I publish, here, at Busy-at-Home will give both volume and weight measurements and if you don’t have access to a scale, you’ll know I scooped and swooped for the results I got, so you should, too.  :)

How do you measure flour?  Have you ever been frustrated to follow a recipe exactly and still not have it turn out?  What’s your greatest baking fear?  Success?  What puzzles you about baking or what questions would you love to have answered about baking?  I’m anxious to show you that you can be an extraordinary baker and I’ll help with all I can.

Now, go bake something amazing!  You can do it!

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