Tuesday, February 28, 2012

All-Purpose Baking Mix

I keep this on hand instead of store bought baking mix. It works just as well and is less expensive. I use it for pancakes, waffles, biscuits, dumplings and any recipe that requires biscuit or baking mix.
I store it in a tall Rubbermaid container with a copy of the recipe taped to the front.

6 c. flour
3 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. salt
1 1/4 c. shortening (butter flavored or plain)

Combing flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl.

Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Store in a container with tight fitting lid. Will keep for up to 2 months.

For biscuits: Stir together 2 1/4 c. baking mix with 2/3 c. milk. Knead 10 times on lightly floured surface, roll out and cut into biscuits or skip the kneading and simply drop dough into an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 10 biscuits.

For pancakes: Stir together 2 c. baking mix, 1 c. milk and 2 eggs until blended. Do not over mix. Ladle 1/4 cupfuls onto hot greased griddle or skillet and cook until edges are dry and top is bubbly, turn over and cook until golden brown. Makes about 14 pancakes.

For waffles: Stir together 2 c. baking mix, 1 1/3 c. milk, 1 egg and 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil until blended. Pour batter into center of hot greased waffle iron and cook for 5 minutes to until steaming stops. Makes about 12 (4 inch) waffles.

For dumplings: Stir together 2 c. baking mix and 2/3 c. milk just until soft dough forms. Drop by spoonfuls into boiling liquid, cover and cook for 10 minutes without lifting the lid. Makes about 10 dumplings.

Slab Apple Pie

I found this recipe on another blog and I really love it. It reminds me a lot of my apple crisp recipe, but has a flaky pie crust too, which I love. It's scrumptious warm and at room temperature.

Pie Crust for single layer pie
6 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare pie crust according to directions and pat it into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. In large mixing bowl, combine apple slices, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Spread in an even layer over crust. In food processor, combine flour, butter, and brown sugar, pulsing until coarse crumbs are formed, or in a large mixing bowl, combine these ingredients, cutting butter into sugar and flour with a pastry blender or two knives held together. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle crumb top over apple layer.* Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until filling bubbles. Cool completely.
If preparing ahead of time to freeze. Wrap with foil and label at the *. Then, when ready to serve, bake frozen pie at 425° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375° and continue baking as directed.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Who doesn't love warm homemade bread? No one that I know, that's for sure. My usual hesitation with making bread in the bread maker is that the bread is only delicious for a few hours, but the next day or so it becomes too airy and not as good, I would never use it for sandwiches. I found this recipe on the back of the Gold Medal Flour package and it's very good. I even will use it for making a sandwich. My whole family loves it. After dinner one night E ate 3 whole slices as his dessert. It's also very good as toast. On cooler days when my house is too cold to raise dough very well I will sometimes take the dough out to the car and use that as a proofing box, it works wonderfully; and sometimes if its too cold outside I will use a space heater to heat up my closet and put the dough in there to proof. I'm still want to but am too nervous to try making real whole wheat bread without any white flour. When I do attempt it and it works I'll post that recipe too.
When I made 1 large and 3 small loaves I put the smaller ones in with the big loaf after 20 minutes cooking and they came out great.

4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. butter or margarine
3 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. very warm water
4 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 3/4 to 4 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside. In large bowl, mix honey, butter, salt and very warm water; cool 5 minutes.

To cooled honey mixture, beat in 3 c. of the whole wheat flour with electric mixer on low speed, scraping bowl frequently, until moistened. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Beat in remaining 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour and dissolved yeast. With spoon, stir in 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 c. of the all-purpose flour until dough pulls cleanly away from side of bowl.

Place dough on floured work surface. Knead in remaining 1/2 to 1 c. all-purpose flour; continue kneading 5 to 10 minutes until dough is smooth and springy. Grease large bowl with shortening or cooking spray; place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Generously grease 2 (8X4 or 9X5 inch) loaf pans with shortening or cooking spray. Gently push fist into dough to deflate; divide in half. On lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough with rolling pin into 18X8 inch rectangle. Starting with one 8 inch side, roll up dough tightly, pressing with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal; pinch ends to seal. Fold ends under loaf; place seam side down in pan. Cover; let rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Heat oven to 375. Uncover dough; bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350; bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each)