Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Sneaky Ingredient

We are on a journey to improve what we are eating in our home. I say journey, because it is a constant, ongoing process/adventure to become healthier. It is a journey that we have taken in baby steps. I have become a label reader, a blog reader, a book/magazine reader to try to make better choices about the food that we consume. The more I read the more frustrated I become with the products I find in our local stores. I thought I was buying the best bread as the first ingredient was "whole wheat," but not too far down was "high-fructose corn syrup." Really, in bread?

Soooo, as I was reading and reading and reading some more, I came across recipes for whole wheat bread, pitas and english muffins. These are not difficult to make, but do require some time at home as they need time to rise. They do not require any special equipment, but do call for some different ingredients if you plan on making these whole wheat.

Whole Wheat Bread

First, this recipe for whole wheat bread can be made with either part white and part wheat flour or entirely with whole wheat flour. Please note that if you plan on making this bread entirely with whole wheat flour then you will need to follow instruction further down the page. This bread was delicious!!! Light and a little sweet. We used it for sandwiches, dinner bread and toast. If you decide to make it entirely with whole wheat flour then you will need to purchase some ingredients to use as dough conditioners to help make the bread lighter.

The vital wheat gluten can be found in the health food or whole wheat section of the store. The granulated lecithin is a supplement that I found at a health foods store, but could also be found at a supplement store such as GNC. You use very little of this in the recipe so if you are in the Evansville area and want to make bread just let me know and I would be happy to share. I just realized that I did not include a picture of the citric acid, but it can be found with canning supplies.

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Next, homemade whole wheat pita bread. I tried pita bread from the store because it was supposed to be healthier, but it was tough and frankly I did not enjoy eating it. Then, I found this recipe and I cannot tell you how much better homemade pitas are than store bought. Again, they are not difficult, but just take some time to allow the dough to raise. Plus, it is so much fun to watch them raise in the oven. Again this recipe was taste tested and approved by my boys and is in demand from my husband as we speak. Please make sure that your yeast is fresh as the first time I tried this mine was old and the pitas did not raise. Very disappointing, but yummy flat bread.

I didn't know you could make your own English muffins. But, you can and they are YUMMY! Again, not hard, just need time to raise. And, you pan fry them in a skillet on the stove top and do not bake them. I chose to make mine completely with whole wheat pastry flour and they turned out very well.

So, my new sneaky ingredient is LOVE. Something that cannot be found on the labels of the store bought version.
Moral to the story - even though there is nothing "sneaky" in these recipes you can easily identify every ingredient that is in them and feel confident when you family is enjoying them.
Sorry, for the delay in posting new recipes. I have been working on this post for about three days now and just could not find the words.
Happy Baking!

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