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NEW Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour {Giveaway}

by Cassidy Stockton in Contests, Gluten Free

Do you ever just wish someone would make gluten free baking easier? That there was a simple product swap that could replace wheat flour without having to keep 5 different flours and starches on hand? That you could just take the guesswork out of how much xanthan gum to use? Good news! We are excited to say that our newest addition to our gluten free product line can do just that.

Introducing…

Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour

Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour | Bob's Red Mill

endless possibilities, one easy solution

I think all of our gluten free products are winners, but this one is my new favorite. It’s so easy to use- just swap wheat flour with this blend cup for cup and follow the original recipe as instructed. You will bake some pretty stellar baked goods and tasters will be hard pressed to tell the difference. We even did some blind taste tests around with none the wiser. That’s a pretty good test, in my opinion.

This flour combines finely ground brown rice flour, sweet white rice flour, whole grain sorghum flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour with a touch of xanthan gum—just enough xanthan gum to create chewy cookies and springy muffins. The protein in the sorghum flour helps give baked goods an almost wheat-like texture and aids in browning, for those times you need a perfectly golden brown chocolate chip cookie.

We hope you will enjoy this new product as much as we do. To celebrate our newest addition, we’re giving away a package of this blend to five lucky winners. Follow the prompts below to enter. We’ll select five winners at random from all who enter by 11:59 pm on 7/6/14. We’re working to get this product on shelves as soon as possible, so if you don’t see it at your local store, ask them to bring it in. In the meantime, you can grab a bag at bobsredmill.com for $4.95.

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Fisher Whole Wheat Chocolate Almond Cookies F

Three Tips for Baking with Children

by Jessica Fisher in Featured Articles, Recipes

My grandmother was a blue-ribbon baker. Every year at the county fair she bagged multiple ribbons for her baked goods. A plump older woman with tightly curled hair and wrapped in an apron, Gramma  John was the epitome of the Midwestern farm wife. I loved visiting her on our family vacations to Minnesota each summer. Gramma had two kitchens!

This California girl had never seen such a thing. There was a regular kitchen in the home, decorated in the styles of the 70s, where we ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the cool of the basement there was a second kitchen, austere white, and ready for business. Despite it’s professional looking nature, that’s where the fun happened!

Each summer I would bake with Gramma in that kitchen. I particularly remember her pat-in-the-pan pie crust . While mine didn’t look as pretty as hers, the pastry was easy. In fact, even my five-year old can do it.

Three Tips for Baking with Children | Bob's Red Mill

She’s the one who taught me to bake. And I’ve passed that love on to my kids.

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies to bake with children. It sounds great, but in reality, it’s a mess. It can be a little frustrating when flour flies and egg shells float in the batter.

But, it’s worth it. Now that my youngest is five – my eldest is 16 – I’m able to relax a bit and look back to see what worked and improve the things that didn’t. Here are three basic things I’ve learned.

1. Let them do.

This is hard, especially if you’re a control freak like I am. My husband is the one who modeled this for me. He let our two-year old crack eggs!

Recently, I taught my 7-year old how to use the bread machine. She even adapted a favorite recipe and wrote it down in her own words. That handwritten copy is a keepsake, for sure.

My 16-year old now bakes on his own, hunting down recipes to feed his ravenous appetite for healthier, body-building snacks.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies | Bob's Red Mill

2. Just keep calm.

Find ways that you can relinquish control and still keep your cool. For instance, let your child crack each egg individually into a ramekin. Then add it to the recipe after you’ve fished out any shell.

Set up a work space that is easy to clean. We have a very large cutting board that I often use as our work space. Most of the mess happens there, making it easy to move it all at once when it’s clean up time.

3. Have fun!

Baking is the ultimate three-for-one experience. You get food prepared, you teach your child some life skills, and you get to enjoy some good times together.

Don’t sweat the messes, the cookies that don’t look picture-perfect, or the fact that this activity takes way longer than if you did it by yourself. You’re making memories with your child and getting some great fringe benefits.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Almond Cookies | Bob's Red Mill

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 2 dozen cookies

This is a recipe from my Gramma John, updated to be just a bit healthier. I swapped coconut oil for the shortening; replaced processed white and brown sugars with demerara sugar, and used whole wheat pastry flour instead of white. I also notched up the flavor profile and the antioxidants with ginger and cinnamon. The result is a sweet, crispy, crunchy cookie that pleases kids of all ages.

  • 2/3 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup Demerara Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, optional

Preheat the oven to  350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the oil and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, chocolate chips and nuts, if using. Mix well.

Drop dough onto the prepared sheets by rounded tablespoons. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Jessica Fisher Color by Sharon Leppellere - smJessica Fisher is a mom of six children, aged 5 to 16. Homeschool mom by day, writer and blogger by night, she writes two blogs, LifeasMom and GoodCheapEats. She is the author of Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and FreezeOrganizing Life as MOM, and Best 100 Juices for Kids. Keep up with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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What is it Wednesday | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Wednesday: Arrowroot Starch

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, What is it? Wednesday

We are very excited to bring you What is it? Wednesdays! Every other Wednesday, we’ll explore a different ingredient or product in depth. We’ll be covering the benefits, uses and common misconceptions about each. If you have any requests, leave them in the comments and we’ll work them into the schedule. 

***

Welcome to What is it? Wednesday! This week’s topic is Arrowroot Starch, AKA: Arrowroot Powder, Arrowroot Flour. A lesser-known ingredient than its starch brethren—corn, potato, tapioca—arrowroot is an incredibly useful ingredient that is often overlooked. It is frequently used in gluten free and allergy-free baking. Use it in place of cornstarch in baking, or for thickening cool liquids (read: ice cream). If you have questions we don’t address, leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to find you an answer.

What is it? Wednesday: Arrowroot Starch | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Arrowroot starch is a very fine, white powder akin to cornstarch made from the tubers of the arrowroot plant. The arrowroot plant, Maranta arundinacea, is a perennial herb found in tropical climates. The origins of its name are a little mysterious. One source claims that the Arawak Indians called the plant aru-aru, “meal of meals.” While another claims that arrowroot was used medicinally, being placed on wounds made with poisoned arrows to draw out the toxins. With its medicinal properties, it might just be a little of both.

How do you use it? Like other starches, arrowroot starch is used as a thickening agent in liquids and supports proteins in baking to give baked goods form. It has virtually no flavor and is allergy-friendly, making it a great option for those avoiding corn, potatoes or gluten in general.

Arrowroot does not hold its thickening abilities like other starches and is best added near the end of heating. It should be mixed with liquid to create a slurry before adding to hot liquids to prevent clumping. There is a secret to a smooth sauce with arrowroot starch. Bring the sauce base to a simmer over medium-low heat. Next, whisk ¼ cup water and 2 Tbsp. arrowroot starch together to make a slurry. Stir the slurry into the simmering sauce and heat for one minute or until thickened.

How is it different from other starches? First off, arrowroot starch does not turn sauces cloudy like some starches, and it works at temperatures below a simmer. Arrowroot starch is neutral tasting and tolerates acidic ingredients, such as citrus (hello, lemon curd!). The starch also freezes well and dissolves well at lower temperatures. In fact, it must be cooked over low heat as it doesn’t endure high temperature cooking and does not reheat well. A final word to the wise, arrowroot does not do well in milk-based cream sauces (it changes the texture), but it bakes well in cakes, cookies and biscuits made with milk.

Sweet Potato-Almond Waffles with Crispy Oven-Baked Cornflake Chicken | Bob's Red Mill & Cara's Cravings

Try one of these fabulous recipes using Arrowroot Starch:

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Almond Meal Bread | Bob's Red Mill

Almond Meal Bread

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Recipes

How does one enjoy bread while on a low carb diet? That’s a question we have been striving to answer. Our solution? This lovely Almond Meal Bread. It may look like a loaf of banana bread, but I assure you it’s definitely not banana bread. It has a lovely whole grain texture and savory flavor, despite being made from almond and coconut flour, perfect for sandwiches, toast or straight-up snacking. Yes, it uses a lot of eggs. That’s one of the trade-offs for leaving out the gluten and the starch in this recipe. It’s a great recipe for those looking to reduce their carb intake or are following the paleo diet… or just have a bag of almond meal lying around needing to be put to good use. Enjoy!

Almond Meal Bread | Bob's Red Mill

Almond Meal Bread

Contributed by:  Sarah House for Bob’s Red Mill Test Kitchen

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time:  35 – 45 minutes | Yield: 12 servings | Total Carbs per serving: 8g, Net Carbs: 4g

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line an 8×4- or 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with pan spray.

Step 2

Whip eggs until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, sift together Bob’s Red Mill Natural Almond Meal, Coconut Flour, baking powder and salt.

Step 3

While the eggs are still whipping, slowly stream in the melted and cooled coconut oil.  Fold in the dry ingredients.

Step 4

Scoop batter into the prepared pan and smooth top.

Step 5

Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 – 45 minutes.

Step 6

Let cool completely before removing from the baking pan.

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Whole Wheat Flax Beer Bread from Fitzala | Bob's Red Mill

Whole Wheat Beer Bread with Flax {Guest Post}

by Guest in Featured Articles, Recipes

Hello Bob’s Red Mill blog readers! I’m Jenni, the personal trainer behind Fitzala. Today I’ll be sharing a great recipe for a hearty snack. Beer bread doesn’t rank high on most people’s list for healthy snacks, but this one is delicious and good for you.

Most beer bread recipes are high in sugar and fat, which isn’t the best for your health. This recipe uses flaxseed meal to keep the bread moist and replace the not so healthy fats. Flaxseed is high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Another great aspect of healthy fats is that they provide a high level of satiety, making you feel more satisfied after eating.

Normal whole wheat flour can give baked goods a grainy, dense or overwhelming “wheaty” taste. You can fix this and still get the whole grain nutrients by substituting whole wheat pastry flour. It lends the lighter texture that most white flour baked goods have without sacrificing the fiber, vitamins and minerals that whole wheat flour lends.

With these two power ingredients, this bread is nutritious, satiating and sticks with you while you go about your busy day. The hoppy beer taste is just a bonus!

If you’re wary about using beer, take comfort in knowing that 75% of the alcohol bakes out. There’s not enough left in it to give you buzz of any kind, though I wouldn’t recommend using it if you are allergic to alcohol. You can substitute soda or seltzer water for beer, but I can’t guarantee the results and the taste will definitely differ.

Whole Wheat Flax Beer Bread from Fitzala | Bob's Red Mill

Whole Wheat Beer Bread with Flax

Yield: 15 slices

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • ½ cup Flaxseed Meal
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¾ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup (sugar-free is fine too)
  • 1- 12 oz bottle/can of Beer

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare a bread pan with grease or parchment.

Place the flour, flax, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in one bowl and whisk to combine.

Beat together the egg and maple syrup in another bowl then mix in the beer.

Pour the wet ingredients in to the dry and mix until just combined.

Place the bread mixture in your greased pan and bake for 40 minutes or until done.

Jenni Kenyon from FitzalaJenni is an NASM certified personal trainer and loves helping women find balance in health and exercise. She and her husband live in Central Washington and spend as much time as possible outdoors. Find her on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or G+.

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Whole-Grain Mornings + Blueberry Breakfast Bars {Giveaway}

by Cassidy Stockton in Contests, Recipes

I am a breakfast fanatic. I simply cannot survive without breakfast and it has to be solidly nutritious in order to function during the day. It should be protein packed and have at least one serving of whole grains or I end up a cranky, hungry mess at 10 am. I love the idea of a sugar-laden breakfast or a one that is fried to a crispy golden treat, but it never works for me.

Needless to say, I was very excited to discover Whole-Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon. Based in Seattle, Megan writes the blog A Sweet Spoonful, contributes regularly to The Kitchn and runs her own artisan granola company, Marge, so to say she knows a little something about writing delicious recipes is an understatement in the extreme. I knew I would love this book before I even looked under the cover and I was right, it’s delicious!

Whole-Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon

I love hot cereal, but even I get a little bored with it day after day. Luckily, this book is filled with creative and exciting dishes to fill you up and keep you fueled throughout the day. Megan keeps some basic, but still whole grain, recipes like Whole-Grain Buttermilk Pancakes, Five Grain Porridge and The Very Best Oatmeal for those mornings where you want something familiar and relatively quick. It’s the other recipes that really pique my interest, though. Zucchini Farro Cakes with Herbed Goat Cheese and Slow Roasted Tomatoes? Yes, please! Huckleberry Cornmeal Custard? Don’t mind if I do (and bravo to Megan for including the elusive huckleberry in her book). Baked Pumpkin Risotto? Stop. Just stop right there. I’m getting too excited for breakfast tomorrow!

Filled with beautiful photos and funny, touching stories, Whole-Grain Mornings is a delightful addition to your cookbook collection. I am excited to be giving away a copy of this lovely book paired with some of our favorite whole grain ingredients to make it easy to get started creating whole grain deliciousness right away! Megan has a lovely recipe for Five Grain Porridge and uses many of the same ingredients throughout her book, so we’ll be pitching in all of the necessary ingredients for this recipe- Barley Flakes, Rye Flakes, Millet Grits, Cracked Wheat and Whole Grain Amaranth. To enter, simply follow the prompts below. If you simply cannot pin all of your hopes on winning this book, head over to Amazon or your favorite book purveyor to pick up a copy today. If you like this recipe, we highly recommend checking out A Sweet Spoonful for more of Megan’s culinary creations.

Whole-Grain Mornings Blueberry Breakfast Bars | Bob's Red Mill

Blueberry Breakfast Bars

Reprinted with permission from Whole-Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons by Megan Gordon (Ten Speed Press, © 2013). Photo Credit: Clare Barboza.

These are the ultimate all-purpose breakfast bars. They blend right in with a weekend brunch spread but are also the perfect help-get-me-through-morning-traffic snack. They boast a toasty flavor from the almonds and sesame seeds and a warm fragrance from the marriage of brown sugar and oats. While I love using fresh berries in the summer, in the dead of winter I rely on frozen blueberries I’ve stored from previous farmers’ market hauls. makes 12 to 16 bars, depending on size

Morning Notes: If you can’t find rye flakes, feel free to use more rolled oats instead.

Blueberry Filling

  • 3 cups / 720 ml fresh Blueberries or 1 (12-ounce / 350 g) package frozen blueberries, unthawed
  • 1⁄4 cup / 45 g Natural Cane Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated Lemon Zest
  • 1 teaspoon Water

Whole Grain Crust

  • 1⁄2 cup / 50 g Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup / 100 g Rye Flakes
  • 3⁄4 cup / 60 g sliced raw Almonds
  • 1⁄4 cup / 30 g raw Sesame Seeds
  • 1 cup / 120 g Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1⁄2 cup / 75 g packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 large Egg, beaten
  • 8 tablespoons / 115 g cold Unsalted Butter, cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Ice Water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square pan.

To prepare the filling: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the berries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Continue stirring until berries just begin to break down and the sauce thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

To prepare the crust: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse together the rolled oats, rye flakes, almonds, and sesame seeds just until they form a chunky, mealy texture, about 30 seconds. Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder and pulse a time or two to combine. Add the egg and butter. Add ice water slowly and pulse until mixture just begins to clump together.

To assemble and bake the bars: Press approximately half of the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Pour the berry filling onto the crust and spread evenly. Scatter the remaining crust mixture across the top as you would for a fruit crisp or crumble—messy and haphazard, but evenly dispersed. Don’t worry about pressing down; it will bake into the bars beautifully.

Bake until the top crumble is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan. Slice into bars. If wrapped and kept at room temperature, the bars will keep for 3 days.

Make It Your Own: Try these with your favorite seasonal berries. Blackberries or huckleberries would be lovely, as would cherries.

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Birdspotter Recipe of the Week | Bob's Red Mill

Bird Seed Bread

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles

For the second year, we’ve teamed up with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to bring bird lovers the ultimate birding photo contest. Each week we’re giving away prizes and sharing some of our favorite recipes, perfect for fueling a healthy, happy day of watching birds. Check back here each week for a great recipe, and don’t forget to vote on your favorites and enter your own photos in BirdSpotter!

This is an easy way to enjoy freshly baked whole grain bread. I’m a novice bread baker and I’ve made this recipe successfully time and again. If you really want a 100% whole grain bread, I recommend this one. As it is, this recipe bakes up beautifully full of seedy goodness, sure to make your feathered friends envious. Serve this with a hot bowl of soup or slice for sandwiches, either way, you are sure to enjoy it.

Birdseed Bread | Bob's Red Mill

Birdseed Bread

Directions

Bread Machine:

Add ingredients to bread machine in the order recommended by the bread machine manufacturer and select basic bread cycle. Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf.

By Hand:

Add honey, yeast and warm water to a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine flours, salt and seeds. Once yeast mixture has proofed, add oil to liquid, then flour mixture. Mix well and turn out onto flat surface and start kneading, adding flour as needed. Knead for about 5-8 minutes. Place dough in oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rise for 45 minutes, or until double. Punch down loaf and form dough into loaf. Place in an oiled loaf pan. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until double. Bake at 375°F for 40-45 minutes.

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Cheddar Apple Bread | Bob's Red Mill

Cheddar Apple Bread

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Recipes

Apples and sharp cheddar cheese are a delightful pairing in this easy quick bread. If you don’t have our apple pieces on hand, most other dried apples will do- just skip the soaking step. Definitely still include the milk, but you won’t need to rehdryate them. Our apple pieces are crisp and delightful right out of the bag, but need a little softening for baked goods.

True to its name, this quick bread would be wonderful served as part of your Thanksgiving spread or sliced for a mid-morning snack. This recipe claims to make 12 servings, but don’t count on that, we learned at the mill that those “12” servings will go fast. I like the idea of playing around with the cheese, too, maybe make a loaf with sharp cheddar and another with a tangy blue cheese. Yum!

Cheddar Apple Bread | Bob's Red Mill

Cheddar Apple Bread

Contributed by:  Sarah House for Bob’s Red Mill Test Kitchen

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time:  40 minutes
Yield: 12 servings

Step 1

Combine apple pieces and warm milk and let soak until soft, about 10 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F and oil an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan.

Step 3

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Whisk together apples, milk and eggs.  Fold in dry ingredients along with 1 cup (88g) of cheddar cheese.

Step 4

Pour batter into the prepared pan and top with remaining ¼ cup (22g) cheese.

Step 5

Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Step 6

Let cool 30 minutes before serving.

 

Makes 12 servings.

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Pumpkin Spice Cream Puffs | Bob's Red Mill

Pumpkin Spice Cream Puffs

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Recipes

I know it’s Monday and we’re supposed to have a meatless recipe for Meatless Mondays, but these technically don’t have any meat. I felt compelled to share them far enough ahead of Thanksgiving so you could adjust your dessert plans, and, trust me, you might want to rethink your dessert plans. This classy dessert comes from Kelly of Evil Shenanigans. These cream puffs are much closer to angelic than they are to evil. Yes, they are time consuming to create, but oh-so-worth-it.  Children and adults, alike, will enjoy the perfectly puffy pastry and creamy pumpkin filling. Pair these with an after dinner coffee (cocoa for the kiddos) and everyone will feel utterly spoiled that you put forth such an effort.

Find more amazing recipes by Kelly for all sorts of wonderful dishes from breakfast to dessert at Evil Shenanigans. 

Pumpkin Spice Cream Puffs | Bob's Red Mill

Pumpkin Spice Cream Puffs 

Yield 20

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • ½ cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/3 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Allspice
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Cloves
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • ½ tsp Unflavored Gelatin
  • 1 Tbsp cool Water
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Powdered Sugar

For the pastry:

Begin by preparing the filling.

In a blender combine the milk, pumpkin, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, allspice, salt, clove, nutmeg, egg, and egg yolk. Blend on high speed until the mixture is completely combined, about 30 seconds.

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 8 minutes. Allow the mixture to boil for 30 seconds then turn off the heat and add the butter and vanilla. Whisk until the butter is melted. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a bowl, place a layer of plastic wrap directly over the custard, and chill for 2 hours.

Pumpkin Spice Cream Puffs | Bob's Red Mill

Once chilled combine the gelatin with the cool water and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to bloom. Once bloomed heat for 8 to 10 seconds in the microwave to melt. Cool for 3 minutes.

In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, combine the heavy cream and powdered sugar. Whip on medium high speed until the cream is fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the melted gelatin and increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture forms firm peaks, about 30 to 40 seconds more.

Stir the chilled pumpkin custard to loosen it, then add it directly to the cream and whip on high for 20 to 30 seconds to incorporate thoroughly. Cover with plastic and chill for 1 hour.

Now, prepare the choux pastry.

Heat the oven to 425 F and position the rack into the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan combine the water, butter, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Place the pan over medium heat and stir occasionally until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the flour all at once. Stirring vigorously, combine the flour and the liquid until it forms a ball. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the dough leaves a film on the bottom of the pan and is smooth.

Transfer the dough to the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a medium bowl with a hand mixer. Cool the dough until it reaches 125 F, about 5 minutes. Once cooled begin beating the mixture on low speed and add the eggs, one at a time, making sure the first egg is fully incorporated before adding the next

Put the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large round piping tip. Pipe the paste into 2 inch balls onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.  If you find the tops of the puffs are very pointy just dampen your finger with water and tamp them down gently.  Bake for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 F and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until the puffs are deeply golden brown all over and sound hollow when gently tapped on the bottom.  Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

Once chilled fill the cooled puffs with the pumpkin filling.  You can either use a small star tip to pipe the filling into the bottoms of the puffs, or you can slice the tops of the puffs, pipe in the filling, and then put the tops back on.

Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Pumpkin Spice Cream Puffs | Bob's Red Mill

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Bread Starters: Sour

Bread Starters Part Three: Natural Cultures

by Sarah House in Featured Articles, Recipes

We’ve prefermented.  We’ve baked.  We understand the basic concepts of yeast fermentation!  Now, it’s time for the grand poobah – natural cultures.

Natural cultures have unlimited life (you can keep them alive for practically forever with proper feedings).  You need only flour and water.  The only yeast used is that which is found in the surrounding environment.  It takes about a week to grow a starter and after that, it’s good to go!

There are several names for starters: sourdough, sour, levain, mother, chef, seed, etc., but they are all essentially the same thing.  Hydration amounts may differ but growing, sustaining and using starters follow the same steps.  Below is a recipe for building Bob’s Red Mill Basic Loose Wheat Sour.

Bread Starters: Sour

Building Your Sour

_____ Day 1  

Unbleached White Flour         3 oz

Whole Wheat Flour                 1 oz

Water (85°F)                           4 oz

Mix until combined in a large bowl; scrape down sides.  Cover with cheesecloth or a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 18 – 24 hours.  *Use a clean non-reactive metal or glass bowl.  Only use plastic if it is clean and free of other odors.

_____ Day 2

Mix well and scrape down sides.  Cover with cheesecloth or a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 18 – 24 hours. *This should look bubbly and smell “ripe”.  Discard if there is ever mold in the sour.

_____ Day 3

Unbleached White Flour         3 oz

Whole Wheat Flour                 1 oz

Water (85°F)                           4 oz

Sour                                         4 oz

Discard remaining 4 oz of sour (or give out to friends so they can grow their own).  Add flours and water and mix well; scrape down sides.  Cover with cheesecloth or a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 18 – 24 hours. *There will be quite a bit of waste when building a sour.  Unfortunately, this is necessary so the sour does not get too large to easily maintain or use.

_____ Day 4

Unbleached White Flour         2.25oz

Whole Wheat Flour                 .75 oz

Water (85°F)                           3 oz

Sour                                         6 oz

Discard remaining 6 oz of sour.  Add flours and water and mix well; scrape down sides.  Cover with cheesecloth or a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 18 – 24 hours.

_____ Day 5

Unbleached White Flour         4.5 oz

Whole Wheat Flour                 1.5 oz

Water (55°F)                           6 oz

Sour                                         3 oz

Discard remaining 9 oz of sour.  Mix water and 3 oz sour until dissolved.  Add the flours and mix well; scrape down sides.  Cover with cheesecloth or a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 18 – 24 hours. *Cooler water is used from now on to slow down fermentation and build flavor and acidity.

_____ Day 6

Unbleached White Flour         4.5 oz

Whole Wheat Flour                 1.5 oz

Water (55°F)                           6 oz

Sour                                         3 oz

Discard remaining 12 oz of sour.  Mix water and 3 oz sour until dissolved.  Add the flours and mix well; scrape down sides.  Cover with cheesecloth or a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 18 – 24 hours.

_____ Day 7

Unbleached White Flour         4.5 oz

Whole Wheat Flour                 1.5 oz

Water (55°F)                           6 oz

Sour                                         3 oz

Discard remaining 12 oz of sour.  Mix water and 3 oz sour until dissolved.  Add the flours and mix well; scrape down sides.  Cover with cheesecloth or a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 18 – 24 hours.

It is now time to decide if you want to use your sour within 24 hours or if it will be time to begin maintenance and storage.  If you are going to store your sour for use at a later date, decide if you want to store it at room temperature with daily feedings or in the refrigerator with monthly feedings.

Maintaining Your Sour   *Feedings eliminate over-fermentation (which occurs when yeast consumes all available food leaving it unable to leaven).

At room temperature

_____ Day 8 and on…

Unbleached White Flour         1.5 parts

Whole Wheat Flour                 0.5 parts

Water (55°F)                           2 parts

Sour                                         1 part

Discard remaining sour as often as needed – always keep at least 8 oz of sour.  Mix water and sour until dissolved.  Add the flours and mix well; scrape down sides.  Cover with cheesecloth or a clean towel and let sit a room temperature for 18 – 24 hours.

In the refrigerator

_____ Day 8 and then once a week every three weeks…

Unbleached White Flour         1.5 parts

Whole Wheat Flour                 0.5 parts

Water (55°F)                           2 parts

Sour                                         1 part

Discard remaining sour as often as needed – always keep at least 8 oz of sour.  Mix water and sour until dissolved.  Add the flours and mix well; scrape down sides.  Cover loosely with a lid and store in the refrigerator.  Feed the same ratio every three weeks.

Now you’ve built your healthy starter and you know how to keep it alive with regular feedings.  But what’s the point of all this work if you never get to enjoy the fruits of your labors?  Let your starter reach its full potential.  Let’s bake some bread!

  You

Yeah!  Oh, wait, hold up.  This starter has been stored in my fridge for the last two weeks.

 Me

Ooooh, um….

You

Are you trying to tell me I can’t just whip up a loaf of bread?

Me

Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.

You

Me

You need to wake it up a bit.  Give it some energy so it can make a great loaf of bread.  You just need to plan ahead a little.

That’s right folks, using a natural culture starter requires some planning.  At least 24 hours if it’s stored at room temperature but, if you store your starter in the fridge, you need to give it four days to gain enough strength to leaven a loaf of bread.  Starters are easy to grow and maintain but if you are not so adept at planning, this aspect may be a drawback.

Using Your Sour  *Plan ahead!

If you are storing your sour at room temperature, make sure to feed it 18 – 24 hours before you plan to bake.  If you are storing your sour in the refrigerator, remove at least half the amount you will be using from the refrigerator four days before baking.  Let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours then begin feeding it for three days before baking.

From here on out, we’ll be referring to ratios and parts.  1 part sour will be the amount of sour you will be starting with (if you follow the instructions below, it will be half the amount you will need for the final bread recipe).  Let’s say your recipe call for 8 oz of starter.  Begin with 4 oz; that will equal 1 part.  Therefore, 2 parts water will be 8 oz, 0.5 parts whole wheat flour will be 2 oz and 1.5 parts unbleached white flour will be 6 oz.  Got it?

At room temperature

_____ 1 Day Before Baking

Unbleached White Flour         1.5 parts

Whole Wheat Flour                 0.5 parts

Water (55°F)                           2 parts

Sour                                         1 part

Remove at least half the amount of sour you will need.  In a large bowl, mix water and sour until dissolved.  Add the flours and mix well; scrape down sides.  Cover with cheesecloth or a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 18 – 24 hours.

In the refrigerator

_____ 4 Days Before Baking

Remove at least half the amount of sour you will need.  Place it in a large clean ceramic, glass or metal bowl.  Cover with cheesecloth or a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 18 – 24 hours.

_____ 3 Days Before Baking

Unbleached White Flour         1.5 parts

Whole Wheat Flour                 0.5 parts

Water (55°F)                           2 parts

Sour                                         1 part

Mix water and sour until dissolved.  Add the flours and mix well; scrape down sides.  Cover with cheesecloth or a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 18 – 24 hours.

_____ 2 Days Before Baking

Unbleached White Flour         1.5 parts

Whole Wheat Flour                 0.5 parts

Water (55°F)                           2 parts

Sour                                         1 part

Mix water and sour until dissolved.  Add the flours and mix well; scrape down sides.  Cover with cheesecloth or a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 18 – 24 hours.

_____ 1 Day Before Baking

Unbleached White Flour         1.5 parts

Whole Wheat Flour                 0.5 parts

Water (55°F)                           2 parts

Sour                                         1 part

Mix water and sour until dissolved.  Add the flours and mix well; scrape down sides.  Cover with cheesecloth or a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 18 – 24 hours.

Bread Starters: Sour

That’s what I call a sour!

Baking Day!

Measure the amount of sour you need and follow your recipe as directed.

See?  Refreshing your starter is relatively painless!  And now you have a luscious, fragrant, deeply-flavored loaf of bread.  Totally worth it.

Can I make a gluten free starter?  Yes, just use gluten free flours and remember to include binder gums in the final bread dough.

Can I change of the flavor of my starter?  Yes, beer, buttermilk, yogurt, and fruit juice all provide new and unique flavors.

Will my bread really be that much better using a starter?  Yes.  Go ahead, make a loaf with starter and one without.  You’ll see.  I dare you.

Oh, and if you’re going out of town for awhile, you can always take your starter to the Sourdough Hotel.

Happy Baking!

About The Author
Sarah House Google: Sarah House
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