Whole Wheat Carrot Cupcakes | Bob's Red Mill @bobsredmill

Whole Wheat Carrot Cupcakes

by Cassidy Stockton in Recipes

Recently, I was aghast to learn that some people do not like carrot cake. Who are these people? How can anyone not like carrot cake? Kidding aside, I’m a big fan of carrot cake and I know a certain someone whose face graces all of our packaging that would say this is his favorite kind of cake- without raisins of course. Obviously, we’re firm believers in everyone’s right to like or dislike carrot cake (and raisins) as they see fit, but, at Bob’s Red Mill, we love our carrot cake!

The warm, slightly spicy flavors of moist carrot cake under a layer of tangy cream cheese frosting is just the thing we crave this time of year. I absolutely love this version for two reasons- one, it’s for cupcakes, which means it’s easier to make and easier to serve; two- this recipe uses whole wheat pastry flour. Not only does the whole wheat flour offer a denser cake with a nuttier flavor, but I feel less guilty eating one of these and that, my friends, is what I call a win-win.

If you need a gluten free version, we recommend using our Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour in place of the whole wheat pastry flour. 

Whole Wheat Carrot Cupcakes | Bob's Red Mill @bobsredmill

Whole Wheat Carrot Cupcakes

Prep Time:  30 minutes | Bake Time:  25 – 28 minutes | Rest Time:  60 minutes

Yield: 12 standard cupcakes

Cake

  • 1 ½ cups grated Carrot (from 1 – 2 carrots)
  • 8 oz canned Crushed Pineapple, drained
  • ½ cup chopped Walnuts
  • ½ cup Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ½ cups Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 ¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¾ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 ½ tsp ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground Ginger

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Step 2

In a large bowl, mix together grated carrots, crushed pineapple, chopped walnuts, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.  In a separate smaller bowl, combine whole wheat pastry flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Step 3

Add the dry to the wet and mix with a rubber spatula to combine.

Step 4

Evenly portion mixture into the prepared muffin tin.  Bake until a tester inserted into the center cupcake comes out clean, 25 – 28 minutes.  Let cool thoroughly (about 1 hour) before frosting.

Frosting

  • ½ cup Butter, soft
  • 1 cup Cream Cheese, soft
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

Step 1

Cream softened butter and cream cheese until smooth and evenly combined.

Step 2

Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix until light and fluffy.  Store chilled but must be at room temperature for use.

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Hot Cross Buns (Gluten Free) | Bob's Red Mill

Hot Cross Buns {Gluten Free}

by Sarena Shasteen in Gluten Free, Recipes

Tradition…I grew up with a lot of Easter traditions, but hot cross buns was really not one of them. To be perfectly honest, when I made these hot cross buns, the only frame of reference I had was from when I was in culinary school (and that is far longer away than I would like to discuss – hence the lack of taste recollection). So, I turned to the tasting expert who grew up on these slightly sweet, yeasty buns filled with the perfect a hint of spice…my husband. Since he happened to grow up with these as a part of his Easter tradition, I knew he would be able to give me his good, honest opinion on the subject. Now that I have his stamp of approval, I am sure these will fill your need for a gluten and dairy free version of hot cross buns for this Easter season as well.

Hot Cross Buns (Gluten Free) | Bob's Red Mill

Don’t let this ingredient list scare you. These really are easy to make and if you make enough, you can enjoy them for a few days (if they stick around that long)! These little buns also soften up beautifully when heated for a few seconds in the microwave.

Hot Cross Buns (Gluten Free) | Bob's Red Mill

Gluten and Dairy Free Hot Cross Buns

Makes 12 rolls

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups White Rice Flour
  • 1 cup Potato Starch
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Corn Starch
  • 1/2 cup Hazelnut Meal
  • 2 TBSP Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 4 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cream Of Tartar

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Warm Water
  • 1/4 cup Dairy Free Butter
  • 1 cup Egg Whites
  • 3 TSBP Apple Cider Vinegar

Add Ins:

  • 1/2 cup Raisins

Icing:

  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 to 3 TBSP Almond Milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, combine the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Next add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and allow to knead for 4 minutes. Add the raisins and knead for another minute. Spray a 13 x 9 pan with nonstick spray. Using a large scoop* evenly scoop 12 buns into the pan. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and place it over the rolls. Set the rolls in a warm place and allow to double in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours). Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap from the pan once the buns are done rising. Using scissors, cut a cross into the top of the buns. Place the buns into the preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before glazing.

Combine the powdered sugar and a tablespoon at a time of the almond milk. You want to be able to pipe it onto the buns. Place the glaze in a piping bag fitted with a large circle or slit tip. Pipe the glaze on top of the cross on the buns. Enjoy!

*Since gluten free doughs need to be slightly wetter than their gluten counter parts, I use my large cookie scoop when I need to scoop out even sized things like rolls or tortillas. It keeps things a little cleaner and insures that I can bake things evenly through.

Sarena Shasteen: The Non Dairy QueenSarena Shasteen has been an avid health food and fitness enthusiast from an early age. She holds a degree in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Atlanta, a certification in Fitness Nutrition and is a certified Fitness Trainer from International Sport Science Association (ISSA). Becoming a Personal Trainer and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition has been a lifelong goal of hers. Sarena enjoys helping others reach their health goals by teaching them that health and fitness are not only achieved in the gym, but also through fun everyday activities. Now a food writer, recipe developer, personal chef,  Personal Trainer and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, she enjoys sharing with others that healthy living can be fun and delicious. Keep up with her at The Non Dairy Queen and on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hot Cross Buns | Bob's Red MIill @bobsredmill

Hot Cross Buns

by Cassidy Stockton in Recipes

Sweet, dense hot cross buns are a classic Easter treat typically consumed on Good Friday. There are many superstitions around hot cross buns, but our favorite is the goodwill between two friends who share a hot cross bun. The saying goes, “Half for you and half for me, between us two shall goodwill be.” If that’s not a lovely sentiment, I don’t know what is. These challah-like buns have roots back to early Christianity and have long since become part of Easter traditions all over the world.

If you haven’t had a hot cross bun, they’re dense, sweet rolls with warm spices and bits of dried fruit. They are perfect served for breakfast or eaten in the afternoon with a cup of hot tea. You can add the icing cross or omit it, the buns will be delightful no matter what you choose. Whatever you do, share them with a friend or loved one in the spirit of lasting friendship and you’ll be so glad you did.

[Note: If you’re gluten free, check back tomorrow for our gluten free version.]

Hot Cross Buns | Bob's Red Mill @bobsredmill

Hot Cross Buns

Contributed by:  Sarah House for Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods

Prep Time:  30 minutes | Rest Time:  2 – 3 hours | Cook Time:  25 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Buns

Wash

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbsp Water

Icing

  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Step 1

Combine warm milk and yeast in a large mixing bowl.  Let sit for 5 minutes while yeast dissolves.  Meanwhile, combine 3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour, salt, and spices in a bowl and set aside.

Step 2

Add melted butter, egg, vanilla extract, and flour mixture to the yeast.  Mix until a shaggy dough forms, about 2 minutes with a dough hook in a stand mixer or 4 – 5 minutes by hand.

Step 3

Add currants and knead until a smooth and elastic dough forms, about 9 minutes in a stand mixer at medium speed or 10 – 15 minutes by hand.  Add remaining ½ cup flour only if needed to make a workable dough.  Shape dough into a ball. 

Step 4

Place dough in a large bowl lightly coated with oil; turn once to coat both sides.  Cover and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size 60 – 90 minutes.  Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Step 5

Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into twelve equal pieces, about 2 oz of dough per piece.  Shape each piece into a tightly formed bun and place seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet.  When all buns are formed, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F.

Step 6

For the wash, combine egg and water and mix well.  Once buns have doubled in size, gently brush the top and sides of each bun with egg wash.  Bake until buns are deep golden and the interiors have reached 190°F, about 25 minutes.  Let cool at least 30 minutes before icing.

Step 7

For icing, combine all ingredient and mix until smooth.  Drizzle a cross over each cooled bun.

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Sweet Potato and Sage Pull Apart Rolls from Bread & Butter by Erin McKenna | Bob's Red Mill @bobsredmill |gluten free, vegan

Sweet Potato and Sage Pull-Apart Rolls (GF) {Giveaway}

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles

Bread & Butter is the third book from renowned gluten free, vegan baker Erin McKenna of Erin McKenna’s Bakery (formerly Babycakes NYC). This book is exactly what you’d expect from Erin McKenna- beautiful recipes with fun, bright photography. Bread & Butter is a full course of gluten free bread baking with a side of pastries. Basic breads like “rye” bread (say what??) and sandwich bread abound next to more unusual fare like these pull-apart rolls and spicy vegetable cornbread. There are so many awesome recipes in this book, we can’t begin to name them all.

Bread & Butter by Erin McKenna | Bob's Red Mill  @bobsredmill

We see a lot of cookbooks around here and what we like about this book is that it’s relatively small, so you’re not thumbing through 500 recipes, and it’s full of rather unique recipes. Plus, we know from personal experience that Erin’s recipes are reliable and delicious. We absolutely adore Erin’s writing style and her easy-to-follow recipes. Bonus: all of the recipes are vegan, making this ideal for anyone with both gluten and dairy restrictions.

Random House has generously offered us three copies of Bread & Butter to giveaway. We’ll pair each copy with a bag of our gluten free oat flour, cornmeal, potato starch and xanthan gum so you can get started baking right away. To enter, follow the prompts at the bottom of this post. We’ll select three winners at random from all who enter by 11:59 pm on 3/29/15. If you just can’t wait, look for this book at your favorite local bookseller.

Sweet Potato and Sage Pull Apart Rolls from Bread & Butter by Erin McKenna | Bob's Red Mill @bobsredmill |gluten free, vegan

Sweet Potato and Sage Pull-Apart Rolls

Makes 12 rolls

  • ¼ cup (33 g) cornmeal, for the baking
    sheet
  • 1½ cups (339 g) warm rice milk (about 100°F)
  • 3 tablespoons (66 g) agave nectar
  • 2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¹⁄³ cup (70 g) melted unscented coconut oil
  • ½ cup (165 g) canned sweet potato puree (at room temperature)
  • 3 cups (300 g) gluten-free oat flour
  • ½ cup (96 g) potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¹⁄³ cup (9 g) sage leaves, chopped

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, dust with cornmeal, and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the warm rice milk, agave nectar, and yeast. Stir once and set aside to proof until it bubbles, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the oil and sweet potato.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir until it is the consistency of a sticky dough. Fold in the sage.

Using a ½-cup measuring cup, scoop heaping portions of batter onto the prepared baking sheet and shape into squares. Leave no more than ½ inch between each roll on the pan. Cover the baking sheet with a dish towel and let the rolls rise for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Bake the rolls for 10 minutes, and then rotate the baking sheet 180 degrees. Bake until the crust is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 6 minutes. Let the rolls cool on the pan for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe from Bread & Butter (c) 2015 Erin McKenna

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What is it Wednesday | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Wednesday: Date Sugar

by Cassidy Stockton in What is it? Wednesday

Welcome to 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. 

***

What is Date Sugar? Date sugar is one of those rare sugars that is pretty much what you’d expect- ground, dried dates. Our date sugar has a small amount of oat flour added to help prevent clumping, but if you’re familiar with this product, this doesn’t always work. One of the most frustrating things about date sugar is it’s ability to form into one solid brick. I think you could build houses with date sugar bricks. It’s sweet, but not as sweet (in my opinion) as cane sugar, light tan in color and granulated (unless it’s become a brick, that is). On that note…

How do you soften Date Sugar? The best trick we’ve learned in the years of selling date sugar is to place the date sugar in the microwave for a few seconds until it begins to soften.

What is it? Wednesday: Date Sugar | Bob's Red Mill @bobsredmill

How do you use Date Sugar? Date sugar can replace white sugar cup for cup. If you desire your baked goods to be less sweet, we recommend 2/3 cup date sugar to replace 1 cup white sugar. It works well sprinkled on cereal and baked goods, but this is not the sugar you want to sweeten your hot drinks with. It will not fully dissolve.

Does Bob’s Red Mill Date Sugar contain sulfites or nitrates? No, our date sugar is simply dates and oat flour.

What kind of dates are used? Our date sugar is made from the Deglet Noor variety of dates.

Is Bob’s Red Mill Date Sugar vegan? Yes, our date sugar is suitable for a vegan diet.

Is Bob’s Red Mill Date Sugar gluten free? While date sugar is inherently gluten free, we do not package it in our gluten free facility or test it for gluten. Because of the nature of oats and their risk of cross contact with wheat, we do not recommend those on a strict gluten free diet use our date sugar.

Is Date Sugar suitable for diabetics? Every individual is unique and may react differently to date sugar, but generally speaking date sugar has a GI of 23 versus white sugar’s GI of 80. This may be a better choice for diabetics.

Try it! This recipe for Apple Spice Muffins (pictured above) is a great jumping off point for date sugar.

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Amazing Almond Layer Cake | Bob's Red Mill  gluten free, grain free

Amazing Almond Layer Cake

by Cassidy Stockton in Gluten Free, Recipes

At my house, having a birthday means that I will bake you whatever kind of cake you want. After 13 years, I’ve baked my husband all sorts of unusual cakes, including some pies. This year, he asked for something that was a little different and his eyes lit up when I mentioned this Almond Layer Cake that we recently made for a photo shoot.

Amazing Almond Layer Cake | Bob's Red Mill  gluten free, grain free

This Almond Cake is a grain-free cake that we’ve had in our recipe collection for a few years now and it always receives rave reviews. I’ve never made it myself, but have been the lucky taste-tester a few times and it’s remarkable. This cake combines almond meal and coconut flour for a moist cake that works well for those on a gluten free diet without sacrificing flavor or decadence. I’ll be whipping up this gem over the weekend. It’s perfect for a birthday cake, for an Easter celebration or any time you just need a little indulgence.

Amazing Almond Layer Cake | Bob's Red Mill  gluten free, grain free

Amazing Almond Layer Cake

Contributed by:  Chelsea Lincoln for Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods

Prep Time:  15 minutes | Cook Time:  25 minutes | Rest Time:  60 minutes

Yield: 8 – 12 servings

Frosting

  • 4 ½ cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 ½ cup Butter, soft
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2–3 Tbsp Whole Milk or Cream

Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pan, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

Cream butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, and beat after each addition until fully incorporated. Add milk and extracts and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine almond meal, coconut flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until creamy.

Divide batter evenly between the cake pans and smooth tops with a spatula. Bake until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.

Frosting

Combine powdered sugar and butter and mix on low with a hand mixer or stand mixer for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract. If frosting is too thick, add milk or cream to adjust consistency. Mix until combined, about 1 minute more.

Stack the cakes on top of each other with a generous layer of frosting between.  Cover the top and sides with remaining frosting. Serves 8-12.

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Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins | Bob's Red Mill

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

by Cassidy Stockton in Gluten Free, Recipes

Over the weekend, a group of us from Bob’s Red Mill attended Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Ca. While there, we gave away samples of our gluten free blueberry muffins using our new Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. I, honestly, couldn’t believe how well received they were. This is an event with thousands of booths, many giving away samples and goodies of their own. Word of our muffins spread throughout the show and folks were coming for muffins all day, even though we only served them for breakfast. They were (are) that good.

This is the same recipe on our package for Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and the same recipe we sampled at the show. It’s solid and reliable and utterly delicious. Blueberry muffins are one of my all-time favorites and I’m so pleased that these gluten free muffins taste like the real deal. Bake a batch, sprinkle with our new Sparkling Sugar and prepare for the accolades you’ll get from all who try them.

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins | Bob's Red Mill

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

STEP  1 Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease a muffin pan with butter or nonstick spray or line with paper baking cups.

STEP 2  Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

STEP 3 In a large bowl, cream together butter and 1¼ cups sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

STEP 4  Add half the flour mixture and beat until just blended. Beat in buttermilk, then add remaining flour mixture and beat until blended. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter.

STEP 5 Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp sugar.

STEP 6 Place pan in oven and immediately reduce heat to 375° F. Bake for 30 minutes or until muffins are golden brown. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Move to wire rack to cool completely. Makes 12 muffins.

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Brown Sugar Banana Bread | Bob's Red Mill

Brown Sugar Banana Bread aka The Best Banana Bread EVER

by Cassidy Stockton in Recipes

Banana bread: the saving grace for thrifty bakers with rapidly browning bananas. At my house, banana bread is a means to an end for using up those pesky bananas that didn’t get eaten fast enough. This recipe, however, takes banana bread to a whole new level. This is a recipe that I would actually set out to make. I would actively age bananas to get the deepest banana flavor in this bread (and have done so).

When this recipe came out of the test kitchen, I knew I could scrap my go-to banana bread recipe and start relying on this one. It’s not as “healthy” as many banana breads claim to be (and, let’s be honest, it’s a claim and not a reality), but it’s sure delicious. This is a perfect recipe to bake and give to a friend, or you just might find you’ve eaten the whole loaf by yourself. Trust me, it’s happened.

Brown Sugar Banana Bread | Bob's Red Mill

Brown Sugar Banana Bread

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

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time:  60 minutes

Yield: one 9-inch loaf (12 – 16 servings)

Bread

Simple Topping

  • ¼ cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Butter, soft
  • ½ tsp Large Flake or Kosher Salt

Deluxe Topping

  • ½ cup packed Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup Butter, soft
  • ½ tsp Large Flake or Kosher Salt

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 9-inch loaf pan or line with parchment paper.

Step 2

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the chosen topping.  Set aside.  In another small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

Step 3

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or by hand with a spoon, mix butter and Bob’s Red Mill Brown Sugar until fluffy, about 10 minutes.

Step 4

Add vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.

Step 5

Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, followed by the banana puree.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the remaining flour mixture and mix until well combined.  Fold in the pecans.

Step 6

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Evenly sprinkle the topping over the batter.

Step 7

Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes.  Let cool 30 minutes before serving.

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Banana Barley Biscuits F

{Meatless Mondays} Banana Barley Biscuits

by Cassidy Stockton in Meatless Mondays, Recipes

These are not your grandmother’s biscuits. Our banana barley biscuits balance delicately on the line between cookie and biscuit. Serve these biscuits at breakfast for a delicious whole grain addition to your plate, or turn them into a light dessert by topping with whipped cream. We tend to snack on them whenever we need a little pick-me-up, but we’ve also been known to turn them into ice cream sandwiches on a whim.

Adaptations: 

Make these biscuits fully whole grain by using our whole wheat pastry flour. If you can’t find rolled barley flakes locally, rolled oats will do in a pinch. Make these gluten free by using our gluten free rolled oats and our Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour

Banana Barley Biscuits | Bob's Red Mill
Banana Barley Biscuits

recipe by Sarah House for Bob’s Red Mill Test Kitchen

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 20-25 minutes | Yields 32 biscuits

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Preheat oven to 400°F and grease two sheet pans or line them with parchment paper.
  2. Combine mashed bananas, milk and rolled barley flakes and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. Sift and combine flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in butter until the butter is about the size of peas.
  4. Add egg whites and vanilla to banana mixture then add flour mixture to banana mixture. Mix until just combined.
  5. Scoop 2 Tbsp of dough per biscuit onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  6. Bake at 400°F until golden brown, about 20 – 25 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 16 – 32 (1 to 2 biscuits per serving).
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Hot Cereal 2

Hot Cereal: Thinking Outside the Bowl

by Sarah House in Whole Grains 101

Hot cereal is a great way to start your day, especially with the variety of styles available:  flakes, farinas, grits and meals.  The possibilities of whole grain goodness are almost endless.  But, have you ever thought about making something other than your usual hot pot of breakfast cereal for you and the family?  If not, then you should.  Hot cereals are so much more than just for breakfast.

Hot Cereal F

Our flakes and rolled cereals (think oats, barley, rye, spelt, triticale and wheat) are perfect candidates for home-made granolas, crisps, and cookies.  Try swapping out the usual rolled oats in your favorite fruit crisp topping or oatmeal cookie with barley or wheat.  If you want to take it a step further, try incorporating rolled flake cereals into biscuits or breads.  Since the cooking time (think “how long it takes for the flakes to hydrate and soften”) is relatively short for rolled flake cereals, they are great candidates for additions to quick cooking items like biscuits and scones and they work great mixed-in and sprinkled-on yeasted breads and rolls.  The texture and décor they provide when incorporated into a loaf of bread or sprinkled on the top of rolls is an excellent way to personalize a recipe.  I like to add up to ½ cup rolled flakes into my single loaf bread recipes.  As a topping décor, anywhere from 2 Tbsp to ¼ cup usually gets the job done.

bread w oats

If you are aiming for a muffin or bar with a more delicate and chewy texture, farinas, grits, and meals are what you are looking for.  The amount of liquid necessary to fully hydrate the cereal will vary depending on the particular grain (wheat, corn, rice, millet, buckwheat, and many, many blends) so make sure to take note of the liquid amounts recommended in the basic preparation instructions before making a final choice.  Adjust the liquids in your recipe accordingly (or try soaking and then draining the cereal before using) otherwise, you may find some crunchy bits in your baked goods!

Finely ground cereals like farinas, grits, and meals release more starch than flakes or larger grind cereals.  This extra starch will contribute to softer textures and increased chew and also works well as a binder.  Try using a starchy cereal like Brown Rice Farina in place of a panade in your next meatloaf or to help hold together a batch of veggie burgers.

When incorporating farinas, grits, and meals into baked breads, their small grind and subsequent starchiness can cause a significant effect on the crumb similar to flours.  Using this style of cereal to replace some flours as opposed to “in addition to” will produce a better loaf.  For satisfying texture and flavor, replace up to 20% of a recipe’s flour with cereal; anymore and you’ll be looking at a shorter, heavier, and dense loaf (which isn’t always a bad thing).

Now, let’s say you cooked a big pot of porridge for breakfast and there is still a fair amount left over in the pot.  Did you know…you can bake that leftover hot breakfast cereal into your next loaf of bread?  As if you were adding nuts or seeds to your bread dough, try adding some cooked flakes or granular cereals.  Start small, about ¼ cup per loaf.  Once you know what the outcome is, adjust the amount and type of cereal to your liking.  I won’t go into specifics here and instead direct you to the master artisan bakers at Tartine in San Francisco, in particular their book Tartine Book No. 3.  If you are serious about bread baking, this book and all their other bread books are a goldmine of information and creative inspiration.

If you are feeling totally overwhelmed by the myriad possibilities of incorporating cereals into your recipe repertoire, just step back and take a breather.  Cook up a pot of good old-fashioned hot cereal and choose one of our unique topping combos for any easy and impressive spruce-up.

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Sarah House Google: Sarah House
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