CookingClasses1

May Cooking Classes at Bob’s Red Mill

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles

Get inspired at The Bob’s Red Mill Cooking School!  We have three wonderful classes that will nurture your family and inspire you in the kitchen. Call now to register and reserve your spot: 503-654-3215 x 208. Classes are held at our Whole Grain Store in Milwaukie, Oregon.

Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Store
5000 SE International Way
Milwaukie OR 97222
503-607-6455
Directions

Mother’s Day High Tea with Dan Brophy!
Thursday, May 9, 2013
5:00-7:00 p.m.
Class fee $50.00**

Do you have a granola-eating granny? What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with a Whole Grain High Tea? With Chef Dan Brophy you’ll want to sample and sip with other like-minded whole grainophiles. (Don’t bother checking the dictionary for that word!).  Recipes will be provided for such delights as; Mushroom Caps Stuffed with Quinoa, Whole Grain Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Filling, Finger Sandwiches on Whole Grain and Rye Bread, Smoked Salmon Pinwheels, Polenta with Tomato Tapenade, Whole Grain Shortcake, Oatcakes and Whole Grain Tart Shells with a variety of dessert fillings. Celebrate your “Mum” while enjoying a wonderful array of tasty treats!

Supplies to Bring: enjoy the sampling!

**A special rate of 2 for $80 will be offered for those who register with their mothers or those who are mother figures!

May Cooking Classes at Bob's Red Mill

Get Ready To Throw A Pizza Party with Alan Maniscalco!
Thursday, May 23, 2013
5:00-7:00 p.m.
Class fee $50.00

Alan Maniscalco, Chef at Ken’s Artisan Pizza, will show you how to make a pizza that will impress even your toughest critics.  We’ll start with a Pizza Margherita, and then learn a spicy twist on this classic using a dough made from a whole grain starter (Spicy Margherita).  The class will focus on a versatile Whole Wheat Dough, topped with broccoli raab, sausage and chiles, and made into a Skillet Focaccia with peppers and provolone.  Plus we’ll make a Gluten Free Potato Pizza and a take on the French Flat Bread, Pissaladiere.

Hands-0n “Taming The Tamale” with Ivy Manning!
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
5:00-7:00 p.m.
Class fee $60.00

Wrapped up like little presents in corn husk wrappers and filled with delicious masa, beans, chicken, and spices, tamales are a treat, but they’re also an art that takes practice. Join cookbook author and Oregonian FoodDay columnist, Chef Ivy Manning for a fun hands-on class as she shows you the secrets to perfect homemade tamales. We’ll make and sample Light Sweet Corn, Black Bean and Poblano Vegan Tamales and Rich Chicken Tamales, plus a delicious Tomatillo Sauce. Bring your apron and get ready to wrap and fold your way to delicious dinners!

Supplies to Bring: Your apron!                                        Class fee $60.00

**This class is limited to 15 students so be sure to sign up quickly!

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Prebiotics and Probiotics

Getting Gastrointestinally Groovy: Prebiotics and Probiotics

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Health, Whole Grains 101

It’s hard to miss the probiotic trend in the food industry these days. Probiotics are good bacteria that aid in the balance of our digestive tract. These microorganisms aid in digestion and support our immune system. They can help prevent intestinal upset and aid in the treatment of certain infections. In fact, if you’ve recently taken antibiotics, you’ve likely wiped out your good bacteria. Probiotics will help replenish your bacteria stash and get you back to your old self.

Prebiotics and Probiotics

These good bacteria are found in many packaged foods (everything from chocolate to protein bars to ice cream), but are naturally occurring in yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, kimche, and tempeh, to name a few. Notice that each of these foods is a fermented product. Fermentation is the result of active bacteria growth. To cause fermentation, bacteria is introduced to the food. This bacteria converts the foods sugars to acid, gas or alcohol. When ingesting these fermented foods, you add a live organism (more like millions of live organisms) into your digestive system. These organisms work to breakdown foods in your body and out-compete the bad bacteria that make us sick.

Probiotics are awesome, but they can’t work alone. That takes us to prebiotics. Prebiotics are the food that probiotics need in order to survive and get busy in your body. It makes sense, in order to out-compete the bad bacteria and thrive, these good bacteria need some fuel. Just like you combine sugar and water with yeast to activate it in order for your dough to rise, you need some kind of sugar to get these probiotics charging.

Not all sugars are created equal, however, so don’t grab a doughnut and think you’re helping out your kombucha with some fuel. The best prebiotics are whole grains, legumes and fruit, but other foods high in fiber are also good prebiotics. Fiber is key because it is the “waste” from your food that sticks around in your digestive system. This waste product is exactly what the bacteria need to thrive. Any food without fiber won’t offer up much of use to the good fauna in your system.

Prebiotics and Probiotics

Here are some great ways to combine prebiotics and probiotics for a healthy, happy digestive system.

  • Muesli and Yogurt- the ultimate in a healthy breakfast or snack. Pick yogurt that lists either Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium in the ingredient list as a live culture. Choose a plain or vanilla flavor that is low in sugar for the most nutritious choice. Muesli is unsweetened, but contains dried fruit that will add a nice sweetness to your meal. The whole grains provide the prebiotic fiber and the nuts and seeds will give you an extra omega-3 bonus.
  • Brown Rice and Tempeh- combine a whole grain brown rice with tempeh for a one-two prebiotic/probiotic punch. Add vegetables sauteed in olive oil for a heart-healthy complete meal.
  • Whole Grain Crackers with Yogurt Dressing/Dip – Replace sour cream in your favorite dressing or dip with a probiotic-packed yogurt and pair with whole grain crackers, bread or even drizzle over a whole grain salad. Try this Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dressing from Mother Thyme and these Savory Hemp Crackers for a wonderful omega-3 rich snack.

 

 

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Garbanzo Fava Bean Flour

National Flour Month: Bean Flour Primer

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Whole Grains 101

This is our fourth and final post in our series on the different flours we produce. Week one was wheat flours, week two was low carb flours and week three was gluten free flours.

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Beans. Some people love them, some people detest them. We happen to be quite fond of legumes around here and have a variety of different bean flours. Our bean flours are milled from dried whole beans and are high in protein and fiber, adding a boost of nutrition to baked goods. Naturally gluten free, bean flours are often used in gluten free recipes, although some people do not like the flavor that these flours impart. Folks are often surprised by some of these flours and are unsure how to use them.

Garbanzo Fava Bean Flour

Black Bean Flour: Milled from high quality black beans, the most obvious uses for our black bean flour is as a base for black bean soup, fillings and dips. It can also be added to breads for protein and flavor, as well as used in veggie burgers and as a healthy addition to crackers. Add a 1/4 cup in place of white flour to boost the nutritional value of your baking. We recommend sticking to savory recipes, although it would combine well with chocolate and other strong flavors. Browse recipes using black bean flour.

Fava Bean Flour: Our fava bean flour is milled from blanched fava beans. Fava beans have a distinctive flavor and is most often used in combination with garbanzo bean flour for gluten free baking. There are not many recipes for using fava bean on its own, but 1/4 cup can be added in place of white flour in almost any recipes. Again, we’d recommend savory recipes with this flour. Customers have found that toasting the flour will reduce some of the bean flavor. Find directions for toasting flour here.

Garbanzo Bean Flour: Garbanzo bean flour, also known as chickpea flour, is a wonderful ingredient for gluten free baking, as well as dishes like falafel, hummus, and socca. Wonderful in crackers, pizza crusts and breads, garbanzo bean flour also works well with strong flavors like chocolate and pumpkin. Use it for up to 25% of the flour in your baking to increase protein and fiber. Browse recipes using garbanzo bean flour.

Garbanzo Fava Bean Flour: This is a popular combination for gluten free baking and can be used for almost anything. We think it would also make a very good bean dip and a wonderful addition to veggie burgers for added protein and stability. Browse recipes using garbanzo fava bean flour.

Green Pea Flour: No one ever seems to know what to do with this flour besides make split pea soup. Yes, you can make split pea soup, but you can also use it to make all sorts of fun recipes- like these Pea, Parmesan and Rosemary Crackers or Green Pea Pancakes (serve with smoked salmon and creme fraiche- try this recipe, but sub green pea flour for the garbanzo bean flour and leave out the vanilla to make savory pancakes). We were fortunate enough to try some savory crepe-like pancakes made with our pea flour and they were wonderful! Add some green pea flour to breads, cookies, cakes and muffins for a nutritional boost and create a baked good with a fun color. Use it to make a dip or use it in place of garbanzo bean flour for falafel-like patties. It’s a fun ingredient that needs some experimentation. If you make something with it, we’d love to hear how it comes out.

Soy Flour: Our soy flour is milled from whole, raw soy beans. This flour is a great source of complete protein, as well as a good source of fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. You can replace up to 30% of the flour in your recipe with soy flour. Soy flour is naturally gluten free, however we do not produce it in our gluten free facility. Baked goods made with soy flour tend to brown more quickly, so it is best to use a recipe designed for soy flour or to keep a close eye on your baking when using it. Browse recipes using soy flour.

White Bean Flour: A previously underutilized ingredient that is gaining popularity, white bean flour is a wonderful thickener for sauces and gravies, as well as a great base for dips and soups. With a very mild flavor, white bean flour is a great addition to baking and can be used in sweet and savory recipes. Use it as a healthy addition to crackers, breads, pancakes and more! Browse recipes using white bean flour.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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flour

Baking with Coconut Flour: Google Plus Hangout

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Whole Grains 101

Join us on March 27th at 12 pm (EST) for a chat about baking with coconut flour. Jeanette Chen, of Jeanette’s Healthy Living, will be discussing the ins and outs of this unique flour with several top food bloggers and our very own Sarah House. Come join the fun and ask questions (we’re also giving away some fun prizes)!

RSVP and get event info here.

If you’re not on Google Plus, it’s very easy to sign up- all you need is a Google account. If you can’t make it, we’ll post the complete hangout video after the chat.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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flour

National Flour Month: Gluten Free Flour Primer {Giveaway}

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Whole Grains 101

This is our third post in our series on the different flours we produce. Week one was wheat flours, week two was low carb flours

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Baking without gluten can be a little bit tricky, but with the right combinations of flour and starch, baked goods can be just as delicious as their gluten-filled counterparts. Our guide is not going to tell you which flours to combine when, but it will help you understand what each flour is made out of and what it brings to the table. Even though they aren’t true flours, we’ll also cover a few starches. We will be covering bean flours next week, even though they are gluten free flours.

Some notes:

Gluten Free Flours from Bob's Red Mill

Almond Meal: Almonds are notoriously healthy nuts providing a good amount of manganese and vitamin E , as well as a healthy serving of monounsaturated fats in each 1/4 cup serving. Not only do almonds have a healthy boost of protein, they are also very low in carbohydrates and naturally gluten free. Replacing 25% of the flour in your baking with almond meal will add wonderful texture and flavor while reducing the total carbohydrates.  Although it has a lightly sweet flavor, almond meal can also be used in savory applications. Use almond meal in place of bread crumbs in meatballs, or as a coating for chicken and fish. Browse recipes for almond meal here.

Amaranth Flour: Amaranth flour has a pleasant, nutty flavor and can be used for up to 25% of the flour in your baked goods. Amaranth flour is a source of complete protein—it contains all the essential amino acids, including lysine, which is lacking in most grains. High in fiber and a good source of magnesium and iron, Amaranth flour is a spectacular addition to your diet. Browse recipes for amaranth flour here.

Arrowroot StarchArrowroot Starch is also known as arrowroot flour or arrowroot powder. This starch comes from the root of the plant Maranta arundinacea. Used in combination with other gluten free flours, arrowroot provides some thickening and stability to gluten free baked goods. It can be used in place of corn starch one for one. It is best to add arrowroot starch at the end of the cooking process because extended exposure to high heat will cause it to lose its thickening abilities. Browse recipes for arrowroot starch here.

Black Bean Flour: Bean flours will be covered next week.

Buckwheat Flour (not produced in our gluten free facility): Buckwheat flour is milled from the pyramid-shaped groats of the buckwheat plant. The dark color of buckwheat flour comes from having additional hulls of buckwheat milled alongside the creamy groats. It is high in magnesium and fiber and has a  unique flavor that lends itself to pancakes and breads. Buckwheat flour can replace up to 20% of the flour in your recipe. Buckwheat flour is naturally gluten free, but we do not produce it in our gluten free facility. Our buckwheat flour is raw.

Coconut Flour: Organic coconut flour is a delicious, healthy alternative to wheat and other grain flours. Ground from dried, defatted coconut meat, coconut flour is high in fiber and low in digestible carbohydrates. A single 2 Tbsp serving of coconut flour delivers 5 grams of fiber. The light coconut flavor allows coconut flour to blend seamlessly into sweet or savory baked goods. It makes a wonderful coating for chicken, fish or other proteins in place of regular flour or cornmeal. Because of its high fiber content, baking with coconut flour is a unique experience. Coconut flour requires an equal ratio of liquid to flour for best results. Coconut flour can replace up to 20% of the flour in a recipe, but you will need to add an equal amount of liquid to compensate.  We recommend following a recipe designed for coconut flour when getting started. Luckily, we have many recipes to experiment with in our recipe section. Coconut flour is unsweetened and does not contain sulfites.

Corn Flour: Milled from high quality, California corn, our whole grain corn flour has a mild, sweet flavor perfect for all kinds of gluten free baking. We produce a regular and a gluten free version—be sure to check the label for our gluten free symbol. Use corn flour for tortillas, breads, muffins, cakes and cookies. The fine grind, allows corn flour to blend seamlessly into baked goods. Corn flour can replace up to 20% of the flour in your recipe. Browse our corn flour recipes here.

Fava Bean Flour: Bean flours will be covered next week.

Garbanzo Bean Flour: Bean flours will be covered next week.

Garbanzo and Fava Bean Flour Blend: Bean flours will be covered next week.

Masa Harina: Masa Harina is a very special type of flour and we now offer it as gluten free (be sure to look for our gluten free symbol). Milled from corn that has had the germ removed and been soaked in lime (calcium oxide, not lime juice). This flour is ideal for making tortillas, but can be used the same way as our regular corn flour.

Green Pea FlourBean flours will be covered next week.

Hazelnut Meal: Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut Meal is ground from whole Oregon hazelnuts, or filberts. Hazelnuts are often overlooked for their nutritional value, but these healthy nuts provide a good amount of vitamin E and a healthy serving of monounsaturated fats in each 1/4 cup serving. You can replace up to 30% of the flour in your baking with hazelnut meal to add wonderful texture and flavor.  Hazelnut meal will bring a rich, buttery flavor to your baking while adding an enticing aroma that can only come from high quality hazelnuts. Hazelnut meal can be used in savory applications, as well. Use hazelnut meal in place of bread crumbs in meatballs, or as a coating for chicken and fish.  Our hazelnut meal is not blanched.

Millet Flour:Millet flour has a light, mild flavor, making it perfect for sweet or savory baking. Replace up to 25% of the flour in your recipe with millet flour for added nutrition. Millet is an excellent source of fiber, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. In our opinion, millet flour is often overlooked in gluten free baking—it adds whole grain nutrition and has a mild flavor, not something you find often with gluten free flours. Browse our millet flour recipes here

Oat Flour: Oat flour is another overlooked, but incredibly nutritious gluten free flour. We produce a regular and a gluten free version—be sure to check the label for our gluten free symbol. Made from gluten free oats, our gluten free oat flour has the subtle sweet flavor of whole grain oats. Oat flour can replace up to 20% of the flour in your recipe. Oat flour is perfect for pie crusts, pancakes, muffins and more. Browse our oat flour recipes here.

Potato Flour: Now here is a tricky flour. Potato flour is NOT the same as potato starch. Potato flour can be used to give baked goods a moist crumb, but it is not really the most ideal baking flour. It is made from dehydrated Russet potatoes. Potato flour has a stronger potato flavor than potato starch, but will still work well to thicken sauces and soups. This flour is best left for potato soups, potato bread and other savory items. Browse our potato flour recipes here.

Potato Starch: Potato starch is an incredibly versatile starch used in many gluten free recipes. With no potato flavor, potato starch can be used to thicken in place of corn starch (use 1-1/4 Tbsp potato starch for 1 Tbsp corn starch) or added to baked goods to help retain moisture and give a better crumb. Potato starch will thicken at higher temperatures than corn starch, which makes it great for pie fillings and sauces. Browse our potato starch recipes here.

Quinoa Flour: We’re going to just say it up front- quinoa flour has a little bit of a, well, quinoa taste to it. Earthy is a good way to describe it. That does not make it a bad flour to bake with, just one that you want to use in savory applications or with other strong flavors, like chocolate or lemon. Quinoa is very high in protein and is a great way to increase the protein of your baked good. Quinoa flour will also improve the moisture of your baked good and help produce a good crumb. You can replace up to 25% of your flour with quinoa, although some people find it to be a great stand alone gluten free flour for particular recipes (like this one for quinoa tortillas). Browse our quinoa flour recipes here.

Brown Rice Flour: An absolute staple in gluten free baking, brown rice flour is incredibly versatile. You can thicken sauces with it and use it for coating fish and other proteins, as well as produce breads, cakes and noodles. Our brown rice flour is stone ground from whole grain California brown rice. Some people find brown rice flour to be slightly gritty, but many find it preferable to bean flours. Browse our brown rice flour recipes here.

White Rice Flour: The refined version of brown rice flour, white rice flour can be used interchangeably with brown rice flour. White rice flour can be used to bake cakes, cookies, breads and more, as well as thicken sauces and coat fish and other proteins. Our white rice flour is stone ground from California white rice. As with brown rice flour, some people find white rice flour to be slightly gritty, but many find it preferable to bean flours. Browse our white rice flour recipe here.

Sweet White Rice Flour: Increasing in popularity, sweet rice flour is excellent for thickening sauces and coating proteins, like white rice flour. But don’t let that fool you- this flour is much higher in starch than regular white rice flour. This flour is used more like a starch in baking, adding moisture to baked goods. It is not sweet, despite its name, but it is often used for desserts and is the main ingredient for making the Japanese dessert, mochi. We find that people are using this more and more in gluten free baking to help bind the baked goods. Browse our sweet white rice flour recipes here.

Sorghum Flour: Sorghum flour is one of our favorite gluten free flours. It is probably the closest to approximating a wheat-like flavor and texture of the gluten free flours. It has a light flavor and can be used for every kind of gluten free baking. Use in combination with other gluten free flours for delicious, whole grain baked goods. Browse our sorghum flour recipes here.

Soy Flour: (not produced in our gluten free facility): Our soy flour is milled from whole, raw soy beans. This flour is a great source of complete protein, as well as a good source of fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. You can replace up to 30% of the flour in your recipe with soy flour. Soy flour is naturally gluten free, however we do not produce it in our gluten free facility. Baked goods made with soy flour tend to brown more quickly, so it is best to use a recipe designed for soy flour or to keep a close eye on your baking when using it.

Tapioca Flour: Milled from cassava root, our tapioca flour can be used interchangeably with tapioca starch. Tapioca flour is an excellent thickener in sauces and can replace corn starch (use 2 Tbsp tapioca flour for each 1 Tbsp corn starch). Tapioca flour helps bind gluten free recipes and improves the texture of baked goods. Tapioca helps add crispness to crusts and chew to baked goods. Use in combination with other gluten free flours for best results. Browse our tapioca flour recipes here.

Teff Flour: Like quinoa flour, teff flour has a distinctive teff flavor. Earthy and nutty, teff flour makes an excellent addition to baked goods and is the main ingredient in the Ethiopian flat bread Injera. Teff flour can replace up to 20% of the flour in your recipe. It is an incredibly nutritious flour, so adding a small amount to your baked goods will boost nutrition while providing a unique, slightly sweet flavor. Browse our teff flour recipes here.

White Bean Flour: Bean flours will be covered next week.

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{Giveaway}

We’d like to give one lucky reader a set of our gluten free flours- brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, sorghum flour, oat flour, corn flour, tapioca flour and potato starch. To enter, simply follow the directions in the app below. We’ll pick a winner at random from all who enter by 12:01 am on 03/27/13.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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English Muffins

Bread Starters Part Two: Biga and Poolish

by Sarah House in Featured Articles, Recipes, Whole Grains 101

I hope everyone was able to try out one of the preferments discussed in the previous post (pâte fermentée or a sponge).  What did you notice about your bread?  Was it taller? Stronger?  Nicer crumb?  Fabulous!  Let’s move on to some preferments that offer a bit more flavor along with the great structural boosts they’re known for.

First up:  biga.  Biga is a traditional Italian preferment that is often used with super soft, highly hydrated doughs like ciabatta and focaccia.  This preferment’s ratio of 2 parts flour to 1 part water make for a very stiff mixture that can be hard to mix by hand.  After the initial mix, a biga will look rather useless.  But, give it a few hours and it will soften and hydrate.  You’ll know your biga is ripe and ready when the dough is domed and just beginning to recede in the center.  The best thing about bigas:  they offer a lot of flavor and many qualities of sours without the time commitment.

Biga

Prepare 8 – 24 hours before baking.

  • Flour                30% of total flour from bread recipe
  • Water              equal weight as 15% of total flour
  • Yeast               8 – 10% of total yeast from bread recipe

Biga

 Now it’s time for my favorite in the preferment family (shhh, don’t tell the others):  poolish.  Poolish was originally used in Poland (hence the name) and is such a great preferment that it is one of the most widely used in French bakeries.  That’s right, French boulangers ditched their very own pâte fermentée to use a Polish poolish.  Why is it so popular?  Yes, yes, you’ll get great rise, crust and structure but you’ll also get a fabulous moist crumb with chewy texture and amazing flavor.  Oh, the flavor!  Sweet and tangy and just about perfection.

Poolish is the most hydrated preferment (1 part flour to 1 part water) and looks almost soupy.  This high hydration content is what creates the winning crumb and chew.  Ripeness is indicated when the surface is covered with small bubbles.  If the poolish has risen and then begun to recede (called a “high water mark”) its leavening power is shot.  Do over. And if you’re wondering what to make using a poolish, try this Whole Wheat English Muffins recipe.  They were a huge hit here at Bob’s and I ate three of them in about 20 minutes.  Seriously.

Whole Wheat English Muffins

Poolish

Prepare 4 – 24 hours before baking.

  • Flour                30% of total flour from bread recipe
  • Water              equal weight as 30% total flour
  • Yeast               8 – 10% of total yeast from bread recipe

 

Poolish

 A word about measurements

You may have noticed that, so far, all of the formulas are using percentages and reference weight.  Why is that?  Because measuring by weight is far more accurate than measuring by volume.  If you are serious about baking and want to produce consistently excellent products, use a scale.  Treat yourself.  And your eaters.  Baker’s scales for home cooks are incredibly affordable (Bob’s Red Mill sells this one).  And with the ability to measure in American Standard or metric, you can make delicious recipes from those crazy countries that don’t use our ounces and pounds (which is everyone).

Stay tuned….next week we’ll be pulling out the big guns:  naturally cultured sourdough starters.

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instant2

Say Goodbye to Instant Oat Packets!

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Recipes

I admit it, I’ve bought instant oatmeal packets. Shhh, don’t tell Bob, he’d be so disappointed in me. They’re hard to resist. I love oatmeal and I’m always pressed for time in the morning. The packets are so EASY and already portioned for me. They’re also expensive and filled with weird flavors and sugar (even the ‘healthy’ versions).  On top of that, Bob’s Red Mill doesn’t make any.

Not only was I spending more than I wanted, I was buying oats that weren’t our superior oats and I was getting extra sugar and gross chemicals in the mix. I started thinking about it and a brilliant (well, pretty obvious and basic) idea occurred to me. Why don’ t I make my own instant oat “packets?” I didn’t want to waste plastic baggies making “packets” and I didn’t really want to use instant oats. I whipped out a plastic container and filled it with what I wanted in a packet—quick oats, flaxseed meal, chopped walnuts and wheat germ—voila! an “instant” oat breakfast was mine! I threw a quarter cup measuring cup in the container and I was set! I keep the container in my desk, along with a bowl. Each morning, I scoop out 1/2 cup of oats and add 1 cup of hot water from the hot water spigot on our water cooler, let stand for a few minutes and I’m off and charging with a health, easy breakfast. quick oats, quick cooking oats, oatmeal packet

To make your own, you’ll need:

Mix and match, but be sure not to add more than your container can hold.

  • 1/2 cup Flaxseed Meal
  • 1/2 cup Wheat Germ
  • 1 cup chopped Nuts
  • 1/2 cup Hemp Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Wheat Bran
  • 1/2 cup Rice Bran
  • 1/2 cup Oat Bran
  • 1 cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 cup Almond Meal
  • 1 cup dried Fruit
  • 1 cup Shredded Coconut
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon or other spices

Mix to combine and you’re all set. This lasts me about 2 weeks. Because you will probably use it within a month, you do not need to worry about refrigerating the flaxseed meal and other normally perishable ingredients.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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National Flour Month: Wheat Flour Primer {Giveaway}

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Whole Grains 101

March is National Flour Month and flour is something we get pretty excited about at Bob’s Red Mill. After all, we make a lot of different products, but flour is special. Not only do we use our millstones to grind it, but we take a whole grain and mill it into a whole grain flour. Nothing added, nothing removed. One pound of grain in, one pound of flour out. It’s pretty simple, but pretty amazing, too. In honor of National Flour Month, we’re doing a little series on the different types of flour that we offer. Each week, we’ll giveaway a set of flours to a lucky winner. This week, we’re starting with the different varieties of wheat flour that we produce. If wheat flour isn’t your thing, don’t worry, we’ll cover our other flours all in good time.

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Wheat flour is probably the single most ubiquitous flour in the world. It is in nearly every packaged food and baked good you look at, even those things that you never think about being baked at all. It’s in those pretty breads at the bakery, the flour tortillas at your local Mexican restaurant, the boxes of pasta you just bought, it’s the backbone of couscous, the thickener in sauces, the breading on your fish, really and truly, as anyone with gluten intolerance can tell you, wheat flour is everywhere. In a perfect world, everything made with wheat would be made with whole wheat flour, but we all know that the world isn’t perfect and that beautiful, fluffy pastries are best achieved with white flour. So we make the best choices we can and practice a bit of moderation.

Whole Wheat Flour: Standard whole wheat flour is milled from high protein, hard red spring wheat. This flour has a minimum protein level of 13.5% and is excellent for bread baking and anywhere yeast is used as the leavening agent (think pizza, pretzels, etc). Because it is whole grain, baked goods using solely whole wheat flour will be a bit more dense. Use a combination of 50% whole wheat and 50% white flour to create a balanced texture and crumb in your baked good. Adding vital wheat gluten to your baked good will improve the elasticity and rise of your dough (use 1 Tbsp per cup of flour).

whole wheat flour unbleached white flour

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: Whole Wheat Pastry Flour is milled from soft white wheat and has a maximum protein content of 13%. This is an excellent choice for baked goods that use baking soda or baking powder as a leavening agent. The lower gluten content does not trap air bubbles as effectively as conventional whole wheat flour, which will not give yeast-risen baked goods the proper rise they need. Use this flour for pastries, cookies, cakes and quick breads.

Hard White Whole Wheat Flour: This special flour is one of our favorite products at Bob’s Red Mill. Milled from high protein, hard white wheat, this flour is the best of both worlds. Light in color, yet full of whole grain goodness, hard white whole wheat flour has a sweeter flavor than conventional whole wheat flour, appealing to those that find whole wheat baked goods to be slightly bitter. It is ideal for bread baking, but can be used for other baked goods. Like regular whole wheat flour, it will make baked goods more dense, so it can be used in combination with white flour to achieve a lighter texture.

Unbleached White Flour: This is not to be confused with All Purpose Flour. Standard unbleached white flour is milled from the same hard red spring wheat as whole wheat flour, but has the germ and bran stripped away to produce a white flour. It has a minimum protein level of 13% and is often referred to as bread flour. This flour is ideal for breads and yeast-risen baked goods, but can be used in place of all purpose flour for most recipes. Read more about white flour here where we go into bleaching, bromating, enriching and more.

Unbleached White Pastry Flour: The refined counterpart of whole wheat pastry flour, this flour is milled from soft white wheat with the bran and germ removed. This flour has a maximum protein content of 9%, making it both the lowest protein wheat flour we carry and the most ideal for fine cake and pastry baking.

Semolina Flour: Semolina flour is the quintessential flour for pasta making and is milled from durum wheat. It has a sandy texture and contains about 12% protein, making it great for bread baking and pizza crust.

Graham Flour: Graham flour is quite simply a coarsely ground whole wheat flour. Milled from hard red spring wheat, graham flour can be used in place of whole wheat flour, however it should only be used for about 20% of the flour in your recipe or you will end up with a very dense baked good. Graham flour can be substituted for Whole Meal Flour with little difference in the texture of the baked good. Graham flour is not made from ground up graham crackers as some people believe, but it can be used to make graham crackers.

Unbleached White Flour

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Giveaway

We’d like to give one lucky reader a set of our whole wheat flours- organic whole wheat flour, organic hard white whole wheat flour and organic whole wheat pastry flour. To enter, simply follow the directions in the app below. We’ll pick a winner at random from all who enter by 12:01 am on 03/13/13.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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bread

Bread Starters Part One: Preferments

by Sarah House in Featured Articles, Whole Grains 101

Here at Bob’s Red Mill, we love good bread, especially when it’s made with whole grains.  Do you know what we love even more?  Good whole grain bread that has flavor, loft, chewy crumb and hearty crust.  Sure, you can throw together some flour, water, salt and yeast and make a perfectly acceptable loaf.  But with a little bit of natural action (known as fermentation) your loaf can go from good to extraordinary!

In this series, we’ll explore the different types of starters and how to use them, incorporating whole grains, to produce the best bread you’ve ever made.  Once you go starter, you’ll never go back!

You may ask yourself: what is a starter?  Answer: magic.  Kinda.  Starters are fermented cultures much like beer, wine, yogurt, kombucha, coffee and chocolate (betcha didn’t know about those last two, huh?).  The natural yeasts and bacteria that surround us in the air and on the surface of grains are allowed to grow and multiply and create a bubbly little environment that, due to their carbon dioxide output, will give your bread strength, moisture, extended shelf life, color, chewier crumb and fabulously complex flavors.

If starters seem a bit intimidating, using a preferment will be a great big baby step into the world of natural yeast cultures.  Preferments are similar to sours and levains and provide many of the same benefits.  They also have a limited life, so there is no obligation to remember to feed them and keep them alive.  Essentially, a portion of the flour, water and yeast are mixed and allowed to ferment for up to 48 hours before tossing it in with your bread dough.

Let’s begin with two of the easiest preferments:  pâte fermentée and sponges.

Pâte Fermentée, which sounds so fancy and sophisticated, is essentially old dough.  That’s right, old dough.  And it’s so easy!  If you bake bread daily or every-other-day simply pinch off 1 – 2 oz of dough per loaf and save it in the refrigerator.  The next day, toss that same ratio of dough into the fresh batch you’re currently mixing.  You are not going to notice a huge flavor boost but the gluten strength, moisture and crumb will definitely benefit.

A sponge is another super easy and approachable preferment.  With the sponge method, a portion of the flour, water and yeast are mixed together and allowed to sit at room temperature for 30 – 60 minutes.  This mixture will begin to rise just like bread dough and you will see a marked difference in the height of the final baked bread.  To use a sponge, follow this formula:  from your bread recipe use 30% of the total flour for the sponge.  Add an equal amount (by weight) of water and all or half of the yeast.  You’ll know your sponge is ripe and ready to use when the batter is slightly bubbly.  Add this sponge with your remaining liquid ingredients and proceed with your recipe as usual.

Rye Bread Sponge Starter

Bob’s Red Mill Rye Bread Mix made with the standard method (L) compared to the mix made with the sponge method (R).  The sponge method has more height, an even crust and a more open crumb.

Sponge

Prepare 30 – 60 minutes before baking.

Flour                30% of the total flour from your bread recipe

Water              equal weight as 30% of total flour

Yeast               50 – 100% of total yeast

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Sarah House Google: Sarah House
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pizzacrustmix

Mixing It Up: Gluten Free Pizza Crust

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Gluten Free

We’re going to get a little personal up in here. Not too personal, mind you, but perhaps sitting at the same table rather than just eating in the same restaurant. I had a baby (our first) last October and, as any parent can attest to, life got complicated quickly. Gone were my hours to fiddle with this recipe and that. Heck, it was a miracle if I got into the kitchen at all! Luckily, I had planned ahead (thanks to the wonderful mom-friends I have) and had several meals in the freezer. I also stocked my cupboard with a few packages of our Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix for dinners that my husband could prepare in a pinch. I knew money would be tight and ordering out was likely to be out of the question for a while. Additionally, I knew that I didn’t want to spend any unnecessary time kneading or rising pizza dough from scratch.

GF_Pizza_5701

Let me tell you, we fell in love that first groggy October night when I’d finally convinced myself to put down the baby and enter the kitchen. I have liked our pizza crust mix since we released it in 2008, but this is new, this is love. I don’t eat a gluten free diet, but I happen to find this mix to be a wonderful combination of ingredients for a pizza crust. It’s not for everyone, I’ll give you that, but it sure beats many recipes that I’ve attempted. It has whole grains and so what if those grains happen to exclude wheat?

Here is what I do to make this mix really shine. I’ve even tested these minor adaptations on my husband who managed them and made a delicious pizza from *mostly* scratch.pizzacrustmix

  • Instead of eggs, I use the suggested egg replacer of flaxseed meal and water. I first tried this when we were out of eggs and the store was out of the question. Not only did it work well, we liked it more. Plus, it gets a little extra flax in our lives and, for that, I am grateful.
  • I make sure my hands are wet, like really wet, when spreading out the dough. I know it seems kind of gross, but truly, it makes a huge difference. As soon as my hands start to get sticky, I run them under the water again. Making sure to spread the dough out as thin as possible. Don’t worry, with the pre-baking step, the little bit of extra liquid becomes negligible.
  • In that vein, I spread the dough out as thin as possible. Thinner = crispier.
  • Then, and here is what I think is our coup de grace, I sprinkle a *light* layer of mozzarella cheese over it before pre-baking. I think this makes it a little crispier. You could try this method with a non-dairy cheese such as Daiya.
  • I don’t do this every time, but you can add a bit of garlic powder, oregano and red pepper flakes to the dry mix to give it a little extra pizzazz.

From there, I cook according to the package directions. We like pizza pretty simple at our house, so it’s usually just a combination of cheeses. Sometimes we add tomatoes, sometimes we make it a barbecue pizza with pineapple, bell peppers and chicken (“chicken” at our house). It doesn’t really matter what we top it with. It comes out great and it is E-A-S-Y and that’s a four-letter word that I can get behind now that I have a B-A-B-Y.

Do you have a secret to making this mix work for you? Share in the comments. Who knows? I may just kick down some random coupons to those who comment (that’s another word that has a whole new meaning!).

About The Author
Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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