Tag Archives: whole wheat

Unprocessed Pumpkin Spice Biscuits

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When it comes to healthier eating, baking is always the part where I struggle the most. I love to bake, and I’m sort of known for it.  I can’t tell you how many times baking has been the thing that has derailed my efforts to eat and live healthier.

I’d like to say that I’ve completely conquered that problem, and I am here to share the perfect solution. I haven’t, and I’m not. But, over the last year or so, I have made a lot of changes to the way I eat and the way I bake. I think they are changes for the better.

When I try to cut baking out entirely, it always backfires. I do well for a while. Then I end up baking a batch of cupcakes or brownies, and I eat entirely too many of them. So, for me, cutting back on baking (but not cutting it out) has been key.Continue Reading

Honey Wheat Bagels

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We’ve had an unusual number of chilly, snowy days this winter.  In the last few years, I have often designated snowy days as my baking days in the kitchen. Preheating the oven just seems to take the chill out of the air… And, a few freshly baked treats don’t hurt either.

While I don’t quite have the freedom to spend a whole day baking like I used to, I’ve still managed to get in some snowy day baking this winter… I’ve taken advantage of nap time and worked ahead on my chores to get a few extra hours in the kitchen when snow was in the forecast.

What was I baking? Well, I’m glad you asked… I have been working on this recipe for honey wheat bagels for Red Star Yeast! Surprisingly, I am pretty new to bagel baking. I’ve done my share of baking over the years, but bagels always seemed to slip through the cracks. Early in January, I finally got around to trying out a bagel recipe from The Sophisticated Gourmet that I’ve had bookmarked for years. Kamran’s recipe was fabulous. I made it twice. Once I had a feel for it, I decided to try to mix it up and make my own version using some whole wheat flour and honey.

After a period of trial and error (and trial and error and trial and error…), I’ve come up with a recipe that I’m pretty happy with. Everyone else in my family has been pretty happy with them, too. (Yes, that includes both the toddler and the yellow lab. The are sisters, and they love to share.)

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While I originally attempted the recipe with all whole wheat flour, I’ve found that adding some traditional bread flour back in helped the bagels to have that nice chewy bagel texture that we all love. I also chose to use white whole wheat flour because it has a more delicate flavor that I think pairs beautifully with honey. I not only made them plain, but I’ve added chocolate chip and made a cinnamon raisin version. Each variety turned out well, and they were all gobbled up quickly.

Of course, my favorite way to eat a bagel is with cream cheese and jam. Not one or the other… Both. Seriously… Give it a try sometime.

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Want to give the recipe a try? Great! I’ve got plenty of photos to help you along the way (along with a tutorial at the end on how to add mix-ins like chocolate or raisins).  Of course, if you’re looking for even more help, I’d recommend checking out this Baking Steps Guide from Red Star Yeast… They’ve got great information to get you started so that you’ll be on your way to freshly baked bagels in no time! Of course, you can always connect with Red Star Yeast (@RedStarYeast) or with me (@JenSchall) on Twitter… We’d be happy to answer your questions!

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Honey Wheat Bagels
Makes 8 bagels
(Inspired by The Sophisticated Gourmet)

  • 1 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) Red Star PLATINUM Yeast
    (Note – Red Star Dry Active Yeast will work, too… It will just rise a bit more slowly.)
  • 1 ¼ cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • Water (for boiling)
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons additional honey (optional)

In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the bread flour, salt, and yeast. In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the warm water (approximately 110°F) and 2 tablespoons of honey.  Add the liquid to the mixing bowl. Fit the mixer with the beater attachment, and beat for 2 – 3 minutes on medium-low, until the mixture is smooth.

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Switch to the dough hook, and gradually add the white whole wheat flour. Add about 1 ½ cups and let the dough knead on the slowest setting for a minute or two. If the dough still seems very sticky (this will depend on the weather and other factors), add an additional ½ cup of white whole wheat flour. Continue to knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball, an additional minute or two.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in volume and the imprint of two fingers remains when pressed lightly into the dough.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Cover again with the damp towel and let the dough rest for 10 – 15 minutes.

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While the dough rests, prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or a silicone liner and set aside. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

After allowing the dough to rest, shape each piece into a smooth ball and then press your thumb down into the center of the ball to shape the dough into a bagel shape. Transfer the bagels to the prepared baking sheet, and cover the bagels again to let them rest for an additional 10 minutes.

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Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add a teaspoon or two of honey to the water (optional). Gently place the bagels into the boiling water, a few at a time. Let the bagels boil for 90 seconds before flipping them over to boil on the other side for an additional 90 seconds. Transfer the bagels back to the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the bagels for 20 minutes. Let the bagels cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Want to add some mix-ins to your bagels? It’s simple! Before dividing the dough into 8 pieces, simply flatten the dough into a rectangle roughly 10 inches by 16 inches. Sprinkle your mix-ins (cinnamon, raisins, dried blueberries, chocolate chips, etc.) on the dough and then roll it up into a long roll. Then, cut the dough into 8 even portions and let it rise before shaping the bagels.

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My Kitchen Addiction Disclosure – This post was sponsored by Red Star Yeast.  Though I have been compensated to write this post, all opinions expressed are my own.

Molasses Banana Biscuits (Munching with Maddie… And Yellowdog!)

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It’s been such a busy few weeks… I am feeling the crunch of a late Thanksgiving and fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even though we’ve pulled back on gift giving and spending over the past few years, I feel as though the hype of the Christmas season continually makes it all crazier and more stressful every year.

I have to say that all of the TV ads and barrage of emails for the “best sale of the season” every *single* day have made me want to spend less, not more.  I haven’t been to the mall yet, and I’m not sure I will even go this year at all.  Instead, I’ve been focused on making a lot more homemade gifts.

If you have furry babies (or friends and family who are doggy lovers), I’d definitely recommend making some homemade doggy treats to stuff their stockings.  After all, Santa Paws can’t do all the work, right?

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Maddie and I (which really means just me) made these yummy molasses banana doggy treats for Yellowdog’s birthday a few weeks ago.  After much research into homemade teething biscuits and a few years experience making homemade dog treats, I realized that they are pretty much the same thing. So, I had the brilliant idea that we would have a tea party for Yellowdog’s birthday and Maddie and Yellowdog could both snack on some of the treats.  It seemed like a great idea.

The only problem with making treats for both Maddie and Yellowdog to snack on is that Yellowdog doesn’t share well with Maddie.  Their relationship is built on the fact that Maddie loves to share with Yellowdog (she has figured out that affection can be bought with snacks).  Yellowdog mostly just likes to steal stuff from Maddie.

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I dressed the girls up for the tea party – Maddie in her cute red hat, and Yellowdog in a red scarf. I got them both in the playroom and we set up Maddie’s tea set and got ready to settle in for some treats. I had tasted one before hand, and they were yummy. Maddie started chomping away happily on a treat when Yellowdog snatched it right out of her hand… Maddie screamed. And, then the crazy dog proceeded to eat about a dozen more treats before I could get a hand on the situation.

So, while I can’t recommend trying to sit your energetic yellow lab down with your toddler for a tea party to share some biscuits, I can highly recommend these dog treats.  I had a quick nibble of them to make sure the texture was right for Maddie.  And, well, we all know Yellowdog approved.

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Molasses Banana Biscuits (for dogs or teething babies!)
Makes 16 cookies (approx. 2 1/2 inches long)

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
    (Note – Other molasses, including “dark” molasses should not be given to dogs… But, according to my research, blackstrap molasses is OK)
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (plus additional for sprinkling work surface)
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats

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Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, olive oil, and molasses.  Stir in the banana, mixing until smooth.  Add the whole wheat flour and oats, and stir to form a soft dough.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Roll out to approximately 1/2-inch thickness.

Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes, or simply use a knife to cut into squares or rectangles.  Place the cookies/biscuits on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 45 – 50 minutes.  For extra hard cookies (perfect for teething babies), turn off the oven and leave the biscuits in the oven for an additional hour or so.

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (Munching with Maddie)

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I am still having trouble accepting the fact that Maddie’s first birthday has already come and gone.  I know that every parent says that. Cliché or not, it seems like yesterday that we were bringing her home from the hospital and introducing her to Yellowdog.

Now that she’s well on her way to toddlerhood, I decided it would be OK for her to start eating a few sweets here and there. After all, a girl needs cake on her birthday, right? Up until this point, I’ve been pretty careful to avoid almost all sugar and salt in her diet.  And, I don’t intend to start feeding her cake and cookies on a regular basis (perhaps I should go on the Maddie diet… hmmm), but we’ve started allowing her a treat here and there. In addition to her birthday cupcakes, frozen yogurt is one of her favorite treats. She takes after her mama.Continue Reading

Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars with Chocolate Chips

Pumpkin season is officially here. Can I get an amen?

It has taken me a while to get around to the pumpkin baking this year… Normally I am chomping at the bit, finding reasons to bake pumpkin bread in July.  This year, though, I held off until October. I’m not sure what to attribute my patience to.  I suppose it was a combination of unseasonably warm weather, a busy schedule, and the fact that I was determined to make my own pumpkin puree.

Now that we are well into October, and I have a few pumpkins worth of puree in the house, I have jumped wholeheartedly onto the pumpkin bandwagon. This year, along with some of the usual favorites (pumpkin bread, cupcakes, etc.), I decided to make a naturally sweetened pumpkin treat to snack on during the week.Continue Reading