Category Archives: Bread

Healthier Puff Pancake

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PUFF PANCAKE FRESH OUT OF THE OVEN.

PUFF PANCAKE FRESH OUT OF THE OVEN.

 

A couple of years ago my friend Sarah, the Mac-Mama, shared a recipe for puff pancake with me and we have been fans ever since.  Typically we only have puff pancake once every couple of months because it isn’t the healthiest of meals…BUT it is oh-so-good.  Being that we have been trying to eat healthier I keep trying to figure out how to make some of our favorite recipes  just a little better for us. This morning puff pancake was on my experiment radar, not just because I was craving it, but because I dreamed about it.

 

Original Sarah’s Shared Puff Pancake Recipe

Preheat Oven to 450 degrees.

1 cup flour

1 cup milk

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Put cast iron skillet in oven to heat-up.  Melt 4 TBSP of butter in pan (place butter in when you put it in oven, that way the pan warms up and butter melts at the same time).  Once pan is heated and butter is melted pour batter in.  Bake for 22-25 minutes.  Will puff up and be a wonderful golden brown when done.  In our family we cut the puff pancake into 4 pieces, so the nutritional facts is based on 4 servings.

Nutritional Facts:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 152 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

312
Calories from Fat

157
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

17.4g
27%
Saturated Fat

9.5g
47%
Cholesterol

199mg
66%
Sodium

128mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates

27.2g
9%
Dietary Fiber

0.8g
3%
Sugars

3.6g
Protein

10.9g
Vitamin A 11% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4% Iron 13%
Nutrition Grade C-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points

 

 

Healthier Puff Pancake

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

1/4 cup whole ground golden flaxseed meal

3/4 cup unbleached white flour

1 cup unsweetened soy milk

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of sea salt

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Put cast iron skillet with 1  tbsp olive oil in it in oven to heat-up  Once pan is heated  pour batter in.  Bake for 22-25 minutes.  Will puff up and be a wonderful golden brown when done.  In our family we cut the puff pancake into 4 pieces, so the nutritional facts is based on 4 servings.

Nutritional Facts:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 140 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

244
Calories from Fat

103
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

11.4g
18%
Saturated Fat

2.0g
10%
Trans Fat

0.0g
Cholesterol

164mg
55%
Sodium

152mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates

24.2g
8%
Dietary Fiber

3.0g
12%
Sugars

3.0g
Protein

11.5g
Vitamin A 4% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4% Iron 24%
Nutrition Grade B-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points
Bad points

 

Both recipes taste AWESOME and are wonderful being topped with maple syrup, honey, apple butter, fresh fruit or whatever your favorite topping is (I sometimes eat mine plain).  Comparing the original shared recipe and the healthier version you get 68 calories less per serving with the healthier, 7.5 grams less saturated fat with the healthier version, 11% more iron, more protein and selenium…so a healthier version of a very yummy puff pancake.

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Pancakes with Flax, Agave Nectar and Greek Yogurt

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Pancakes have been a long time favorite of mine and a longtime foe of mine.  I could be called “pancake-picky” because of being very specific in what I do and do not like in/about pancakes.  My two biggest issues that I have had throughout my life with pancakes:  #1.  Bad aftertaste There is a large chain restaurant that starts with a P and rhymes with berkins that has some of the worst pancakes of all time when it comes to leaving a horrible aftertaste…yes, they taste great as you are eating them, but the aftermath on my taste buds isn’t worth it.  #2.  Greasy edges  When people cook their pancakes in too much oil and get that greasy crunchy edge.  Any time I get served one of these pancakes I spend the first part of my eating experience picking off the greasy edge and throwing it away…what a waste of what could be perfectly good pancake.  I have actually gotten to the point that if we plan on going out for breakfast I don’t even order pancakes because I don’t want to be disappointed.  I have also tried many pre-made at home boxed pancake mixes, some much better than others, but I still find myself confused when I read the ingredients and can’t pronounce some of them…heck, if I can’t pronounce them that means there is a very good chance that I have no clue what they are.  This morning I decided that we needed pancakes that were homemade, good for us (or at least much better than the boxed mix),  and full of wonderful healthy ingredients that we know what they are and can pronounce…so here is what I came up with 🙂

 

Pancakes with Flax, Agave Nectar and Greek Yogurt

 

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup unbleached white flour

1/4 cup toasted wheat germ

1/4 cup milled golden flaxseed

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powser

1/2 tsp baking soda

 

Combine all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

 

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup organic agave nectar

2 eggs

1 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups Silk

 

Combine all wet ingredients together in smaller mixing bowl.

Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and let mixture rest for 5 minutes before cooking.  Batter is thick, so if you wanted you could add a tiny bit more Silk to loosen it up some.  Recipe made 9 nice sized pancakes.  I have always prefered to cook my pancakes at about 360 degrees.

 

 

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 97 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

172
Calories from Fat

39
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

4.3g
7%
Saturated Fat

0.6g
3%
TransFat

0.0g
Cholesterol

41mg
14%
Sodium

215mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates

27.6g
9%
Dietary Fiber

2.6g
10%
Sugars

8.4g
Protein

6.7g
Vitamin A   3% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 11% Iron 10%
Nutrition Grade B+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points

 

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust or Pita Pocket

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Earlier today I was running through ingredients that we have in our fridge and cupboards and trying to come up with something tasty, filling and healthy for supper.  For some reason I got stuck on pita pockets or pizza and decided to make a dough that could work for both…and then pick which one I wanted to make for supper.

I brought out one of our medium-sized stainless mixing bowls and added 1 1/4 cups of warm (NOT HOT) water, I then whisked in one tbsp honey and 2 tsp yeast (dry active) and then I let those all sit and get to know each other for about 5 minutes while the yeast activated.  I then added 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp sea salt and 3 cups of whole wheat flour and spent about 10 minutes kneading the mixture.  Once all the ingredients mingled and became friends, and my arm was tired from all of the kneading, I securely covered the bowl with some seran wrap and placed it in a nice warm area of my kitchen…I then completely ignored it for almost an hour while it doubled in size. [Recipe written in normal recipe form at bottom of blog]

Finally, the time has come!  Pita pockets or pizza?  Pizza or pita pockets?  Lets look in the fridge again and see what all we have.  Oh, fresh spinach, red & orange peppers, mozzarella and feta cheese….and in the freezer–BINGO–turkey bacon.  My mind is made up, PIZZA!!!  I took the turkey bacon and cut it into small pieces (the width of a strip and about a quarter of an inch wide), placed it into a pan and cooked it until there was some nice coloration on it.  While the turkey bacon was cooking I cut an onion into medium-sized pieces (the perfect size for pizza of course) and placed it into another pan with a little olive oil, some sea salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic and on a medium/low heat sweated the onions.  Okay, so we have turkey bacon cooking, onions sweating and now it is time to slice up the wonderful red & orange bell peppers (while keeping an eye on the two pans on the stove).  Once that was done, my turkey bacon and onions were both also right where I wanted them to be, so I turned them off and focus on the pizza crust.

I took two pizza pans and lightly sprayed them with oil, setting them to the side.  I then turned my oven on to 425 degrees so that it could pre-heat.  Taking the doubled dough I split it in half.  I dusted a large cutting board with a small amount of cornmeal and took half of the dough and started to work it into a flat circle.  Note:  you only want to have one side of your dough get cornmeal on it, not both.  I found that using a rolling-pin and my hand was the best technique for making a nice round crust that had uniform thickness.  I would hold the lower area of the dough and rolling-pin out the upper area, rotate the dough and repeat until it became the perfect size for my pizza pans.  I then placed the dough in the pans, pushed it out to the edges and pushed it down in the corners.  To help prevent air bubbles use a fork to stab the dough…I always make sure to stab around the edges of the pan and pretty much the entire base of the dough…looks like a forked grid when I get done with it, plus helps release any pent-up tension :).  Our dough is now ready for the next step.

Quick disclaimer:  I am not a fan of red pizza sauce due to the fact that it burns my mouth (not in a heat sense, but an actually burning sensation) and because many pizza makers just use way too much sauce.  Taking a small amount of olive oil spread it evenly on your crust, then sprinkle a small amount of sea salt, garlic powder, oregano and basil on top…this will help add some wonderful flavor to your pizza (if you wanted you could use fresh herbs and minced garlic, I was just lazy).  I then put half of my cooked bacon and sweated onions on each pizza.  Next came a nice layer of fresh spinach followed by the red & orange bell pepper slices.  Now we have two pizzas, so we need two different flavors.  I topped one pizza with fresh mozzarella that I cut into small squares and the other pizza was topped with crumbled feta cheese.

Its time to bake it bake it!!  Both pizzas went into the oven and cooked for 22-28 minutes.  I kept a close eye on them to ensure the crust was cooking and not burning….our oven has a mind of its own so I did have to rotate the pizzas a couple of times.  The smell of homemade pizza floated through the air and made the 22-28 minute cooking time feel like it took FOREVER.  Once the pizzas were done we enjoyed our supper.

I know what you are thinking, the title says “Whole Wheat Pizza Crust or Pita Pocket” and where are the pita pockets?  Well, to make pita pockets you will follow the same exact recipe.  When your dough is doubled in size break it into 10-12 round dough balls.  Pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees making sure your bottom rack is as low as it can go.  You will also pre-heat your baking sheet or baking stone at the same time.  On a lightly floured surface work each of your dough balls into 5-6 inch rounds.  Very carefully place one or two rounds on your baking sheet/stone (depending on size) and cook on each side for 2 minutes.  After the first side has cooked for two minutes you will want to be very carefull when turning it so that it can cook on the other side for two minutes.  I always make sure that all of the other racks are out of the oven and that I am using a long handled spatula (egg flipper).  After both sides are cooked your pita will be nice and puffy.  Take your pita pocket out of the oven with spatula and then press it flat with the spatula.  Put the fresh pita pocket in a storage bag immediately (this will help ensure that they don’t dry out on you).  Finish baking the rest of your pita pockets….again, please be very carefull not to burn yourself because a 500 degree oven hurts–I know from experience.  Once all of your pita pockets are cooked and placed in storage bag you can either keep out or place in fridge.  I prefer to place them in the fridge as they will last longer.  If using the fridge method, make sure that your pita has a little time to warm up when you take it out of fridge before you fill it with your favorite goodies, that way it will not be as brittle.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust or Pita Pocket

1 1/4 cups warm water

2 tsp yeast

1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 cups whole wheat flour

Combine warm water, honey and yeast in medium-sized bowl (metal or glass).  Let yeast activate (about 5 minutes).  Once yeast is activated add in olive oil, sea salt and whole wheat flour.  Mix well and knead for about 10 minutes (or until arm is tired and sore).  Securely cover your bowl with seran wrap and place in warm area of kitchen.  Let dough double in size (about an hour).  Prepare as you wish—pizza, pita pockets, dough gods (fried—not good for you but another tasty option that is only recommended in moderation).

Does it count?

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With today’s society of instant gratification what really counts as “homemade”?

Is making a meal out of a box considered homemade being that technically you did make it at home?  At what point is the line crossed between truly homemade and half-assed homemade?

Bread Machine:  Does NOT count as homemade in my book…well, I guess half-assed homemade.  Why?  You are following basic directions, putting everything into a machine and letting it do all of the work for you.  You are letting technology take over your kitchen (doesn’t it already have your office and livingroom?).  You’re not getting the dough under your nails, sweat beads on your forehead from kneading for 10 minutes straight, aching arms and shoulders, flour everywhere…you are not experiencing true bread making.

I have been making homemade bread for over a decade and enjoy the task of making it from scratch.  I will get a day off of work and specifically set part of that day aside as my bread time.  Bread is just a few basic ingredients:  flour, yeast, salt, sugar, water and oil….the trick it getting the right balance of these basics.

100% Homemade whole grain bread---part of the makings of a perfect lunch.

 
I was listening to the radio the other day on my drive into work and they explained that children being born now will never now what a paper map is because of GPS systems or what cd’s are because of MP3’s…my question is:  How many of them will now what a real meal is?  Not a meal out of a box or from a greasy-calorie pushing-big chain-drive thru-save a penny-make America obese-restaurants.  When did we give control of what we put into our own bodies away?  Read the ingredients on many of the labels in your pantry and you will be stunned at how many are loaded with stuff you can’t even pronounce.  Personally, I like knowing what is in my food.  Imagine the amount of “preservatives” we eat per year…kinda scary if you ask me.
 
Yes, sometimes fast food or boxed food are the easiest in our face-paced world, but I challenge you to take the time and make a real homemade sitdown meal at least 3 times per week…7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 suppers—3 isn’t too much to ask is it?
 
What are some of your favorite homemade recipes?  What is your favorite homemade item to bake?  Do you think that cooking real meals & baked items are a dying art form?