I thought I would share a few of my (current) favorite recipes to follow up on my “Eating well on a budget” post. Cooking and baking from scratch are such rewarding activities. I hope you can squeeze in a little time to bring some home-cooked food into your life! An apology ahead of time: I hardly ever measure so bear with me if I happen to use a “pinch” or “handful” instead of “tsp” or “cup” here and there. I promise, most of the time it doesn’t negatively effect the finished result:-)
I’ll start this post off with a couple of baked goods:
No knead bread
The easiest bread recipe ever! I used to use a bread machine- with very inconsistent results- until I came across this recipe. No bread machine required!
- 3 cups flour (I like a 50/50 combo of white and whole wheat or rye. Any more and it seems to get awfully heavy!)
- 1/4 tsp yeast
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 5/8 c. warm water
- Mix all ingredients well. (The moisture level can be a little finicky- it should be slightly wetter than traditional bread dough, but not much. Expirament a few times and you’ll get it right!)
- Cover the bowl with a cloth and let set for 12-18 hours. This gives the yeast a chance to grow and gives the dough a sort of “sourdough” flavor.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured cutting board and fold over once or twice. Let set 15 minutes.
- Shape the dough into a loose ball and cover with a cloth. Let rise 2 hours.
- Meanwhile (about 20 minutes before dough is done rising) preheat the oven AND an empty lidded crock or dutch oven to 425 degrees. ( I use a deep, lidded cassarole dish- whatever works!)
- When dough is ready, dump it quickly into the hot crock and cover. Bake 30 minutes, remove cover and bake 15-30 minutes more or until the top looks crispy and golden.
- 1 cup uncooked multigrain cereal
- 1 cup flour
- 1 Tbs baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup grated carrot (about 2 medium)
- 1 cup grated apple (about 1 large or 2 small)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 375 and grease 2 six-muffin pans or line with paper baking cups (12 muffins total)
- Combine dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir in pecans.
- Scoop into muffin pans and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and tops are golden.
Yummy homemade granola:
This makes a lot! I like to make a big batch and freeze smaller portions for later. For the basic recipe, you will need:
- One large container of old-fashioned rolled oats (42 oz)
- approximately 1 cup of honey OR 3/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup oil (I use olive oil, but you can use whatever you like)
- pinch of salt
- 1 -2 tsp cinnamon
- a little bit of water
- your favorite goodies like dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, chopped up apricots), nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans), dried coconut flakes, flax seeds, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, etc… add as much or little as you like, and get creative!
- Mix all the dry stuff in a giant bowl. Heat the honey in the microwave for a few seconds until it is runny, then mix with the oil and vanilla. Stir into the dry ingredients and add a little water if necessary until the mixture starts to clump just a little bit- you don’t want it too sticky!
- Divide the granola into quart size freezer bags, label, and freeze. When you want to make a batch, grab a bag from the freezer, spread the granola evenly over a baking sheet, and bake in a fairly low (250-275 degree) oven for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Check often, especially towards the end because it can overcook quickly! You don’t want the dried raisins and cranberries getting crunchy! Take it out when it looks NOT QUITE golden and done- it will finish browning on the cooking sheet as it cools. Let it cool, and store in an airtight container.
Leave a comment with one of your favorite baking recipes, if you would like!
Enjoy! And don’t forge to check back for some of my favorite entrees!