I don't use an electric mixer very often because I usually whisk my cake batters, mix my doughs with a spoon and knead my bread doughs by hand. I appreciate the manual method because it allows me to really feel what my dough's doing and get a good idea of how thick it is. Could this possibly be the baking equivalent of a cyclist riding a fixed gear or driving a stick instead of an automatic? Having a good feel of where your dough is going is all fine and good but there are other times when an electric mixer can really come in handy and is actually essential in your kitchen, such as when you really want to make sure the fats and water-based liquids in your dough are mixed well before adding flour. Read on to see how the Viking 5-Speed Mixer stacks up.
When baking with margarine, avoid tub margarine and always use stick margarine or Vegan Butter. Tub margarine contains extra water for easier spreadability. This is great for things like toast but can negatively affect your baked items due to it's lower fat content and higher water content. Stick margarine still contains more water than butter in most cases but will result in better performance than tub margarine, especailly in things like puff pastries, pie crusts and tart crusts.
I have an obsession with sprouting grains and legumes. I think it's related to my obsession of inviting nature take its sweet time to process your raw ingredients in it's own special way. Sprouting instead of cooking has many advantages if you have the roughly three days to spare. Supplanting puréed sprouted grains for some or all of your flour is also a great way to make hearty breads.
So now that you're making your own bread, or at least enjoying your favorite tasty bread to the fullest, how do you store it so it's as good as possible for as long as possible? I've seen it all in bread storage schemes. Bread stored in paper bags, in the freezer, in the refrigerator; I remember a friend who's Mom stored even it in the microwave oven, using it as a makeshift bread box. The question of how to best store bread is difficult to answer. This is because it depends on what your goal is: Are you planning on keeping high quality bread as fresh as possible for a few days so it can be used for the next chowdown with minimal staling? Are you just trying to squeeze maximum longevity of your sandwich bread to it can be used up before it starts to mold?
Written by Mattie 2
Having a wild yeast starter (also known as a sourdough starter) in your possession can lead to a whole new wold of fascinating flavors and food experiences. Everything from breads, pancakes, quick breads to pizza crusts can be made with wild yeasted dough, which has no need for commercial bread yeasts. Think of it as your magic little dough friend that's actually alive, waiting to morph into and enhance whatever you introduce it to.
I like to advocate most things in moderation, which obviously includes vegan baked goods. Sweets are in no way, shape or form a part of a healthy diet. Even if you take the sugar completely out of baked goods, the refined flour alone will probably spike your blood sugar to unhealthy levels. That said, sweets sure are fun to eat every once in awhile aren't they? I believe there are certain food products that don't apply to the everything in moderation mantra and they should be avoided as much as possible. These unhealthy food products can usually easily be substituted by other products that are less detrimental to health, with virtually no reduction in the quality of the baked item. If we can do this, then why the heck not? What food products am I talking about? Partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup come to mind. Recently there has been talk of a new food product that might need to be added to this list: agave syrup.
The concept of reading words and numbers and using them to direct you to make something to eat is a strange thing. This simple list of directions is often the only companion you have in your quest to replicate what the original baker created. It's a good thing she meticulously listed all of the ingredients, their measures and thoroughly described all of the steps in an easy to follow manner. Or did she? If we were to go back in time a little over a hundred years or earlier, we would need a large heaping spoonful of luck for many of our recipes to turn out as they were intended. Luckily, recipe writing has evolved. Read on to find out how to write a recipe so it's interpreted in a clear, fun and informative way.
Your baked items are only as good as your ingredients. I'm unaware of a single case where this isn't true. It's one of the reasons I stopped using tofu in my recipes years ago, although there are certain rare occasions where it shines. Plain yogurt provides a great way to add complex flavor and introduce mild binding properties to your recipe. It's not going to bind as much as an egg, but in things like cakes, pancakes and muffins you don't need powerful egg replacers anyway. Read on for my review of the top four plain vegan yogurts currently on the US market.