Spring can remind us of fresh starts. That might mean reintroducing things that have been put on a back burner. For example, being home more has allowed us more time to plan and prepare our food.
Many of us have dug out old recipes and old appliances and revamped expired trends that deserve a second chance. Preparing food is a labour of love, one that is satisfying and nostalgic, particularly when it comes to breads and batters.
Greek yogurt pancakes
Pancakes are simple to make and fun to dress. Toppings can make the experience so much fun. It’s a way to get creative with your food and make brunch a hit.
- 1/2 c. vanilla Greek yogurt (I used plain) 125 mL
- 1/3 c. milk 80 mL
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup 30 mL
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 5 mL
- 1 c. flour 250 mL
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda 3 mL
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder 2 mL
- 1/4 tsp. salt 1 mL
Toppings such as fresh whipped cream, yogurt, strawberries, blueberries and maple syrup.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, eggs, syrup, and vanilla.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Add flour mixture to yogurt mixture and mix to combine (batter will be thick but pourable).
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Spoon in enough batter to make three or four medium pancakes (about two heaping tablespoons each) and cook pancakes until bubbles begin to appear on top.
Flip the batter when the underside is golden brown. Skillet the other side for about one minute more depending on size. Once cooked, cover loosely or serve immediately. Get creative with your toppings. Serves four. Source: www.goodhousekeeping.com
Berry french toast bake
A one dish brunch meal might be your style, especially since it is prepared ahead of time.
- 6 large eggs
- 1 3/4 c. milk 425 mL
- 1 tsp. sugar 5 mL
- 1 tsp. cinnamon 5 mL
- 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
- 1/4 tsp. salt 1 mL
- 1 loaf french bread, cubed
- 1 1/2 c. frozen unsweetened mixed berries 375 mL
- 2 tbsp. cold butter 30 mL
- 1/3 c. packed brown sugar 80 mL
- optional: confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup
Whisk together first six ingredients. Place bread cubes into a greased 13×9 inch or three-quart baking dish. Pour egg mixture over top. Refrigerate, covered, eight hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 F(180 C). Remove berries from freezer and french toast from refrigerator and let stand while oven heats. Bake, covered, 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, cut butter into brown sugar until crumbly. Top french toast with berries; sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Bake, uncovered, until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. If desired, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with syrup. Serves six to eight. Source: www.tasteofhome.com
Bread machine sourdough
And out came the old bread machine. This appliance was used so much when my boys were toddlers. Not only did they love eating fresh bread, but watching the machine work the dough provided hours of entertainment for them. Of course, they could not watch during the bake times and no touching. And the aroma in the house… so comforting. Well, with a trend to make more at home, and to try out some sourdough bread, this was a match made in heaven. Initially, I was given a starter, but since then we have made our own, which was very interesting. You can buy starter at some stores.
Why sourdough? This bread is made with beneficial live bacteria, so it is easier to digest, although not gluten free, and the flavour is so rich.
Eating bread with family is so traditional in many cultures. Some of my favourite memories include a plate of smooth peanut butter and jam on fresh bread, or enjoying morning toast with my grandmother, complete with tea, fresh honey with a cheese slice on top.
Ingredients for a 1 1/2-pound loaf:
- 2 tsp. active dry yeast or instant yeast 10 mL
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt 7 mL
- 1 1/2 tsp. sugar 7 mL
- 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour or bread flour (I prefer unbleached) 625 mL
- 2 c. sourdough starter or discard* 500 mL
- 2 tbsp. oil 30 mL
- 4 – 6 tbsp. room temperature water, enough to make a soft dough 60 – 90 mL
Ingredients for a one-pound loaf (I like this size):
- 1 tsp. active dry yeast or instant yeast 5 mL
- 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
- 1 tsp. sugar 5 mL
- 1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour or bread flour (preferably unbleached) 400 mL
- 1 1/3 c. sourdough starter or discard* 325 mL
- 1 tbsp. oil 15 mL
- 3 – 4 tbsp. room temp. water, enough to make a soft dough 45 – 60 mL
Place the ingredients into the pan of your machine, in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Program for french bread, or a similar long-rising cycle (in my Black and Decker, I used the white/whole grain fresh milk cycle, check your machines cycle times); and press start. Look for something similar with a total of 30 minutes of kneading, a total rise of two hours or more, and a bake time of about 60 minutes.
Once mixing, check the dough after about 10 minutes; add additional water or flour as necessary to make a smooth and soft dough.
Once done, cool, remove from the pan.
* You can use ripened discard if it has been fed in the last week. Makes one loaf. Source: www.kingarthurbaking.com a great sour dough resource site.
Sourdough starter recipe
- 1 c. whole rye (pumpernickel), whole wheat flour or white flour (note white flour will take longer to bubble) 250 mL
- 1/2 c. cool water 125 mL
- *plus additional flour to feed your starter
Day 1: Combine the pumpernickel or whole wheat flour with the cool water in a non-reactive container. Glass, crocks, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic all work fine for this. Make sure the container is large enough to hold your starter as it grows; we recommend at least one-quart capacity, like a large mason jar.
Stir everything together thoroughly; make sure there’s no dry flour anywhere. Cover the container loosely and let the mixture sit at warm room temperature (about 70 F for 24 hours).
Day 2: You may see no activity at all in the first 24 hours, or you may see a bit of growth or bubbling. Either way, discard half the starter (about 1/2 cup/125 mL), and add to the remainder a scant (slightly less than) 1 cup/250 mL all-purpose flour, and 1/2 cup/125 mL cool, not cold, water.
Mix well, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for 24 hours.<
Day 3: By the third day, you should see some bubbles, some expansion and an aroma when you open the jar. It’s now time to begin two feedings daily, as evenly spaced as your schedule allows. For each feeding, take out a generous 1/2 cup/125 mL, after it has been stirred. Discard any remaining starter.
Then add a scant one cup/250 mL of all-purpose flour, and 1/2 cup/125 mL water to the 1/2 cup/125 mL of starter. Mix the starter, flour, and water, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for about 12 hours before repeating the process.
Day 4: Weigh out 1/2 cup/125 mL starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat the 12-hour schedule feeding for today.
Day 5: Weigh out 1/2 cup/125 mL starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat the 12-hour feeding process. By the end of Day 5, the starter should have at least doubled in size with lots of bubbles and aroma. If your starter hasn’t risen much and isn’t showing lots of bubbles, repeat discarding and feeding every 12 hours on Day 6, and Day 7, if necessary to produce abundant bubbles.
Once the starter is ready, give it one last feeding. Discard all but a generous 1/2 cup/125 mL (you can use your discard at this point). Feed as usual. Let the starter rest at room temperature for six to eight hours; it should be active, with bubbles breaking the surface.
Finally, transfer the remaining 1/2 cup of starter to its forever home: a crock, jar, or whatever you’d like to store it in long-term. Feed this reserved starter with one scant cup of flour and 1/2 cup water, and let it rest at room temperature for several hours, uncovered, to get going.
Store this starter in the refrigerator and feed it regularly. We recommend feeding it with a scant 1 cup/250 mL flour and 1/2 cup/125 mL water once a week.
Note: Never deplete your starter to less than 1/2 cup/125 mL so you can keep feeding. Source: www.feastingathome.com
Cinnamon swirl bread
When I was growing up, we often enjoyed cinnamon bread from our local bakery. It was so moist and sweet, with the prominent cinnamon flavour. I found a recipe for a similar sweet bread to be enjoyed over tea or coffee and one that is easy to prepare.
- 2 1/2 c. flour 625 mL
- 1 c. sugar 250 mL
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 7 mL
- 1 tsp. baking soda 5 mL
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 c. oil 125 mL
- 1 1/3 c. sour cream or plain Greek yogurt 325 mL
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract 10 mL
- 1/4 c. unsalted butter,melted 60 mL
- 1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon powder 20 mL
- 3/4 c. brown sugar, packed 175 mL
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
Grease a loaf pan about 21 x 11 cm (8 x 4 inches) and line with baking paper for easy removal if desired.
Place dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Place wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk until combined.
Place cinnamon sugar ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
Make a well in the dry ingredients bowl. Pour in wet ingredients, then mix until just combined.
Spoon about one-quarter of the batter into the pan (about 1.5cm / 3/5 of one inch deep) and smooth surface.
Spoon about one-third of the cinnamon sugar over the batter.
Top with another one-quarter of the remaining batter. Add the remaining cinnamon sugar over the batter. Drag a butter knife back and forth to make the swirls. Top with the last one-quarter of the batter and smooth gently over the top.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Then remove and cover with foil, and bake for a further 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Stand in the pan for five minutes before lifting it out to a cool. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Serve with a slice of cheese or a smear of butter. Makes one loaf.
Cooking For a Crew Contest
TEAM Resources is looking for readers’ favourite recipes for feeding their crew, even if it’s only one or two people.
Send your “Cooking for a Crew or One and Two” recipe entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
The Western Producer
1000-3530 Millar Avenue
All entries must be received by April 30. A draw for a selection of cookbooks will be made from all of the entries.
Jodie Mirosovsky is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: email@example.com.