Saturday, April 23, 2011

Carb Fix (& Pre-Easter Hype!)

Last minutes Easter preparations are happening as I type this.  Everyone seems to be hyped for tomorrow - me, especially, as I have been fasting for nearly two months and, boy, do I miss low-fat yogurt mornings and occasional buttery toast !  My parents and I decorated eggs on Thursday, I baked off a Kulich this morning, and our beautiful pistachio Russian Pasxa is sitting in the refrigerator setting.  Meanwhile, I am serving them carbs, carbs, carbs, perhaps to reflect my earning for these delicious baked goods. 

My mom, who is close to her due date for the baby, is suggesting I bake more whole-grain goods as she doesn't want to gain any more weight, and is attempting to make healthier choices for the next two months.  So, although I'm continuing to whip up high-carb breads and muffins, you will find that most of them contain whole wheat flour, and the muffins I am about to share with you are only 100 calories each, quite wonderful for those on a diet as well !  Only problem is, they don't rise quite as high as regular muffins, due to the reduced fats.  But nonetheless, they're a great shameless treat to have at the table : )

You'll notice that there is a book present in the last shot -- it is the Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum, a great read to have for any bread-lover.  It inspired me to experiment with ingredients and develop my own sandwich bread recipe that I may share soon on this blog : )  It feels liberating to start to move away from recipes and develop your own !

In case I don't get another chance to wish you one, Happy Easter dear readers! If Easter is celebrated in your household and you have a second to spare, I'd really love to hear about what you prepare and how you spend this holiday : )
Angel Biscuits
Adapted from Anna Olson 
1-1/4 tsp instant dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tbsp warm water (body temperature)
3 cups+1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup buttermilk
  1. Stir yeast, a pinch of the sugar and water together and set aside. Sift flour, remaining sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter until it’s a rough crumbly texture. Stir the yeast mixture into the buttermilk and add it to the flour. Mix until a fairly sticky dough forms, cover with plastic wrap, and chill overnight.
  2. The next day, preheat oven to 425°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to ½-inch (1 cm) thick and fold dough over in half, pressing down gently. Using round cutters (choose a cutter the diameter of which will produce biscuits of your preferred size) cut out biscuits and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until just lightly browned.
  3. Serve biscuits hot (they cool very quickly!) with butter and jam of your choice, or proceed to either step 4 or 5.
  4. If planning on serving within the next 6 hours, without freezing, wrap the biscuits in aluminum foil and bake without removing the foil at 350°F for 5 minutes to reheat.
  5. If planning to freeze and later reheat, wrap biscuits in aluminum foil and freeze.  Bake uncovered (without foil) for 10 minutes at 350°F just before serving.
100-Calorie Muffins

1 cup buttermilk, 1%
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup applesauce
1 large egg
12 walnut halves, for decoration
  1. Mix oats and buttermilk in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit on the counter for approximately an hour.
  2. Grease 12 muffin cups and preheat the oven to 375°F. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine sugar with dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk-oat mixture and mix. Whisk together egg and applesauce and stir into the batter.
  4. Divide evenly between muffin cups and bake for 25-35 minutes.  Cool on cooling racks; then serve.
Grandma's Potato Cheddar Bread

The recipe for this delicious and not-as-heavy-as-it-sounds bread can be found here.  You must try it at least once!

1 comment:

  1. While I was making this I got flour all over the floor :(