Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bread, Pancakes and Low-Sugar Cake

I've always loved to bake. However there have been times when I haven't had much time to bake from scratch. Instead, I've turned to some excellent mixes for cookies, cakes, pancakes and much more. But lately, in my effort to be more healthy and use more natural and organic ingredients, I've gone back to baking with a vengence! I've told a few people that I would share some recipes that I've gotten from others, and I'm finally going to do it.

First, I would like to thank Jen at Amazing Trips for this fantastic recipe for the best homemade bread I've ever eaten. In fact, as soon as I get to the store to buy more yeast, I'm making this bread today. Everyone who tries it loves it, and it's SO EASY to make! Check it out by clicking here.

Second, I tried the whole wheat bread recipe on the back of the King Arthur whole wheat flour bag. It was not hard to make, and it turned out quite good. I used molasses to sweeten it, which worked well. I will make this recipe again and recommend it to others. The one not-so-great thing was that it didn't seem to keep as long as I expected, which wasn't long. But maybe if I'd covered/sealed it right away it would have kept better.

Third, when I asked online somewhere for good bread recipes, I received a recommendation for The Tassajara Bread Book, by Edward Espe Brown. While I have not tried it myself, I plan to buy it soon and it sounds fantastic. I will review it after I try it out.

If you haven't discovered All Recipes yet, you are missing out. I have found some great recipes on that site, including some pancake recipes.

For a really excellent pancake mix recipe, check this one out. You mix up all of the dry ingredients and store the mix in an airtight container. I've actually been using a big Ziplock bag, which is working fine. When you are ready to make a batch of pancakes, you add the egg and milk. Prego! Delicious pancakes! It's better than Aunt Jemima, Bisquick or Hungry Jack... and as an added bonus, it does not contain aluminum, unlike some of those others! (Don't believe me? Check the ingredients on the back of their boxes.)

I've also made these pancakes! I used butter instead of shortening, and they really turned out fluffy and really good. They were pretty easy to make, too, and they froze well.

A friend recommended another recipe, which she posted in the comments here. I have to be honest, I have not tried these because one of the main ingredients is bananas, which I didn't realize at first. I have a real aversion to bananas and can't stand the smell or taste. But if Dana says it's good, I trust that it is good (for people who like bananas).

For the Pumpkin's first birthday, I wanted to make cupcakes for her and other toddlers at her party, but I wanted something low in sugar that wasn't a carrot cake. Someone recommended this site to me, and I made the Vanilla Cake as cupcakes. They were excellent! They did taste more like muffins than cakes because of the low sugar, but they were scrumptious muffin/cakes. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to make cakes for their little ones but don't want to deal with a major sugar high!

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