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Culture News Products Restaurants Science

With Just Two Ingredients, You Can Make Bread For Life

With everyone at home right now, the possibilities that all this extra time have unlocked have manifested into Tik Tok videos, Tiger King memes, and throwing down in the kitchen. Now it’s been said that man cannot live on Joe Exotic’s drip and hitting the Whoa alone, as sustenance is key to survival. And though it’s universal to all how much good use of our time has been spent on unlocking our inner Gordon Ramsays, the fact remains that groceries are at a constant flux of being fully stocked to bare shelves in such a short amount of time, with essentials like bread becoming scarce.

But what if I told you that you can literally make your own bread for life with just two simple ingredients? A raised eyebrow of skepticism is what I’d expect, sure, but the overall simplicity of what it takes to bake bread really is just that — simple.

I asked Aaron Caddel, CEO and owner of Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco and Los Angeles, why bread seems to be the unlikely hero right now and also to help us understand just how easy it is to make bread for you and yours for life.

“It’s just the survival component with people. Folks got really worried for a short amount of time that there was going to be a food shortage and I think that frenzy is still there,” Caddel explains. “Then also, folks just need to stay in the house. Making bread is cheap living and an essential part of a lot of folks’ dinner tables.”

Now just like the countless businesses and restaurants that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse has had to pivot their regular business model to still serve their customers. In light of this, while also recognizing the need for bread right now, Caddel has now shifted priorities to offering Bread Starter Kits, with shipping available nationwide. Inside you’ll find everything you’ll need to bring your bread starter to life, including instructions on how to “maintain this bread starter for 100+ years,” as said on the bakeshop’s website.

But how exactly is it even possible to have a lifelong supply of bread from just two ingredients? Well first, one needs to identify that these two ingredients are literally just flour and water. But how does yeast play into this whole process? Isn’t it essential as well? These are questions I myself had at the beginning of my research for this story. To help answer that, I tapped fellow Foodbeast and resident food scientist, Costa Spyrou, for some of his gems:

While you can purchase dry active yeast from stores, it’s not necessary to make your own bread starter. The most unique custom ones come from letting your dough capture the yeast from the surrounding air. Starters of flour and water left out at room temperature (but safely covered) will capture yeast and bacteria from the area. Many wild yeast strains are species that will ferment the dough: the most common yeast species is Saccharomyces cerevisiae. As vital as these yeasts are to turning dough into bread, you also need some bacteria to help the yeast along. It’s a symbiotic relationship between the yeast and bacteria that help produce the many signature flavors of dough.

Ah science (and Costa), thank you for all the clarity you bring. And also, thank you to establishments like Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, who are still finding ways to service the community even during these challenging times. The phrase ‘let’s get this bread’ resonates now more than ever.

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Celebrity Grub Culture News Video What's New

Banana Bread Is Quarantine’s Unlikely Hero

The unspoken hero of this quarantined time is the humble oven. Since most of the world went into hiding, people have taken solace in one of the few acts that is productive, comforting, and time consuming: baking banana bread.

Cookies, brownies, muffins, all have been given shine on social media these past couple weeks. But, nothing has made the rounds more than banana bread. Not a day has gone by in the last week in which a load didn’t touch down on my timeline. 

The phenom even made its way to the cream of the crop of Twitter, with Chrissy Tiegen taking to the platform to offer a loaf of her famous banana bread in exchange for romaine lettuce, which she eventually found.

We decided to join in on the hype, and started with the very bread seen in Tiegen’s exchange, which can be found in her recipe book, Cravings. Check out the video above to see the process and our delicious results.

Now, I wasn’t satisfied with just the bread, I wanted answers. Why on Earth has banana bread taken ahold of our collective mind as we all sit, bored as hell, in our homes?

I sent up a signal. I posted on my Instagram story, asking people to DM me if they’ve made banana bread while pent up. To those who DM’d me, I simply asked, “Why?”

I expected to be able to make this into a quick, heartwarming story with the responses, one that hopefully alluded to banana bread being a childhood favorite to many that, in turn, is providing comfort in a time of need. And while some responses did support this theory, I overwhelmingly received two specific sentiments:

“I saw it on TikTok/YouTube,” and “I had rotten bananas.” 

After digging around a little, I found multiple TikTok’s showing recipes for banana bread, some with hundreds of thousands of views, while some in with millions. 

Also, apparently, a lot of people panic bought bananas. And, no one actually ever remembers that they bought them, so there were a lot of rotting bananas out in the world.

The trend seems to have been borne out of virality and necessity, as is everything in this day and age. Hell, most of my meals in the past few days can be sourced from the same ideals, too. 

And it seems like for the next few weeks that frame of mind will dominate the kitchen. People will continue baking, using whatever they have in their kitchen. Maybe keeping something from exploding in the oven will distract from the world seemingly exploding around us, who knows. 

But, hey, until it does, keep making that scrumptious banana bread.

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Sweets

Pillsbury Is Releasing Two Brand-New Funfetti Cake Flavors

There’s no question — cakes are way more fun when they’re Funfetti!

funfetti cake pillsburySource: Pillsbury

Funfetti sure knows how to party! In addition to the colorful classic mix, celebrations like Halloween, Valentine’s Day and Fourth of July have been made easier with seasonal cake mix and frosting. Now, Pillsbury is introducing its first new permanent Funfetti flavors since the original launched 30 years ago. Woo hoo!

Is Funfetti the best confetti cake mix? See the results of our taste test.

New Flavor #1: Unicorn Funfetti

Celebrations of all kinds—birthdays, baby showers, Wednesdays—are about to get more fun thanks to the new Unicorn Funfetti cake mix. It’s not quite the three-tier unicorn cake at Sam’s Club, but this bake-your-own unicorn cake mix and frosting set delivers all the rainbow goodness you need. The strawberry-flavored cake is speckled with yellow and purple candy pieces, and the matching vanilla frosting is topped with purple and pink unicorns, yellow stars and a mix of pink, purple and blue sprinkles. Magical!

New Flavor #2: Galaxy Funfetti

3, 2, 1, blastoff! The Galaxy Funfetti set comes with yellow mix and “Space Blue” frosting. Launched in honor of the moon landing’s 50th anniversary, the cake mix features green, blue and purple confetti candy bits. The galaxy theme comes to life with a mix of sprinkles shaped like yellow stars, orange moons and gray spaceships.

Where You Can Find the Cake Mix

The Unicorn Funfetti and Galaxy Funfetti mixes are starting to pop up at grocery stores across the country. Both flavors should be available nationwide by September. Until then, here’s our guide on making a confetti cake from scratch. Happy baking!


Article by Laurie Naru for Taste of Home. View the original article here.

Categories
Hacks

5 Tips And Tricks To Help You Become A Better Baker At Home

Photo: So Delicious

We can all stand to improve on our cooking and getting better on technique is always the way to go. Being a better baker goes hand in hand with experience, though, so don’t stop baking!

Baking has never been my strong suit as an area of cooking. For various reasons over time. One of them being that most of the places I’ve rented had a very old stovetop and oven, that wasn’t easily (or at all) calibrated, and as you’ll read soon on this page, being accurate and precise is a very important part of baking. So when I finally moved to a place that had a great oven and kitchen space, I knew I had a lot of catching up to do.

The only way to become a better baker is to keep at it. So here are some things to keep in mind as your baking journey begins. And continues.

5 tips and tricks to make you a better baker

1. Your recipe is your foundation

The thing about baking is that it’s not really just a starting point, but your whole cooking blueprint. You cannot improvise and add or swap ingredients without altering the chemistry of your final product. So just read everything in the beginning and make things easier for you. Trust the text and follow it to the letter.

2. Use the best ingredients

Some items really need to be fresh to create chemical reactions. Look at leavening agents, for instance. They really do have an expiration date. Also, spices you might use, like cinnamon or cloves or whatever you have in the ingredient list can lose their flavor over time. That’s why freshness is paramount. And I don’t think I have to tell you that your eggs should be fresh.

Do You Want to Be a Better Baker? Here Are Some Good Tips
Using fresh ingredients and the right quantities are very important in baking.

3. Measure your ingredients

This goes hand in hand with the first tip or trick. Baking is about precision, so it’s important that you add the proper quantity of your ingredients to the mix. This is important for a dough or a batter, because of consistency and how your mix of ingredients will act like once it’s under the hotness of the oven.

So get yourself some measuring cups and make sure that the quantities are expressed in the units your country is using. Because there are small differences between an American cup and a British cup. And those can really trip you up.

4. Make sure your oven is up to par

Like I said, one of my problems with baking was the lack of a suitable oven. But also, you need to take an extra step when it comes to being a better baker. Just because you set it properly, it doesn’t mean that the temperature inside will be what you need. And that means that your doughs might dry or undercook and you don’t want that. So invest in an oven thermometer (get the cheapest one, you don’t have to invest a lot) and make sure your oven is serving you.

5. Don’t open your oven

Since we’re on the topic of the oven, there is another thing you should be mindful of. When you’re baking and impatient, you should never just open the oven door to constantly check on what you’re making. The reason is that lets out the heat that you’re supposed to be keeping in and it can make your product fall because of your influx of air. So calibrate your patience and let that oven door stay closed.

Related Links:


Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

Categories
Grocery Hacks

5 Types Of Sugar And How To Use Them For Baking

Photo: So Delicious

In your Internet exploration, you might find mentioned plenty of types of sugar. But what do they do and what are they best suited for? Let’s find out right now, in time for making delicious desserts for your winter break.

We all know that sugar is bad, am I right? Well, even though we are informed and aware of this, sometimes we still have to use it, because we love desserts and other dishes and seriously, I don’t want to live my life without having dessert. Hashtag priorities.

If we are to at least use sugar in our desserts (and some other dishes, like caramelizing onions, perhaps?), we should at least know how to work with it. That’s why it’s a good idea to find out more about types of sugar. No, they’re not really interchangeable.

The role of sugar in baking

So what does sugar do in baking other than making things sweet? A lot of things, actually. When added to wheat flour, it slows down the formation of gluten, which makes the texture of baked goods finer and softer. It also attracts and retains moisture in your dishes when used. That means they stay fresh for longer because sugar slows down the drying out process. Oh, and you know how pastry is supposed to be a nice golden brown? That happens thanks to sugar as well, because it caramelizes when heat is applied, and it lends that color to the baked good. And when it comes to using yeast as a rising agent, the organisms in yeast like to gorge on the sugar to help the baked goods rise.

Types of Sugar: What Use Are They to You?
Raw brown sugar is great for sweetening your coffee, but not as suitable for baking.

5 types of sugar to learn about

1. White granulated sugar

This is the most common type of sugar that works for almost any dish you might want to make. It is either made from beets or sugar cane. You can use it for marinades, dry rubs, salad dressing, and so many more. White granulated sugar is 99.95 percent sucrose. It doesn’t really go bad. Ever. And that is good news for post-apocalyptic bakers, I think?

2. Caster sugar

Also known as baker’s sugar, caster sugar is pretty much the same as white granulated sugar, with one fundamental difference: it has been ground for a finer texture. There are multiple sizes of sugar crystals and there can be superfine and ultrafine types of sugar. What do they do though? These sugars dissolve faster and give a more delicate texture to the baked goods.

Types of Sugar: What Use Are They to You?
Caster sugar is used to give a more delicate texture for baked goods.

3. Confectioner’s sugar

Also known as powdered sugar, this is the most finely ground type of sugar. It dissolves very easily, and it’s used in making candy, frostings, and icings. You can also use it to decorate the tops of desserts with a fine mist of sugary goodness. 95 to 97 percent of it is sucrose, the rest being cornstarch, added it to keep it from forming clumps. You can make your own powdered sugar by grinding it finely.

4. Brown sugar

Brown sugar is a version of ordinary cane sugar, only less refined. That means that it contains an amount of molasses, but also caramel. When you use this in recipes, you should measure it by packing it tightly into the measuring cup. This happens because it has a bit of a wet consistency. And it can contain a lot of air. When it combines with baking soda, it will activate it, so keep that in mind. But also, don’t forget that brown sugar gives a darker shade to your baked goods. Be mindful of what you’re making.

5. Raw granulated sugar

Raw sugars are brown sugars, but they are dry. They’re typically used to sweeten your morning coffee or your tea. They’re don’t work as great in baking. But their coarser texture means you can decorate your baked goods with them. It will give them a great ‘crunch’ factor. They contain less molasses than normal brown sugar, but they have been refined less than the white granulated sugar. If health is your concern when it comes to sweeteners, keep that in mind.

Related Links:


Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

Categories
Film/Television Sweets Video

Watch The Incredibly Charming Animated Trailer For ‘The Great British Bake Off’

With so many food shows hitting the airwaves, you sort of have to create something pretty damn engaging to capture the audience’s attention. Simple food porn shots just won’t do anymore. Perhaps it’s time to evoke that sense of childlike wonder.

The Great British Bake Off recently launched a trailer for their upcoming season that left us confused, enchanted, and hungry all at the same time. In the video, baked goods are singing and dancing about in a colorful display of confection all set to a pretty catchy tune of Paul McCartney and the Frog Chorus’ We All Stand Together.

Design Taxi reports that the stop-frame animated short was directed by Parabella Studios with the help of 4Creative. An ensemble of professional bakers and animators, through meticulous detail, brought 335 pastries and desserts to life in this one-minute video.

Check out the trailer for the upcoming season of the British reality baking series.

Categories
Hacks Hit-Or-Miss

13 Genius Ways to Use Up Fruit That’s Going Bad

Look around your kitchen right now. Odds are you’re seeing bananas getting too brown, apples getting too soft, and strawberries slowly shriveling, right? Well, suppress your instinct to throw away food that’s just teetering on rotten.

Even if your fruit is starting to look unappetizing, it can still serve a purpose! Try using near-spoiled fruit in these 13 creative ways and rest assured that you, sir or madam, are an eco-hero. Congratulations.

Face Masks

We live in the day and age of the face masks; as one of the biggest beauty trends of the moment, there’s a face mask for all your skin wishes and woes. But why spend the cash on these masks when you can make your own right in your kitchen? Raw fruit has more tricks up its sleeve than you might think.

For example, papayas have amazing exfoliating properties, avocados prevent signs of aging, tomatoes help skin glow, and oranges reduce acne. Who knew, right?

Those are just a few examples of what DIY fruit masks can do for you complexion, but these masks (especially the tomato/lemon mask) might be our favorites.

Polish Silverware/Shoes

Dingy silverware or scuffed shoes? There’s a simple way to bring their shine back: a banana peel. It sounds weird, but we promise it works.

Peel a banana and take all those stringy bits off the inside of the peel. Then rub the inside of the peel on your dull shoes or silver. Buff with a cloth and you’ll see a shine like no other, plus a pleasant banana smell as a fun bonus.

Make Smoothies

So your shoes look fly and your silverware is gleaming, but what are you going to do with that peeled banana? If it doesn’t look good enough to eat right then and there, try throwing it into a smoothie for all the same flavor and nutrients, minus how gross it feels to eat an overripe banana.

Here’s a great recipe to get you started:

  • 1 overripe banana, chopped
  • ½ beet, chopped
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 ounces dairy-free protein powder
  • dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ice cube

If you don’t have time to make that delicious smoothie rn, cut the banana in half, put it in a plastic bag, and freeze it. You can use it for tomorrow morning’s smoothie instead!

Granitas

A granita is a frozen treat that’s like a snow cone, only boozier. All you have to do is blend or juice your going-bad fruit, stir in a little alcohol to keep it from freezing completely, and pour the mixture into a shallow, wide container. Place the container into the freezer and use a fork to break up the icy areas every hour or so.

The end result should resemble a shaved iced treat perfect for parties or just cooling off on a hot day.

Fruit Jams

Making homemade jam might make you picture a Stepford Wife, but it’s actually a simple and delicious way to put your rotting fruit to good use. One of our favorites? Apple jelly, which you’ll want to spread on anything you can get your hands on. Better yet, these little jams make rad gifts for your friends and family.

And if you’re not a fan of apples, then you have to check out Serious Eats’ epic guide to fruit spreads.

Conditioning Hair Treatment

The only thing currently trendier than a face mask? A hair mask. Your complexion isn’t the only thing that could use a fruity refreshing every now and again, your strands need TLC, too.

If dry, winter air is getting your hair down, then you need this moisturizing strawberry hair mask — it’s especially perfect for anyone rocking their natural curls.

Garbage Disposal

Nothing gets smellier faster than your garbage disposal. But thankfully, any and all citruses you might be looking to toss are your DIY solution!

Down your stinky sink, pour a half cup of baking soda, some vinegar, and then half of a lime, lemon, or orange. The baking soda and vinegar will react with one another and clean the disposal, while the citrus will leave behind an amazing, clean smell. If you’d rather eat that citrus, feel free to use peels to get the job done.

Breads and Muffins

What better excuse to bake than your ingredients starting to go bad? Adding chopped fruit to a baked good is a brilliant way to use up your produce and upgrade your breads or muffins.

Worried that the poor quality of your fruit will undermine the dish? Try giving the fruit a quick grilling first, which is a great way to give the fruit (and, by association, your baked goods) a deeper flavor.

Crumbles, Crisps, and Cobblers

It doesn’t get better than sugar-coated fruit surrounded by brown sugar crumbles or doughy pie crust. You can use pretty much any fruit imaginable to create an impromptu cobbler, crisp, or crumble, and it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Make Potpourri

This might sound like something only your grandma makes, but don’t hate until you’ve tried it. Potpourri (like homemade jam) makes for lovely presents and if you want to keep it for yourself, you’ll be surprised how well this mixture can make your home smell heavenly.

Adding lemon rind to potpourri is the perfect way to perk up any room. Take a handful of spices (such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, or nutmeg) and dried natural materials (such as seasonal flowers or pinecones). Then arrange them in a bowl along with the lemon rind. If you want even more of a boost, sprinkle with scented oils like orange or lemon.

Fruit-Flavored Booze

The perfect way to use fruit before a backyard party or BBQ? Soaking it in alcohol, obvi.

You can steep frozen or fresh fruits in liqueurs like brandy, vodka, or rum and get double the delicious; your alcohol will develop an irresistible fruit flavor and snacking on that fruit at the end of your drink? Let’s just say it will be the most fun you ever have eating a peach slice.

Homemade Ice Cream

Yep, you can make super-creamy ice cream with avocados that aren’t quite at their peak anymore. The fruit is sodium and cholesterol-free, low in calories, and loaded with vitamins and minerals, so it’s as good for you as it is freakin’ delicious. This avocado pistachio ice cream recipe is perfect for after-dinner indulgence.

With all those benefits and amazing flavor, it’s more like nice cream, amiright?

Homemade Pasta Sauce

Don’t have much of a sweet tooth? Rest assured, you can use those browning avocados to make a savory dish that’s just as creamy and delicious.

Try puréeing ripe avocados with garlic and lemon juice, then tossing with hot pasta. Game changer, right? You can also add chopped tomatoes and a little cheese for extra flavor. You’ll never buy canned tomato sauce again.

 

Do you use your rotting fruit in a different clever way? Share your brilliance with us in the comments section below.

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Hit-Or-Miss

11 Adorable Food Gadgets That Your Valentine Will Love

There’s officially less than a week before Valentine’s Day, which means you probably still need to buy a gift, make reservations, and maybe even find a Valentine. So, in order to help you through this process, this gift guide should assist in finding something truly unique that will stand out more than some cheap candy — and will probably taste better too.

This year, instead of relying solely on the florist or a gourmet chocolatier — find something that will capture the essence of love, while also serving a physical purpose. For those of us caught up in the Valentine’s Day gift struggle to swoon your favorite foodie, these easy to find, food-centric gift ideas won’t break the bank, and will show Bae how much you care.

Covered X & O Silicone Ice Cube Tray 

11154500_Covered Silicone Ice Cube Tray -XO's

Looking for a cute and classy way to tell your lover, you want to XOXO them all over? Using this awesome ice tray from Bed Bath and Beyond, might be the easiest way. As they say, love is in the air on Valentine’s Day — and now it will be in your drink! $12.99, online only. 

Heart-Shaped Measuring Cups

Heartshaped Measuring cups

Although these heart-shaped measuring cups won’t hold flowers, they’ll definitely hold flour. These romantic, yet functional kitchen utensils are the perfect gift for the adorable baker or chef in your life. This is also the next best way to tell your sweetheart that you’re in love with their cooking.

Food-Themed Enamel Pins 

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 8.31.45 PM

Do you love pizza more than your Valentine, but can’t admit it? That’s okay because these adorable enamel pins by The Sleepy Mountain will be the best way show them what’s most important. $10

Peas in a Pod Salt and Pepper Shaker 

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 6.52.54 PM

The genius minds who create the adorable things at Smoko Inc. usually have the perfect gift for any occasion. While some Valentine’s Day gifts might seem a bit cheesy, Smoko’s Peas in a Pod Salt & Pepper Shaker will always remind your Valentine of the special bond you share — and will help make every meal just a bit more delicious. $19.99

Adorable Emoji Portable Chargers

wu_smittenkitten
Is your darling always complaining about their phone dying? WattzUp Power is the portable problem solver. Right now, they have super cute designs, like the Smitten Kitten emoji that are purrfect for Valentine’s Day.  But, wait — how is this related to food? Think about it, now you’ll never have to worry about your battery dying if you have to call for some delivery.  $39.99

An Awesome Nacho Cookbook

Kristen KishNachosinaBag
We all know that nachos are awesome. What’s even better is a whole cookbook on nacho recipes can that easily be recreated for any occasion  — you know, not just one time on a certain night in February — hint, hint. But, that should at least give you some ideas. ¡Buenos Nachos! by Gina Hamadey, $25

Can You Feel My Love Buzz?

You're Intoxicating
Let’s face it, there’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks on Valentine’s Day, but what about after? Your lover will always crack a smile every time he or she reaches to crack open a bottle. $22.00, 

Food Grade Coconut Bath Soak 

CoconutMilk_BathSoakBesides food, the next best thing about Valentine’s Day is getting pampered. Herbivore’s food grade coconut milk bath soak combines the best of both! $18.00

Chocolate Melting Pot

Chocolate melt
Chocolate dipped strawberries are super delicious, but it’s been done over and over again. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a box of week old strawberries, you can show your Valentine how resourceful and creative you are when you bust out this chocolate melting pot and create some chocolate dipped treats of your own. $17.99

Heart-Shaped Tea Infuser

Heart Shaped Tea InfuserValentine’s Day is only one day a year, so why spend money on something that’s just going to get thrown out in a week. This heart-shaped tea infuser will allow your favorite tea lover to feel the warmth of your love while brewing cup after cup of delicious homemade tea. $6.21

Cooking Set with Valentine’s Day Recipe E-book

Vday Cooking set
This might be the best thing on this list. Before you spend your life savings on an overpriced steak dinner, it might be easier — and less expensive — to learn how to cook for once in your life. This cooking set comes with two e-books, one specifically for Valentine’s Day recipes. $17.48