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Posts Tagged ‘buttermilk’

Do you pin?

I enjoy looking around on Pinterest from time to time and have tried several tips and recipes I have seen there. I was intrigued recently by a pin which told how to bake Artisan No-Knead bread in the crockpot. I went right to the Artisan Bread in Five site and read the article there and was even more interested in trying this technique. I mixed up a batch of Peasant Bread dough (page 46 in the book) and refrigerated it overnight. The next afternoon I cut off a piece of the dough, shaped it into an oval and placed it in my parchment lined crockpot. After it rose and baked for about an hour and fifteen minutes it seemed to be done when I touched it and took its temperature. ๐Ÿ™‚

After the initial baking in the crockpot the loaf of bread looked pretty pale and anemic. It reminded me of brown and serve rolls if you are familiar with those. The older Betty Crocker cookbooks actually have directions for making brown and serve breads. To brown the bread the recipe recommends that you put it under the broiler for about 5 minutes. I was afraid that might be too hot so I just baked it at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Next time I will try the broiler method.

This wasn't a great time saving technique, but there are several advantages to this method:

1. No fiddling with a screaming hot dutch oven.

2. The dough rises and bakes in the crockpot.

3. The bread can be baked in the crock and then browned later if desired.

4. The shorter baking time in the real oven would help keep the kitchen cool on hot summer days.

We really enjoyed this bread and I plan to use this technique again in the future. The outer crust of the bread is not as crisp as bread cooked in a Dutch oven, but the interior of the bread was moist, chewy, and had a very good flavor. The leftover slices made great sandwiches the next day.

Another idea from Pinterest that I have tried recently was freezing buttermilk in an ice cube tray. I have been freezing it in one cup containers for a while. Many recipes such as biscuits, pancakes, waffles, etc. call for buttermilk in one cup increments. Our favorite Ranch Dressing calls for just 1/4 cup of buttermilk. I saw a pin recently that suggested freezing cream in an ice cube tray and thought that this would work great for buttermilk too. Just two cubes will be enough for a batch of dressing. DD Megan told me about these lidded ice cube trays which she has been using to make baby food for little Maddie.

Have you tried any ideas you have read about on Pinterest?


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Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

picture of BakedSugarCookies

I don't often bake cookies any more since it's just the two of us. I actually kind of miss making them. It seemed like when the children were all at home someone always needed cookies for some event or another. Just last week Rob mentioned that he was hungry for these Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies. I got this recipe from my Aunt Nana several years ago and it has become one of our favorites. These are a puffy, soft, cake-like sugar cookie.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

1 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsps. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
4 cups flour (I use bread flour)

Cream margarine and sugars. Add eggs. Stir together dry ingredients and add alternately with the buttermilk.
Chill this dough for several hours or overnight. You can either roll out this dough and cut with cookie cutters or prepare it the lazy way that I do it by scooping it out with a scoop and flattening the balls of dough with your floured fingers. I find that these bake best if you bake them on parchment lined baking sheets. I have small cookie sheets and find I can only put six on a sheet at a time. I get about two dozen cookies from this recipe. Bake at 400 degrees for 9-10 mins. Cool slightly and remove from cookie sheets. Frost with the following icing:

Browned Butter Frosting
6 Tbsps. butter or margarine
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 Tbsps. milk or cream

Heat the butter over medium heat until a delicate brown. (A stainless steel pan works better than a non-stick pan for this so you can see how it is browning) Remove from heat and mix in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and the milk. Spread on cookies while still warm. Let dry completely before storing the cookies. It works best to place waxed paper between the layers. This should be enough for one batch of cookies.

Scooping out the cookie dough:

picture of Scooping Cookies

Patting out the cookies:

picture of Patting Cookies


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I'll interrupt the travelogue to tell you that Megan and Drew joined us on our trek through the Midwest and then came home with us! We were delighted at this turn of events. They stayed with us until Tuesday (yesterday) when they flew home.

I made pancakes Saturday morning for our breakfast since I know this is something Drew really enjoys. It also gave me a chance to try out the griddle on my new stove. It worked like a charm. Drew had plain pancakes, but the rest of us ate pancakes containing blueberries from the garden. Here are some pancakes on the griddle:

picture of Pancakes

Here's the recipe for the pancakes. It's a really good recipe from an old Farm Journal cookbook.

Favorite Buttermilk Pancakes
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsps. sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
2 Tbsps. melted butter or oil

Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl.

In another bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter or oil.

Combine the two mixtures by stirring just enough to moisten the flour. Do not over mix.

The batter may still be a bit lumpy. This is a thick batter. If you prefer a thinner batter you can add a bit more buttermilk, but in my humble opinion it makes perfect pancakes!

Bake on a lightly greased griddle (I grease it by holding a partially unwrapped stick of butter or margarine and running it over the hot griddle.) Dip batter by 1/4 cup measure. Turn when the bubbles on the top of the pancakes start to break and the top loses some of its shine. This amount will make enough for about four people with average appetites.

For the blueberry variation just drop a few berries on the pancakes while you are cooking the first side. You can also add chopped banana, nuts, well drained cherries, chocolate chips, etc.

Here's a picture of our little pancake eater:

picture of Drew eating pancakes

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It’s the berries

The Lord has blessed us this summer with a variety of berries from our garden. If you read my husband Rob's blog you may have seen some of his posts about our yard and garden. Our lot is shaped like a piece of pie and the top rounded part at the back of the lot is a stone ditch. Rob planted monkey grass, day lillies, and daffodils on the far side of the ditch and he has planted blackberries, red raspberries, and blueberries on the side of the ditch closest to our house. There's a picture of some of the bushes in this blog post. (Scroll to the bottom)

This is the first year we have gotten a good amount of red raspberries and blueberries. The blackberries are just starting to come on and it looks like it will be a good year for them as well.

I've tried a couple of new recipes with the red raspberries and recently Rob made one of our favorite muffins with the first of the blueberries. This recipe is a combination of a recipe I got years ago from a student and a streusel topping recipe that DD Megan got when she took Cooking in high school. The muffins contain buttermilk which gives them a slight tang and helps keep them nice and tender. If you have access to some fresh berries you will have to give it a try.

Best Ever Blueberry Muffins

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsps. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cup blueberries

Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsps. margarine or butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin tins. Combine streusel ingredients to make a crumbly topping.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Combine the eggs, buttermilk, and oil in a small bowl. Fold the blueberries gently into the dry ingredients. (This helps to prevent green or aqua blueberry muffins!) Add the liquid ingredients and stir gently just enough to combine. Carefully spoon into the prepared muffin tins. Top each muffin with a portion of the streusel topping. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the muffins test done. Makes about 18 muffins. Here's a picture of the finished muffins:

picture of Blueberry muffins


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Oatmeal Muffins

Oatmeal Muffins is another one of our favorites. I originally got this recipe from my sister-in-law, Deb, who has given me many very good recipes over the years. These muffins don't have any fancy ingredients but when all are combined together they produce a delicious muffin. I really like to use buttermilk in a variety of baked goods. It helps to tenderize cakes and muffins and gives them a nice flavor. I have tried substituting the powdered buttermilk in the past but in my humble opinion it's just not as good. I try to keep a carton of buttermilk in the refrigerator at all times and use it for biscuits, muffins, pancakes, waffles, etc. I find it will keep for at least a month.

picture of Buttermilk

Oatmeal Muffins

1 cup oatmeal (dry)
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

In a small bowl combine the oats and buttermilk and let stand for a few minutes. After this add the egg and oil.

In another bowl whisk together the brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Briefly combine the wet and the dry ingredients. Scoop into 12 muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 mins.

I hope you will give these a try sometime. They are good for breakfast or as a bread with soup or something similar.

picture of Oatmealmuffins

We are enjoying our guests from Germany. They are learning new English words and phrases and we are learning German as well. One night we had fun teaching them how to play Chicken Foot Dominoes. We tried to think of a game that was pretty easy to explain and where you didn't need a great deal of English vocabulary. They caught on quickly and we had a fun evening.


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