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Community Manager
Community Manager

How do you make baked goods healthier?

Has anyone else been baking more? I've been trying to maintain a balance between comfort and health. I just made this banana bread Heart I used coconut oil, high protein wheat flour, and honey instead of sugar. Also added some wheat bran. I'd love to see your delicious creations! Share a photo of what you're baking, and any tips you have for making things healthier Smiley Very HappyHealthy Banana Bread!Healthy Banana Bread!

 

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When I bake bread, I use a recipe I've had for about 45 years. A search for pictures from my last batch showed me that I've been quite a slacker. It's been 5 years! I'll explain why at the bottom of this comment.
To make bread, I grind hard red winter wheat in my Magic Mill and use my Bosch Mixer to mix the dough. The Bosch Mixer in the picture is a new one I bought (5+ years ago) to replace the one I'd had for nearly 40 years and was starting to wear out.

Along with the wheat flour (no store-bought stuff), I reactivate dry yeast in a mixture of warm water and honey, not sugar.

I use olive oil and honey, not sugar, in the dough mix.

Tamping down the doughTamping down the doughLifting the loaves out of the oven to coolLifting the loaves out of the oven to coolSomebody is slicing my fresh bread!Somebody is slicing my fresh bread!Still hot from the oven with plenty of butterStill hot from the oven with plenty of butterDang! Only 2-1/2 loaves again!Dang! Only 2-1/2 loaves again!

I do use Crisco shortening to grease the pans, but I might try parchment on the bottoms next time just to see how that would work for me. It would certainly cut back on my exposure to the shortening.
I bake three mid-size loaves at a time. For some reason, even though I bake three loaves, I only get to put 2½ loaves into bags for sandwiches and such. If I'm by myself, a half-loaf goes missing every time! If anybody else is around when I pull those loaves out of the oven, even more bread might go missing before I can bag the loaves. It's amazing. It's magic!

 

My 5 years without baking bread (or, Instructions on how to be a slacker):

Several years ago, while trying to determine my new role in life, I started going to a senior center for activities of interest. While playing cards on a Thursday with one group I befriended, one of them asked me if I'd picked up my loaf of bread.

I'm sure I gave her a funny look as I asked, "Loaf of bread?" or something of that nature.

She assured me that I could get a loaf of bread from the dining room if I hurried and that it wouldn't cost me anything.

From that day, forward, I started getting those and they usually lasted me for a week or so until the next batch. If I missed or if the batch from Great Harvest didn't include what I wanted, I sometimes stopped at the store (Walmart or one of the other grocers) on the way home and bought myself a loaf of something there to hold me over.

 

The way the bread got to the center:

One of the ladies who volunteered in the kitchen would go to our local Great Harvest bread store on Wednesday evenings and get donations of their bread products. Then, she would drive those to the center in her car on Thursday mornings to lay out on one of the tables in the dining room for everybody to take a loaf for free. Sometimes, the store will load her up with several kinds of bread, from white to honey whole wheat to cinnamon raisin bread and even pumpkin bread or cinnamon rolls or oatmeal cookies. It just depends on what they have left over to include in donations to the center.

The lady is nearing 100 years old and had some issues in January that kept her home for a while. Up until about 2 or 3 weeks ago, she was back at it - sometimes alone and sometimes with one of her daughters helping. With the centers closed, now, because of COVID-19, I don't keep my finger on the pulse of the center, so I don't have any more recent news other than the staff were using the time to deep-clean the facilities while they were closed. No seniors have been allowed for a couple weeks with our social distancing.

Stay well, all.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Amazing! Thank you for sharing. That bread looks delish. It's also lovely that you've been able to receive bread at your senior center.

 

Have you ever made your own sourdough starter? I haven't, but I'm thinking about trying to make one now!

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Community Manager
Community Manager

That looks delicious, @AARPRachelA, and will go great with a cup of coffee or tea!

I'm starting with baby steps... This may seem minor but when baking cookies, for example, I like to bake the dough on a layer of parchment paper instead of greasing the pan with butter or shortening.

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