Saturday, February 28, 2009

Making Buttermilk Dry Yeast

I wanted to try a biscuit recipe that uses buttermilk dry yeast in addition to baking soda for the leavening. But, before I can use the buttermilk dry yeast in the biscuits, I have to make it. That is the focus for today and the next few days.

The yeast cakes take a couple of days to make and dry. I started the process Friday night and the yeast cakes are still drying as of Saturday night. I’ll make the biscuits as soon as the yeast cakes are completely dry. This recipe makes a bunch of yeast cakes so I'll have some left over for the next time I want to make a starter for those delicious Alaskan Sourdough Pancakes or biscuits.

I've made a bunch of different starters, but this one is definitely different -- it is made with cornmeal. The mixture of the cornmeal and buttermilk smells wonderful and then when you add a little yeast to get the process going, "Wow!" I must say, every time I smell it, it's very intoxicating. I can just imagine what it will taste like in the biscuits. Mmmmm...can't wait!

These dry yeast cakes can be used instead of packaged yeast in the Alaskan Sourdough Starter I made a couple of weeks ago for the
Alaskan Sourdough Pancakes.

Buttermilk Dry Yeast Recipe
From Sourdough Breads and Coffee Cakes by Ada Lou Roberts.


  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 cups cornmeal, white or yellow
  • (I'm using stone ground white cornmeal from a mill in Georgia)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • Sterilized cornmeal
  • White flour


Scald the 2 cups of buttermilk with the 3 cups of cornmeal over low fire, stirring constantly until it makes a smooth mush. Add the salt and stir well.

When the mush has cooled to just warm add the dry yeast dissolved in the 1/4 cup warm water.

Let stand in a warm place.  When it rises, stir it down and let rise again three times.

Add enough sterilized corn meal and white flour in equal amounts to make a very stiff dough.

Use a rounding tablespoon to make each cake. Dip them in cornmeal.
Lay the cakes on trays on absorbent paper and dry as quickly as possible at room temperature, turning oven and changing papers as needed.

Do not place in the oven or hot sun. (I placed mine in the oven because it's very rainy and moist here right now. However, the oven is turned off)

March 2, 2009 update: The yeast cakes are finally dry.

Now that they are dry, I'll seal each cake in transparent wrapping with tape and store in a moisture proof container in refrigerator.

Note: One cake is equal to one package of dry yeast for making starters and for overnight sponges.

Happy Baking!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Waffles

The combination of oatmeal and whole wheat makes these oatmeal waffles very nutritious. They taste especially good topped with fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup.


These waffles make a lovely presentation for brunch, but no one will tell if you prefer to eat them for lunch or dinner instead.

Oatmeal Waffles Recipe

The recipe for these oatmeal waffles is from Wholesome Sugarfree Cooking by Ray and Malinda Yutzy.

The recipe works well for pancakes as well.


  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups Buttermilk* (I used sour milk)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

*Note: If buttermilk is not available, a good substitute is to mix 1 cup sweet milk and 1 cup plain yogurt. Or use 2 cups sour milk.


In a large bowl, mix eggs and buttermilk. Add oats and mix well. Stir in molasses and oil. Combine flour, salt, soda, and baking powder. Stir into egg mixture. If batter is too thick, thin with a little milk.

Pour 2/3 to 3/4 cup of batter into the middle of the preheated waffle baker. Cook 5 to 6 minutes or until a deep golden brown.

Enjoy these oatmeal waffles with some fresh berries for a wholesome breakfast or brunch (or even dinner if you like)! They also taste good drizzled with real maple syrup.

Now go make some for yourself!

Happy Baking!

You might enjoy these Breakfast Bread recipes:

    Saturday, February 21, 2009

    Sprouted Wheat Bread

    This delicious sprouted wheat bread is made with wheat berries that you sprout a few days ahead of the day you plan to make the bread.  The sprouted wheat provides a crunchy and sweet flavor to the loaf and the dry milk powder provides enrichment as well as additional flavor to the bread. The result is a creamy-colored loaf with a tender crumb and golden crust. It’s wonderful! Just wonderful.  This is one of my favorite breads. 
    According to Beth Hensperger, author of The Pleasure of Whole-Grain Breads,
    "Breads with sprouted grains have been tremendously popular with bakers for decades. The wheat berries add texture and nutrition to this light whole-wheat and honey bread. Sprouting the grains takes a few days, but is a simple process."

    Sprouted Wheat Bread
    Recipe: The Pleasure of Whole-Grain Breads by Beth Hensperger

    Makes: 3 loaves

    First step: Sprout the wheat berries 

    Makes: 2 cups

    • 1/2 cup raw wheat berries


    Place the wheat berries in a bowl and add tepid water to cover by 1 inch. Let stand at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours. Drain the wheat berries and rinse with fresh water.

    Divide between two 1-quart jars. Cover with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.

    Place the jars on their sides in a warm, dark place. Twice a day, rinse and drain the wheat berries with tepid water poured through the cheesecloth.  After 2 to 3 days, the wheat berries will sprout.

    Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.

    Grind in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. (I used my blender to grind the sprouted wheat berries) Do not over process; the berries should be chunky.

    Next Step: Make the Bread

    Sprouted Wheat Bread Recipe
    Makes: three 8-by-4-inch loaves

    • 1/2 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 packages) active dry yeast
    • Pinch of sugar
    • Pinch of ginger
    • 2 cups whole wheat flour (I'm using freshly milled red spring wheat)
    • 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105° to 115°)
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 2 cups sprouted wheat berries, chopped
    • 4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour
    • Wheat germ, for sprinkling
    • Melted butter, for brushing


    Pour the 1/2 cup warm water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast, sugar, and ginger over the water. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

    In a large bowl using a whisk or in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the whole wheat flour, milk powder, and salt. Add the warm water, honey, and 4 tablespoons butter. Beat for 1 minute. Add the yeast mixture and beat 1 minute longer. Add all the wheat berries.

    Then add the bread flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating on low speed until a soft dough that just clears the sides of the bowl forms, switching to a wooden spoon when necessary if making by hand.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and spongy, 1 to 2 minutes for a machine-mixed dough and 3 to 4 minutes for a hand-mixed dough, dusting with flour only 1 tablespoon at a time, just enough as needed to prevent sticking. Place in a lightly greased deep container, turn once to coat the top, and cover with plastic wrap.

    Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

    Grease three 8-by-4-inch loaf pans and sprinkle the bottom and sides with wheat germ. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and divide into 3 equal portions.

    Pat each portion into a rectangle and roll into a loaf shape. Place, seam side down, into the prepared pans.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until level with the rim of the pans, about 1 hour.

    About 20 minutes before baking, preheat the over to 350°F and position a rack in the center of the oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until crusty and golden.  Brush the tops with melted butter.

    Remove from the pans to cool on a rack.


    I asked my youngest son to taste this bread. He said "It tastes like oatmeal bread". That's a good thing. Both of my sons love oatmeal bread. It's one of the first breads I ever made in my bread machine and it's still one of their favorites. I think we may have a keeper. I know I like it!

    If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy:
    Sprouted Wheat Bread with sprouts and no flour - This method for making sprouted wheat bread with no flour produces a light loaf that doesn't look or taste like a brick.
    Happy Baking!

    Sunday, February 15, 2009

    Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread

    This dark rich, Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread is delicious! Try it for breakfast, either plain or toasted. The bread can be made completely in the bread machine or, make the dough in the bread machine, then transfer the dough to loaf pans for the final rising, and bake them in the conventional oven.

    Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe
    Recipe from Linda Rehberg's and Lois Conway's
    The Bread Machine Magic Book of Helpful Hints

    Makes: 1 1/2 pound loaf in bread machine

    Note: If you have a machine with a regular baking cycle of under 3 hours, you may need to reduce the amount of butter by half or switch to the Whole Wheat cycle if you find it didn't rise well the first time.


    • 7/8 to 1 cup + 1 tablespoon Buttermilk
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon Salt
    • 1/3 cup Butter or Margarine
    • 3 tablespoons Brown Sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
    • 1 1/2 cups Bread Flour
    • 3 tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten (optional) I didn't use the vital wheat gluten -- we'll see how well it works without it.
    • 2/3 cups Raisins
    • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast



    Place all ingredients in bread pan, using the least amount of liquid listed in the recipe. Select Medium Crust setting and press Start.

    Observe the dough as it kneads. After 5 to 10 minutes, if it appears dry and stiff or if your machine sounds as if its straining to knead it, add more liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until dough forms a smooth, soft, pliable ball that is slightly tacky to the touch.

    I checked the dough and the amount of liquid (7/3 cup + 1 tablespoon) was perfect for my bread machine. I had to scrape the sides a few times to help the machine along, but it didn't need any additional liquid.

    This cinnamon bread smells delightful while it's baking. It fills the house with a wonderful aroma. I can't wait for it to finish baking. Although I'm going to try and wait until tomorrow morning to eat some. The only way that's going to work is if I go over to my friend's house and leave the cinnamon bread at home. I'm bringing him some freshly-baked sourdough bread so he won't feel slighted.

    After the baking cycle ends, remove bread from pan, place on wire rack, and allow to cool 1 hour before slicing.

    I couldn’t wait to try this bread for toast in the morning so I had a slice when I got home. It was really good!

    While I was waiting for the bread to finish baking, my oldest son and his friend walked in the door. They both said "Mmmmm ... what's that smell? See, I told you it smells yummy. Although they both turned there noses up when I said it was whole wheat. Oh well! I guess I don't have to worry about having to share my breakfast bread with them. My youngest son will probably eat it. He runs track so he likes to eat healthy stuff - most of the time.

    Happy Baking!

    Sunday, February 8, 2009

    Alaskan Sourdough Pancakes

    Alaskan Sourdough Pancakes are made with an overnight sourdough starter. The starter is ready to use in the pancake batter the next morning for breakfast or brunch. It is important to have the batter of the proper consistency the night before using so you don’t have to add flour or liquid the next morning.

    These pancakes are delightfully tender and brown beautifully. They also have a slightly tangy flavor and go really well topped with maple syrup and strawberries.

    Be sure to keep some starter for next time:

    The first time you make the starter, you will use a package of yeast. Reserve 1 cup of the starter and keep it in the refrigerator for next time. Then when you make up the starter again, you'll use the reserved starter instead of the yeast. Then, you'll reserve a cup from that batch and so on and so forth.


    Alaskan Sourdough Starter

    The recipe for these pancakes is from Sourdough Breads and Coffee Cakes by Ada Lou Roberts

    Makes: Twelve 4-inch pancakes


    • 1 package dry yeast
    • 1 cup warm water
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 4 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups white flour


    Prepare this the day before you want to use it.

    Soak yeast in the warm water.  Add salt, sugar and flour, and beat well. You should have a batter which will pour but is not too thin. Keep in a warm place, tightly covered in bowl large enough to allow for it to double in volume.  Starter doubled in volume after fermenting all night.

    Save 1 cup of this starter and store in covered container in the refrigerator.  Use the remaining starter batter to make Alaskan Sourdough Pancakes. The 1 cup stored starter may be used the next time you make pancakes.

    Alaskan Sourdough Pancakes


    • Alaskan Sourdough Starter (full recipe less 1 cup)
    • 2 tablespoons melted butter
    • 1 egg, well beaten
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon water


    To the starter batter add the butter, eggs, baking soda and water.  Bake pancakes on a hot griddle.

    It's time for brunch. I don't know about you but I'm hungry. Let's eat!

    Using the reserved starter:

    The next time you want to make more pancakes, make up the starter as you did the first time except use the reserved 1 cup of starter instead of the dry yeast. Be sure to pour off the 1 cup of starter each time before adding the butter, egg and soda dissolved in water and never add any leftover pancake batter to the starter.

    Tip: The amount of soda may be increased slightly if for any reason the batter smells too sour.

    Happy Baking!


    Sunday, February 1, 2009

    Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns

    These Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns can be made using your favorite whole wheat bread dough. For this batch, I used a no knead bread dough to make the process a snap.

    This recipe makes enough dough for a pan full of cinnamon rolls and two loaves of delicious whole wheat bread for toast. That's what I call efficient!

    Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

    The recipe for the delicious whole wheat bread dough is from Wholesome Sugarfree Cooking by Ray and Malinda Yutzy.

    Makes: 4 loaves of bread, or 18 cinnamon buns and 2 loaves of bread

    Whole Wheat Bread


    • 3 tablespoons yeast
    • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
    • 4 cups warm water
    • 1/3 cup vinegar
    • 1/4 cup olive oil or coconut oil (I'm using coconut oil)
    • 8 cups (heaping) whole wheat flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt


    Mix water, maple syrup or honey (I'm using honey), vinegar, and yeast in a bowl. Let set for 15 minutes or until yeast has worked (becomes spongy or bubbly). Then add salt and oil.  Add flour, 3-4 cups, and mix well. Add 1 cup at a time until rest of flour is stirred in and it's spongy soft dough. If it's not spongy, the bread won't be nice and soft.

    Set dough in a warm place till ready to work out.  Let rise; punch down every 10 minutes or so.

    Punch down 3 times. Do not let rise longer than1 hour before putting in pans or it won't rise well in pans. The dough is pretty wet so you'll probably need to use a spoon to punch it down.

    Divide into pans and prick with a fork. At this point, I put dough in 2 pans and kept the rest to make the cinnamon buns. The cinnamon buns recipe follows.

    Set in a warm place and let rise till edges of loaf reaches top of pans.

    Bake for 30 minutes, starting at 350°F for a little bit then raise it to 400°F until it's done.

    Cinnamon Buns Recipe

    Make your favorite whole wheat bread dough. Use only the desired amount of dough and make the rest into loaves of bread.

    Let rise once, then shape into balls the size of a walnut. (I made mine a little bit bigger).

    Note: The dough is sticky and wet so make sure you keep your hands wet while you're forming the balls. It makes it much easier to handle the dough. Otherwise, it just sticks to you and makes a big mess!

    Roll the balls in melted butter; then roll them in honey and cinnamon.

    Place on a 13" x 9" pan and let rise until almost double.

    Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until done.

    The cinnamon buns and the whole wheat loaves are now ready to eat.

    Ok. I admit it. I tried them and they are very good particularly for 100% whole wheat with honey and no sugar.

    I think I'll have a slice of the whole wheat loaf for toast in the morning.

    Happy Baking!

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