Monday, February 23, 2009

Homemade Buttermilk

Did you know that you can culture your own buttermilk? By adding a small amount of store bought buttermilk to sweet milk, you can stretch that expensive store bought jug to several more quarts of buttermilk perfect for baking!

Bring 1/2 cup fresh buttermilk to room temperature. Add 3 cups of water and 1 cup powdered milk. Mix well, pour into a jar, and cover loosely. Let the milk sit on the counter for 24 hours. Then refrigerate.

Buttermilk! It's as easy as that.

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's Finally Finished!

When I was 17 I found a book at our library that was full of pictures of beautiful antique quilts. By the time I got home, I had decided I was going to make a quilt. I sketched out a pattern I had seen, made paper templates, and started in. I used scraps of fabric I had saved from other sewing projects and old clothes for the patches. Soon I had made 30 quilt blocks. Later a friend gave me books of quilt patterns, and I found out that my quilt pattern was called pinwheel. When I read the directions they gave for piecing the blocks, I found that I had done mine in a very difficult way-the directions they gave were much simpler! Slowly I sewed the blocks together, layered the quilt, and hand quilted it. Last Monday I bound it, and now my quilt is complete!

This post is a contribution to Show and Tell Friday at Kelli's House.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sourdough Bagels

Cream of Wheat and bagels has been the regular Sunday morning breakfast at our house for as long as I can remember. Dad and Mom's favorite bagel is cinnamon raisin. My brothers and sisters and I love blueberry. Since I have been keeping a sourdough, I have been on the lookout for sourdough recipes. I was really excited to find Sourdough Bagels on Wild Yeast Blog. I changed the recipe to include whole wheat flour, cinnamon and raisins. Since I did not have high gluten flour, I just used unbleached white flour and the whole wheat. I did not have malt powder either. I have never used these ingredients in bagels, and they always turn out delicious. If you have never used a recipe that is measured by weight before, don't be afraid to try it. I am new to weighing ingredients, but I actually find it easier then measuring by volume. It is so much more precise.

Sourdough Bagels

Yield: 16 bagels, 85 grams each


* Mix: 10 minutes
* Rest: 10 minutes
* Divide/shape: 20 minutes
* Refrigerate: 8 – 12 hours
* Boil: 20 minutes (includes heating the water)
* Bake: 20 minutes

Desired dough temperature: 78F


* 693 g high-gluten flour
* 304 g ripe 100%-hydration sourdough starter
* 308 g ice water
* 2.5 g (7/8 t.) instant yeast
* 13.5 g (2 1/4 t.) salt
* 18 g (1 T.) sugar
* 15 g (4 1/3 t.) non-diastatic malt powder
* 47 g milk powder
* Seeds for topping (optional)
* Semolina flour for dusting
* 1 T. baking soda for boiling


1. Combine the flour, starter, water, yeast, salt, sugar, malt, and milk powder in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed to combine.

2. Mix on medium-low speed until the dough is very smooth and strong, almost rubbery, about 7 minutes.

3. Turn the dough out onto an unfloured counter and work a few turns by hand. Form the dough into a smooth ball; the surface should feel satiny and tight.

4. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rest for 10 minutes.

5.Divide the dough into 16 pieces of about 85 g each. If you are making plain bagels, form the dough into a loose ball. For cinnamon raisin bagels, press about a dozen raisins into your ball of dough. Sprinkle a small pile of cinnamon onto the counter. Lightly roll the dough in the cinnamon , fold it in half, and roll it a few more times and fold. This will make swirls of cinnamon through the bagel. Form the balls of dough into a loose ball. Cover loosely and let rest 10 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and dust them with semolina.

7. To shape each bagel, poke a finger into the center of a ball of dough. Twirl the ball on your finger to stretch the dough into a bagel shape. Make the circle bigger than you think is necessary, because the bagels rise, and the hole will swell shut if they are too small.

8. Place the bagels on the prepared cookie sheets, slip into a large food-grade plastic bag or cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. I did not want to be boiling bagels Sunday morning, so mixed the dough early Saturday morning, and cooked them Saturday night.

9. In the morning, preheat the oven to 450F.

10. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Do not remove the bagels from the refrigerator until you are ready to boil them. Add the baking soda to the water once it is boiling.

11. Meanwhile, place a cooling rack on the counter with a dishtowel underneath it, and place the topping seeds, if using any, on a small plate in a shallow layer.

Boiling bagels
12. Drop the bagels, three or four at a time, into the vigorously boiling water for 20 seconds. They may or may not float right away, but they should float by the time the 20 seconds are up. If they float right away so the tops are not submerged initially, flip them over about halfway through the boil.

13. Remove the bagels from the water to the cooling rack with a slotted spatula. Let them drain for about 30 seconds before pressing them, top down, into the seeds and replacing them back onto the semolina-dusted, parchment-lined cookie sheet.

14. Turn the oven down to 400F once the bagels are in. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

15. Cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Baby Card

This is a card I made for a friend with a new baby. I took a card pattern, and changed it to fit the stamps and materials I had. I like trying to recreate cards I see without using their recommended materials.

Kelli's House is a fun crafting blog. Take a look for cards and other paper crafting.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Better Butter

We make homemade margarine out of butter and oil. It is more healthful than commercial margarine and a little less expensive than using straight butter. You can use whatever type of oil you like in this recipe. We usually use 1/4 cup olive oil (not extra virgin) and 1/2 cup canola oil. Using all olive oil does make it taste rather strong.

Homemade Margarine
In a large mixing bowl, whip 1 cup softened butter. Combine 1/4 cup water, and 3/4 cup oil. Slowly pour oil and water into butter with the mixer running on low speed. When all the liquid is dispersed, turn mixer up to high and mix until the butter is very smooth. Pour into a container and refrigerate, Use as you would any butter or margarine.

For more frugal tips and ideas, visit Biblical Womanhood.