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Grandma’s Ciabatta Bread (Made With Whey) February 13, 2017

ciabatta bread
This ciabatta bread is a whiz to whip up and heavenly to eat!

I was telling my grandmother one day that I had almost a gallon of fresh whey leftover from a cheese making project and didn’t know what to do with all of it and she suggested that I use her family’s bread recipe. She told me that after her mother was finished making cheese, she would set aside a little whey to bake bread with and give the rest to her chickens (whey gives chickens added protein for egg production). I had no idea that she had a bread recipe that used whey. It just goes to show that our ancestors certainly have a lot to teach us still. Since she shared this recipe with me, I (of course) would like to share it with all of you.

On a side note, the whey really activates the dough, so get ready! I read that the yeast love the presence of the lactose and sugar in the whey and that is why is rises so well. I can see why this recipe has been in my recipe for so long, it’s definitely a keeper.

Happy Baking!

Grandma’s Ciabatta Bread Made From Whey

  • 2 cups of whey
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon of dry active yeast
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients together and the knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to sit at least 8 hours or overnight.
  4. After dough has risen, sprinkle flour on a work surface and shape dough.
  5. Place the dough onto a greased baking tray. Sprinkle on a little more flour and  cut a few shallow, diagonal slashes into the top of the bread.
  6. Bake the bread in a 375 degrees F (190C) oven for 40 minutes or until it is golden brown.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 13th, 2017
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Categories: Breads Featured Recipes

Homesteading Basics: How To Dehydrate Herbs for Long-Term Storage January 30, 2017

dehydrating herbs for storage
Herbs are one of the first plants we put in our garden. There is nothing like fresh culinary herbs to intensify the flavors of food. As well, herbs are hardy garden plants that don’t have to be watered as much as vegetables and can serve more than one purpose by being used as natural medicine. For instance, did you know that a sage leaf can be used instead of a band-aid because it has natural healing qualities? Some of these popular culinary herbs are oregano, thymne and sage and can grow year-round in many parts of the country.

To enjoy these herbs year round, many choose to dehydrate them when they are at the peak in freshness and combine them to make their own spices and even homemade tea blends. Can you imagine how much money you could save at the grocery store by implementing this into your pantry?

How To Dehydrate Herbs for Long-Term Storage

Dehydrating herbs and other leafy greens is one of the easiest items to dry for long-term use. All you really need is a constant stream of air. You don’t necessary have to own a dehydrator because herbs can dry naturally from the air, but it does help with even drying.

Here are some steps to get started:

  1.  Prep herbs for drying. Wash and place herbs evenly on a drying rack and ensure that enough space is make for proper air flow.
  2. Set temperature and time according to the directions on your dehydrator.
  3. Ensure that herbs are 95% dehydrated for long-term storage.

Here are some great spice mixes to start adding to your pantry!

Cajun Seasoning

  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Chili Powder

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

French Herb Mix

  • 3 tablespoons marjoram
  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons savory
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed

Chili Powder

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Storing Dehydrated Herbs

Herbs can be dehydrated to store for longer periods, but storage is important for any preserved food, and dehydrated foods are no exception. Store either in heavy duty zippered bags in a metal container, or store in dry, sterile, glass jars. For long term storage, I recommend using Mylar bags.

As I stated previously, before storing, you want to ensure that your food is 95% or more dehydrated because the more moisture your food has the more likely molds and microorganisms can grow. Like all emergency food sources, ensure that you keep your dehydrated food away from natural elements.

“Best Used By” Guidelines for Dehydrated Food 

  • Spices – 1-2 years
  • Vegetables/Fruits – Up to 12 months
  • Meats – Best at 1-2 months, but can be stored for 6 months.

We are all looking for frugal ways to bulk up our preparedness pantries. Using herbs is a great way to do that. Some of our favorite herbs we love to grow in our garden can be utilized to make long-term herbal seasonings to use year round. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start dehydrating!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 30th, 2017
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Butter Pecan Biscotti December 17, 2016

 For a special treat, I love dipping sweet biscotti into my warm tea or coffee. In the past, I hadn’t had much luck when I attempted to make my own. In regular biscotti recipes, the cooking process dried out the biscotti so much that the end result was always “over toasty,” to say the least.

This recipe bakes the biscotti twice (see directions) and gives it the right texture that I was going for – light and crispy.

This recipe is versatile and can be jazzed up by adding toffee or chocolate chips to the batter, nuts, dried fruits or drizzling melted chocolate for a more indulgent dessert. Rest assured, this is the perfect dessert to pair with coffee or tea.

 

Butter Pecan Biscotti

(makes 20 biscotti)

1/2 cup butter, unsalted
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract (I make my own. Here’s the recipe.)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

*optional: add 12 ounces of mini white or regular chocolate chip morsels, or 1/2 cup cranberries or raisins, or even some sprinkled sugar, if desired.

Instructions:

  1. Lightly grease a large baking sheet and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter, sugar and salt and vanilla.
  3. Add baking powder and continue mixing until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  4. Beat eggs and mix until combined.
  5. At low speed of your mixer, add the flour, stirring until dough is thick and mixed thoroughly.
  6. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet and divide it in half.
  7. Shape dough to form two 9 1/2″ x 2″ logs, about 3/4″ tall. Straighten the logs, and smooth their tops and sides.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes and remove it from the oven.
  9. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Meanwhile, allow biscotti to cool slightly and using a long serrated knife, cut the log crosswise into 1/2″ to 3/4″ slices. Or cut the biscotti on the diagonal, for fewer, longer biscotti. The biscotti should be soft and easy to cut into.
  10. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes, until they feel very dry and are beginning to turn golden.

The biscotti will have a light and crunchy feel to them, but they’ll continue to dry out as they cool.

Remove the biscotti from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool. Store airtight at room temperature; they’ll stay good for weeks.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 17th, 2016
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Categories: Featured Recipes Sweets