Other Visitor Questions

Danny, 
The filled bread that I make most often are bierrocks, a Russian/German meat-filled bread dough. I prepare a basic yeast dough recipe made with yeast, water, sugar, salt, all-purpose flour (may be part whole wheat) and shortening. White or whole wheat frozen dough is an option too. I find the most important step is to thoroughly drain the cooked vegetables (cabbage, onions) so the bread does not become soggy. Also, bake within 30 minutes after adding the filling to prevent a doughy layer. Bierrocks can be made ahead of time, cooled, packaged and frozen then re-warmed. Or, cool the bierrocks and placed them in the refrigerator until serving time. Warm in oven or microwave and they never seem to be soggy if you drain the filling thoroughly. 
Hope this helps you with your stuffed bread item on your menu. 

Cindy Falk, Home Economist 
Nutrition Educator 

That is correct. You don't have to shape and bake the dough in a vegetable or coffee can. However, I do have some favorite yeast and quick bread recipes that I prefer baking in a vegetable or coffee can. For example, I bake Italian Panettone in a well-greased 3-pound coffee can for its typical round shape. Depending on how much dough your recipe makes will depend on the size of loaf pan you will need. 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½ -inch or 9 x 5 x 3-inch are the standard sizes most home bakers have in their cupboards. Just remember pan size can affect baking times. Your homemade bread will taste wonderful at any rate.

Baked breads crack and tear resulting in an uneven break and shred. In pan breads the break and shred refers to the crust separation between the sides of the loaf and the top crust of the bread. Quality bread has an even break and shred. Uneven break and shred may be due to such factors as: 

1. Lack of steam in the oven before loading the bread 
2. Extremely hot oven temperature 
3. Uneven molding which leaves open dough seams 
4. Lack of proof, dough that is too young or old 
5. Pans that are not greased or properly prepared causing the dough to stick to the sides 

In the case of hearth-type breads, the most common causes of uneven shred are lack of proof, improper or uneven cuts made on the surface of the dough, and insufficient steam in the oven at the time of loading the dough units into the oven.

Today’s wheat has the same genetic components as its ancient ancestors that were consumed by humans more than 8,000 years ago. While some modern wheat plants are shorter than their ancestors, wheat’s genetic makeup remains the same. Shorter plants are generally preferred because they utilize nutrients and water more efficiently to produce grain. 

People don’t get celiac disease simply because they eat wheat. There are a number of theories to explain the increased rates of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Researchers are learning more each day but the fact remains that you must have a specific gene to develop celiac disease.

I am sharing with you a recipe from Wheat Foods Council, of which Kansas Wheat is a member. We hope you will enjoy baking the recipe. Wheat flour is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, the body’s best source of energy. Raisins are a powerhouse of antioxidants. 

Prep Time: 20 minutes 
Bake Time: 30 minutes 
Cool Time: 20 minutes 

Honey Raisin Bars 
½ cup butter, softened 
½ cup sugar 
½ cup honey 
2 eggs 
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour 
2 ½ cups ground flax seed 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
¾ teaspoon salt 
2 cups raisins 
1 tablespoon sugar 

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan (jelly roll pan) with nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar together with wooden spoon or electric mixer until light and fluffy. Bet in honey, eggs and vanilla until smooth. 

2. In medium bowl, combine flour, ground flax seed, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture; mix until well blended. Stir in raisins; mix well. Press dough into bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle sugar over top of dough. 

3. Bake for 30 minutes or until bars are caramel brown on top and wooden pick inserted into center come out clean. Cool; cut into bars. Store tightly covered. 

Yields: 4 dozen bars 
Serving size: 1 bar 

Nutrition analysis: One serving provides approximately: 102 calories, 2 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 14 mg cholesterol, 1 mg iron, 82 mg sodium

You may need to make some adjustments with your home ground flour. I prefer whole wheat dough to be on the sticky side because the bran will absorb some of the moisture as it rises. The best way to tell if the loaf is fully baked is to insert a thermometer in the center of the loaf; the internal temperature should reach 200°F - 210°F.

If the loaves seem heavy, you may have added too much flour in the mixing or kneading process. I always like to add about a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten per loaf when using 100% whole wheat flour in a yeast bread recipe.

I feel the main challenge in the baking industry is the gluten-free trend and elimination of wheat foods from daily intake. Science doesn't support going gluten-free just for weight loss. Health experts agree that the best way to lose weight, and keep it off, is to limit calories, while eating a diet that includes all food groups, and increasing exercise. Cutting out bread, commercial or homemade, is not sustainable long-term. A successful diet must be a sustainable diet — something you can follow for the long-term.

It is a big stretch to blame wheat and bread for the obesity epidemic in this country. Wheat has been a staple of the human diet for thousands of years. Wheat grain is an important source of starch and protein, both of which provide energy for the human body. Wheat also provides dietary fiber, resistant starch and antioxidants and other phytochemicals.

The human diet is complex and varied. Blaming one food for an epidemic is a gross oversimplification. Unless you have celiac disease, why would you want to swear off bread, pasta and other wheat-based foods?

Everyone has their favorite bread now days with such a huge variety in the supermarket and retail bake shops. However, if you have the time any homemade yeast bread would be great for a durable, stable, and delicious PB&J. 

My favorite PB&J sandwich would be made with a hearty, homemade bread. The recipe for the bread could be made with all-purpose or bread flour, whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, cracked wheat or a combination of whole grains.. The bread could be made using a bowl and spoon, KitchenAid Mixer, food processor, or bread machine. Homemade bread would add special satisfaction and variety to a PB&J sandwich!

We do still host the National Festival of Breads. It is held every other year and the next one will be held in 2015 so keep checking back for more information! 

Bake and Take month is celebrated in March where people have the opportunity to share home-baked goods with friends and family and then can enter to win our contest! We just finished up Bake and Take Month and will be posting our winner as soon as we finish collecting entries. I'm sorry that you missed it this year but we hope you will still bake things for friends and family and share the goodness of home baking and we would love to have you participate next year.

Hi, Many of the restaurants and sandwich shops are serving Focaccia—a savory Italian flat bread. I'm sorry, I don't know where you could purchase it but I suggest you make your own! 

This is a favorite recipe that we first printed in our 1993 Kansas Wheat Commission Recipe Booklet. 

Basic Focaccia 
½ cup warm water (90⁰F) 
1 tablespoon active dry or quick rise yeast 
1 teaspoon sugar 
4-4 ½ cups all-purpose or bread flour 
2 teaspoons salt 
1 cup warm water (90⁰F) 
¼ cup olive oil 
Dough seasonings or toppings as desired 

1. Combine ½ cup water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Let stand 10 minutes. 

2. In large bowl, combine yeast mixture, 3 cups flour, salt, 1 cup water and olive oil. Mix by hand or with a dough hook until the dough forms into a rough ball. 

3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, using additional flour to knead. If using the mixer with a dough hook, add all but the last half cup flour and add only if needed. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. 

4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise 1 to 1 ½ hours. Punch down and divide into two or three portions. Cover and let rest 5 to 15 minutes. 

5. To shape, flatten to desired thickness in rectangles (9” x 13”) or rounds (8” or 9” pie plates are ideal). Place on oiled baking pans; cover and let rise 30 minutes. 

6. Dimple the dough vigorously with the finger tips. Cover again and let double in size (30 minutes to 1 hour). 

7. Brush surface with olive oil and sprinkle with selected toppings: fresh or dried herbs, such as sage, oregano, rosemary and green onions. Bake on the lowest rack of a preheated 450⁰F oven for about 15 minutes, or until bottom is well browned. 

Makes 24 servings. 

Nutrient analysis. One serving provides: 107 calories, 3 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, 2 g fat, 0 cholesterol, 4 mg calcium, 31 mg potassium and 179 mg sodium.

Thank you so much for your question about Bake and Take Month! Yes, there will be a prize handed out this year. When participants share their story of Bake and Take Month they will be entered to win a "book bundle" including the Home Baking Association's popular "Baking with Friends," the Kansas Wheat Commission's "Kansas Gold," and a $100 King Arthur Flour gift card. 

We will be sending a press release out tomorrow with more details about Bake and Take Month. I will make sure that when we send it out tomorrow morning it goes to the email you included for this question. 

Thank you so much for your interest in Bake and Take Month and we hope to see your 4Her's entry!

Vital wheat gluten is the dried insoluble gluten protein of wheat flour from which the starch and soluble components have been removed by a washing process and which, upon drying, has been reduced to a free-flowing, cream-colored powder. Vital wheat gluten normally contains 70 to 80% active gluten. General use levels of vital wheat gluten: Hard rolls, French and Italian-type breads 2-3% (% Flour basis); dark breads, including rye 1 – 3%; Raisin and related heavy breads 2-3%. The dry vital wheat gluten is usually added with other dry ingredients, prior to water addition. 

You will need to experiment starting with around 6% addition of vital wheat gluten to increase the protein content of the flour and get your desired results. 

Another suggestion is to experiment with 100 percent gluten flour. (Gluten flour is made from white flour that has had the starch removed in order to concentrate the gluten from fifty to seventy-five percent, depending on the brand of gluten flour.) The flour is more expensive than regular flour and absorbs and holds more water or other liquid than does regular flour. A high-gluten white flour will require more mix time than a white flour with a lower gluten content, because it takes longer to develop the gluten in high-gluten flour. Also, the dough will stiffen even after it is mixed and as it rises. 

I will be interested in hearing back from you about your successful trials to increase the protein levels in your homemade bread.

Proof in bread baking indicates the period of time a product is allowed to rise after it is shaped and placed on or in pans and set out at room temperature. 

Products are usually proofed until doubled in size, so 3/4 proof means that it has not quite reached the doubled in size status. 

Products are "proofed" in a humid, draft-free, 95 to 100 degree F. place. 

Some ovens, like my new home oven, have a proofing feature that is very helpful with this bread making step.

Yes, make the dough using cooler water (80 degrees.) After kneading the dough place it in a lightly greased sealable bowl or food-grade plastic bag and refrigerate. The next day, remove dough from refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature; roll dough out into pizza crusts. Top pizza with favorite ingredients, bake and enjoy!

Yes, you may enter the same whole grain dough recipe. Rolls can be shaped and entered in the roll category. The whole grain dough recipe can also be entered in the whole grain category made in a different shape, such as a braid, traditional loaf or creative shape.

Thanks for your question. 

Lean is a french bread, or low- to no-fat recipe, like a French Roll. Sweet would be a higher sugar, higher fat recipe, such as a cinnamon roll. 

Also, judging will be done shortly after removal from the oven. 

Best of luck!

Thanks for the question! Yes, a pre-ferment or starter could be made the night before and is allowable in the recipe and falls within the rules!

I have not experimented with freezing this yeast dough recipe. You may want to experiment freezing the unbaked yeast rolls. After removing the roll dough from the freezer, allow sufficient time for the rolls to double in size. This was my grandma's recipe and she never froze the dough but we can always update recipes for convenience. Good luck with your experiment!