Being brave in the kitchen

_DSC0798Wheat is quickly becoming the staple of my family’s diet and my experimenting in the kitchen is giving us more and more ways to enjoy this plant that is grown in abundance in our home state of Kansas.

We eat only whole wheat, of course, and I’m hoping that my tinkering in the kitchen will eventually get me to the point that anything with wheat in it that we eat is something that I made.

Today I got a step closer to perfecting my bread recipe. Whole wheat bread is very heavy and I’ve been trying to lighten it up and get the yeast to rise it more. Today I seemed to do both those things and we’ll know for sure tomorrow when we have our toast. I think the secret was oat flour added to the mix and I’ve been using my high-powered blender to turn rolled oats into a fresh flour that has added fluff to the things I put it in.

I hope that in the very near future my home-baked breads can replace the store-bought stuff. It may take extra time, but I think it’s well worth it to make sure my family is getting 100% whole grains and not much else. A five dollar bag of flour goes a long way at home and can certainly reduce costs for us since one loaf of whole wheat bread can cost about that much.

Along with bread, I’ve made my own crackers, biscuits, buns, pizza crusts, turnovers, pasta, pita bread and naan out of wheat. I’ll put_DSC0799 biscuit and bun recipes on here soon. My one-year-old son loves the things and gets very excited when I carry one over to his high chair and start breaking it up into pieces for him. They’re very simple little things, mostly just flour and almond milk but they make great sides or a healthy snack with peanut butter and jelly.

I added a few cookbooks to my collection over the holidays and I want to use them to broaden what we eat. With my stubbornness about following directions in the kitchen (and probably everywhere else according to my wife…), I usually follow recipes just once and then from there, I go out on my own and figure my own variations.

Are you brave in the kitchen? Are recipes just a starting point for you or do you strictly stick to them? Do you find joy and pride in making your own food that will eliminate your need to buy it at the store?

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