First off, a lot of you asked about my granola and yogurt recipes. I try to categorize my posts so that you can find things by looking through the categories list, but there is also a handy-dandy search box up in the right corner of my blog. I mostly use that when I’m looking for a particular post. So, give that a try if you want an answer right away.
And here’s how I make granola (no stirring required while baking!)
Now, onto some other questions!
Calimama from Compact By Design wrote in with two questions.
I was thrilled to make your buttermilk waffles this weekend, they were delicious. I was wondering though, what else do you use buttermilk for? I wouldn’t know what all to use it for before it went bad. I used powdered and although the taste was great the consistency was definitely looser than yours.
I don’t usually have a problem using up my buttermilk, as I have to make two or three times the waffle recipe to feed the six of us! There are a number of other things you can use it for, though. You can make buttermilk pancakes, whole wheat buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk biscuits, and also you can use it in the quick bread recipe I posted recently.
Buttermilk actually keeps surprisingly well…I’ve had some open for two weeks before and it was still fine. However, if you fear yours is going bad, you can freeze it. The thawed buttermilk will not be as thick as it was when it was fresh, though, so I’d probably use it in the quick bread recipe instead of in pancakes.
Powdered buttermilk is definitely tastier than the old vinegar/milk option, and it’s a good waste-free way to have buttermilk. However, around here, it’s a lot more expensive than regular buttermilk, so I almost always use fresh.
Also, for your pizza recipes I notice you use a peel and stone. Any recommendations or advice? I have a small gift card to Crate & Barrel so am mostly considering their products, in addition to maybe getting extremely lucky on craigslist or freecycle.
I actually have a cheapie pizza stone and peel from Bed Bath and Beyond. I think it was $15 for both the stone and the peel, but they work just as well as the more expensive Pampered Chef stone I used to have (I broke that one).
I would totally ask on freecycle…there’s probably someone out there who bought a stone and a peel with great intentions of making pizza, but who has never managed to get around to it.
I do highly recommend getting a pizza peel (the link has a picture of a more expensive one than I have), not just the stone.
If you own one a peel, you can heat the stone up in the oven first and then, using the pizza peel, you can slide the dough right onto the hot stone. This will give you a nicely browned bottom crust.
Kristin left a comment with this question:
This is probably a really silly question but how do you slice your sandwich bread so that it doesn’t get all crumby? I’ve tried making sandwich bread a number of times but slicing becomes a huge mess. Maybe there is something wrong with the bread itself?
The most important thing is to have a good bread knife. In order to slice the bread properly, you need a knife with at least a bit of a serrated edge, preferably with deep serrations. Something like this knife would work well; there are lots of options out there if you search for a bread knife!
Also, you should use a sawing motion instead of applying a lot of downward pressure, especially if your loaf of bread is really soft.
Lastly, it’s much easier to slice bread when it’s been allowed to cool. It’s awfully tasty hot from the oven, but fresh loaves tend to be so soft, it’s difficult to slice them without squishing them!
It’s possible that the texture of your bread is a problem, but that’s hard for me to say without seeing the loaf. If you send me a picture, I’d be glad to look at it and let you know what I think. And I’ll post my sandwich bread recipe as a Wednesday Baking feature at some point.