I'm continuing my goals of keeping the healthier eating style, going to the gym. DH has lost 35 and I've lost 30. And...I'd really like to get all caught up with my scrapping and kits organized. We shall see on the last one.
My son is setting up the wii fitness plus board for me. I've got to go enter the information on it . I've also got to start my wii Zumba again. I promise it's a sight to see when I do it.
I'm really loving my fitness pal. We go out to eat every weekend so I "budget" my calories so i can eat out without blowing the day.
OOooh! I need in on this thread! I've got a few goals for this year... main ones are losing weight (I have lost about 20 pounds in the last 4 months or so, but have a way to go) and getting more SCRAPPING done, as well as increasing my designing to have new releases more often! AND starting a new monthly challenge here at GS (Mystery Challenge, which is something I've been kicking around in the back of my head for over a year now!) AND trying to do more cooking healthy foods is an on-going one (which I had kind of slacked off on during the last year...) AND I am walking on my treadmill almost every day and recently starting a yoga and meditation practice - trying to figure out the best time of day to do that. Now that my daughter is in college, she is home a lot more during the day (compared to high-school), so I don't have as much "private time" as when she was at the high-school... Gosh, I have SOOo many goals and plans! It's almost overwhelming when I look at the whole list.... One step at a time, right?
Good for you, Michelle, on the 30 pounds weight-loss - that is fantastic!! And Rhoda Jayne, great idea with the Wii fitness! I love the Wii tennis game, but can't get anyone to play against me, so have to just play against the game. I used to LOVE tennis, but cannot do it anymore, but the Wii version is very do-able so I enjoy that!
I can't imagine having to cut gluten from my cooking, as I bake all of our buns for sandwiches (I make a dozen large buns at least twice a week, often 3 times) and I always add gluten - especially when I use whole-wheat in the buns! We like super-soft-and-fluffy buns, even if they are partly whole-wheat... I don't think the gluten causes any problems for any of us - knock on wood, eh?
I bought a huge can of Vital wheat gluten from honeyville farms so I could make seitan. At the time I had no idea that people were allergic to it~
OK - You can download my recipe here:
I had tried out at least 10 different recipes before finding this one (and then looked no further!) I have the ingredients written out for 3 different-sized batches. First column is the original recipe's size, middle column is what I usually make in my bread-machine (makes 12 large buns the way I do it - which I'll add more info on) and the 3rd column (slide the 2c. water over here!) is if I want to make an extra- large batch - but if I do that, I mix the dough in my KitchenAid (heavy-duty) mixer rather than in the bread-machine. I did make just one small change to the recipe - it originally called for regular active dry yeast, but I use a special kind of yeast that ALWAYS gives me great results - SAF Yeast, purchased in bulk on Amazon.
I buy the 4-pack because it's only about $4 more than a 1-pack, and the yeast keeps very well in the freezer, for up to 5 years, more if you keep it in it's vacuum-sealed package! Even when it's that old, it will probably work better than typical grocery-store yeast, and even better than "bread-machine" yeast. If you bake a lot, this is definitely the way to go. If you're not sure if you can use that much, try to get a friend or family-member to go in with you and split it, so you each get 2 packs. (Also, wait until you have something else you want from Amazon, so you get to $25 order - that way you get free shipping) Buying it this way is WAY cheaper (and better!) than the jars (and especially the little envelope/packets) you usually get at the grocery store! I bought my current 4-pack on Oct. 31st last year, and am just getting to the end of the first pack... and I make buns about 3 times per week, and sometimes bake extra loaves of bread as well - so it lasts a LONG time. ALso, SAF yeast is specially made in France, designed to activate almost instantly, so is ideal for bread-machines, but works in traditional mixers as well. No need to "proof" the yeast ahead of time - as long as you use warm water in your dough, it WILL work - every time!
Switching to this yeast is, I think, the single best thing I ever learned for making the best buns and breads possible. It really makes a HUGE difference! I've not had one single loaf flop since I started using this yeast! Although it states on Amazon that you don't need to adjust the size and use the same amount as other yeasts, the book I read about it in says that you should plan to use 2 tsp. per recipe, instead of the usual 2-1/2 tsp. that most recipes call for, and that envelope/packets of yeast come in.
Here's my process (a little different than the recipe states): Put all ingred. in the bread-maker pan, in order listed. (I usually substitute one cup of whole-wheat flour for a cup of the bread-flour, and add an extra tsp. of gluten when I do that) Select "dough" and start. Once the continuous knead has gone for a few minutes, check your dough and see if you need to add water or flour. As long as you don't pack the flour into your measuring cups, but spoon it in lightly, the recipe usually is pretty accurate, but sometimes I have to add 1 or 2 Tablespoons water. If you see dry flour that is not blending in well, add a Tbsp. of water (or 2) then check again in a couple minutes. As soon as the dough cycle ends, remove dough onto lightly oiled surface (helps if you oil your hands too) and knead it for a few more minutes. This makes a big difference!
Next, lightly oil a big bowl, and put your dough-ball in it, lightly oiled as well, and cover bowl with a light tea-towel (or smallish dish-towel). I put it in a slightly-warmed oven to rise - just turn the oven on @ 200 degrees, for about 15 seconds, then turn it off right away. This puts just enough warmth in there to keep your dough rising nicely, but not too fast. Let dough double in size - usually about 30 minutes if in oven, longer if not in oven.
Then, put a large baking-pan size (mine is 16" x 12" x 1" deep) piece of parchment paper on your counter, and turn the dough out onto that. Gently stretch and shape it into rectangular shape, and use rolling pin to roll out so it covers almost the entire paper. It might not get all the way in the corners, no big deal, those buns will just be a little smaller. Don't worry if the dough gets flattened out - we're going to let it rise again. Once you get it to the size of the paper (large cookie-sheet size), use a large pizza-cutter to cut into 12 pieces. (I cut in thirds across the 12" side of pan, and in fourths on the 16" side). Then just carefully drag the paper (with dough on it) onto your pan. Cover with cloth again, and let rise again, for a bit longer this time - until the buns are quite puffy and fill up the pan - about 45 min. to an hour (more if your oven isn't slightly warmed - I usually re-warm the oven for another 15 to 20 seconds before the 2nd rise.)
When you think it's nicely risen, take it out of oven (if you had it in the oven!) and pre-heat oven to 375, then turn down to 350 and put pan in oven (parchment paper stays on pan, under buns - works fantastic to prevent any sticking and makes easy clean-up!) Set timer for 12 min., then turn the pan around and bake for another 2 to 3 minutes or so - until your buns start to have a nice golden color on top. Probably not longer than 15 minutes total. (unless your oven runs slightly cooler than average). Let them cool a couple minutes in the pan, then pull them onto a cooling rack, using the parchment paper to slide them over - once they're on the rack, you can easily slide the paper out from under them - see? Parchment paper rocks! I usually save my paper and use it 2 or 3 times. Just shake off any crumbs, fold it over a couple times, and put on a shelf until next the batch. (Most people only use the parchment paper once - but it works just fine to re-use, and I'm terminally cheap, so I do!)
Put about 1 Tbsp. of butter in a small bowl and melt, use a pastry-brush to brush lightly onto the tops of the buns. (this allows them to keep a nice soft top, and only adds a tiny bit of butter to each bun) Let buns cool completely before storing in airtight bags.
Hopefully I covered everything. Let me know if I missed anything, or if you have questions. While this SOUNDS like it takes a lot of time, it really doesn't. It just takes a little time for the dough to rise is all - the work only takes a few minutes.
Jill do you use one of these for your buns? http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/...burger-bun-pan or look at this one!
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/classic-new-england-hotdog-bun-pan I love bread even though I'm dieting!
Nope, I just use a flat cookie-sheet - but that hot-dog bun pan looks awesome!
Maybe I should add that my buns come out square-shaped, and a little flatter than buns you buy- but still light-and-fluffy - but this is what we like, because we use them for sandwiches (or hamburgers). They turn out perfect for sandwiches with cheese slices - just the right size!