Semolina Bread Sassy Ginger Cookies Blueberry Pancake Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Raspberry Delight Thai Sweet Potato Bisque Chocolate Chip Cookies Snacking On Pecans

Tips For Baking Tasty Artisan Bread

(NAPSI)—Creating a loaf of aromatic artisan bread is indeed a work of art, but it only requires the mastery of some simple tools and techniques.

The tools include a baking stone, a kitchen thermometer, spray bottle, a wire rack and parchment paper.

As for technique, it’s important to remember that most artisan dough is very soft and wet—much wetter than traditional yeast dough. As a result, these are not kneaded in the traditional method. Instead, the “kneading” takes place with the stirring and turning of the dough, and the long resting times (during which the dough “microkneads” itself). Gently over time, the shaping process pulls the gluten strands in alignment around the loaf, giving it shape and a firm crust.

Semolina Bread

Makes 1 bâtard (oval loaf)
Prep time: 50 minutes
Poolish time: 8+ hours
Rest and rise time: 41/2 to 5 hours
Bake time: 20 to 30 minutes


  •  1 cup bread flour

  • ½ teaspoon Fleischmann’s® RapidRise Yeast

  • ¾ cup lukewarm (90° to 100°F) water

  • Dough:

  • ½ teaspoon Fleischmann’s® RapidRise Yeast

  • ¾ cup lukewarm (90° to 100°F) water


  •  2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1½ teaspoons salt

  •   2 cups semolina flour

  •  ¾ cup bread flour

  • ¼ cup sesame seeds, optional, for topping

To make the Poolish: Stir together flour and yeast in a medium bowl. Stir in water until blended. This dough will be like thick cake batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight or up to 24 hours. The dough will become frothy and have lots of little bubbles.

To make the Dough: Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water in a large bowl. Stir in Poolish, olive oil and salt until thoroughly blended. Add semolina flour and ½ cup of the bread flour. Stir until combined. Dough will be soft and slightly sticky like biscuit dough. Add remaining ¼ cup bread flour, if necessary. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

Turning Dough: Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Place in a large bowl. Cover and let rest 1 hour. With a slightly wet hand, gently give the dough several turns by sliding the hand down the edge of the bowl, lifting and stretching the dough up and over the center. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat 7 times until you have gone around the bowl twice. Cover and let rest 1 hour. Repeat turning and resting 2 more times for a total of 3 hours rising time.

Shaping: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With floured hands, gently press to deflate dough. Working with dough on a lightly floured surface with floured hands, pull an edge of the dough from the outside to the center, gently stretching the side of the dough to the center. Give the dough a sixth of a clockwise turn and repeat going around the dough 2 or 3 times, shaping it into a rough ball. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. For final shaping, working with the seam side up, slightly flatten the dough. Repeat the edge-pulling shaping as above, going around the ball 1 time. Now fold the far edge toward the center about 1 inch, pressing into the dough under the edge. Repeat folding and pressing several times until almost to near edge. Fold up near edge and pinch to seal. Turn the loaf over and gently roll with hands to an oval about 8 inches long (never use a rolling pin).

For best baking results, place a baking stone, pizza stone or unglazed ceramic tile on bottom shelf of oven. Preheat oven to 475°F for 20 minutes to allow stone to get to temperature. Place loaf seam side down on parchment paper. If desired, brush flour off top, lightly brush with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Score loaf with 2 to 4 slashes using a sharp knife or blade. Slide the dough with parchment onto bread peel or rimless baking sheet. Carefully slide onto heated baking stone, immediately spritzing the oven with water around the dough 7 to 10 times. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, spritzing every 5 minutes 3 more times. Bake to an internal temperature of 200°F. Remove from oven and parchment; cool on wire rack.

For more artisan bread techniques and recipes, visit the Artisan Bread Box on or

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Sassy Ginger Cookies Are Full Of Sweet, Chewy Figs

(NAPSI)—Ginger molasses cookies bring a wonderful taste of tradition to holiday baking. Now you can take ginger cookies to delicious new heights with nuggets of sweet, chewy figs nestled into every bite.

Traditionally, ginger cookies are crisp and “snap” when eaten, thus the name “gingersnaps.” To please the chewy-cookie lovers out there, these ginger cookies deliver the ultimate combination of light, crispy outside and moist, chewy inside.

Whether you go for golden, slightly nutty-flavored Calimyrna Figs or dark purple, sweet Mission Figs—or even a combination—this Chewy Ginger Molasses Fig Cookie can become a holiday tradition and a much-requested treat.

Chewy Ginger Molasses Fig Cookies


  •   ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar

  •   ½ cup vegetable oil

  •    1 large egg white

  •    3 tablespoons light molasses

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger

  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda

  •   ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  •   ⅛ teaspoon salt

  •    1 cup stemmed, finely chopped Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or            

  •       Sun-Maid Figs

  •   ⅓ cup granulated sugar


Beat brown sugar and oil in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Beat in egg white and molasses. In separate bowl, combine flour, ginger, soda, cinnamon and salt. On low speed, slowly beat in flour mixture until combined. With spoon, stir in figs. Shape 1-tablespoon portions of dough into balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Place 2½ inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Place sheet in center of oven and bake at 350° F for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are cracked on top and set around edges. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 30 cookies.

Free Recipes

One great place to get your figs throughout the year is Valley Fig Growers’ online store at The site has a wealth of kitchen-tested recipes

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Blueberry Pancake: Simply Sweet and Easy

(NAPSI)—For a quick twist on blueberry flapjacks, why not try a Blueberry-Filled Dutch Pancake? This family-sized pancake is quick and easy to mix in the blender, and bakes in the oven.

The Dutch pancake puffs as it bakes and quickly settles down as it cools to be filled with big luscious blueberries that are gently poached in syrup.

Fresh and frozen blueberries are a great way to start the day. Not only do blueberries add fun to breakfast, a whole cup has just 80 calories and provides fiber, vitamin C, manganese and substances that have antioxidant properties.

Go to and you’ll find loads of recipes and ideas for adding blueberries to breakfast and much more.

Blueberry-Filled Dutch Pancake


  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened

  • 6 large eggs

  •  1 cup low-fat milk

  • ⅔ cup flour

  • ⅓ cup sugar

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  •  1 cup blueberries

  • ¼ cup light corn syrup or pure maple syrup


Preheat oven to 425º F. In a 13 x 9-inch pan, evenly spread butter over bottom and sides. In a blender, blend eggs, milk, flour, sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth. Pour batter into baking dish; bake until pancake is golden brown and puffy, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, heat blueberries and corn syrup just until the first blueberry pops, about 2 minutes; remove from heat. Remove pancake from oven; pour blueberry syrup into center of the pancake; cut into 6 pieces. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 portions

Per portion: 270 calories, 37 g carbohydrate, 10 g total fat

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Bringing A New Twist To The Holiday Table

(NAPSI)—Americans have long celebrated the holiday season with the classic favorite, homemade pumpkin pie. This year, treat family and guests to a delicious new twist on the pumpkin pie standard. Topped with whipped cream and warm Biscoff sauce, this unique recipe elevates the beloved tradition to a new level of indulgence.

Biscoff Pumpkin Pie

Pastry for a 10-inch deep-dish pie shell or 1 refrigerated rolled pastry


  • ½ cup Biscoff Spread

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 (15 oz.) can solid pack pumpkin

  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

  • Whipped Cream with Biscoff Spread sauce*


Heat oven to 425º F. Line a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate or quiche dish with pastry; flute edges. Whisk together Biscoff Spread, sugar and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients; whisk well and pour into dish.

Bake 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350º F. Continue to bake 35 to 40 more minutes or until center is set. Cool on wire rack at least 2 hours before serving at room temperature or chilled with desired topping. Makes 8 servings.

Whipped Cream with Biscoff Spread sauce: In a medium bowl, whip ½ cup whipping cream with a hand mixer until soft peaks form; add sugar to desired taste and whip until stiff peaks form. Heat 1½ cups of Biscoff Spread in microwave for 45 seconds or until melted. Top each slice of pie with whipped cream and drizzle with warm sauce.

Biscoff Spread was created using Biscoff Cookies (those little caramelized crisps you've likely had on a Delta Air Lines flight) and has the same lightly sweet taste, but with a smooth, creamy texture. It is low in sugar, contains 88 calories per serving and is an all-natural, nut-free alternative to peanut butter. For additional Biscoff Spread recipes, including festive Chocolate Truffles, Tiramisu and more, visit

*Biscoff Spread is available in 14-ounce (400 gram) jars at or through retailers nationwide.

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Keeping Your “Cool” In The Kitchen

(NAPSI)—To make it a little easier on yourself this holiday season, as you prepare for holiday events and family gatherings (and even unexpected guests), you can chill out in the frozen and refrigerated food aisles of the grocery store.

New product introductions and innovations have made the frozen and refrigerated aisles not only convenient but essential for finding time-saving meal solutions with taste and quality. Shop early and stock your refrigerator and freezer with your favorite foods for spur-of-the-moment parties and overnight guests.

To help, the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) offers these suggestions for the upcoming holiday season:

  • Delicious breakfast ideas: waffles, pancakes, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, fruits and yogurts can make holiday mornings much more fun.

  • Try these easy snacks and appetizer ideas: cheeses, dips, egg rolls, shrimp, pizza, wings and meatballs. Serve on attractive platters and let the party begin.

  • Great side-dish ideas: ready- to-heat-and-eat vegetables, potatoes and breads. They can mean less work in the kitchen and more time with the family.

  • Scrumptious dessert ideas: frozen pies, cakes and ice cream. Make them your own by adding special favorite toppings, such as flavored syrups, fruit and whipped cream.

For example, here is an easy, elegant dessert you can definitely claim as your own:

Chocolate Raspberry Delight

  • 1 frozen, three-layer chocolate cake, thawed

  • Chocolate syrup

  • Raspberry syrup

  • Frozen raspberries, thawed

Drizzle both syrups on dessert plates for presentation. Place individual pieces of cake on plates, drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with raspberries. Serves 6−8.

For more delicious recipes, tips and important information on frozen and refrigerated foods, visit and “like” NFRA on Facebook at

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Seek Comfort in Hearty and Healthy Recipes

(NAPSI)—This winter, eat heartily to pacify comfort food cravings and healthfully to fuel the body without undesirable calories.

“People crave comfort in the winter, but unfortunately, they often find it in unhealthy foods,” says Keri Glassman, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., nationally recognized nutrition expert and author. “By choosing the right ingredients and having inspirational recipes on hand, you can use food to comfort both your mind and body.”

To help, she created the “Hearty and Healthy Winter Recipe Collection” with nutrient-rich ingredients shown to help prevent chronic diseases when part of a healthy lifestyle.

An ingredient common to all of her recipes is canola oil. It delivers on heart health because it has the least saturated fat and most omega-3 fat of all cooking oils, plus it’s free of trans fat and cholesterol. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim for canola oil on its potential to reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated fat. It’s also a good source of vitamins E and K and very versatile with a light texture, neutral flavor and high heat tolerance.

This soup from Glassman’s collection combines beta-carotene− packed sweet potatoes and carrots with traditional Thai flavors for an entrée or meal starter.

Thai Sweet Potato Bisque


  • 1 Tbsp canola oil

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion

  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

  • 1 to 1½ inches fresh ginger root, finely chopped

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 1 small chile pepper or jalapeño, chopped

  • 4 cups reduced-fat, reduced-sodium vegetable stock

  • ½ cup light coconut milk

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

  • ½ tsp curry powder

  • ¼ tsp ground red pepper

  • 14 oz extra firm tofu, cubed

  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped


In large stockpot, heat canola oil over high heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and sauté 2−3 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, carrots, chile pepper and vegetable stock and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are tender (35−40 minutes), stirring occasionally. Allow to cool slightly. Transfer to blender in batches, and purée until smooth. Return to stockpot and add coconut milk, lime juice, curry powder and red pepper; blend well. Add tofu and cook another 10 minutes over medium heat, gently stirring once or twice. Garnish with cilantro and serve with Parmesan Whole-Wheat Crostini, if desired.

Yield: 10 1-cup servings.

The crostini recipe as well as Glassman’s entire collection is

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Better-For-You Baking With Whole Grain Nutrition

(NAPSI)—According to the USDA dietary guidelines, Americans should make at least half of their grains whole grains. Making it easier to follow these guidelines are two new products that let you add whole wheat nutrition to your diet without sacrificing flavor, texture or color.

Ultragrain® All-Purpose Flour with Whole Grain tastes and bakes like refined white flour, but is the only all-purpose flour blended with 30 percent Ultragrain whole wheat, giving it 9 grams of whole grain per serving and twice the fiber of other all-purpose flours.

Ultragrain® 100% White Whole Wheat Flour has 100 percent whole grain nutrition with the taste, texture and appearance of refined flour, but with 30 grams of whole grain per serving and four and a half times the fiber of refined flour. They both provide more dietary fiber and protein with fewer calories and carbohydrates than refined wheat flour.

Try this delicious whole grain cookie recipe or use a whole wheat flour in one of your family’s favorites.

Grandma’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hands on: 25 minutes 
Makes: 24 servings (1 cookie each)


  • 1½ cups Ultragrain All-Purpose Flour with Whole Grain

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ⅔ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • ⅔ cup firmly packed brown sugar

  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1¼ cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels


Preheat oven to 375° F. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl; set aside. Cream butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 1 to 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beating until well blended. Gradually add flour mixture beating on low speed after each addition. Stir in chocolate morsels. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets, 1? inches apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm or remove to wire rack and cool completely.

Baking Tips

  • An easy way to add more whole grain nutrition to your favorite recipes is to substitute the same amount of a whole wheat blend of all-purpose flour for standard all-purpose flour. Your baked goods will still be delicious yet more nutritious and your family won’t notice the difference.

  • For more whole grain goodness, simply mix ? cup of a 100% White Whole Wheat Flour with ? cup traditional white flour for every cup of flour called for in your recipes. Gradually replace more white flour with whole wheat flour until your recipe has the consistency and flavor that you prefer.

More Recipes

Learn more and get great recipes at Share your Ultragrain recipes at

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Think Outside The Pie

(NAPSI)—Although medical research suggests eating pecans in moderation may reduce the risk of heart disease, 54 percent of Americans are unaware of how good those nuts can be, according to a new survey.

Most eat pecans in baked goods but health experts suggest you snack on pecans as well. They fit the USDA Dietary Guidelines of eating a variety of protein foods, including lean meat, eggs, beans and nuts, such as pecans.

You can substitute pecans for many ordinary snack foods, explained Beth Hubrich, a registered dietitian. “Pecans are a power food that help you feel full for a longer period of time. Their tender texture and rich, buttery flavor make pecans an ideal snack choice.”

Here are a few snacking suggestions from the National Pecan Shellers Association:

  • Instead of salty snacks, try a handful of pecan halves. Pecans are naturally sodium-free.

  • Sprinkle pecans on yogurt, cereal or a salad for more zinc—an important nutrient for proper growth and immunity.

For recipes and more, visit

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