Reasons You Must Think About When Buying a Panasonic Bread Maker

If you are one who loves home-made bread, you have probably considered investing in a bread maker. There are so many makes and models on the market today that the choice in purchasing would not be an easy one. In fact, it does not stop there. You still have all of the functions and features to consider based on whether they meet your needs and cooking habits. To make the decision easier in purchasing a bread maker, we will diagnose a couple of facts.

Panasonic is a recommended brand to consider when deciding on a bread machine. First of all, Panasonic has apparently produced a dependable bread machine which happens to be one of the best. Sometimes, big brand names do correlate with the quality of a product. A second reason to purchase a Panasonic is that Panasonic has a good reputation on many of their products, and I do not think that they would make one that would give them a bad name. A third reason to select a Panasonic machine is that their appliance is very user friendly and has a lot of helpful features to enable you to produce quality home baked bread. Panasonic has two bread makers that come highly recommended.

The Panasonic SD-YD250 is an automatic bread machine with a yeast dispenser that automatically dispenses yeast at the right time for the perfect bread. Its unique compact design allows it to fit right on your countertop. Its non-stick inner pan has a built in handle to conveniently allow lifting from the unit. The Panasonic SD-YD250 has an easy to read LCD display. You can select up to 6 bread or dough options. There are 5 baking methods on this bread machine. Its preset timer even allows you to set the timer before going to bed so that your bread is done when you wake up. The Panasonic SD-YD250 allows you to choose the loaf size and set the crust control.

Panasonic makes another bread maker, the SD-RD250, which is also slim and compact in its design. This particular bread machine has a raisin and nuts dispenser that automatically dispenses at the optimum time. It has a pasta mode on it also. The SD-RD250 has a bread pan that is scratch resistant with a diamond-fluorine coat so that bread does not stick. The pan is built togher than some of the others so that it lasts long and is very durable. The LCD display is large and easy to see and has a 13 hours timer so that you may make your bread at night and wake to the fresh aroma in the morning. The inner pan is non-stick and comes with a handle built-in for easy lifting. Bread is able to easily slide from the pan. There are 7 baking modes on the Panasonic SD-RD250, and you can select from 2 loof sizes as well as crust color.

Source by Richard McIntyre

Easy Basic Thin Crust Pizza Dough and a Few Yeast Bread Facts

I wanted to share this great basic thin crust pizza dough recipe with you. It is a great basic cooking skill to have in your repertoire because it is so versatile. It is a simple yeast dough and it is easy to make because it does not involve the rising and proofing that most other yeast breads require.

Just mix it up and roll it out and bake. It is lovely and light but also very satisfying. It can also be frozen successfully so you can make a batch or two ahead and then just thaw over night in the fridge when you need it.

I prefer a thin crust pizza like the recipe below because it is less filling and the tasty toppings can take center stage.

This makes two very thin 12 inch pizza bases or one thicker 12 inch base. I like the very thin option and will freeze half the dough for later.

The Ingredients

1 pack active dry yeast
1/4 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup hot (not boiling) water
2- 2 1/2 cups strong white (bread) flour
1 generous pinch course sea salt

The Tools

Nothing out of the ordinary. You hands and a rolling pin are quite important. If you have a proper pizza pan or stone then YAY! But a regular baking sheet will do.

The Method

  1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in water; allow to rest for about 10 minutes. It should be frothy.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine 1 3/4 cups of the flour and salt
  3. If you are going to be making up the pizza right away now it the time to turn on your oven to its highest setting to pre-heat
  4. Pour yeast mixture over flour mixture and mix well
  5. Add flour until it becomes easy to handle and turn out on to a floured work surface
  6. Knead for about 2 minutes (set your timer!) Adding enough flour as you go so that the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
  7. For the two base version divide the dough in half and roll into balls
  8. Let the dough rest for a couple minutes but no more that or or it will start to rise which you do not really want
  9. Take one ball and flour your work surface again and roll out into a circle
  10. The dough is quite resilient so it will take some stretching to get it to 11-12 inches and stay there. It will be about half a centimetre thick (sorry I just can not think in inches when that is about 1/8 inch?)
  11. Place the base on your ungreased sheet and slather with what ever toppings you choose
  12. Bake in a very hot oven until the toppings are bubbling and the edges are golden brown
  13. Remove, slice, and eat immediately!


This pizza base recipe is great because it is strong enough to really load up but tasty enough to almost stand on its own.

You can go for the traditional tomato sauce and mozzarella or if you want to try something a bit different go naked. That is forgo the tomato sauce and brush with pesto and top that with a little bit of basil or rocket, Gorgonzola and prosciutto.

Other interesting toppings to try are caramelized onion, olive oil and zathar, anchovies, sun dried tomatoes, cooked baby shrimp, roast garlic, and just about any cheese you can name.

You are not limited to the 12 inch crust here either. Roll out smaller portions for delicious little cocktail pizzas.

There is also the option of baking the crust, letting it cool and topping it with cold toppings. For your mini cocktail pizzas picture cream cheese and caviar or smoked salmon!

This dough freezes very well. Wrap it up in a freezer bag allowing a little room for expansion and the dough will rise a bit before it freezes. When you need it let it thaw in the fridge and give it a bit of a knead before rolling out.

The Science

For the geekier among my readers I thought I would include some domestic science facts about yeast spreads that may encourage you to experiment with coming up with your own yeast dough. There are a few things, if you know them, that will help you make better decisions in formulating your yeast recipes.

Yeast spreads use carbon dioxide to rise and this carbon dioxide is produced by the yeast. Yeast is a living thing and like all living things it needs to warmth, food, and water into order to survive. If it does not have enough to eat or if it gets too cold or too hot it will die.

All bread dough recipes will have some sort of sugar in them. Even if it is just a pinch. It could be regular white sugar or brown or even honey. In the end it is all sugar of some kind. The yeast consumes the sugar and water and excretes carbon dioxide.

To put it bluntly: yeast farts make your bread rise.

If the yeast is dead your dough will not rise. This is why it is important to mix the yeast and sugar before adding the flour. If the sugar / water mix goes frothy then you know the yeast is working.

Flour contains a protein called gluten and the more it is worked the stretchier it becomes. The stretchier your gluten the easier it is for the gas made by the yeast to push the dough up. You make your gluten stretchy by kneading it. Kneading also takes the gas out of your bread dough. Yes this is confusing until you look at the process of making different kinds of spreads.

Dough is allowed to rise twice in most cases. You mix the dough and knead it to start activating the gluten and then let it rest to rise. After rising you knead it again, shape it, and then let it rise a second time before baking.

In the context of the thin crust pizza it makes sense. You only knead for about two minutes so the gluten does not get worked much and that makes it more difficult for the dough to rise. This is what keeps keep it thin. You also bake it immediately after mixing and kneading. It does not get a chance to rise much before you kill off the gas producing yeast in a very hot oven.

Source by Clarissa Hancock

Wheat Free Pumpkin Walnut Bread

I modified a typical zucchini bread recipe and then mixed everything, once again, in my blender. I had to help my blender along a little bit with a spoon, but I was still able to get everything mixed good (and I have a really cheap blender!). I also used a food processor to turn my whole oats into an oat flour so that I did not have to use wheat flour.

What you need:

1 cup of egg whites
1 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 cups of canned pumpkin
2 cups of whole oats ground into flour (in food processor)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease two 4×8-inch loaf pans. Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla in blender until foamy. Add pumpkin to egg mixture and blend until mixed. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl first and then gradually add them to the blender. This is where you may need to help your blender along in order to get it all mixed good (but do not stick your spoon in to far or you will hit your blades and dull them). Once everything is mixed well, add your walnuts and mix on your blenders lowest setting or you will turn your walnuts into mush. Split batter between your two greased pans and bake for 1 hour or until done. These will be very moist, heavy loaves because of the egg whites and a tooth pick inserted may not come out clean even when the loaves are done baking. This is a great alternative to regular bread if you have a wheat sensitivity. You can easily substitute 2 cups of zucchini or 2 cups of mashed bananas to make your favorite bread without the oil and wheat. This is a very healthy recipe. Enjoy!

Source by R Snyder

Food and Drink Books

The decision to learn how to cook and plan meals & menus can be an intimidating one. There are so many dishes and there is just so much to know. Plus, Food Writers make it seem so difficult. The important thing is to not feel overwhelmed. Focus on one category of cooking at a time. You can master specific dishes and build your confidence. At the beginning of your cooking studies, you will have many questions about food, cooking, and health in general. You can consult old cookbooks, Bestsellers, family, friends, and course, the internet resources available to you.

o Is flavor more important than health concerns?
o Should organic foods be purchased, even if they cost more?
o What foods will please an entire family?
o Do I need to take a class or can I learn by trial and error?
o Is there a career for me in the culinary arts?
o How can Fish & Seafood be prepared safely?

The Basics of Cooking: Knowledge and Cooking Equipment

Before you even begin learning how to cook, you will have to make sure your kitchen is properly outfitted. Once you have the basic cooking equipment you can start collecting cookbooks that will increase your cooking knowledge. Occasionally you will want to amass a large collection of Reference & Gastronomy cookbooks and Restaurant Cookbooks. Food & Travel Writing books are great reads. There are even cookbooks available that focus on a specific piece of kitchen equipment. When you purchase a cookbook that specific, like Slow Cooker (Pyramid Paperbacks) by Sara Lewis, you can be sure to make the most out of your kitchen device. A piece of kitchen equipment that sits unused in the back of the cupboard is just a waste of space.

o What are the basic kitchen tools needed to make most meals?
o If one is just starting out and trying to save money, what tools can he hold off on purchasing?
o Are fancy blenders and mixers really necessary?

Baking Delicious Treats

Few things are more delicious than a loaf of fresh bread stuffed out of the oven. The smell of freshly-baked bread will bring your entourage family into the kitchen, their mouths watering. Bread-making is not hard. There is some work involved, surely, but if you follow the instructions and tips carefully you can certainly do it. When you master a few basic cooking skills, there will be no stopping you in the kitchen. You will, of course, need a basic manual to help you. Bake by Rachel Allen is an excellent text that can help you master some baking skills. Rachel Allen has some excellent cupcake recipes, especially. Baking is an almost entirely separate science from cooking and will raise its own questions.

o How do baking and cooking differ?
o Can I make substitutions in a recipe?
o Why do I need to mix wet and dry ingredients separately?
o What is the difference between cake flour, all purpose flour, and bread flour?

Baking can be a challenge but the trips you will learn to bake are worth the effort.

Barbecue: The Perfect Foods for Entertaining & Special Occasions

If you love to entertain, you should make master barbecue recipes a high priority. Everyone loves a backyard party in the summer. A plate of ribs, a few Drinks & Beverages, and a warm summer evening make for great memories. You will need some special equipment to barbecue successfully. A grill is a definite must have and a smoker is wonderful for imparting flavor into your cuts of meat. You will also want a set of basic grill tools, such as grill spatula, brush, and tongs. For a complete list of barbecue tools, see Weber's Way to Grill: The Step-By-Step Guide to Expert Grilling (Sunset Books) by Jamie Purviance. This cookbook is sponsored by a grilling company that has been around for generations. It will certainly help answer your general grilling questions such as:

o Are cheap grills suitable for casual barbecuing?
o How do I control the temperature on a grill?
o What foods grill well?
o Are there any Puddings & Desserts that can be grilled?

Books are not the only place to get answers about barbecuing or cooking in general. Ask your friends and neighbors for their advice as well. One of the great things about cooking is that it brings people together. Barbecue specifically appeals to individuals of both genders. Even people who do not grill out personally have favorite dishes that would love to share with you. Grilling can bring together an entire neighborhood for food and fun.

Making Quick & Easy Meals For You and Your Family

Cooking every night when you get home from work can be exhausting. Eating out for dinner every night, however, is both expensive and unhealthful. What you need to master then, are quick, healthy meals that you can throw together on a weekday night. Ainsley Harriott's Low Fat Meals in Minutes by Ainsley Harriott is a great combination of quick and healthy. Diets & Healthy Eating do not have to suck up all your free time. You can also learn how to prepare healthy foods for baby quickly. Top 100 Baby Purees: 100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Baby.

Annabel Karmel is a great baby food manual for a new parent. Once you master some basic cooking techniques such as blanching and steaming vegetables, you can make healthy pureed dishes for your baby while you cook for yourself and the rest of your family. Healthy cooking, especially healthy cooking for Babies & Children, raises a lot of questions.

o Does introducing an infant to a diverse array of foods prevent him from being a picky eater?
o What are easy, healthy meals that I can feed to an infant?
o Can I afford the fresh fruits and vegetables needed to be healthy?
o Are there healthy lunch options for taking to work?
o Are Vegetarian & Vegan meals more time consuming?

Cooking As a Way to Enjoy Life More Fully

Cooking is more than just a way to fill your belly. It is a way to enhance your enjoyment of life. The basics of cooking are really just the beginning. Soon you will be on your way to National & International Cookery, Wine & Winemaking and a world of culinary delight.

Source by Suleman Thadha

Cake Decorating How To – 4 Easy Tips To Get You Started

One of the fastest growing fields in the culinary art world is cake decorating. The number of people who enjoy baking and decorating has been growing exponentially. What has created this sudden interest in cake decorating? For many people, cake decorating is a wonderful way to blend a number of different talents and interests. Cake decorating is unique in the number of skills that are touched on in this one field – you not only need to have a good baker, but a sculptor, color specialist and designer. With so many people wanting to try out their own talents, we've decided to put together a few helpful tips to set you on your way.

Practical Hints for the Beginner – Start with the Perfect Cake

The real fun begins with the most essential part of any cake decorator's tools – the cake itself. Even if you've never baked a cake before, you'll need to put one together before you can start decorating. The easiest way to create a good cake is to buy a box of cake mix from the grocery store. The directions for using the mix are very easy – all you need to do is add water, oil and eggs – and as long as you follow the directions, you should have a nice cake to work with. If you're feeling a little more brave, you can make a cake from scratch. Homemade cakes are no longer the difficult chore they used to be. The ready availability of fresh ingredients has made it much easier for bakers to create their own homemade cakes. For long-time bakers, you can select any recipe you think will work well but if you've never made a cake from scratch before then you should start with the simplest recipe you can find.

1. Topping Your Cake with the Right Icing

Another key element of successful cake decorating is the selection of icing to go over your cake. Icing is typically broken down into one of three types. The type of icing is based on the consistency. You'll notice that professional bakers describe icing based on one of these consistencies – either soft, medium or stiff. When you're just learning how to decorate cakes, you'll probably want to stick with icing that's either soft or medium. Soft icing is typically thinner than the other varieties and is used to write messages on the cake. It can also be used to cover an entire cake if you want to create a unique look. On the other hand, if you want to add more complicated designs like scrolls, scrollwork or decorative borders, you should use medium icing. Icing that has a medium consistency will hold its shape much better than a soft icing, yet you can still scoop it up with a spoon. The last type of icing is the stiff icing. This is used for much more complicated design elements, like flowers or leaves. Because these designs are so elaborate, the icing must be stiff enough that the pattern will be able hold its shape. The more complicated pieces will require a very stiff icing which is probably inedible – these items are just for looking, not eating.

2 . Build Your Collection of Cake Design Tools

Those who are just starting out probably will not have the best tools for the job just lying around in their kitchen drawers. Fortunately, finding the right tools for just about any cake decorating challenge you decide to take on is far easier today than it was just a few years back. There are plenty of places that now sell a variety of cake decorating tools. When you're trying to decide which pieces to pick up first, it's often easiest to simply buy the tools you need for the cake you're planning to make during your next project. A great alternative to this is to take advantage of the growing popularity of cake decorating and pick up one of the cake decorating tool kits that are now available. These kits includes all the basics that you'll need to get started including piping bags, pastry bags, paper cones for decorating, different sized frosting spatulas and a nice collection of various tips.

3. Find Inspiration in Books and Magazines

Sometimes the hardest part of cake decorating is coming up with an idea. A great way to spark your creativity is to surround yourself with pictures, quotes or other items that inspire you.

4 . Creating the Perfect Lacework for Your Cake

This popular pattern will require an exacto knife. First, cut all of your ribbons to the same exact length. Then, carefully slice the thin insertion slits on your cake using the exacto knife. Another favorite option among cake decorators is the curtain work pattern. This is typically done with small tips because they provide a smoother line breakage. To start, build scallops and a bridge on the surface of the cake. This can be a difficult design to get right, so it helps to have a marked pattern that you can use to guide your hand.

Source by Shawn Joseph

How to Select the Right Cooking Equipment

Like many folks, you may not realize what a difference cooking with first rate cooking equipment can make. The lowest priced cooking utensils and equipment might be great for initially keeping money in your pocket, but will probably take more money out as you replace your equipment, time and time again.

What can first rate cooking equipment do for your cooking? Here are a few ideas to help you determine what the best equipment is for you.

Know What Is Essential

Before you go shopping for your cooking utensils and equipment, it is important to first, determine what you really will use. Do you like to cook often? Is your lifestyle require elaborate main courses and desserts? These are questions you should ask yourself, to be able to decide on the type of cooking equipment that you will buy, in order to satisfy your own personal tastes.

Consider, a single parent family, with two teenage boys. The cooking will most likely be simple, healthy food, with only a few preparation steps, using large dishes and only a few utensils. Rarely, will this family likely ever need fancy cooking equipment, such as a melon scooper. However, a family that entertains their club group every month, would want to use specialized cooking sculpting tools and fancy serving dishes to impress their guests.

Watch The Chefs

If you see yourself cooking frequently, it is a good idea to check out what the professional chefs use. There are famous chefs that produce their own brand of cooking equipment. If you enjoy the dishes that they prepare, this may worth your while to consider purchasing. Then again, you have the option of trying a less expensive version of their specialized equipment first, to see if it works for you instead.

Foods That You Prepare

What kind of food do you end up cooking most of the time? The best equipment for you is determined by what food you regularly prepare. If you enjoy stir fry food, you will want to have a well designed wok, and the proper utensils to go with it. But, if baking is what you love, then some specialized, nonstick pans, and a standing mixer would better match your cooking style. By knowing what kind of cooking you will do the most often, can help you easily choose the valuable cooking tools and leave the other ones for another type of cook, no matter how trendy or latest high tech it may appear.

Seek Out Discounts

It is always great to get a discount. You should try to ask what is on sale or has a discount off its normal price, as much as possible. However, just because something is inexpensive, is not a good reason alone, to it buy it. Remember, that you are trying to find items that are fairly inexpensive and are still constructed with high quality materials.

For other helpful tips on how to select the top quality cooking equipment for your personal cooking style, you can purchase an e-book online that covers suggestions and instruction on how to become a successful cook. Your ebook should include ideas on what equipment to have in your kitchen and everything you ever wanted to know about cooking, along with those things that you never dared to ask about.

Source by Thomas Straub