Cooking with Mr. Miller – Pretzels!

Cooking With Mr. Miller

Cooking@Home

Lakehead Public School’s Cooking@Home videos are cooking demonstrations based on the Board’s Grade 7/8 culinary arts curriculum. Join teacher Todd Miller as he presents a variety of delicious baking and cooking activities students can do at home with their family or on their own. Each video is approximately 10-15 minutes long and all ingredients are given clearly in the videos and on the accompanying recipe cards. And as an added bonus, students get to eat their “homework”!

Soft Pretzels

This is a fairlyfast and fun way to make large, soft pretzels (which are great with some mustard for dipping).

The instruction video can be viewed here – https://youtu.be/AbZ7g1mxJvo

Ingredients

  • ½ tablespoon instant yeast
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ cup water at 400C
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Kosher salt(optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Wet bowl: Measure the yeast, sugar, and water into a bowl. Stir with a fork and set aside for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Dry bowl: Mix the flour and salt in a bowl with a whisk
  4. Add the flour mixture in ½ cup scoopfuls to the wet bowl, stirring each time to mix in the flour.Stop when the flour will not mix in anymore (you made not need all of the last ½ cup).
  5. Sprinkle a little flour onto the counter top. Put the ball of dough onto the counter top and divide into 6 to 8 equal pieces
  6. Roll each piece into a long, thin “snake”, about 30 cm long. Create a shape or letter of your choice. To make the classic pretzel shape:
    1. Place the “snake” in a line in front of you on the counter top (with the end not pointing towards you)
    2. Move the middle of the snake down so you have a “U”
    3. Move the tips of the “U” down toward each other, so they cross
    4. Gently press the crossed tips into the bottom of the “U”
  7. Place each pretzel on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Make sure to leave some room between each one
  8. Beat the egg with the water in a small bowl. With a small brush (or your fingers), brush the egg mixture on the tops of the pretzels. Then sprinkle a little kosher salt (or regular salt if you don’t have kosher salt) on each one.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes, then check to see if the pretzels are a nice golden colour. If not, bake 3-5 more minutes. Take the pretzels out to cool.

This recipe makes 6 to 8 pretzels


Cinnamon Buns

Store bought cinnamon buns generally can’t compare to those made at home. They are delicious as part of a fancy breakfast, but it seems like too much work first thing in the morning. This recipe is wonderful, as you can start the buns the evening before, and then there’s very little work to do the next morning…just preheat the oven and cook! If you want them in a hurry though, you can make them in 90 minutes or less.

The instruction video can be viewed here – https://youtu.be/I-MA0yYrBwQ

Ingredients:

¾ cup milk
¼ cup (55 g) butter, room temperature
3¼ cup flour
2 tsp yeast
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup water
1 egg
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ cup (115 g) butter, melted
½ cup raisins (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles (or microwave for 35-40 seconds), then remove from heat. Mix in butter; stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm (35-40°C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2¼ cup flour, yeast, white sugar and salt; mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, gently beat the egg, then add the milk mixture and the water. Mix well.
  4. Add the liquids to the dry bowl and mix well using a large fork. Add the remaining flour, ¼ cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.
  5. When the dough has just pulled together (and there is very little loose flour at the bottom of the bowl), turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Cover the dough with a cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter.
  7. Roll out dough into a 50×30 cm rectangle. Spread the brown sugar mixture all over the dough, using a brush or the back of a large spoon. Sprinkle with raisins if desired.
  8. Roll up dough along the long (50 cm) edge and pinch the seam to seal.
  9. Place the dough onto a cutting board and, using a serrated knife, cut into 12 equal size rolls
  10. Spray a rectangular casserole dish with cooking spray and place the rolls, cut size up, into the dish. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm spot, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F. **For even softer cinnamon buns, do steps 1-10 in the evening before going to bed. Keep them in a cool place to proof overnight. In the morning, preheat the oven to 375°F and then follow step 11.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until browned. Remove and let cool 5-10 minutes. Invert the casserole onto a serving plate and let cool another 15 minutes or more.

Three Sister Soup

The Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, were one of the Indigenous groups who traditionally cultivated and used the “three sisters” vegetables (corn, squash and beans) in their diet. This is a delicious and easy way to create your own vegetable soup using the three sisters. This recipe makes about 4 servings.

The instruction video can be viewed here – https://youtu.be/qJEb4Cpafpk

Ingredients:

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup potatoes, washed and cubed
½ small onion, diced
½ carrot, peeled and cut into rondelles or demilunes
1 cup canned or frozen corn
1 cup frozen green beans (or fresh – trimmed and snapped)
½ cup peeled and cubed butternut squash
2 cups chicken broth 1 cup water
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the potatoes, onions, and carrot. Sauté for approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the hominy (or corn), green beans, and squash. Mix well. Pour in the water and chicken stock, raise the temperature to high, and stir gently until it boils.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Let simmer until the vegetables are soft (about 10 minutes).
  5. Meanwhile, mash the flour and butter together in a little bowl to make a paste. Stir that into the soup. Increase heat to medium and cook for about 5 more minutes, until the soup thickens.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Pancakes

Pancakes can be divided into two main groups – fluffy and thin. Both have many different names. Fluffy pancakes are also known as flapjacks, hotcakes, griddlecakes, etc. Thin pancakes are also called crepes, blini, blitz, and here in Thunder Bay are usually called Finn or Finnish pancakes.

What’s the difference between the two? Fluffy pancakes have a “raising agent” (also called a leavening agent) that helps make the batter rise. By looking at the two recipes below, can you guess what the raising agent is?

The instruction video can be viewed here – https://youtu.be/wD9pHo4B2bo

FLUFFY PANCAKES THIN PANCAKES

2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp sugar
1½ cups milk

  1. Melt the butter in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Let cool.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and make a well in the centre.
  3. In a small bowl crack the eggs and beat them lightly.
  4. Add the sugar, milk, and cooled melted butter. Mix well.
  5. Pour the wet batter into the well and whisk briskly to remove almost all lumps.
  6. Heat a non-stick frypan over medium-high heat. Add a little cooking spray if you wish.
  7. Pour in about ¼ cup of the batter. Cook until bubbles form on the batter, then flip (lift an edge periodically to make sure it’s not burning…reduce the heat slightly if it’s browning too quickly). Cook until both sides are brown.
  8. Keep warm in the oven while you cook the other pancakes.

2 eggs
2 cups milk
2 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
butter

  1. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Add the milk and mix well.
  2. Add the sugar and salt and mix to dissolve. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Slowly add the flour while whisking to keep the batter smooth.
  4. Heat a non-stick fry pan over medium-high heat. Melt a little butter in the pan and swirl to coat.
  5. Pour in about ½ cup of batter. Tilt the pan carefully in various directions to spread out the batter.
  6. Cook until the top of the pancake is no longer runny, then flip. Cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  7. Keep warm in the oven while you cook the other pancakes. Be sure to add a little butter the fry pan first each time before pouring on the batter.

Salad Bar

This is a great way to create an “assemble yourself” salad bar for your family. Or just chop of the vegetables you want for your own personalized salad. There are lots of suggestion here, and even more in your imagination probably! And the homemade croutons and salad dressings will make your great salad even better.

The instruction video can be viewed here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIrI-7onZ1o&fbclid=IwAR1CvFUbhsIyqxl6Je15r7cENXMVnkQcabQTdPJB1N4wCjr2-ESbyqJvPU4https://youtu.be/S1JOAGnUN68

Basic

½ shallot, minced
½ tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup vegetable oil
Pinch of salt & pepper

Lemon-Garlic

2 tbsp lemon juice
1 smallgarlic, minced
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
Pinch pepper
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup vegetable oil

Balsamic

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp salt
Pinch pepper
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil

Ranch

½ cup yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp vinegar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp dried dillweed

Directions(for all four dressings): Measure all ingredients into a jar (250 mL or larger) with a screw-top lid. Put the lid on and shake well for about 1 minute. Store in the fridge for at least 1 hour if you have the time to help develop the flavours.

Possible “Greens” for your salad:

Iceberg lettuce
Kale
Romaine
Spinach
Spring Mix

“Toppings” could include (the ones from the video demo are in bold):

Avocado
Bell peppers(fresh, roasted)
Broccoli
Carrots
Celery
Chickpeas
Corn
Croutons* (see recipe, below)
Cucumbers
Green beans
Green onions
Mushrooms
Nuts (walnuts, almonds, etc.)
Onions*(red, sweet, pickled)
Seeds
Sprouts
Tomatoes

Protein Suggestions:

Bacon
Cheese
Chicken
Eggs
Ham
Shrimp
Tofu
Tuna
Turkey

Croutons

Ingredients:

Day-old bread, cubed
Olive Oil
Salt

Directions:

  1. Mix bread cubes, olive oil and salt in a bowl.
  2. Spread evenly (one layer) on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake in a 350F oven for about 15 minutes, rotating and shaking pan halfway through.

optional: (1 or more): garlic, parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.)


Homemade Mac and Cheese

Can we make a batch of homemade macaroni and cheese (often called “KD” in Canada) in about the same amount of time and with not much more effort than when cooking as a store-bought box? Yes, we can!

The instruction video can be viewed here – https://youtu.be/S1JOAGnUN68

Ingredients:

250 g elbow pasta (about 2 cups)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1¼ cups milk
½ tsp dry mustard
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper (optional)
1 to 1½ cups cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Put water in a large pot to boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil, gather your other ingredients and grate the cheese.
  2. Once the water boils, add your pasta. When the water starts to boil again, set the timer for 9 minutes.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the flour to make a paste (called a roux) and cook, whisking, to remove any lumps.
  4. Pour in the milk and cook until the mixture is thick and smooth. Keep stirring while the milk mixes in and it thickens.
  5. Whisk in the dry mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk well again.
  6. Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese. Stir until it is melted.
  7. Once the timer goes off, check the pasta to make sure it is cooked al dente, then drain the pasta in a colander.
  8. Pour the pasta back into the pot or into a large bowl and add the sauce. Mix well and serve.

Have some extra time?

Instead of putting the pasta into a bowl, pour it into a 2-quart casserole dish. Add the sauce and
stir well. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 20 minutes. Remove the casserole from
oven, top with remaining cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Want to make it a meal?

Add veggies or meat that you like to the mac and cheese. Try tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, peas,
or spinach for the veg. For some protein, you can try cooked ground beef, tuna, chopping
chicken or ham, cut up hot dogs or sausage, or bacon. And if you’re into spicy, don’t forget the
tabasco sauce.

 


Tacos and Flour Tortillas

Tacos are a quick, tasty, and very healthy meal to make. And the flour tortilla are very easy to create on
your own! If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can substitute ground round or tofu for the ground beef.
Ground chicken or ground turkey is a great alternative for the beef as well. This recipe should make
about 6-8 well-filled tacos.

The instruction video can be viewed here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnI6aN4ROlE

Ingredients:

500 g (~1 pound) ground beef
1 tbsp chili powder (more less depending on your “heat level”)
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
⅛ – ¼tsp red pepper flakes (again, depending on your personal tastes)
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
½ cup water
Possible toppings: sour cream, cheese, lettuce, salsa, tomatoes, guacamole, hot sauce, jalapeno, green
onions, cilantro, onion, corn, peppers, olives…

Directions:

  1. Heat a frypan over medium-high heat and cook the ground beef until all the pink is
    gone, stirring frequently and breaking up the chunks into small pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, mix all the seasoning ingredients (but not the water) together in a small
    bowl.
  3. Drain the liquid fat from the beef into a small bowl (do not pour it down the sink…wait
    for it to harden (this will take hours), then scrape it into the garbage).
  4. Add the seasoning mix to the ground beef and stir for about 30 seconds.
  5. Slowly pour the water into the pan. Stir well and let it simmer on low heat for about 5
    minutes.
  6. Scoop some meat onto your homemade tortilla (or store-bought flour or corn tortillas or
    taco shells) and add your favourite toppings.

FLOUR TORTILLAS

Tacos are traditionally made in Canada with hard-shelled corn tortillas or soft flour tortillas (the latter
are a little less messy and easier to eat). The soft tortillas from the store are fine, but homemade
tortillas can take your meal to a whole new level! While corn flour, or masa, is usually used in the United
States (and most recipes you will see online), many Canadians seem to prefer regular flour. It’s up to
you!

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp lard or shortening
¾ cup hot water

Directions:

  1. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Break the shortening into small pieces and drop into the flour. Mix well with your fingers until the
    dough is like coarse sand.
  3. Add the water about ¼ cup at a time, mixing in between with a fork, until the dough comes together
    (you may not need the last couple of tablespoons).
  4. Place onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes.
  5. Form the dough into six equal balls and cover with damp paper towel. Let them rest for 15 – 30
    minutes if you have the time. They’re easier to work with that way.
  6. If you don’t have a tortilla press, you can roll each ball out (one at a time) using a rolling pin.
  7. If you have a tortilla press, put one ball into the tortilla press (lined with plastic or wax paper). Put
    ball closer to the back initially, not exactly on the centre. Squeeze the lid down. Lift the lid and
    rotate the tortilla 180 degrees and press again. You can do this multiple times to get a larger,
    thinner tortilla.
  8. Cook in a hot and dry frypan until starting to puff, then flip and cook the other side until there are
    brown spots and the tortilla looks dry. They should only take a minute or two to cook completely.
  9. Keep warm while repeating the process one by one with the other tortillas.

“Crispy” Chocolate Chip Cookies

These large, thin cookies have lots of crispy flavour but be careful when you are putting them on your baking sheet…they need lots of space to spread out while they are cooking! This recipe will make approximately 3 dozen cookies.

The instruction video can be viewed here – https://youtu.be/3LyFVczgKrI

Ingredients:

1½ cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, melted and cooled
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. In one medium bowl mix together the dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another similar bowl cream the butter and sugars together using a hand mixer or stand mixer (or by mixing a lot with a wooden spoon).
  4. Add the other wet ingredients – the corn syrup, egg yolk, milk, and vanilla – while you continue to mix, for a total of about 1 minute.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to your wet mixture to create a somewhat smooth batter. Carefully pour in the chocolate chips and mix just until the chips are evenly distributed in your batter.
  6. Using a small ice cream scoop or the two spoon method, drop domes of dough no bigger than about 3 cm across onto a greased cookie sheet. Be sure to leave at least 5 cm in between your drops of dough. At this point you can freeze the dough pieces and then put the frozen pieces into a container to keep in the freezer until just before you want to bake them.
  7. Bake in your preheated oven for about 12 minutes until the cookies are golden brown on top. You may have to rotate your cookie sheet halfway through your bake to ensure that they cook evenly.
  8. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool for at least 3 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely (10 – 15 minutes).
  9. Any uneaten cookies can be stored in a sealed container for a few days.

“Master” Muffins

A “master recipe” is one that you can use to make something that will taste good, but also can be easily changed with a few minor steps to create a wide variety of results! It’s also a term used for a basic recipe that you “master” and then move on to many different varieties. Start with the basic and then experiment using your favourite add-ins! This recipe makes 12 muffins.

The Instruction video can be viewed here – https://youtu.be/GquR-_ozWSI

Ingredients:

2 cups flour (500 mL / 300 g)
2 teaspoons baking powder (10 mL)
½ teaspoon salt (2 mL)
2 eggs
1 cup milk (250 mL)
⅔ cup sugar (160 mL / 135 g)
⅓ cup butter, melted (80 mL / 75 g)

Directions:

  1. In one medium bowl mix together the dry ingredients – the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In another similar or smaller bowl mix together the “wet” ingredients – the eggs, milk, sugar, and butter.
  3. Make a “well” (or depression) in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well. Mix together just until the dry ingredients are wet. Do not overmix…the batter will not be smooth.
  4. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin by spraying it with cooking spray, greasing with butter, or by using paper or silicon muffin cups.
  5. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tins using a ice cream scoop or the two-spoon method. Bake in a preheated 375°F for about 17 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven when a toothpick inserted in a couple of muffins comes out clean. Let them cool for a few minutes in the muffin tins before removing from the pan and then cooling them fully on a rack.

You can make slight changes to the master recipe to make a variety of different muffins:

Blueberry Muffins: Fold 1½ cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen) into the finished batter.
Chocolate Chip Muffins: Gently mix 1 cup of chocolate chips (milk chocolate or semi-sweet) into the batter.
Banana Muffins: Omit the milk and change the white sugar to brown sugar. Also add ½ teaspoon of baking soda to the dry bowl. Finally, add 3 mashed bananas (the riper the better!) to the wet bowl.
Double Chocolate Muffins: Use just 1½ cups of flour (instead of 2 cups) and add ½ cup of cocoa powder to the dry bowl. Add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the finished batter.
Pumpkin Muffins: Add ⅓ cup extra sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg to the dry ingredients. Add 1 cup canned muffin to the wet ingredients.
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins: Add 1 ½ tsp poppy seeds to the dry ingredients and 1 tbsp grated lemon zest to the wet ingredients.


“Puffy” Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies actually come in many varieties. These “puffy” cookies rise slightly thanks to the baking powder and the very cold ingredients to create cookies with a crisp outside but soft interior. Because the recipe calls for very cold butter, these cookies are best made with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer. This recipe will make approximately 2 dozen cookies.

The instruction video can be viewed here – https://youtu.be/EvrYk-n8xn8

Ingredients:

1¾ cups flour ½ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup cold butter, chopped into small cubes ¾ cup brown sugar 1 cold egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. In one medium bowl mix together the dry ingredients – the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another similar bowl cream the butter and sugar together using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer.
  4. While still mixing, add the egg and the vanilla. Beat for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to your wet mixture to create a somewhat smooth batter. Carefully pour in the chocolate chips and mix just until the chips are evenly distributed in your batter.
  6. Dump the cookie dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into a cylindrical log that is about 5 cm in diameter. Put it in the freezer for at least 15 minutes to firm.
  7. Cut slices of dough (for a total of 24 pieces). Place the slices directly onto a greased cookie sheet or roll them into balls first for an even puffier cookie. Keep about 2 cm of space between each piece of dough.
  8. Using a small ice cream scoop or the two spoon method, drop domes of dough no bigger than about 3 cm across onto a greased cookie sheet. Be sure to leave at least 5 cm in between your drops of dough. At this point you can freeze the dough pieces and then put the frozen pieces into a container to keep in the freezer until just before you want to bake them.
  9. Bake in your preheated oven for about 15 minutes until the cookies are starting to turn a golden brown on top. You may have to rotate your cookie sheet halfway through your bake to ensure that they cook evenly.
  10. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool for at least 3 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely (10 – 15 minutes).
  11. Any uneaten cookies can be stored in a sealed container for a few days

Looking for cookies that are a little flatter and crispier? Try the recipe for Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies.