NEWS for North Dakotans
Agriculture Communication, North Dakota State University
7 Morrill Hall, Fargo, ND 58105-5665
March 30, 2000
Look at a dishwasher or a sink full of dirty dishes. There is more to this scene than meets the eye. Lurking amid the grease and gunk are implications. Dirty dishes are incriminating evidence, silent-yet-credible witnesses attesting to the act of consumption, or in my case, overconsumption, because I like to eat in quantity as well as quality.
How do those of us with hearty appetites sidestep our guilt by dirty-dish association? Simple. We must eat the evidence. The creator of deep-fried tortilla shells that function as salad containers and the originator of bread bowls capable of holding cold or hot foods are geniuses in my book, and probably hearty eaters, too, who invented out of necessity.
I must confess that when given a choice, I prefer to do my eating out of bread bowls instead of tortilla shells simply because I like to minimize the potential for leaks or spills, the culinary equivalent of a smoking gun. And I like to fill my bread bowls with whatever I can dream up.
How about a bowlful of Buffalo chicken fingers? That is, breaded and deep-fried chicken strips, highly seasoned of course, nestling in a mound of shredded iceberg lettuce. And how about some thick, robust blue-cheese dressing strategically placed around that lettuce? Or, how about a "plateful" of Polynesian perfection? That is, teriyaki-influenced meatballs (made with ground pork and ground ham), which accompany pineapple chunks and a julienne of green and red peppers and onions--all sauteed and then glazed with a sassy ginger-orange sauce.
I could offer more examples, but I'm starting to get hungry. The recipe that follows allows us big eaters to make our own "disposable" dinnerware so we don't have to let the local baker in on our little secret.
This recipe comes from the Wheat Foods Council.
Yield: 12 bowls
2½ cups warm water (105 F to115 F)
2 packages active dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
6½ to 7½ cups bread flour, divided
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Measure warm water into large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and stir until dissolved. Add salt, sugar, oil and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 to 12 minutes. Place dough in bowl that has been lightly coated with nonstick spray. Turn once to coat. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about one hour. Meanwhile, grease the outside of 12 10-ounce custard cups or oven-proof bowls of similar size. Punch dough down and divide into 12 pieces. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Spread each piece into a circle about 6 inches in diameter. Place dough over outside of glass bowls, working it with hands until it fits. Set bowls, dough side up, on baking sheet that has been coated with non-stick spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Combine egg and milk and gently brush mixture on dough. Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove bowls from the oven and extract glass bowls from bread bowls. Set bread bowls open side up on baking pan, return to oven and bake five minutes longer.
What's Your Take on This, Julie?
Some authors have pointed at breads and cereals as a reason why nearly 55 percent of the U.S. population is currently considered overweight. But what's more likely to be growing are these authors' bank accounts, thanks to the proceeds of their fad diet books and supplements.
According to a Gallup survey, more than half of the respondents said they had dieted to lose weight. Bread and pasta were about as likely to be cut out of the diet as fats. But cutting out grains before trimming some fatty foods from your diet can set you up for heart trouble in the long run.
An excess of 3,500 calories in the diet--whether from protein, fat or carbohydrate--can add a pound of body fat unless the extra calories are balanced with more physical activity. Portion control goes a long way in keeping us fitting in our favorite jeans.
Grains and foods derived from grains form the base of the Food Guide Pyramid. A range of six to 11 servings is the daily recommendation, depending on a person's age, gender, size and level of physical activity. One slice of bread equals a serving, as does half a hamburger bun, half a bagel, an ounce of cereal, or a half cup of pasta or rice.
Besides providing energy as complex carbohydrates, grains supply thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folacin, iron, magnesium and copper. When choosing bread, look for the words "whole grain" on the label to get more fiber, which can lower the risk of certain types of cancer or heart disease. The current daily recommendation for fiber is "age plus 5" for children up to the preteen years and 20 to 35 grams for the rest of us. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables are all good sources of fiber.
"Wheat bread" is usually a mixture of 75 percent white flour and 25 percent whole wheat flour, so you don't get the 2 grams of fiber that would be provided by a slice of "whole wheat bread." And remember that brown bread isn't necessarily whole wheat; caramel coloring could have been added to contribute its color. Check the ingredient label and Nutrition Facts panel to be sure you're getting whole wheat if that's your goal.
Various forms of breads, such as bowls and wraps, have become very popular in recent years, and this week's recipe lets you make bowls at home. One serving of Bread Bowls (one bowl) contains about 295 calories and 3 grams of fat. If you're trying to eat "Pyramid style," keep in mind that one bread bowl counts as about four servings of bread. If you don't like soggy bread, remember that thicker soups, chili and stew seem to work better in bread bowls.
You may want to experiment with the fiber content in your bread bowls. You can substitute some whole wheat flour for bread flour, but you may have to adjust the water content. Keep at least half of the flour as bread flour or high-protein white flour. Depending on what you add, you may also need to add wheat gluten to strengthen the dough.
And of course, you may want to top off your comforting meal of soup and bread with "dessert," a brisk walk.
Sources: Dean Hulse (701) 231-6136
Julie Garden-Robinson (701) 231-7187
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