Many of my friends speak highly of my cookies and other foods that I make. Many of the recipes I use were developed by my mother, Catherine Manthey (thanks, Mom). I bake all of my own bread, my favorite being a good solid pumpernickel (almost a rye). I also worked in a bakery for a few years long ago when I was a high school student. My own chocolate chip cookie recipe and my mother's pumpernickel bread recipe are detailed below.
If you have any constructive comments, please email them to David Manthey.
I have written a paper on A Comparison of Leavening Agents. It examines the different effects of baking soda, baking powder, yeast, bakers' ammonia, potassium bicarbonate, and more.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix Crisco, brown sugar, and white sugar. I usually use a dough blender. Mix in eggs and vanilla until mixture is relatively uniform but not entirely smooth. If you remove all of the lumps the cookies become too thin. Add flour and baking soda, mixing until uniform. Fold or stir in chocolate chips. Use a dark cookie sheet. Each cookie should weigh about 40 grams, and be placed around 3 1/2 inches apart. Bake for about 9 minutes. The cookies are done just as the tops begin to noticeably turn a slightly darker shade of brown. Remove cookies using a thin spatula (metal works best) and place on a wooden board to cool. The cookies should be almost impossible to pick up for the first three minutes, and are ideal about ten minutes after baking.
You may think that the instructions are excessive (see below for gram-cup conversions of different ingredients). However, consider that I have fine-tuned this recipe over many years and can reliably produce perfectly done cookies which almost everyone agrees are good. Those who don't agree usually feel that I should add some pecans or walnuts.
A final note: The term Tollhouse Cookie refers to any chocolate chip cookie which uses brown sugar in its recipe. Sometimes people feel it indicates a specific recipe, which is not the case.
Put powdered milk, salt, very hot water, oil, and molasses into a large bowl. Mix completely. Using the same measuring cup as was used for the molasses, place the hot tap water and the yeast in the measuring cup. The leftover molasses proofs the yeast (makes sure it starts rising). Add the caraway seeds, wheat germ, and rye flour to the bowl. Mix. Pour in the yeast/water mixture. The yeast should have formed a foamy layer on top of the water at this point. Mix. Mix in the whole wheat flour. Mix in 1 cup of white flour. The dough will be somewhat hard to work at this stage. On a wooden board, spread the remaining cup of white flour. Scrape out the contents of the bowl onto the flour and knead until all flour is in the dough. The dough should be firm and not very sticky at this point. It should not be kneaded to the point where it begins to tear. Wash out bowl and oil lightly (with corn oil). Place dough back in bowl, seam side down, making sure entire surface is lightly covered in oil (this prevents it from drying out). Cover with a cloth (keeps things out of the bowl, but lets the yeast breathe). Let rise until doubled in bulk (usually 3 hours). Punch down dough, knead slightly, turn over, and recover. Let rise 1/2 the amount of time as the first rise. Pour dough onto wooden board and cut into two equal pieces. Form into loaves and place into two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans. Let rise in a 'draft free' place for 1 hour (this actually works in gale force winds, but it takes longer to rise). Place in a cold oven and bake for 42 minutes at 350 degrees. When done, turn out of pans and set on a wire rack to cool.
My mother won second prize in the Utah State Fair for this recipe. It should be noted that there was no category for pumpernickel, and that the prize was awarded in the rye category.
I have found it greatly convenient to use a scale to measure some ingredients. This does two things: (1) I don't have to wash measuring cups (especially nice with shortening), and (2) it is much more precise. A table is given below with conversion factors and comments.
|Cocoa||88 grams||1 cup|
|Cornmeal||160 grams||1 cup|
|Egg||48 grams||1 large|
|Fructose||150 grams||1 cup||This is the amount needed to replace 1 cup of regular sugar. It is actually much less than a cup.|
|Honey||339 grams||1 cup|
|Milk||236 grams||1 cup|
|Molasses, dark||368 grams||1 cup|
|Molasses, light||320 grams||1 cup|
|Oil, corn||227 grams||1 cup|
|Powdered Milk||96 grams||1 cup||Note that 1 cup of powdered milk plus 3 cups water yields 3 cups milk.|
|Shortening||192 grams||1 cup|
|Sugar, white||190 grams||1 cup||The actual weight is closer to 210 grams, but I find that most recipes actually taste better with slightly less sugar. No one has complained yet.|
|Sugar, brown||160 grams||1 cup||Unpacked weight, which is how I normally use it.|
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