Thursday, September 8, 2011

Using Ricotta Cheese Whey In Baking & Pinto Bean Bread

  I have been making my own Ricotta Cheese for a few months now and, until yesterday, never took the time to figure out what to do with the whey that remains once the curds are strained. I was certain there were some good uses, but what I found astounded me. Whey is a complete protein with tons of fantastic benefits. Whey can be given to cats and dogs to help their coat stay shiny, can be used to water plants, can be used in place of water when cooking rice or noodles to add flavor, but best of all, is a fantastic substitute for liquids in baking breads (it substitutes straight-up for milk or water, cup for cup). A light clicked on in my head, and I realized that I had been dumping something magical down my sink every time I made ricotta cheese. Well, that won't be happening again! Whey can be stored in glass jars (with the lid on) in the fridge for several weeks, so you better believe, that's what I'll be doing.
  I have been wanting to try a recipe for pinto bean bread in the THRIVE Cookbook (contact me to find out how to get this fantastic book for only $14.95)for quite some time, so I decided to adapt the recipe using the whey and see how it turned out. The results were phenomenal! I think the next time I make this bread (you bet there will be a next time!) I think I'll do part white and part wheat flour to make it even healthier still. Here's my recipe:

Pinto Bean Bread
2 c. ricotta cheese whey (or any other cheese whey), at about 110 degrees
2 Tbsp. yeast
2 c. THRIVE Pinto Beans, cooked, pureed, and unseasoned
2 Tbsp. THRIVE Iodized Salt
2 Tbsp. THRIVE White Sugar
2 Tbsp. shortening
6-9 c. THRIVE White Flour

Combine in the bowl of a stand mixer the warm whey and yeast. Add beans, salt, sugar and shortening. With the mixer on low, begin adding flour until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn mixer up to medium speed; add more flour if dough becomes sticky (you want a soft pliable dough and because of the beans, it will naturally be a little more sticky, so continue to add flour until it no longer is). Turn mixer to high and mix about 5 minutes, until you have a smooth, soft dough. 
  Turn dough into a lightly greased bowl. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover the dough with it. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  Turn dough onto a very lightly oiled counter; divide into 3 even loaves (I use my kitchen scale), and place in loaf pans. Cover loaves with a clean cloth and let rest in a warm place until doubled in size (2-3 hours, depending on how warm your house is).
  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 45 minutes, or until golden brown (I baked mine 30 minutes, brushed the tops with egg-wash, then baked an additional 15 minutes).

  If you are getting low on any of the THRIVE products required for this delicious recipe, contact me, or order from my Shelf Reliance website.

1 comment:

  1. This bread looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing the great tip with the whey