Baking Grains

Baking Millet | Baking Oats | Baking Rice | Baking Wild Rice

Many grains can be cooked using the baking method, which is a dry heat cooking process that surrounds food with heat in an enclosed oven. Some grains are used as an ingredient for dishes that are baked, such as stuffing, casseroles, or desserts, while other grains can be cooked in liquid using the oven as the heat source.




Baking Millet

Millet can be used in a number of baked items, such as stuffing for vegetables or meat, an ingredient for casseroles, or as an addition to various desserts. While many people would not think of using whole grains as an ingredient in dessert recipes, there are many cookies, bars, and other dessert items that benefit from the addition of whole grains. Millet is an excellent addition to several types of desserts, but it is especially good in cookies, providing a sweet, nutty flavor and a crunchy texture.



Baking Millet Cookies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup whole unsalted hazelnuts

  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • ¾ cup millet (uncooked)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Pinch of salt

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour



Preparation

  • Begin by making a paste with the hazelnuts and oil. Using a food processor or small food mill, grind ¾ cup of unsalted hazelnuts until they are well chopped.

  • Add 1½ tablespoons of olive oil and continue grinding until a paste is formed. Set the mixture aside.

  • Using a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat.

  • To the melted butter add ¼ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons honey.

  • Heat the mixture for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring as it cooks.

  • Add ¾ cup millet (uncooked), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.

  • The ingredients should be cooked over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir while the ingredients cook.

  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the hazelnut paste and ¼ cup of all-purpose flour. Mix well.

  • Use a spoon to drop small amounts of batter onto a greased baking sheet, leaving plenty of room between each of the spoonfuls of batter.

  • If the batter becomes too thick, it can be rolled into small balls and then placed onto the baking sheet.

  • Bake the cookies in a preheated 350º degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown. Cool the cookies on wire racks.

  • This recipe makes about 4-dozen millet cookies.



Baking Oats



Many forms of oats, such as whole-grain oats, old-fashioned oats, and oatmeal, are used in a variety of baked dishes. Breads, desserts, and stuffing are some of the baked goods that may contain oats or oatmeal as an ingredient. Oatmeal is also often used as a food extender for numerous meat dishes, such as meatloaf.


Preparing Meatloaf with Oatmeal

The following steps can be used to prepare meatloaf with the addition of oatmeal. The oatmeal acts as a food extender, allowing less meat to be used in a typical recipe. The oatmeal also creates a very moist meatloaf with added texture, flavor, and nutritional value.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef

  • ½ cup chopped onion

  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats

  • 2 egg whites

  • 1 cup 2% milk

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon brown or yellow coarse mustard

  • ¼ cup steak sauce, barbecue sauce, or ketchup


Preparation

In a large bowl, combine 2 pounds of lean ground beef, ½ cup of chopped onions, 2 garlic cloves finely chopped, and 1 cup of old-fashioned oats.

It is often easiest to use your hands to blend the ingredients together.
In another bowl or large measuring cup, slightly beat 2 egg whites.
To the egg whites add 1 cup of 2% milk, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon of brown or yellow coarse mustard, and ¼ cup barbecue sauce or ketchup.
Stir the liquid ingredients until well blended.
Pour the liquid ingredients and seasonings into the bowl containing the meat and oatmeal mixture.
Blend the ingredients thoroughly. Once again, using your hands to do the blending is often the easiest method.
Pack the mixture into a greased, 9 x 5 loaf pan and smooth the surface. Additional barbecue sauce or ketchup can be spread on the top of the meatloaf if desired.
Bake in a preheated, 400ºF degree oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The internal portion of the meatloaf must be cooked to a minimum temperature of 160º as indicated by a meat thermometer. The meatloaf should provide 8 to 10 single servings.



Baking Rice

Previously cooked rice is often used as an ingredient for casseroles or meat stuffing that are baked in the oven. Raw rice can also be baked in the oven when it is cooked in liquid, producing similar results as boiling or steaming on the stovetop. If the oven must be used for preparing other dishes, cooking rice in the oven at the same time a method that is well worth trying because it produces excellent results.



Procedure for Baking Rice


Add 1¾ cups of boiling water or stock to a baking dish or casserole dish for every cup of long-grain white rice that will be cooked. Use 2 cups of boiling liquid for every cup of long-grain brown rice that will be cooked. (The recipe shown here has been doubled, so 3 ½ cups of liquid was used for 2 cups of white rice.)
To the liquid in the baking dish add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt for every cup of rice.
Add the rice to the dish of hot liquid. (As shown here, 2 cups of white rice was used because the basic recipe was doubled.)
Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil or a casserole lid (if the baking dish came with one).

Bake the rice at 350º F. White rice requires about 30 minutes of baking time, and brown rice requires about 1 hour of baking time.

Fluff the rice with a fork before serving. A yield of 3 to 3½, one-cup servings are obtained from each cup of raw rice that is cooked.




Baking Wild Rice

Leftover cooked wild rice can be used in a number of ways and is especially good when used as a stuffing for meat or poultry and as an addition to casseroles.


Preparing a Baked Casserole with Previously Cooked Wild Rice


Wild Rice, Parsnip, and Pear Casserole


Ingredients

  • ¼ cup low fat milk

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • ½ cup corn flakes

  • Salt and pepper

  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1½ cups cooked wild rice

  • 2 peeled and thinly sliced pears

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  • 3 or 4 peeled, cubed, and cooked parsnips



Preparation

  • In a large bowl, add 3 or 4 parsnips that have been peeled, cubed and cooked, ¼ cup low fat milk, and 1-tablespoon butter. Mash the ingredients and season with salt and black pepper.

  • Stir in 1½ cups of cooked wild rice.

  • With half of the parsnip wild rice mixture, cover the bottom of a greased baking dish.

  • Peel and thinly slice 2 pears and add the slices to the top of the parsnip wild rice mixture.

  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg on top of the pears.

  • Add the other half of the parsnip and wild rice mixture to the top of the pears.

  • Crush ½ cup of corn flakes and combine them with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of butter, and 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh parsley and sprinkle the mixture on the top.

  • Bake the casserole in a 350ºF oven for 40 to 45 minutes.

  • The casserole should provide about 8 servings.

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