Thursday, April 24, 2014

Making My Own Powdered Sugar With My New Favorite Kitchen Tool

Hope spring is being good to everyone!  It's been a while since I last posted and much has changed on this little homestead but that can be saved for another day.

Today is about my latest favorite kitchen tool, a coffee bean grinder, that is, truth be told, almost never used for its intended purpose, grinding coffee beans.

Today started out with me making bread.  When my granddaughter came in and saw what I was doing she asked me to make it into fry bread instead of white bread. Since I use the same bread recipe it was easy to just change course in the middle by just dividing the made dough up into pieces to fry instead of letting it rise to make bread.   Normally when I do fry bread I don't let it rise at all but I had put a tad more yeast in it and it began to rise fast. Normally I don't let fry bread rise at all.

When these pieces of dough that had risen some prior to frying came out of the cast iron fry pan they were more like donuts than fry bread.  Absolutely delicious I might add here but in need of sugar.  All I had on hand was granulated sugar so I decided to pull out my little Krups coffee grinder see if I could make my own powdered sugar.  And as easily as that, with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and just 2 or 3 pulses in the coffee grinder granulated sugar was magically turned into powdered sugar


I will never again buy powdered sugar.  It was so easy to make powdered from regular granulated sugar.  Powdered sugar seems to get an old or stale taste so quickly I have always had a hard time keeping it on hand.  Until today that is.  Now I can have fresh powdered sugar whenever I need it!

You can also make superfine sugar this way with less time and fewer pulses.  I've seen this called for on occasion in recipes but never seen it at the store.  I think it's used in England more than in the U.S. but it's texture is somewhere between granulated sugar and powdered sugar.

Donuts with homemade powdered sugar!

The above "donuts" were made from this recipe which is my white bread recipe with jalapenos and cheese added here to make Jalapeno cheese bread. It's an easy and delicous recipe as white bread or jalapeno cheese bread and easily adaptable for many other recipes. 

To make these donuts just omit the jalapeno's and cheese from it, divide after making the dough into however many pieces you want (I think I got about 15), leave to rise a few minutes, not doubled but you should be able to see some growth going on, and then fry in 350 degree oil an inch or so deep, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, heat the oil as you would for fries. Brown on each side and put on paper towels or napkins when done to absorb the extra oil.  They cook up fast.  I used peanut oil.

Although used a couple of times for coffee beans mostly I've found other uses for it.  It chops up dried spices for croutons or other recipes that requires spices to be smaller.  Like dried rosemary with it's long pine needle like leaves which give great flavor but are a better addition to most recipes after a pulse or two in the Krups has chopped them down to size.. I started doing this routinely when I started making my own croutons.  

I've also used this little coffee grinder to make baby chick food.   Some sweet goat feed, and an egg shell pulsed in the Krups until it's the appropriate size for baby chicks, then mixed with a bit of regular chicken food, some grit and a crumbled up hard boiled egg makes a wonderful baby chick food.

I am sure you can do all this in a larger food processor but I hate using a big bowl for a small amount of chopping.  The coffee bean grinder is just the right size for some jobs, handy to use and easy to clean and in my house gets as much or more use than my big Kitchen Aid processor.  

Anyone else out there using a coffee grinder in their kitchen for jobs other than grinding coffee beans?  I would love to use mine for more things.

Happy Spring!


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