Q: I am trying to have a healthier diet. I recently saw on a cooking show an instructor line a baking pan with wax paper. Can this help eliminate the calories from greasing with butter and then flouring?
A: It's most likely the baking pan was being lined with parchment paper, which is now used more frequently than waxed paper to prevent sticking in baking. This treatment can reduce the fat and flour calories that are used to prevent baked goods from sticking. However, you still need to use some Bakers Joy or vegetable spray coating to prevent sticking. The calories from these products are minimal.
Q: When making whole wheat bread in a bread machine, how can I make my bread as dark and rich as the 100 percent whole wheat bread that I buy in the supermarket? Are the supermarket breads dark as a result of additives and preservatives? My whole wheat flour is so pale that the bread loaf is very light in color.
A: The best way to darken the whole wheat bread made in a bread machine is to use a recipe that calls for molasses and at least 75 percent whole wheat or other whole grain flour. Most breads in the supermarket do contain additives, preservatives and colorings.
Q: When baking, I never see recipes using sugar substitutes to reduce the calories. Why not?
A: I assume you are referring to artificial sweeteners and aspartame as sugar substitutes. Most of these products will not hold up under high temperatures, which is why you see them only in unbaked products such as ice creams, yogurt, beverages, etc. Some recipes use fructose and fruit purees as sweeteners, however these sweeteners still contain calories. You may find some recipe solutions in diabetic cookbooks.
Send your questions to: What's Cooking, c/o Food & Home, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Although personal replies are not possible, questions of general interest will be answered in this column.