Gale Collier

Redmond, OR

When Gale Collier was 12, she decided to treat her parents to breakfast in bed. She woke up early on a Saturday morning, opened the cookbook, and chose biscuits with gravy, bacon, and eggs. “I wanted everything to be perfect,” she recalls with a smile, “but everything went wrong.” While her parents waited patiently in bed, Gale’s youthful enthusiasm resulted in burned bacon and biscuits which she ruefully describes as “hockey pucks.”

Undeterred, she kept experimenting, honing her cooking and baking skills, and today, it’s as natural to her as breathing. A wife and mother of two children in Redmond, OR, Gale finds cooking for her family a rewarding experience. “I’m inspired by everything,” she explains, “from cookbooks, to cooking shows, even the grocery store.”

Raised by a mother who cooked strictly from scratch, Gale is continuing this tradition with her own children and “incorporates” them into whatever she is cooking or baking on a daily basis. “My kids help me chop, prep things, do a lot of the measuring, and of course, sampling and licking the spoon,” she laughs. “They take a lot of pride when we sit down to a meal that they have helped make and they don’t even realize they are learning.”

While Gale loves to both cook and bake, baking is her first love. “Baking is much more of a science,” she observes. “I enjoyed chemistry when I was in school so baking really came naturally to me.” However, she quickly adds that while you need to follow the recipe more closely when baking, novice bakers shouldn’t feel intimidated. “It’s so amazing that you can start with such simple ingredients as flour and a liquid, and it turns into something delicious,” she exclaims.

Gale’s particular favorite is baking fresh breads, either sweet or savory. “A bread maker is an amazing tool for baking bread,” she confides. “I don’t bake in it but it’s great for mixing.” She also likes to be economical and looks for ways to incorporate leftovers into her breads. For instance, a Collier family favorite are her rolls or doughnuts made with leftover mashed potatoes.

This past summer, Gale won the grand prize in the 2011 National Festival of Breads bread-baking competition, sponsored by King Arthur Flour, Fleischmann’s Yeast and the Kansas Wheat Commission.

Gail’s winning recipe: Quick Raisin Granola Breakfast Rolls

Ingredient List: 
1 cup Raisin Bran cereal 
1 cup granola* 
1 ½ cups water, room temperature (80°F) 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 
2 tablespoons brown sugar 
1 tablespoon honey 
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder 
½ cup buttermilk, room temperature 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 ½ cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour 
1 1/3 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour 
½ cup California Raisins 
2 ¼ teaspoons Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast 
Topping: 
1 cup granola 
1 egg white, beaten *
Quaker Natural Granola with Oats, Honey & Raisins

Directions
1. Place Raisin Bran cereal and granola in a large plastic bag. Using a rolling pin finely crush.
2. Have ingredients at room temperature. Add the ingredients to the machine’s pan as suggested by the manufacturer. Start bread machine using the DOUGH cycle (about 1 ½ hours). Open the machine and touch the dough to check its consistency after 5 minutes. The dough should form a ball around the kneading blade. If it is too dry, add ½ to 1 tablespoon water; if dough is too wet, add 1 tablespoon flour at a time until the right dough consistency is reached.
3. Meanwhile, for topping, place 1 cup granola in bag; using rolling pin finely crush. Place egg white in small bowl and beat with fork.
4. When cycle is complete, remove dough and divide into 18 equal pieces; shape into uniform rolls.
5. Dip each roll in egg white and granola, lightly pressing granola onto dough.
6. Place rolls onto greased, 13 x18-inch sheet pans. Cover, let rise in warm place until double (45 to 60 minutes).
7. Bake in preheated 350°F oven 17 to 20 minutes, depending on size, or until golden brown. Remove rolls from pan and cool on wire rack. Makes 18 rolls.

Kansas Wheat Commission Test Kitchen Note
If you do not have a bread machine follow these easy steps to make the dough, then continue with Step 3.
1. Place Raisin Bran cereal and granola in a large plastic bag. Using a rolling pin finely crush.
2. Have ingredients at room temperature. In electric mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in warm (100-110°F) water. Let stand 10 minutes.
3. Add crushed Raisin Bran Cereal, granola, and raisins. Add dry milk, buttermilk, brown sugar, honey, whole wheat flour, 2 cups bread flour, cinnamon, butter, and salt. Mix 2 minutes on medium speed.
4. Gradually add enough of the remaining one-half cup bread flour to make a slightly sticky dough. Knead dough by hand or with dough hook 8 to 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in lightly greased bowl, turning to coat top. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down dough.
Nutritional Information
One roll provides approximately 194 calories; 6 g protein; 38g carbohydrate; 3 g dietary fiber; 3 g fat (1 g saturated); 4 mg cholesterol; 50 mcg folate; 2 mg iron and 195 mg sodium.