Baking for Doggies

March 24th, 2013

If I ever bake for you then you can be fairly certain it’s cake mix.  I’m not much of a baker and if I bake from scratch there’s a good chance the results will be inedible or something I have to feed to the dog.  She loves me and she’ll eat most things I cook.

The problem I have with baking from scratch is the recipes.  It’s not me, it’s the recipes!  They have bizarre ingredients in them that I’ve often not heard of and neither have Tesco.  Also they have ridiculous measures in them like ‘cups’.  What’s all that about???  I find myself modifying recipes which is perhaps where the problem lies.  Anyway, I decided to give it a go and try baking for the dog; she’s quite easily pleased when it comes to food. 

When I looked for recipes I experienced the usual problems.  There’s gluten free mentioned and of course ‘cups’.  I decided that if I were to stand any chance at all that initially I needed to find a simple recipe that would tolerate my modifications and one that uses ingredients I recognise.  I’ll learn about cups and go gluten free shopping when I’m an advanced baker!  In the meantime I’ve found a few recipes and meddled with them so they only use things I stock and Hey Presto! I’ve created a new breed of dog biscuit!  Well a recipe anyway!   I say dog biscuit but that’s not strictly true because I think I possibly scoffed more of them than Ellie did despite the fact they had her name on them! 

So here it is!  My recipe for healthy homemade dog biscuits a step-by-step tutorial and photos.   I’m going to call the recipe ‘I love the bones of my Elliepops’.   If you use this recipe you can simply exchange the name ‘Elliepops’ for the name of your dog.  And the honest truth is that I did love the bones of my Elliepops – they were delicious!

Right then – I’ve kept the recipe very vague because the truth is I didn’t really follow it (as usual!) and I took some photos along the way for you.  You don’t need to follow it really – just make it up and hope for the best.  If you want to share these with your dog then I’d recommend leaving out really grim ingredients like fish eyes and chicken stock (unless of course you like them??)

Recipe Title:
‘I love the bones of my Elliepops!’
Preparation time:
15 minutes
Baking time:
Mine took 20 mins
No. of Biccies:
I got about 30
Cost per biccie:
No idea
Recipe Difficulty:
I managed!
Kitchen Assistant and Taster:

First steps are to pop on your pinny and wash your hands then pre-heat the oven whilst you assemble the ingredients.  Unfortunately I can’t really advise you on oven temperature or how long to bake anything for because I cook pretty much everything at the same temperature and I take things out of the oven when they look ready.  You’ll just have to keep an eye on things and use your judgement.

1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup wholewheat flour
3-4 tablespoons water
1/2  medium banana, mashed
1/2 an apple finely chopped
A small knob (!) of margarine
A sprinkling of porridge oats

Cup (mug)
Mixing bowl
Rolling pin
Cutter (Ebay)
Baking tray
Letter Cookie Stamp Embosser (God bless Ebay!)

You’ll notice from our piccy that we included a mug.  All recipes mention ‘cups’ but only posh people have cups and normal people like us have mugs.  Cups get included in so many recipes that we thought it was important to get one in the photos.

Here’s the tricky bit! 
Follow these instructions very carefully.  It’s a bit technical in places but we think you’ll manage (obviously I’m joking here!)
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl adding the water one tablespoon at a time until you have a doughy texture that’s not too sticky.  Turn it out onto a floured surface.
2. Roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness and cut out with a cookie cutter. Re-roll scraps and repeat.

3. Transfer to a baking tray with biccies a small distance apart.  They didn’t spread when I put them in the oven so they can be quite close.
4. Using your letter embosser gently print your dog’s name onto the cookies (We forgot to take a photo!)
5. Pop them in the oven.  (We couldn’t take a photo because the oven is a disgrace!)
6. Bake until they look ready (mine took about 20 mins)
7. Remove from oven and baking tray and allow to cool (you could be all posh and use a cooling rack though we’re not entirely sure what the benefit is?)
Yay!  We have home baked dog biccies! 

We think they look good enough to eat!  So, let the tasting begin!

The Verdict: They were quite nice but could’ve been a bit sweeter.  We may add some honey next time.  They were soft-ish and slightly chewy rather than biscuity but we both thought that was good.  Yours will be much better than ours – particularly if you don’t follow our recipe!

Storage: We stored our biccies in a tupperware container.  I have no idea how long they last for because we’d eaten them in about 2 days! 

Our next installment in this special series on baking for the little dog will be ‘Puppy Bandana – Advanced Baking’  It’ll be a gluten free recipe and it’ll use ‘cups’.

See you next time!

recipe for homemade dog treats from puppy bandana