A step - by - step guide to baking dog treats
If you're ready - then we can help you get started baking dog treats. Hopefully you'll find you already have everything you need to get started. Some of the basic utensils and equipment you'll find useful when baking dog treats are: --> Mixing bowl(s)
--> Wire wisk
--> Rolling pin
--> Cookie cutter(s)
--> Conventional home oven
--> Baking sheet(s)
--> Cooling rack(s)
--> Measuring spoons (1 Tbs, 1 Tsp, 1/2 Tsp, 1/4 Tsp)
--> Measuring cups (1c, 1/2c, 1/3c, 1/4c)
--> Air tight storage container
Dog treat recipes differ from human type baked goods in that typically they contain little to no addded sugar, may incorporate meats, and are usually baked until most of the water or moisture is baked out, leaving a crunchy treat behind. Of course you can modify recipes and the baking steps to end up with a different treat. For example, you could choose to bake your treats for less time, producing a more moist and soft treat.
Commercial treats are typically dry and crunchy so that the shelf life will be long; or better said: so that no mold or bacteria will grow on the dry treats and spoil them while they sit sometimes for months on store shelves. By baking dog treats for yourself, you can bake small batches, store softer cookies in the refrigerator or even the freezer for several weeks. That's the beauty of homemade dog treats.
The steps for baking dog treats are usually given to you with the recipe and vary depending on the individual recipe. In general, however, there are some common steps to baking basic dog treats.
Those steps often include (but are not limited to):
1. Selecting the ingredients.
2. Mixing the ingredients.
---> All wet ingredients are usually combined.
---> All dry ingredients are usually pre-mixed.
---> Then the dry pre-mix is slowly incorporated into the wet mixture.
---> Moistness will depend on the recipe and type of treat you are making (i.e., crunchy treat dough will be much drier than muffin batter). For basic crunchy dog treats a stiff dough is formed. 3. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface (using the same flour that is called for in the recipe). Lightly dusting your hands with flour is very helpful as well.
4. Roll the dough out to a uniform thickness (usually 1/4"). (If baking soda, baking powder, or yeast are used, the end result will be a much thicker treat as the dough will rise during baking.)
5. Cut the dough into the desired shape.
6. Place the treats on a baking sheet that is sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
7. Bake. (The baking process is usually very different for dog treats than human cookies. Lower temperatures and longer times are used to allow the moisture to cook out of the dough. Times vary with recipe and desired crunchiness of the product).
8. Allow the treats to cool. Letting the treats set out on a cooling rack overnight will help make a crunchier treat.
9. After cooling (overnight) - store in an air tight container. Refrigerated storage will help the treats last much longer.
10. Let the begging begin!!
Don't be afraid to experiment with recipes by adding different ingredients or removing those your dog won't like. You may want to try baking for different amounts of time to make soft or crunchy treats.
There are advanced techniques in baking dog treats, such as coating with carob or "yogurt" coatings. Be aware that these are not pure carob coatings and do contain partially hydrogenated oils and other ingredients to allow the carob to melt smoothly. Likewise, the "yogurt" coatings that you may find on gourmet treats, though they may sound healthy, they typically contain very small amounts of dried yogurt powder. They are typically sugar based with hydrogenated oils and artificial coloring additives as well. True "yogurt" must have live and active bacterial cultures to be called yogurt in the people food world.
Because of all of the additives in these coatings (usually not labelled by gourmet producers due to lack of labeling requlations), we recommend using them sparingly.
So there you have it - baking dog treats, the basics. Give it a try, and have fun. Remember, your four-legged friend is going to love ANYTHING you make!!!