Thursday, November 18, 2010

good food

Yesterday, I had a MAJOR food fail. Everything went wrong for one reason or another. I had found a delicious recipe (red lentil soup) that I was dying to try, but I failed to buy one of the essential ingredients. I attempted to make our favorite bread (below) but the yeast just wouldn't rise. I was glad to have tested it, so I didn't waste all the ingredients. I had just enough to try again with more yeast - and low and behold, late in the evening, we had two steaming loaves coming out of the oven. (Who knows why the previous yeast failed, the second try was from the very same jar.)

Tonight I am trying again. In honor of this heroic effort to make dinner, I thought I'd share the bread recipe. (Also, lots of people have asked me for this bread recipe - check out King Arthur Flour's website: for more good stuff!) Let me know if you make this bread, and how it works out!

In further food news, I'm still thinking about my 6 meal shuffle. Haven't really made much progress on that. What I have done on the food scene is recommit to trying something new each week and try to relax. Both commitments are helping. I'll still write my 6 meal shuffle post before the month is out! Also, I loved your suggestions Meredith, Marcus and Blythe. THANK YOU!!

Oatmeal Bread - from the back of King Arthur's Bread Flour

3 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread flour
1 cup rolled oats (old fashioned oats)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar or honey
2 teaspoons instant yeast OR one packet active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk

* Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk before combining with the other ingredients.

Manual/mixer instructions: In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of your electric mixer, combine all of the ingredients, mixing to form a shaggy dough. (I add the ingredients in this order: warm milk+yeast mixture, honey, melted butter, oats, salt, flour.) Knead dough by hand (10 minutes) or my machine (5 minutes) till it's smooth. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow it to rest for an hour; it'll become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk. (I spray a little cooking oil spray in the actual pans I'll be baking in. Then I divide the dough and place the two dough balls in the pans. Then, I cover with a damp dishcloth and leave it for about an hour or more.)

After you've let the dough rest/rise, preheat the over to 350 degrees. Take out the dough and knead each loaf for a bit. Then, shape it into a little log and place it back into the baking pan. Cut a slit into the top of each loaf to vent the steam. Bake for about 35-45 minutes.

My notes... The directions in the real recipe call for a punch down after an hour, followed by shaping and an additional rise for 1 1/2 hours and, eventually, baking as one large loaf. I really like how it turned out when I made this for the first time as two loaves. I eliminated the second rise and just baked the loaves after the first rise in the two loaf pans. The bread is slightly sweet (even more so because I drizzle some honey into the steam vent on the top of each loaf) and maybe denser than it would be if it had a chance to rise again. Then again, I don't have all day! We like having two smaller loaves. This bread is delicious toasted with butter. Oh so good!

1 comment:

Jen said...

Tell me more about this six meal thingy? Shall we share some favorite recipes? Because I, for one, could stand to add to my repertoire. Tonight I'm trying cheesy corn casserole for the first time. Stay tuned.