Friday, November 7, 2008
Turns out my husband Steve actually reads my blog and hates it when I refer to him as "the Hubby" because he thinks it makes him sound like a bumbling fool. That is far from true, especially in the kitchen.
So from now on I will be referring to him as the other moniker I've used for him, the much more respectful and appropriate "Kitchen Genius," because at least half of the magic that happens in our kitchen is due to him.
Now that we've cleared that up, on to the food. This is a post that I planned to follow up my Kale Soup entry with because the only thing better than homemade soup is homemade soup with homemade bread. I’ve experimented with a lot of bread recipes, but the one I come back to time and time again is the oatmeal honey bread I first fell in love with as a teenager.
This recipe is in my Mom’s cookbook, but it originally came from our neighbor Theresa Foran, who lived with her husband Jim and their four kids in a cabin they built themselves with logs from their own land.
I used to babysit for the Forans and visiting their home was like a field trip to another way of life. This was back in the 1970’s in upstate New York and the Forans were living like people from a previous century. They had to walk outside to pump water from their spring or to use the outhouse and they heated and cooked with a woodstove.
Theresa was a voracious reader and after I put the kids to bed, I would curl up with one of the big fat historical novels from her bookshelf. All the angst of high school and my real life would drift away with the faint smoke from the oil lamps that provided the only light in the cabin.
Theresa’s oatmeal honey bread is an easy one bowl prep with no kneading in the first step.
The recipe makes two loaves, which is a happy occurrence because this chewy flavorful bread makes the most awesome toast I’ve ever had. It’s so good that I break my close to 20 year “no butter on bread” rule and slather on a thin layer just to watch it melt into the nooks and crannies. The only time I do that is with this bread, because the taste brings back such good memories…
Our schedule has been a little crazy lately and that second loaf came in handy to make a quick French toast for a breakfast dinner. The Boy requested that I make a bacon and egg sandwich with his French toast and I was very impressed with the result. There’s hope for that Boy after all. Future Kitchen Genius???
Oatmeal Honey Bread
Makes 2 loaves
1 cup quick-cooking oats (not Instant)
2 cups milk, scalded
1 package yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110 – 115 degrees)
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger
4 1/2 cups flour
Put oats in a large bowl and cover with milk. Stir and let stand until lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast in warm water. Let stand a few minutes and then stir until dissolved. Add yeast mixture, honey, salt and ginger to the oats mixture. Stir in flour and mix well. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in bulk, about one hour.
Knead down on well floured board and put into two greased loaf pans (9x5x3). Let rise until double in bulk, about 45 minutes. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 – 50 minutes.
For a printable recipe, click here