19 February 2015


Sometimes it seems like I'm either in the kitchen all day long, or not at all. That's not a complaint—I like cooking and baking! If I don't have other things I have to be doing with my day, though, or if there are things to do but I'd like to have a halfway-legitimate excuse for putting them off, I'm likely to end up in the kitchen adding things to my to-make list at least as quickly as I'm crossing them off. Baking inspires more baking, or something like that.

It doesn't happen every day; yesterday I baked a loaf of sandwich bread, and then didn't go back into the kitchen until I started supper. Yes, I found a good sandwich bread recipe! I basically follow this one, from King Arthur Flour, but not exactly... I'll stick my version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

But many days wind up working out like today. Today, I had "make granola" at the top of my to-do list; we've been out for a week or two, and I keep meaning to make more. Then Little Bear ate the last of the applesauce at breakfast, and I really didn't want to have to buy more... but we had apples in the fridge, so I called my sister for her recipe and threw the apples and spices in the slow cooker for eight hours.

This batch of granola is a little blonder than normal; somehow I hadn't realized I was out of molasses, so I replaced it with a mixture of honey and agave. And I used raisins instead of nuts. So it's different, but still good.

With the applesauce cooking and Little Bear asking for a snack, I remembered that we'd finished off a loaf of banana bread a couple of days ago... Time for another quick bread. I played with my bran muffin recipe a little bit to make them even higher in fiber, and I love how they turned out—sweet, slightly moist but with a little crunch to the outside, and so good for us!

Fiber Muffins
3 cups bran flakes
1 cup flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1/4 cup salad oil
3/4 to 1 cup diced prunes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix together bran flakes, flour, wheat germ, sugar, soda and salt. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine egg, buttermilk and oil; pour into dry ingredients and mix until moistened. Fold in chopped prunes. Portion into muffin tins and bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

And the promised bread recipe: I'm sure that you could follow the recipe as it's written directly on their website, but I can't tell you for sure, because I have strong opinions about properly proofing my yeast and their recipe said to throw everything in together, and I said noooooo and did it my way instead. So I know that the recipe works if I proof the yeast; can't tell you what will happen if you don't.

Not-crumbly Sandwich Bread
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup whole grain flour (wheat, spelt, etc)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons salad oil

Heat water and milk together until they reach a temperature of between 110 and 125 degrees F (warm to the touch, but not hot). Mix in yeast and sugar, and set aside until there's a full layer, at least 1 cm, of bubbles on top. In a mixing bowl, combine flours and salt. When yeast mixture is ready, pour in over the flour mixture along with the oil. Combine to form a smooth dough, kneading for 6 to 8 minutes. Return to bowl and place in a warm spot, covered with a towel, until the dough has doubled in size (1 to 2 hours).

Shape risen dough into an 8-inch log and place in a greased loaf pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and return to a warm place, allowing it to rise until the crown is 1" above the rim of the pan. (Remove plastic wrap) Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.

So far we've been very happy with this recipe; it's held up well for sandwiches, toast, grilled cheese... and we haven't had to cut too thick of slices to get it to hold together.

And I have to say, I am so thankful that Little Bear loves cooking and baking as much as I do; I know there's no way all of this would be possible if he didn't want to be in the kitchen helping me. Hopefully Kit will follow her brother's example and allow me to keep spending time in the kitchen like this!

1 comment:

  1. We aren't doing bread right now, but if/when we are back to it, I will have to continue my quest for a sandwich bread recipe without milk. Yours sounds and looks so good though!