I was looking for something to bake and wanted to do something from my many cookbooks, etc. and not from the internet. I noticed that I had mini loaf pans under my counter with a recipe collection notebook on top. Here I found a King Arthur Flour recipe that I had saved from their magazine/sales flyer. By the name of the recipe this one must have been sent out about this time of year maybe several years ago. It sounded delicious so I baked it.
Typical me, I have substitutions to make. I have mini loaf pans that make 4, not the 8 mini loafs pictured in the recipe. I also substituted quick cooking rolled oats for their old fashioned rolled oats; and all-purpose flour for the Irish-style flour. Who knows what that is?
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup oats
2 1/2 cups flour (or 276 grams; I used my new kitchen scale from Pampered Chef)
1/2 cup dried buttermilk powder (this should be a staple in any baker’s kitchen)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup maple syrup (and I had real Vermont Maple Syrup just like the recipe!)
Make the oats with the oatmeal and boiling water. This will depend on what type of oats used. My oats cooked in 1 minute. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter the wells of the mini loaf pan.
Mix the maple syrup and melted butter in a bowl. Set aside 1 1/2 Tablespoons.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the butter/syrup mixture and the oats. Mix together until smooth-ish. Remember this is a quick bread so it will come together looking like biscuits or scones. Divide evenly into the mini-loaf pans.
Bake breads until done: toothpick test is clean and/or 200 degrees F internal temperature. I used my handy dandy digital food thermometer gotten reasonably cheaply from the internet. Immediately brush the tops of the breads with the reserved butter/syrup mixture letting it soak into the breads. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then turn out on wire rack to cool.
Declared yummy when eaten.
I also baked something chocolate. I went to a favorite snack cake. However I was running low on flour. So this was made with coffee instead of the water and a mixture of all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, and almond flour. I thought putting these in the large muffin pan would make it easier to freeze a few for later. Well, not so fast! These did not want to come out of the pans. They had nice “muffin tops” which came off and I had to scoop the cakes out with a large spoon. I’m thinking that the almond flour makes a tender cake crumb and that baking this in the standard 8 x 8 inch pan would have been more successful with the combo of flours.
On this cold New England winter-ish day, I bake bread. I also made a nice supper in the crock pot. Tomorrow I may even bake cookies.
I sat at my kitchen table early this morning and wrote out my Christmas cards. Hubby has put the wreath on the front door and we play Christmas music. I have been looking at my cookbooks, not in them, just at them wondering about doing any Christmas baking. We did purchase Red and Green M&Ms so that is Christmas-y! We take the dog to a dog park. It is not crowded and is in a wooded area. Leo (our new old dog) is great. There was one other dog and Leo put up with the puppy’s antics. We also stopped at the Home Depot to buy a kitchen trash can with a lid because “you know who” thinks “dumpster diving” is productive daytime activity!
Back to bread. I have made this bread before but don’t remember how long ago. It has good stuff in it like cornmeal and oats. It is from the Soulard Market cookbook.
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages active dry yeast; I use 4 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/3 cup butter
2 1/2 cups warm water
2/3 cup molasses
2-3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon water
In the large mixer bowl, I combine the first five ingredients. In a glass quart measuring bowl I put the water, butter, and molasses. I microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes, 30 seconds at a time, until the mixture is about 125 degrees F. Between 120 and 125 was close enough for me. Stir that into the flour mixture. Add enough of the all-purpose flour to make a stiff dough. I then kneaded this with my bread hook for 5 minutes.The dough was not very stiff so I kneaded in about 1/2 cup more white flour. Still none to stiff but I did not want it to be too dry so I pushed the dough around the bowl while I sprayed with cooking spray so it would rise in a greased bowl. Cover this with a tea towel and let rise until double. In just one hour it had reached the top of the mixing bowl.
In reading the recipe it says to punch dough down and shape into round loaves. I don’t remember these as being free form loaves, so I spray my two loaf pans and shape into loaves. Now let these rise for another hour or so.
These are nicely risen. Make an egg wash with the egg and tablespoon of water. Brush this on top and sprinkle oats on top. Bake in 375 degree F oven for 45 minutes. If making round loaves check after 35 minutes for doneness (is that a word?).
Why does my bread not stay as high and risen as before baking?
Do I use too much yeast?
Did brushing on the egg wash deflate them?
I suppose I could call the baking hotline or I’ll just internet search it. I could even look in some of my bread-baking cookbooks. Meanwhile we enjoyed this bread with supper and then for toast at breakfast.
A few years ago I had seen a recipe for home made chewy granola bars made with sweetened condensed milk. I never wrote it down even though I made it several times. The last time I made it I had used a package of granola and did not like the results at all. So I am restless one afternoon. There are plenty of projects to do but nothing is striking my fancy. I really really wanted to make chocolate cupcakes but am determined not to bake any more sweets until Easter. But you all have posted some absolutely wonderful chocolate cupcakes and I am craving them! But I paw through my pantry to see what is there and decide to make granola bars. I figure these will be handy to walk out the door with in the mornings for work. And perhaps don’t really count as a sweet.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
I start with 3 cups of oats. I add enough other ingredients to make just over 4 cups. I have a sneaky suspicion that the total amount of stuff should be closer to 5 cups. One can add seeds, nuts, dried fruits and just about anything granola-ish. To this batch I add coconut, banana chips, sliced almonds, golden raisins, dried cranberries, and just a few chocolate chips. Actually I use approximately 1/4 cup of each. Gently heat one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk to thin. Pour over the ingredients and mix to coat everything.
I line a 13 x 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Pour the “batter” into this pan. I pat it down evenly with another piece of parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes. At this point I do not remember if I’m supposed to let cool before cutting or not. I lift it out of the pan and let it cool on a wire rack. When I tried to cut it warm it started falling apart.
I let them cool a little bit and then I cut them into bars. The outer ones hold together better than the middle but they will firm up as they cool more.
I love parchment paper. It is a wonderful invention. Growing up my mother used waxed paper or just greased the pan with Crisco. There was always a small hand sized square of waxed paper in the Crisco can for this purpose. The second greatest invention is cooking spray.
The granola bars are a hit. Hubby says “I like the taste”. They taste like honey and oats. These will be good for Hubby to grab and go in the morning when leaving for work along with a piece of fruit. That goes for me too!