Adapted from the recipe for Oatmeal Bread from King Arthur Flour
- 3 cups unbleached bread flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 packet active dry yeast (about 2 1/2 tsp)
- 3 Tbsp honey
Warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan. Cool to lukewarm, then mix in the yeast and honey and let sit for 5 minutes. Combine the flour, oats and salt in a large bowl, then pour in the liquid. Mix to form a dough, then knead by hand for 10 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise for about 1 hour. Shape the bread and place in a loaf pan, then cover and let rise another 1 1/2 hours. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 40 minutes or until done.
This is a great way to transform stale bread into a wonderful dessert or breakfast. Green Bean wrote about her version of Bread Pudding in “Waste Not, Waist Full,” and it made me think of the Blueberry Bread Pudding that Ed’s mom has made for us with wild Maine blueberries. Blueberries are one of the only fruits left in our freezer from last year, so this recipe was the perfect thing to make today.
- 4 cups cubed day-old bread
- 1 cup Maine blueberries (or regular blueberries, raisins, raspberries, etc.)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- dash cinnamon
- dash nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
Mix bread and blueberries in a casserole dish. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over the bread and blueberry mixture, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight to allow the bread to absorb the custard mixture, occasionally pressing the bread into the liquid. Preheat oven to 350°F. Dot the top of the bread pudding with butter and sprinkle on the brown sugar. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the bread pudding is puffed and golden. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before serving, or allow to cool completely, refrigerate and serve cold.
I’ve been making my own pizza dough for a while now, and homemade pizza is a favorite in our house. Since the dough is so easy to make and I’ve been wanting to make my own bread, I’ve turned it into focaccia a few times by spreading olive oil, salt and herbs over it and baking it that way. But I recently realized that those garlic knots I love at Italian restaurants can easily be made using pizza dough!
I tried it with white dough, so that’s the recipe I’m posting. If you want to try whole wheat garlic knots, here’s my recipe for whole wheat pizza dough. I’m sure that you could also use store-bought pizza dough to make these quickly, too.
- scant 2 Tbsp active dry yeast (2 packages)
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- sea salt to taste
Combine yeast, honey, 2 Tbsp olive oil and warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Combine flours and salt and add in water mixture. Knead together for 15 minutes and then let rise in a covered bowl for about 1 hour. Mince garlic or grate and mix in remaining olive oil and set aside.
Punch down the dough and knead briefly, then split in half. Save half of the dough for pizza, focaccia or garlic knots on another night (it can be frozen). Take a small piece of the dough, roll it into a “snake” and tie in a loose knot. Let rise 30 minutes, then brush with the garlic oil and sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes until slightly browned. Serve hot.
Since I grew up on a farm and spent lots of time working in our farm market (there’s a reason they nicknamed me “Abbie-on-call”), I have always been able to get fresh, local food. Because of that, I had never felt the need to visit a farmer’s market. But since I’ve been looking to support local farmers and buy locally grown foods, I decided to check out Madison’s farmer’s market today, rationalizing that I could buy things that our market doesn’t have right now.
Overall, it was a very pleasant experience. After a really tough day at work, it was nice to escape to the outdoors and enjoy the warm weather. Since my mom teaches at a close school, I met her there and we walked to the farmer’s market. There were lots of children and dogs, and not as many vendors as I had expected. I was in the market for some honey after using up what I had left of Aunt Wendy and Uncle Dave’s honey from last year. I ended up finding some honey from Riverside Apiaries in Marlborough, CT. It’s a big 32 oz. jar for only $10, which I thought was a really good price. I also bought some “Nehantic Abbey” cheese from Beaver Brook Farms in Lyme, CT. It’s creamy and sharp, and of course I had to buy it because of the name. I rounded out my items with a fresh baked baguette and some beautiful Buttercrunch lettuce. Of course once my own lettuce is ready, I won’t need to buy it.
I even spotted famous chef (and Madison resident) Jacques Pepin, but I couldn’t muster up the courage to say hi to him. He was buying asparagus, and I imagined walking over and saying his catch phrase “Happy Cooking!” or, “Hi, my father-in-law built your stairs!” but I didn’t… Anyway, he has a cute little black dog.
So although it was a nice atmosphere, with music, kids, and dogs, and although I got some nice items, I couldn’t help but wonder where the local farmers were. The ones from towns close by, who didn’t have to burn a whole lot of fossil fuels to get there. I think I need to check out the Dudley farmer’s market in Guilford. Maybe next Saturday morning I’ll head down there to see if there’s anyone there with products from closer to me, and visit with my sister-in-law Melissa, who sells clams and oysters from her and Chris’s aquaculture business, C.W. shellfish. That is of course unless I’m working at our own farm market.
I found this recipe for zucchini bread on Food by Carrie, and modified it to fit what I wanted to make. Carrie’s site is great, with lots of information on the ingredients, why she uses them, and what’s healthy about them. Here’s my variation:
Zucchini Berry Bread
Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl and set aside:
- 2 1/2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini
- 1/2 cup local honey
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4 eggs
In another bowl, combine the following:
- 1 1/2 cups white flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Combine wet and dry ingredients. Gently stir in:
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/3 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 F for 1 hour or more until a toothpick comes out clean. The honey makes the bread brown a lot, so if it gets too dark for your taste, cover it with foil.
As I said yesterday, I was looking for a recipe to use up the half of the butternut squash I had left over. I peeled and cut the squash half into cubes, then boiled it in water until very tender, about 10 minutes, then mashed it with a fork. Since it’s chilly and rainy tonight, I decided to use the cooked, pureed squash to make my recipe for pumpkin nut bread.
Butternut Squash Walnut Bread
In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
Set aside the dry ingredients, and in another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and spices:
- 1 cup cooked butternut squash puree (or pumpkin puree)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pour wet ingredients into dry, and stir until just combined. Stir in:
Pour into a well-buttered loaf pan and bake at 350 F for 60 minutes. Cool before slicing.