Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …

BBB logo July 2012


BBB Oats, Oatmeal, Oh…Sara’s Easy Little Oatmeal Bread

There are times when you know exactly where things started to go off course, where things went wrong.  Then there are other times when you’re really following the recipe, everything clicked along just perfectly and you have to look back and question every step and still can’t find where it went off.  Easy is just not to be trusted.  Fast is one thing … Easy is something else.  Some of us can make easy really hard.

This month’s Kitchen of the Month is hosted by Sara of I Like to Cook and she has a blog to prove it too!  The bread she brought us this month is really very healthy; filled with whole grains – wheat and oats – low sugar – only a tablespoon of honey and no added fat … well none in the loaf, you do brush it with melted butter 😉

Now, Sara must have found this an easy bread because that’s what she called it and she baked it more than once and she has a little one to keep her busy.  I found the rising part a little not easy.  I will admit that I just about never bloom my yeast before using it.  Since I baked with this yeast before and after this loaf and they both rose with great vigor, I don’t think the problem was with the yeast.  The kitchen was warm, 79°F so you can’t blame it on a cold kitchen.  It did rise but even with doubling the time it didn’t reach the rim of the pan and had no oven spring.

What’s special about this bread:  No Kneading, good grains, low sugar, low fat, baby it’s fast!

Sara’s Easy Little Bread

Recipe By: Sara: Adapted from Gran’s Kitchen: Recipes from the Notebooks of Dulcie May Booker via 101 Cookbooks
Yield: 1 loaf

1 1/4 cups / 300 ml warm water (105-115F)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
1 tablespoon runny honey
1 cup / 4.5 oz / 125 g unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup / 5 oz / 140 g whole wheat flour
1 cup / 3.5 oz / 100 g rolled oats (not instant oats)
1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted, for brushing

50 minutes into rising...

50 minutes into rising…

Here’s the way I did it:

Mix the flours, oats, yeast and salt in a large bowl.

Add the honey & water mixture to the dry and stir very well.

Mix together the wet and the dry to blend evenly.

Brush a 8-cup loaf pan generously with some of the melted butter.

Turn the dough into the tin, cover with a clean, slightly damp cloth, and set in a warm place for 30 minutes, to rise.  I left mine an hour to rise.

Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C, with a rack in the middle.

When ready, bake the bread for 35-40 minutes (mine was ready = pulling away from the side of the pan and registered 198°F) @35 minutes, until golden and pulling away from the sides of the pan.  Sara finishes things up by leaving the bread under the broiler for just a heartbeat – to give the top a bit deeper color.  I did this and gave it an extra heart beat too much and it was a little dark but still fine; so just be advised and watch it.

It's the bottom.

It’s the bottom.

Remove from oven, and turn the bread out of the pan quickly. Let it cool on a rack so it doesn’t steam in the pan. Serve warm, slathered with butter.  I let mine cool thinking of all the whole grains in it.

The crumb ... and buttered!

The crumb … and buttered!



It made fine toast and a very nice breakfast.

And then … And then … And then … it was Friday and I was reading YeastSpotting and found a rather interesting post by a new to me blog:  TreatNTrick.

Well, it was sort of like a delayed 4th of July.  It really did send off all kinds of fireworks.  It was like the light bulb went off in my head, the light bulb that was 1000 watts.  This went from an interesting learning experience nice home made loaf into the realm of the “you will bake this one again” and more than once because this is the extraordinary bread that meets the need for good tasting utility bread.  I’m sorry, I can see your eyes have glazed over and you’re not getting it; utility sounds like a dirty word to you.

Alright, let’s do this pancake shall we and have breakfast together.  Coffee ready.  I can wait or let me show you this will it brews.

So, I’m YeastSpotting at midnight and it was all I could do to keep myself in bed and not go straight into the kitchen to try this out.

You need bread cubes, corn stripped off the cob and it’s juices, garlic clove minced, pepper (I chopped a Poblano pepper but pick your favorite), tomato, salt to taste and some seasonings (I used some fresh chopped rosemary left over from the night before, cumin and a good pinch of Aleppo pepper; pick your favorites).  Then you need some liquid and a little binder.  I used 2 eggs, buttermilk and I think about 7 tablespoons of corn flour and 2 tablespoons of oat bran, no sugar in sight.  You do see that we’re staying within the a very healthy place right?  If you check out TreatNTrick you’ll see how to do it without eggs or milk.

I’ve always disliked pancakes, let me qualify that.  I dislike flipping pancakes, I just suck at it … always.  These were no exception.  The first one I made too thick and too big.  It came unglued.  Next I tried doing it in a waffle maker.  MUCH better.  The last couple I did on my griddle and they were perfect; I can flip on a griddle not in a skillet.  The best thing about the waffle was you got several crunchy bread cubes in each waffle.  Somehow that didn’t happen with the pancakes.  My favorites were the smaller griddle cakes.  These are really special.  Great for company.

So, my thought is this is a utility bread.  It’s good healthy home made bread that can be baked quickly and then turned into something really spectacular with these Savory Bread Pancakes.  The bread cubes can be frozen even for later use.

While the pancakes I think are brilliant, my next thought really rocked … at least I think it does.  I love making and eating Thanksgiving dressing.  I’m always wanting to make it with healthy really good homemade bread.  My intentions are good.  But when it comes down to the wire, I really don’t like to use terrific bread that I put so much into to make dressing.  This bread however made with wonderful healthy ingredients takes a very small investment of time and seems just perfect to the task.  Easy enough to load it up with herbs when it’s mixed.  Now you see the “utility” of this bread and utility doesn’t seem like such a dirty word does it?

I do hope you’ll want to be a Buddy with us on this one.   1.Bake the featured bread, snap a pic & share your thoughts about how you liked it (or not liked it) 2.Send  an email to Kitchen of the Month.  Sara of I Like to Cook to notify her and make it easier to write the round up.

Don’t forget to visit my fellow Bread Baking Babes to see how they baked and also… visit our Katie! She is the BBBBB (Bitchin’ Bread Baking Babe Bibliothécaire) who writes up such lovely round ups of all the BBB Breads every month!

This Bread and all it’s iterations is going to Susan for YeastSpotting!

And now as they say for something completely different:

The Babes will bake and post on August 15th in honor of Julia Child’s 100th birthday, and we would love for the Buddies (that is, anyone who would like to play), to join us in posting on that day. Big thanks to Elle for creating the invitation. For the recipe we will be baking, please email Susan:   susan at wildyeastblog dot com (NB: This is an invitation for NEXT month, August. THIS month (July), Buddies are still invited to make the Easy Little Bread.)

Savory bread pancake from


A Simple Little Thing with Consequences

Most of us try to eat healthy.  Most of us try to cook with a variety of grains.  I’m a very firm believer in variety is good for the body and soul on so many levels.  I really do enjoy barley … but it hardly ever appears on my table except in soup and a rare risotto.  I had a half used package of prosciutto … yes I know prosciutto is a ham and not barley but just come along for a little will you, humor me … it was time to finish the package of prosciutto.

Enter from stage right:  Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, a new book recently appearing on my book shelf.  “Before it sits there so long it gets old and forgotten, perhaps it will have the perfect recipe using prosciutto.”  And so it did … well it had one … a very simple thing – it’s one exotic ingredient (truffle oil) I was just out of.  Without the truffle oil I determined it needed a little increase in flavor.

In addition to the bay leaf and rosemary called for in this, I used chicken stock to replace the water to cook the barley.  So I cooked a cup of barley.  Then it called for Prosciutto to be crisped in a little olive oil.  When ready to serve mix it all together.  No truffle oil to finish the dish with … ah, ha a teaspoon of butter.  That’s simple.  OK but that’s not really dinner is it?  The flavor was excellent.  Prosciutto and barley needs veggies!  What’s in the refrigerator … I wish I could ask what’s ready in the garden but the answer wouldn’t really help since there’s jalopeno and herbs?  In my refrigerator on this day there was asparagus and broccoli.  Both went in for the last 8 minutes the barley simmered.

Barley w Crisped Prosciutto … Asparagus and Broccoli

Now, perhaps you may think that because I really redid the recipe, the book might be a waste.  I would disagree.  Without the book, I don’t think I’d ever have gotten to this dish.  Any cookbook that provides me with a jump into new territory is good with me.

The consequences: the next morning it became a wonderful breakfast;-)

Barley w Crisped Prosciutto ... Asparagus and Broccoli ... with an egg = breakfast!

Barley w Crisped Prosciutto … Asparagus and Broccoli … with an egg = breakfast!

Stay tuned for further barley consequences …

Barley w Crisped Prosciutto
Ancient Grains for Modern Meals p 140