Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread


A few weeks ago I replaced my bread pan (I left the old one in Ohio because it had seen better days). You might remember that I used my new bread pan to make a really yummy vegetable lasagna. Vegetable lasagna is really delicious, but I bought the pan because I really want to start making my own bread. It’s not difficult and most of the time spent making it is hands off. I also see it as a major bonus that I know exactly what is going into my bread.

I’ve been keeping my eye out online for a good recipe that would work for my morning toast (my #1 use for bread) and the occasional sandwich I make for lunch. I saw this beautiful bread on Pennies on a Platter and it sounded like it would be a good fit. It turned out to be just what I was looking for. A flavorful bread that can stand on it’s own with a little butter but is also complimented by a little cinnamon sugar or honey. I ate so much toast this week that I didn’t try it as a sandwich bread but it feels and tastes like it would hold up well. My parents are visiting this weekend and my dad found it and has had probably 5 slices in two days. Big hit!


Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread
(Adapted from Pennies on a Platter)

1 cup water
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons molasses
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1 cup rolled oats
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tablespoon salt
Additional oats for topping the loaf (optional)

Prepare a 9×5 loaf pan by lightly buttering or spraying with non-stick spray.

In a microwave safe measuring cup, heat the milk and water till lukewarm, about 115˚F. Combine the water, milk, honey and molasses in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let proof for 5 minutes, should look foamy if the yeast is good.

When the yeast has proofed, add the flours, oats, melted butter and salt to the bowl. Mix for 6 minutes on medium speed. The dough should climb the dough hook and slap around the sides of the bowl without sticking. If the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl add a more flour a tablespoon at a time, if it seems like the dough isn’t coming together (too dry) do the same thing with a tablespoon of water.

Cover the mixing bowl with a clean towel and place in a warm, dry place (an oven with the light turned on is a great place) and let rise for 2 hours, or until doubled in size. If you poke the dough and the poke stays then you know it’s ready.

To shape the loaf, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 1 or 2 minutes and then let it relax for a minute. Shape the dough into a flat square. Fold one side of the dough into middle, then fold the other side to meet it in the middle. Pinch the seam then roll the dough back and forth a little to form a log. Transfer the dough to the bread pan, seam side down.

Cover the loaf with a towel and let rise for another hour. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. After the dough has risen lightly mist with water and sprinkle additional oats on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the crust is brown and when you tap on the loaf it sounds hollow. Allow the loaf to cool on a wire rack . Remove from pan when completely cool.

Captain Banana Bread

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I’ve always loved bananas and I think they are a great grab-and-go snack or addition to breakfast. But, even though I loved them it seemed like I only ever thought to buy them once every few weeks. I would enjoy them all week until the bunch was gone and then I would forget about them. Since I moved to San Diego my cravings for bananas have actually increased so I have been buying them more frequently. Last week I bought some and they somehow worked their way to the bottom of the fruit bowl and I forgot about them. When I finally came across them they were more than halfway brown and spotty. What a waste, I thought! Then it suddenly popped into my brain that you use older bananas for banana bread. But, I thought, do I like banana bread?

As many of you know, and as I often blogged about, I’ve only recently started testing my fruit-as-an-ingredient boundaries. Historically I’ve not been a fan of fruit containing items. However, last summer I finally broke down and tried zucchini bread for the first time and I discovered I loved it. I thought that maybe if I could find the right recipe with a little cinnamon spice kick, I could like banana bread. And I was right! Not only did I like it I loved it. I guess it’s true what they say about your taste buds changing as you get older. I can’t wait to forget about a bunch of bananas and find the brown spotty ones again!

The recipe that I found was coincidentally called “Jacked Up Banana Bread” and it seemed to have just what I was looking for. However I wanted to take mine up just another level and add another jacked up twist, so I substituted (and slightly increased) the bourbon she had added with Captain Morgans Spiced Rum. A-ma-zing. Below I will list the recipe exactly as I made it.

Captain Banana Bread
(Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen)

3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted salted butter
3/4 to 1 cup light brown sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ounce Spiced Rum (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cup of flour (I slightly increased the flour from the original recipe because I added more liquid with the Rum if you use less liquid you can use less flour)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and spiced rum, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour and walnuts last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

So You Grew a Garden… Now What? 8

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

So maybe you were thinking that I was giving up on my garden and stopping the series since it’s been so long since I posted a recipe. But don’t worry, I am not. The sad news is that the deer have pretty much spoiled our entire “crop” of tomatoes. They ate most of the 15(!!) plants down to sticks. There are only 3 plants that are producing tomatoes and I’m not sure if they are strong enough to actually make red tomatoes but we’ll see. One of the plants is a yellow pear tomato plant and it seems to be doing the best so you can expect a recipe later this week. Next year we plan to put up a fence but for this year I guess we will just have to make do and dream of more tomatoes next year. And I guess I’ll have to buy tomatoes for the recipes I had planned for this series. The good news is that our zucchini plant is THRIVING! We came home from vacation to 4 zucchinis the size of my arm, 3 normal sized ones and a few more that will be ready to pick today or tomorrow.

With that being said, today’s recipe is for zucchini bread. And guess what. I like zucchini bread. No one is more shocked than me. I’ve been saying for 25 (almost 26) years that I do not like it but I admit that I had never tried it. This year my great friend Michelle finally forced me at gunpoint (OK the gun is an exaggeration) to try some and to my surprise I loved it. Since I was planning on posting about zucchini bread anyway it worked out pretty well. This recipe is wonderfully moist and spicy and I definitely ate half a loaf within a few hours of taking it out of the oven. So please, if you have been resisting zucchini bread your entire life, please, give this a try. You just might love it.


Zucchini Bread
(Adapted from Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 unsweetened applesauce
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini

Directions

Grease and flour four mini-loaf pans or two 8X4 inch bread pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.


Beat eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.


Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took about 55 minutes but things usually take a little longer in stoneware. I don’t think that 40 minutes would be enough in a regular pan but I would start checking just to be sure it doesn’t burn. Especially if your oven runs hot. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.