Ahhhhh…a kitchen day

September 29, 2016

Honey oatmeal whole wheat bread. Good stuff.

Honey oatmeal whole wheat bread. Good stuff.

I NEEDED a day in the kitchen. I needed it about as much as I needed a day off from work. I managed to achieve both yesterday, and I feel much better for it.

I got up a little bit later than usual, thanks to Lucy giving me an extra 30 minutes to sleep, and I spent an hour or so perusing newspapers and Facebook before I betook myself to the kitchen. There was a bit of a nip in the air, and I had fall priorities on my mind: Vegetable beef soup, homemade bread, and a new batch of granola, because I was out, and there’s nothing worse than having a new batch of homemade yogurt and no granola to go with it.

Pretty loaves. One got wrapped and put in the freezer soon as it cooled.

Pretty loaves. One got wrapped and put in the freezer soon as it cooled.

So I busied myself with all the above. Got the bread going first, as it needed the standard double rise, once in the bowl, once in the loaf pans. I wanted something different, so I went with the Vermont Honey Oatmeal Whole Wheat bread from the King Arthur Flour website (recipe here). I used only half the sugar, because I don’t like a really sweet bread for a sandwich, and left out the cinnamon, because I didn’t want it to taste like cinnamon, and it seemed like the best way to achieve that would be to leave it out. Right? Right.

I LIKE this bread. It mixes up quickly and easily, although I thought the dough was too dry, and added some water, and then wound up adding more flour. It would probably have been fine as it originally was. If you’re doing your kneading in the mixer, when it first comes together, let it work for a few minutes before you go fooling with it; you have plenty of time to add either flour or water, as needed, once you get it going.  I was surprised, too, at how quickly it rises; I guess that’s a function of the fact you use boiling water to hydrate the oatmeal (and melt the butter, sugar, salt and honey all in with it), and so have a warmer dough to start with; it had well doubled within a bit more than an hour, and the loaves had crowned in the pans within about the same period of time.

I baked them in the CSO (have I mentioned in the last two or three posts how much I LOVE that thing?), and while I didn’t get a LOT of oven spring, the loaves turned out wonderfully soft and a perfect texture for sandwiches.

Makes pretty fine toast, too. This one’s a keeper. I’ll make it again.

It will, in fact, make a most excellent pimiento cheese sandwich with my vegetable soup I’m having for lunch.

Veggie soup. Best reason to make pot roast!

Veggie soup. Best reason to make pot roast!

I was breezing through yesterday’s veggie soup when it hit me — I have to teach cooking class at 5, which meant I would be cooking and eating dinner in class. Dammit. But I did sample it, and it’s good, and it will make a most enjoyable lunch.

The granola, which I make so regularly I have committed the recipe to memory, was its usual good stuff. Need to pick up coconut and cashews and pecans so I’ll have the makings for the next batch.

May not be a lot of cooking coming up, as I’m leaving for Boston on Monday; I will be eating well, but I don’t expect to be cooking much of it. We shall see.

In any event…you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em stand by to see what we come up with between now and Tuesday. There’ll be something, I’m sure.



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