Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Barb's Oatmeal Bread, My Christmas Gift to you.

My mother in law Barbara is a fabulous cook and baker. This woman is serious about her baking. She has been known to travel with her bread pans. Hairdressers actually accept her bread as a tip and are thrilled. Barbara loves to tell me the story about when my husband was a tot he would come home to fresh baked bread and gorge himself. As he stuffed his cute little face he said that the woman he married would have to know how to bake bread. Yeah, well guess who married him....ha.
As you know my husband is about as picky as you can get but put a loaf of hot homemade bread in front of him and the man loses all control as does the kid. She takes after her father.
I have made some modifications to Barbara's Oatmeal Bread. Here is my take on it.
Susy's Oatmeal Bread
3 cup of water
1/2 of orange juice ( I didn't have any so hence the tangerines...)
2 cups of oatmeal (like Quaker Oats but not the instant stuff)
1 cup of molasses
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 tsp salt
4 pkgs of dry yeast ( I have the loose stuff so it is about 9 tsp)
1 cup of hot tap water for the yeast to dissolve in
3 cups King Arthur Bread Flour
9 cups King Arthur Whole Wheat White Flour

This is Barbara's orginal  recipe.
As I said, I didn't have any orange juice so my friend Carolyn helped me out with tangerines which I squeezed.

3 of the tangerines yielded 1/2 cup.
Combine the orange juice and the 3 cups of water and heat in the microwave until boiling.
In the meantime dig out your yeast and add it...

to the cup of hot tap water.
Now put your oatmeal 

in a bowl

grab your olive oil 

and add a 1/2 cup to the oatmeal....don't worry it will taste good I promise.

Find your molasses

and using your cup that you used for the olive oil (don't rinse it out, trust me on this, you'll see why)

Add the molasses to the oatmeal and olive oil.

Don't forget the salt.

Add 2 of these cute little buggers to the mix.

I know, you were wondering where the orange juice and water come in... well add that in too.

Then add 4 cups of flour.

I like to add 2 of the whole wheat flour 

and 2 of the bread flour.

Add the yeast and

fire up the Kitchen Aid Mixer. 

This will save you. YOU must get one. Mix. 

Add more flour

and mix

and then the rest of the flour (remember it is a 12 cups of flour all together) and mix.

It will look like this.

Dump it out on a baking mat and cover with a bit of flour and knead until it doesn't stick to your hands any more.

It will look like this.

Then cover that baby up with a warm wet towel (or saran wrap) and walk away.

You don't have to babysit it, go read a book, run a short errand. It will double in size (about 1-1.5 hours).

I know crazy huge. Grease your bread pans. I have 1/2 loave pans and I make 6 loaves out of this monster.

Knead it a bit and then roll it into 1 long loaf.

Cut it up into 6 pieces.

Shape into loaves.

Pop those bad boys into the pans.

 I like to put  a piece of waxed paper between the cloth and the bread at this point so it won't stick.Cover'em up and walk away

They will double in size without any help from you so preheat the oven to 350 degrees F in anticipation.

Put them in the oven for 25-35 minutes.  Everyone's oven is different. Keep an eye on them.

Don't they look gorgeous?

I guarantee that these freeze well if you can keep them from the clamoring brood long enough to get them into the freezer.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from me to all of you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cranberry Orange Relish, How do I love thee?

Hi! Have you missed me? I have been busy with the peanut. She had surgery down at Boston Children's Hospital last week and her surgeries always throw me for a loop. She is fine by the way, its all standard for us. And she is the Miracle Child. We have A LOT of togetherness time. She does skype school the week before and then we have the week of surgery and this year with have the WHOLE Thanksgiving week. So I have neglected you all.
One of my absolute favorite foods around this time of year is cranberries. Some of you love the cranberries in a can, others love the boiled on the stove with sugar. In my family it's Cranberry Orange relish. YUM! I have been known to actually eat the whole bowl. I did it a few weeks ago in fact. Come on! Its good for you. I don't feel a bit guilty.

Cranberry Orange Relish
1 lb of Vermont Cranberries
2 McIntosh Apples from Shelburne Orchards
1 large Navel Orange
1 cup of SugarTree Maple Farm Maple sugar flakes

And that is it! All you have to have is a food processor or food grinder.

Wash up your cranberries!

Have I ever told you how much I love my Kitchen Aid? 

Put those cranberries in the grinder and crank her up.

Next come your apples.

Isn't that a beautiful orange?

Maple Sugar flakes, Yowza!

Add your sugar.


Restrain yourself, it should sit in the frig for a day for the flavors to meld but I have been known to sample some here or there...
Happy Thanksgiving Folks! Cherish your families and eat some cranberry relish!