Monthly Archives: January 2010

Oatmeal Bread

I love bread. I am quite happy to have a beer and bread for dinner (beer is really liquid bread, isn’t it?) That being said I try not to have that meal too often, for a variety of reasons, one being that if I had it all the time it wouldn’t be such a treat. I have been meaning to enter into the bread making world for a while but I kept putting it off. Last weekend, I committed my Sunday to bread making and it was well worth it.

Now I will be the first to admit that it isn’t the prettiest looking bread I have ever seen but I think it isn’t bad for a first go. The recipe comes from the Mennonite Central Committee’s More with Less cookbook. I recommend this book for it’s simple recipes and ideological perspective, especially in a time when concerns about food security and the ethical use of food resources are so pressing.The other books in the series are equally as good, Extending the Table and Simply in Season. You can buy these books from your local Ten Thousand Villages StoreMCC’s online store or your preferred bookseller.

Oatmeal Bread

Combine in a large bowl:
1 c. quick oats
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 T salt
2 T butter

Pour over the above mixture:
2 c. boiling water

Stir in to combine.

Dissolve:
1 pkg dry yeast (or 1 T) in
1/2 c. warm water

When batter is cooled to lukewarm, add yeast.

Stir in:
5 c. white flour

Once the flour is mixed knead the bread for 5-10 minutes. (I used my stand mixer for 5 minutes or so. I think that it could have used longer so I will try that next time). Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled (I think this took an hour or so). Punch down and let rise again (Once again I think it took an hour or a bit more).  Shape into 2 loaves and place in greased 9x5x3 pans. Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes. Cool and brush with butter. Eat this bread with your friends and family, good bread is meant for sharing.

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Cocoa-Nana Bread TWD

I can not get enough of banana recipes and when another one showed up on TWD I was more than happy to make it. Claire and I bailed on the first two recipes of the month because we just weren’t into them but I have to say this one was a winner. In my books, chocolate and banana is a stellar combination, and Dorie, of course, didn’t fail me. Thanks to Steph of Obsessed with Baking for selecting this recipe. If you haven’t checked out Steph’s blog yet you should; her photos are great and her baking looks picture perfect (and she is from Toronto too!)

Cocoa-Nana Bread

I made this recipe in a smaller loaf pan (8 x 4) and 4 mini bundt pans instead of the 9 x 5 that was called for. This meant that I could reduce the baking time and have more to share. As I was making this, I was wishing that I had one of these pans. I think this may have to be my next baking related purchase.

The photos are a little lame this week because even though I baked during the day, it was grey and rainy here in Toronto and my already super dark apartment wasn’t working with me. When I have more time I should make a light tent and when I have money I should get a DSLR. Until then, you my dear readers, will have to deal with my sketchy photos.

Cake Decorating

This past weekend, I took a cake decorating course at Artistic Cake Design in Ottawa. My friend Cindy, who is planning on making her friend’s wedding cake, had told me about the class and I decided to tag along. Considering that fact that I am pretty much the least creative person ever, I was a little nervous about how the class would go. Note: when I was in grade 8, I was told my painting was a waste of paint by my art teacher! However, I had a lot of fun and even though my cake was not the prettiest in the class, the day was full of learning and laughs!

The final product

Other than decorating this beauty of a cake, we learned some helpful hints about making and colouring icing and learned other decorating techniques such as character cakes (we did a snowman in class). I would definately recommend this course to anyone who was interested. They offer other courses that you can find on their website, but be warned, they fill up quickly! At the end of the day, everyone got to take home the decorating tools they used during the day, as well as their final cake! I was going out that night with friends, so I brought the cake along!

TWD Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars

It has been a little while since I posted a TWD, and I asked Caroline if I could make this weeks recipe. I think it was because it uses condensed milk and I figure, condensed milk makes most things taste yummy!

This weeks recipe was chosen by Lillian of Confectiona’s Realm. The recipe is on pages 114 and 115 if you have the book. I halved the recipe and used an 8×8 pan. I only used about half the suggested peanuts because I am not a big peanut fan. And, I omitted the raisins because in my world, raisins are not in candy bars:)

We just had these tonight after dinner, and I must say, they are quite yummy. Next time I might even add more peanuts. Many people had said they were better cold, so we did a taste-test and it is definitely true!  These are one of my favourite TWD recipes thus far. Thanks Lillian for choosing this yummy treat:)

Martha’s Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

I am constantly on the look-out for new chocolate chip cookie recipes to try. So, when Caroline gave me Martha Stewart’s Cookies in my stocking this Christmas, this cookie was an obvious first choice.

I made these the other morning after a request came in from a certain boy, asking for a sweet treat for his lunches and dinners at work. I didn’t have much time to work with and these cookies looked quick to whip up so I figured it was the perfect time to try them out!

I have to say, I really enjoyed these cookies! I got a text later on that night at work to say they were “awesome”, so I think I have found a new winner with these cookies. This recipe is a keeper:)

I made a few small changes along the way. First off, I never have light brown sugar so I used dark. Also, I used regular salt, halved the recipe and used milk chocolate chips only. And because I have a hot oven, I decreased the cooking time because the edges were golden at around the 9 minute mark.

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: Martha Stewart’s Cookies

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips (or a combo)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together flour and baking soda in a bowl. Put butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add salt, vanilla and eggs; mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Mix in flour. Stir in chocolate chips.

2. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies, rotating half-way until edges turn golden but the middle is still soft, 10-12 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks for about 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Can be stored at room temp for up to 1 week.

P.S. Sorry for the lack of posts the past few weeks. We at Bake With Us needed a small break from the sweet extravaganza that was Christmas but we are on our way to being back in the saddle. Keep reading, we’ve got lots of baked goods up our sleeves.

Low and Lush Cheesecake TWD

Well, I am just squeaking this one in. I realize that it isn’t Tuesday but there was this little comment that you could post this recipe during the week of the 28th, so here it is a few days late. The Tea Lady of Tea and Scones (what a great blog name eh?) picked this week’s recipe. I don’t recall ever making a cheesecake so this was a new one for me. I made it for New Year’s Eve, which S. and I spent in Waterloo with Pam and co. We played Rock Band and ate tons of food; it was a great way to ring in the new decade.

Low and Lush  Chocolate Cheesecake

Cheesecake in the snow

I think the cheesecake was a hit. It was pretty rich and we had been eating all night so people didn’t eat tons of it. I had one bite. I am not a chocolate cheesecake person so one was enough for me. Despite this, I was pleased with how it turned out, I think the low part made it much easier to tell that it was done. Next time I would like to try a vanilla cheesecake, now that’s something I can get behind.