the essence of home

February 29, 2012

When I think of home- our little red brick home tucked away in the middle of the prairies- the first thing that calls up into my mind would be our family's leather Bible.  I think of how papa opens it every night after supper and how his handsome, quiet voice lets the words drop and fall into the air.  How in years to come, it'll be impossible for me to forget his brown eyes looking into mine as he reads those blessed words and talks about them freely to us.

I'll stop before I have us all crying.

The other thing would be the smell of bread.  It exists in our house like air does.  Ever since I was little, bread was always being made and baked by mama's hands.  I remember- when I was four or so- being allowed to have a small piece of dough to roll and roll to my heart's content- just like mama.  When we went to nana's house, you could just expect to have fresh baked bread with dinner.

When I got to be around 12, I began learning the art of breadmaking.  Don't use too much flour...  There is such a thing as overkneading and overrising your dough.  Don't forget the yeast!  The lighter the bread, the better the bread.  Rising is essential- just don't overdo it!  And for goodness sake child wear your apron!  Thus began my love affair with bread.

This week was one of those weeks where a person just yearned for the taste of hot bread in their mouth.  So I made some one morning and thought I'd share the recipe with y'all.

maple syrup oat Loaf

1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
¼ cup unsalted butter, diced
1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a blender or food processor
¾ cup whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
5 tablespoons maple syrup
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast

to do

Combine all the dough ingredients, and mix and knead them until you have a soft, smooth dough.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or 8-cup measure (the measure lets you track the dough's progress as it rises), and let it rise until nearly doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.
Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a 9" log. Place it in the prepared pan. Cover the pan and let the bread rise until it crowns about 1 ½" over the rim of the pan, 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F  Uncover the bread, and bake it for 40 to 45 minutes.  Remove the bread from the oven, and after about a minute turn out onto a rack to cool.
Yield: one 9" x 5" loaf




Willa Nicole said...

Such a beautiful post, Gabby! Those pictures are amazing and the bread looks so tasty! :) Miss you!

Oriana said...

This is a beautiful post! And that bread looks so good.(:

Grace said...

how lovely!!! have you ever attempted making brioche? I am very much looking forward to making cibatta from a recipe from a certain sweet someone. *wink, wink*

love you always,
your goosey girl.

Emily Ruth said...

Mm...this looks and sounds delicious, m'dear! Thanks for sharing it with us. *smiles*.


Jessica said...

i simply love your writing. so simple, yet it speaks volumes. this bread looks delicious, but then, i must give due credit to your superb photography skills ;)

Jessica @ Diary of a Beautiful Soul

Anonymous said...

" There is such a thing as overkneading and overrising your dough." Ohhh Yes. We recently started making our own bread, and we thought that the more you knead, the better, right?? Not at all, our bread was coming out stiff and funky, and I wish you'd have posted this sooner, luckily we realized what we where doing wrong. Anywho, sorry for the lengthy comments, but this post was super!

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