Friday, March 02, 2012

Bun in the oven

A couple years ago, for a New Year's "resolution" I decided I'd try to bake all the bread we eat. It was great - until the summer came and our a/c units were soooo inefficient and our house was sooo hot and running an oven at 450+ degrees for an hour didn't seem like a great idea.

Then we got new a/c units and now our house can reasonably maintain 78 degrees even in the summer. With the oven on. Yay for modern appliances. Also, I figured out a system wherein I am organized and efficient enough to bake in the morning when it is cooler.

So, fast forward, and I'm still baking year-round. I mostly make sourdough breads & English muffins. However, I've learned to not be so militant about it because being militant about something like baking bread can make you nuts. If I'm having a busy week, or if the kids are sick, or if I just don't feel up to baking several loaves of bread, I have no problem whatsoever buying a loaf of squishy-soft, white, sliced sandwich bread. The kids act like I'm giving them candy for breakfast and I get a reprieve from them complaining about having to eat, because it turns out they will eat most anything if it is accompanied by sandwich bread (this includes previously taboo foods like asparagus, fish, salads, tomatoes, and pot roast).

I'm happy that the kids know what fresh, home-made bread tastes like; they appreciate the vast differences in taste, texture and appearance. They don't always like it (even I'm not a fan of 100% whole wheat homemade - way to dense, crumbly and dry) but they appreciate it.

There are a few other things that we usually only eat homemade/homegrown: ice cream, baked goods in general, waffles & pancakes, soup, tomatoes, and, recently, jams and jellies. We used to not eat packaged cereals, but with Anders being in school full-time, my mornings were crazy and I've resorted to Cheerios, Grape-nuts and Life as a time-saver. Enter the No-Cereal Challenge. Since both kids also like oatmeal, granola, waffles, pancakes, yogurt, fruit, smoothies and toast, I'm going to challenge them to give up the boxes of processed, packaged cereal in favor of these other things. If I can freeze 3-4 loaves of bread a week, surely I can maintain a supply of waffles and granola? And it will be one less thing to buy.

Waffles of Insane Greatness
(from here)

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Butter and syrup, for serving

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat a waffle iron. Do not use non-stick spray on the waffle iron; the oil in the batter will allow the waffle to release easily. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately with butter and syrup.


4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups raw pecans, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups large flake coconut chips
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 300° F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, pecans, coconut, maple syrup, coconut oil, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake until golden all over, about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

1 comment:

Janis said...

For some reason I clicked on this link and was surprised to find a couple of new posts! THANKS TRISH! I'll be trying your recipes, although I'm not the best in the kitchen. I'll be sure to check back a bit more frequently! Your technologically-challenged friend, Janis