Thursday, January 17, 2008

Leftover oatmeal bread

1. Have baby.
2. Wait one year.
3. When baby refuses the delicious, nutritious oatmeal you have lovingly prepared according to package instructions that he normally loves for, say, two days in a row, consider what else you might do with it.


4. Be too lazy to get out a recipe book, and say to yourself, I can whip this oatmeal into a delicious bread! Like the phoenix from the ashes, it will rise again! (Get it? Rise.)

5. Double check random recipe on back of yeast packet to get the hang of things, even though it doesn't call for oatmeal in the slightest. Figure you are all set.

6. Mix two packets of yeast with some warm water and dissolve yeast. Yeast packet says a half cup. Eyeball it.


7. Wonder if you should wait a few minutes for the yeast to "activate." Remember something about waiting for bubbles to appear on the top, check yeast packet recipe, it doesn't say anything about that. Move on.

8. Add leftover oatmeal. Mix.


9. Add some melted butter. And some salt. And throw in some milk, because your baby's been refusing that too, might as well use it. You know. Till it looks right. Mix.




10. Oh yes, forgot the honey. What's wheat bread without honey? Dump some in and mix.


11. Add wheat flour and white flour. About 5 cups total, 3 wheat and 2 white.


12. Mix together with your hands to form a soft dough. Dream about the day you will have one of these:



13. Let dough rise for 1.5 hours or so. Make cup of tea. Stare at sleeping baby. Check email. Dough will go from this:



To this:


14. Knead again, starting with a very satisfying punch.


Feel earthy and powerful and like you are on the verge of understanding life because you are hand-kneading bread dough.


Reflect that it is pretty good to be baking bread on a cold gray Northwest afternoon.


15. Wonder whether you have made enough for two loaves or one. Shrug. Decide to go with one big one. Shape dough and put in bread pan. Let rise again for another hour or so.


Let baby play with flour with his best friend the spoon:


16. Go on walk with baby. Forget about rising bread dough. Let bread rise for two hours instead of one. Check in turned off oven where it has been rising.


Fret that you have ruined it.

17. Bake it anyway. 400 degrees, 30 minutes. Smell the yum yum yum. Fantasize that Martha Stewart has just popped by unannounced and you say, oh hello, I'm just baking bread. Want some tea?


18. Let it cool for a few minutes. As few as you can stand. Cut. Realize it came out just fine.


19. Eat warm. Realize it totally came out just fine.


20. Share with baby. Rejoice that he does not refuse oatmeal or milk in this form.


"[Breadbaking is] one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world's sweetest smells...there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel. that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread." M. F. K. Fisher, The Art of Eating

27 comments:

The Chatty Housewife- said...

Tricky tricky! Can you put broccoli in there too when kids refuse it? You did a great job with no recipe, I am amazed.

Melissa said...

Now I want bread.

see you there! said...

Love MFK Fisher's writing. Good job on the bread, it looks delicious. I used to occasionally give my kids homemade oatmeal cookies for breakfast. Hey, oatmeal and raisins with a glass of milk? Nothing wrong with that and they thought it was something special, LOL!

Darla

Vanessa said...

OHHHH! I LOVE fresh baked bread, nothing in the world like it. And yes, gray Pacific Northwest day is a great day for making bread.

Also? I have total Kitchen Aid lust too.

Rima said...

That looks de-lish! I could never do that.

Melanie said...

Oh, yum. I'm sure your house smells like heaven on Earth. Don't you feel incredibly domestic and capable, right now?

(If MS does stop by, YOU'LL CALL ME, right?)

boogiemum said...

Love this post! I haven't bought one loaf, pizza crust, english muffin, bagel or the likes in 6 months and I couldn't be happier. I may have to try this oatmeal idea out :)

Mrs. G. said...

I love this post. I can't get enough of Bubba and his spoon. I actually laughed loudly at this photo, and I'm more of a chuckler. The bread looks great!!

Anne-Marie said...

I never cease to be amazed at your ability to whip up bread on a whim... Looks yummy!

The End of Motherhood? said...

If anything could inspire me to make bread, it would be that post BUT I think I need that picky eater baby in the house for inspiration....Too cute.

Mac and Cheese said...

Wow. I would have just chucked out the oatmeal. You rule.

lapoflux said...

I am so impressed that it turned out, you must have inherited breadmaking genes.
And now I have to go try and scrounge up something tom compare with your bread, instead of going to sleep.
But of course nothing will ;-)

Mary Alice said...

That was a wonderful pictorial of a breadbaking day. My Mom used to use the leftover oatmeal up like that too. That brought such great memories. Thank you. I could almost smell it all fresh from the oven.

Claire B. said...

What a great post--I am amazed you can just do that with stuff I also have in the pantry but would never even try to mix together without a recipe. I'm so repressed. And impressed. And the mfk fisher was a lovely touch.

Grandy said...

Wow...that's some work. I probably would have left it for SEVERAL hours, having forgotten about it. Impressive!!!

hippyhappyhay said...

WOW, can I just say you are truly amazing. What would I have done with that oatmeal...ah, try rubbish bin or dog bowl. Awesome!
Even Martha would be blown away.

Childlife said...

OK, you get my favorite post of the year award - LOL! : D You totally need to write a recipie book. This speaks to me... it's how I cook : )

TwoSquareMeals said...

I would never have thought to use leftover oatmeal! What a great idea. And the instructions were hilarious. We baked yesterday here, a snowy, cold, and gray day. My MIL's bread recipe that I use is an oatmeal-honey-white-wheat concoction much like that, only with uncooked oatmeal. Yum!

wheelsonthebus said...

Well, that certainly beats tossing it in the trash! Looks great.

Bananas said...

whoa. I am seriously impressed.

Phyllis Sommer said...

impressive AND funny!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Ha ha ha, you sound just like me when I'm "creating" in the kitchen (even down to the Martha Stewart fantasy). I remember feeling so evil, so sly, so brilliant for feeding my kids applesauce made from all the half eaten apples I found around the house one day (they were fresh that morning and I promise I washed them first).

farmfunnies&amerryheart4u said...
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Childlife said...
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