Ahhh…fall is back! If I could just have this season year round that would be fine with me. Cooler temperatures (but not too cold), colorful leaves, sweaters and apples! My favorite thing about the cooler temps is that I can turn on my oven and have the windows open. So, of course I’ve been baking!
Fall is in the air which means that my need to bake has kicked in. Last weekend we went apple picking and “accidentally” picked 13 pounds of apples! I’ve been trying to make good use of them this week. If you’ve read my blog before, you know that fall and my need to bake means muffin time! I make a batch of cinnamon apple muffins last week and while they were yummy I couldn’t help wondering if the could be improved with some caramel. I mean, come on, how can you not combine caramel and apples? It’s only natural!
A couple months ago I started making our bread. I’m just tired of paying $4.00 for mooshy bread. Unless I’m at Trader Joe’s, then I take a few days off from baking and buy a loaf. Anyways…I started playing around with recipes around Christmas time. I usually make 2 loaves at a time, 1 for sandwiches and 1 cinnamon raisin.
Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 tablespoons lard, softened
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup oats
2 tablespoons flax meal
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
4 cups unbleached white flour
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Stir in lard, salt, oats, flax meal and two cups of the flour, starting with the wheat flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean dishcloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form into loaves. Place the loaves into two lightly greased 9×5 inch loaf pans. Cover the loaves with plastic wrap and a dishcloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Yes, I do use lard… Mom brought some to us, so I use it in the bread. But you could use any shortening or butter of choice.
We also make one loaf into cinnamon raisin bread. After dividing dough into 2 parts and before forming loaves, roll dough for 1 loaf out. Roll it so it is about 9 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick…it will be about 20 inches long or so.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar and 1-2 Tbs of cinnamon ( depending on how much cinnamon you like), then sprinkle with about a 1/3 cup of raisins. With having a toddler in the house we always have those little boxes of raisins in the pantry. This is a great way to use up the box that got partially eaten, then dried out. The raisins will plump up great while baking.
I should probably rename my blog to How to Feed Squishy. Lately all of my posts seem to be new recipes, but when you have a toddler who is into food, well… So, anyways. We had some of those store bought Nutrigrain bars that someone brought us. I was grabbing one for myself to snarf first thing in the morning because when I wake up I’m starving!
Advantage of breastfeeding? I can eat like a teenage boy and not worry about my weight. Disadvantage of breastfeeding? I want to constantly eat like a teenage boy.
So, back to the bars. Just recently Squishy has decided that he should get to eat my bar with me when we get up in the morning. I had never thought too much about what was in them until he wanted a bite.
High fructose corn syrup? Mono-what? Poly saturated-huh? Somethingluten-whatta? No, not ok.
So the other day during nap time I went into the kitchen to figure something out that he would like & I would not wince if he ate it. I used a can of Oregon blueberries for the fruit because 1. I had them on hand and 2. The ingredients in them are blueberries, sugar and water. That’s it! You can use any fruit flavor you like or even preserves of your choice. You just won’t have to reduce your preserves to thicken them. If you have fresh fruit you could cook them with a little sugar and water and follow my canned directions.
Fruit & Whole Grain Bar Recipe
1 can Oregon blueberries
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup oats
1/2 cup wheat flour
2 tbs flax meal
6 tbs wheat germ
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
Out of boredom and a desire to bake I have come up with a new muffin recipe! This time Cherry nut!
Cherry nut muffins ~
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup soft shortening
1 cup dried cherries, chopped
3/4 cup orange juice
juice from 1 lime
Enough milk to make 1 cup liquid when added to juice
1/2 cup chopped pecans
nut topping: Mix below ingredients together for topping
1/3 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Simmer dried cherries on low with orange and lime juice for about 5 minutes or until cherries are tender. Remove from heat, drain and set aside left juices and cherries to cool a bit.
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. When juices are cooled a bit add enough milk to them to make 1 cup of liquid. Add all wet ingredients with cooled cherries and chopped nuts, mix well.
Spoon into greased muffin tin or ones lined with muffin cups, Top with nut topping mixture.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.