As summer comes to an end, my kitchen moves into cooler weather mode. This means baking: in the fall and winter I make most of my family’s bread here at home. Cooler weather means bread!
Making bread need not be a difficult task. You can spread out the steps, stick the dough in the refrigerator while you run errands, or maybe make a no-knead bread that comes together quickly. A few tools help, but all you really need is a bowl and a spoon. You might like a Danish-style dough whisk – this makes mixing even a stiff dough easy.
Here are some my family’s favorites (click on the photo to visit the recipe)
Usually I make this with 100% all-purpose flour, but sometimes substitute other flours (bread flour, or whole wheat flour) cup-for-cup.
Oatmeal wheat bread: oatmeal, whole wheat flour, honey, brown sugar, and just a whiff of cinnamon: this bread makes the whole house smell wonderful. Takes about 3 hours for 2 loaves. I use my big stand mixer to mix and knead this bread, though you could just stir it yourself and knead by hand. Omit the cinnamon if you wish (you don’t taste it as much as you smell it)
Irish brown bread: one loaf in one hour. Whole wheat with a smidge of white flour, molasses, water. Stir and bake. If you have a grain mill, use freshly ground flour. Best in a wide (9 x 5 x 3 inches) loaf pan.
This loaf is unusual in that partway through baking you’ll remove it from the pan and put it back in the oven, upside-down on the rack.
Leftover Oatmeal Bread: what I do with leftover oatmeal: add water, honey, yeast and flour, and make this splendid bread. 2 loaves, 3 hours. I use steel-cut oats, but probably any leftover oatmeal will do.