Friday, January 23, 2009

Old Cookbook Friday!

A personal note before I review this week's old cookbook: kudos to WVU's basketball team! They stomped the Hoyas of Georgetown last night! Thankfully, my dad called to let me know it was on ESPN(dads are thoughtful that way!)
Anyway, you didn't sign on for sports talk! You want to know which of my old cookbooks I pulled off the shelf this week, right?! The old cookbook of the week is Homemade Bread By the Food Editors of Farm Journal. It was published in 1969 by Doubleday & Co. It's Library of Congress catalog number is 69-10973.
This pre-bread machine delight covers yeast breads for the serious baker, and quick breads and everyday staples for the rest of us. My favorite section is the one on coffee cakes. It has ethnic recipes such as Swedish Tea Ring, Easter Egg Bread, Stollen and Bohemian Kolaches. And who doesn't enjoy a good kolach now and then? This book was enlightening for some of us who had no idea that such a Bohemian delicacy existed. If anyone else is wondering, they're little sugar-dusted rolls with apricot or prune filling.
While it has a few exotic recipes, it is brimming with practical, everyday recipes for muffins, biscuits, cornbread, waffles and every type of loaf bread that you can imagine. I encourage you to search for it! I plan to make blueberry muffins, my husband's favorite, from it later this afternoon. I'll let you know next week if it was a hit or miss. Happy Friday!

I think this sample recipe would be a great bread to have on the kitchen counter for the weekday morning rush. Around here, I'm always looking for nutritious, fast and portable breakfast food to grab on the way out the door. This would also be delicious when you have time to enjoy it with hot tea, at a slower pace...maybe Saturday morning...with the paper....oh, sorry, just daydreaming!

p. 19 Old Fashioned Oatmeal Bread

2 C milk
2 C quick rolled oats, uncooked
1/4 C brown sugar, firmly packed
1 TBSP salt
2 TBSP shortening
1 Pkg. active dry yeast
1/2 C warm water(110 to 115 degrees)
5 C all-purpose flour(approx.)
1 egg white
1 TBSP water
rolled oats
-Scald milk; stir in 2 C rolled oats, brown sugar, salt and shortening. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
-Add milk mixture and 2 C flour to yeast. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally, 2 minutes. Or beat with spoon until batter is smooth.
-Add enough remaining flour, a little at a time, first with spoon and then with hands, to make a soft dough that leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn onto floured board; knead until dough is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Place in lightly greased bowl; turn dough over to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch down and let rise again until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
-Turn onto board and divide in half. Round up to make 2 balls. Cover and let rise 10 minutes. Shape into loaves and place in greased 9x5x3" loaf pans. Let rise until almost doubled, about 1 hr. and 15 min. Brush tops of loaves with egg white beaten with water and sprinkle with rolled oats.
-Bake in moderate oven(375 degrees)about 40 minutes(if bread starts to brown too much, cover loosley with a sheet of aluminum foil after baking 15 min.)
Makes 2 loaves.

I know that if you're like me(not a bread baker by nature)this sounds long and complicated, but it might be a fun project for a slow Sunday afternoon. Then, on Monday morning, when everyone's flying by in a flurry of car keys, coats and school books, they can grab a healthy slice of oatmeal bread and a banana. Here's to you!

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