A long long time again in a galaxy far far away . . . wait no not quite. A long time ago in a state far away, I bought a bread machine and proceeded to make bread bricks (literally – just ask my kids). Along the way I got better at bread baking and found a recipe on a usenet or forum for bread machines called “Trashy Wheat Bread” which was lighter than whole wheat. My twist was to use honey instead of sugar, so it became “Trashy Honey Wheat Bread” and my go-to favorite receipt for my many bread machines (I’m on my fourth one now and thinking about upgrading to the latest Zojirishi this year).
Once my kids left me an empty nester, the need to bake bread two or three times a week lessened, and my bread machine gathered dust. I’d pull it out of storage for Thanksgiving and Christmas for the dough cycle only (to make the family traditional Sticky Buns).
Early in the pandemic, I had a brief resurgent interest in sourdough but after a few months, the carbs weighed on me and both the sourdough starter and the bread machine suffered from my neglect.
Now that I’ve moved halfway across the country near my kids and grandchildren, I’ve been paying my rent in bread. Of course, my daughter asked for the aforementioned trashy honey wheat bread, which I attempted to make multiple times but could never quite get the recipe right. I went searching for a blog post here assuming that I had written up the original recipe for posterity, but the link took me to an old blog posting that was no longer viable.
So, I searched the internet hoping to find the original forum post but again no luck. Instead, I took a different tact and searched for recipes specific to my Zojirushi and found a Half-and-Half Bread recipe that I began tweaking to more closely resemble my Trashy Honey Wheat recipe. Two days ago, I hit the proverbial bread ball out of the park when my daughter took the loaf out of the bread machine and proclaimed success.
On my sixth day of self-exile in my own home, and several sourdough loaves later, I wanted to try something different. My lazy self, before the world turned upside-down, would buy a loaf of Pepperidge Farm Oatmeal bread once or twice a month. Baking bread, especially sourdough, isn’t onerous (Thank you Lord for my bread machine!) but does require you set aside the time necessary to manage the process. It doesn’t require a lot of brain cycles, but in my previously ‘normal’ routine, starting bread after six o’clock at night meant being up past my bedtime before it was done and cool enough to bag. Weekends were usually spent running errands, volunteering, shopping, visiting friends and relatives or attending events. For the foreseeable future, my bread machine and I are going to be BFFs!
Almost two weeks into the new year and we finally saw some snow. So, I spent the entire weekend doing indoor activities (except for that one time I went out and shoveled the heavy wet perfect-for-snowman-making white stuff off of my driveway). Oh, and I did have to make a trip to the grocery store Sunday morning to pickup some missing ingredient items for the calzones I planned to make that afternoon.
The dough part of the recipe is actually found on page 176 and is called “Hearth Bread Pizza.” I use half of that recipe every time I make home-made pizza crust. This time I did the whole recipe, all six cups of flour, and opted to use my Kitchen-aid mixer with a dough hook until I got beyond the five cup range. I also did a full rise, not the no-rise option, which I usually do for thin crust pizza dough. Continue reading “Recipe Review: Calzones (4 stars)”
I received a call from my son Thursday evening. This is a somewhat unusual occurrence as the last time I spoke to him was on the occasion of his 31st birthday back in early February. In our defense, we are both busy professionals working much more than your typical 40-hour work week, so we don’t have a lot of spare time for idle chit-chat.
We exchanged pleasantries and got caught up on the latest antics of their new pet Rottweiler, Ton Ton, when he popped the question. You know, the one you always expect when your offspring call you because they never call you unless they … wait for it … want something. But this time, my son surprised me. He wanted my Italian Herb bread recipe.
Seriously? This was too easy and too good to be true.
It was raining and thundering this morning. That means a perfect day to make bread. I asked Terry what type of bread he would like me to bake and he said ‘honey oat.’ So I went to my favorite flour company (King Arthur Flour) and searched through their recipes for an oat bread. I landed on the Vermont Whole Wheat Oat Honey bread recipe with 207 reviews and an above four star rating. I thought I’d made this recipe in the past, so I blithely started dumping the ingredients into the pan of my bread machine. My first clue that this was NOT a bread machine recipe should have been the two cups of water. Most bread machine recipes are between one and one and a third cups water with three to four cups of flour.
Since the temperature broke into the mid-60s yesterday under clear sunny skies, I decided to uncover the grill for dinner. I started this recipe in the bread machine in early afternoon so the buns would be done when the burgers came off the grill.
I did not butter the buns before baking nor after baking. Nor did I do an egg wash with sesame seeds. I went completely easy and simple and just shaped eight bun balls and baked them. Next time, I’ll probably divided the dough into ten or twelve pieces for smaller buns and perhaps add the sesame seed topping.
Both my husband and I loved the buns. They taste and smell like great hamburger buns from a bakery, only very fresh! I highly recommend this recipe.
I spent most of Sunday baking. First I tested a new bread recipe (see previous post on the Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread recipe). Terry and I wanted to have Italian for dinner, so I decided to make some Italian herb bread. I reviewed my two ‘stand by’ recipes, Italian Supermarket Bread and Rosemary Sourdough, and decided I really needed to program my Zojirushi for a custom dough cycle (less kneading, more rising). I couldn’t find the print edition that I received with the BB-CEC20 bread machine (I filed it away with all the other appliance manuals), so I downloaded a searchable copy (aka as a PDF file).