toasted oatmeal bread

I mentioned in my last post I was trying a new bread recipe.  Toasted oatmeal bread.  The goal was to have more flavor in the regular oatmeal bread that the boyos like so well.  And I did succeed.  I will also admit that I have made this twice and it turns out better for me if I do not extra hands helping.

I could get very philosophical about this bread.  Bread in general.  But bread is wonderful food for the belly and meditation for the hands.  The boyos think they will starve if there is not lady made bread in the house.

My house was very cold when I made this so all the rising times were very long.  That helped develop more flavor as well.  It will be April before I have to worry about much warmth in the house to make the rise happen faster.

toasted oatmeal bread

Note:  I used Zachary Golper's method of toasting and grinding the oats in this loaf.  He uses steel cut oats and those are my favorite.  I would like not to have to buy three types of oats for the house!


1 cup steel cut oats

2 cups water

2 tablespoons molasses

1/4 cup brown sugar

5 plus cups flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons butter

Lately, I have been using so much sourdough that I have gone to a quart jar.  I used about 1/4 cup of sourdough that had been refreshed for this bread.

Put the steel cut oats in a cast iron pan.  Put the pan in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven and let toast for about four minutes.  Stir.  Toast for another four minutes.  Stir.  Check the browning.  Watch them closely for the next four minutes because somewhere in there they will go from nicely golden to black very quickly.  It does not take much more then this, especially in a toaster oven!

I have a high powered blender.  A ninja.  I dump the toasted oats in that and let blend for about 15 minutes.  I usually leave the room.  The flour should be fairly fine but you will have to blend it even longer to get fine flour or sieve.  I just chose to have a gritty texture added to the bread.

In a large bowl, put the sourdough, 2 cups of water, the oat flour, molasses, and brown sugar.  Mix well. Mix in three cups of flour. Cover and let get bubbly.  It took about four hours or more in my cold kitchen.  But the yeasty beasties were happy!  The batter should remind you of pancake batter.

When the dough is bubbly, mix in the salt.  Mix in enough flour to make a kneadable dough.  Soft but not stiff.  It is better to go for less flour because the grittty oats will still take up water.  Smear the butter on the counter and knead it into the dough as well.  Put back into a bowl and cover.  Let rise for about an hour.  Flatten gently and fold.  Do this twice more.  Put in the refrigerator for over night.

The next day, line a loaf pan with parchment paper or butter it.  Take the dough out of the refrigerator and shape it into a load.  Put in the pan.  Let rise.  This could take close to all day.

When the dough has risen well, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour.  I over filled my pan so I had crazy edges.

So good!  My next loaf is seedier because I had help.  But it is all good.  It is bread.  The bread I was making today got turned into pizza so I will start more tomorrow.  I need to clean the bowl out a bit.



creating energy

I am no longer used to sitting in an office for six hours a day.  Or looking at a computer for even close to that amount of time.  I am used to being much more creative then that all the time now.

Yesterday, instead of touching a computer, I played with my crochet hook.  I balled yarn.  I created granny squares for the afghan I making.  Maybe it will be here in time for Ziggy Monster to be born.  He could use it then.  Okay, we can share.

I played with bread recipes yesterday.  I like the boyos favorite bread but I just wanted more depth.  They also thought they were going to starve so sourdough was started without me.  It was hilarious!  Bread was made and it was lovely.  I am going to document that recipe.

I have been living on bean soup this week.  It travels well in one of my thermal containers.  More beans needed to be started.  Not eating lunch out is a win!  Really breakfast too.

The pajamas are starting to be made.  I am also working on some different styles of quilts.  And I keep thinking I need to work on more bags.  It has everything to do with just feeling the need  for more creative time.  

When I left the corporate world, I never stopped.  Now, I am just trying to add that in on top of everything else.  I know it means the creating will need to slow down just a bit because there only so many hours in the day.  But this is supposed to be a short contract and I am going to take it as such.  A fund for books, fabric, and yarn.  If it becomes more then that, I wil need to rethink the situation.


mad rush of pajama making

It is the wild pajama making season again.  I am not really sure how I am going to get everything done for Christmas that I have planned to do.  I have also decided not to worry about it.  My life is goign to be rather topsy turvy for the next couple of months.  Maybe even four.

I was laughing because my December posts could be the same every year.  Similar cookies get baked and sent.  Pajamas are madly made.  This year I also need to build two beds.  It is going to be a very interesting December.

And on top of that, everyone I know seems to have a cold.  Drinking tea hurts.  That is unforgivable.  But there is also not much I can do about it.  I have tried to rest more.  Sleep does not always seem to happen which is why I say rest.

I am going to try to get all that flannel ironed today so I am ready for cutting.  There is one more piece that I did not show.  I will probably iron until dinner, at leaset.  Not that I have any ideas for that.  Are cookies okay?



A while back, the boyos worked with a Chef who sent them spices and marinades for knife work.  They thought it was a wonderful trade because lunch is made every day.  Usually something meat based.

One of the marinades that was sent was kalbi.  Kalbi is a Korean barbecue sauce.  Or at least that is what my research told me as well as the boyos.  That does not mean the boyos really use it that way.  They use it as the sauce on their rice bowls a lot!

The problem is they were running out.  I got asked to make them some more.  I was a bit trepidatious.  The Chef who sent the marinade has good handle on flavors so I was a bit concerned.  The worse that could happen would be that they did not like this one!  I found a recipe online that was pretty simple and gave it a go with a few tweaks.  The boyos think it is better!

The hardest thing about this recipe was collecting all the ingredients.  Especially on a Saturday morning. I also have a good blender which one of the boyos sharpened the blades for me.  I do not look forward to washing it but it does a good job.


Note:  I used Kimchimari's recipe as a starting spot with a few tweaks/more specific then are given with that recipe.

1/2 onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1/2 cup water

1 cup low sodium gluten free tamari sauce

1/2 cup malbec (I used Alamos)

1 cup sugar

8 to 10 garlic cloves

4 green onions, the ends removed and cleaned

4 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon unhulled sesame seeds

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons plum sauce

Peel and roughly chop half of one onion.  Put it in the blender container with a half a cup water and blend until smooth.

Once the onion is fairly smooth, add the soy sauce, wine, sugar, garlic, green onions, sesame oils, sesame seeds, ground pepper, and plum sauce.  Blend well between each addition.  The blender probably ran for close to 15 minutes.

This fit in a quart jar and I am storing it in the refrigerator.

It is quite nice.


making an afghan

This week has felt wild!  My body is not used to riding a bicycle every day anymore.  I have achy joints!  And my body is not used to all that sitting either!  

I did update the sour cream raisin pie recipe that my Dad approves off.  I am still slightly tweaking the oven temperature.  He thinks that it could just be a tad moister.  I feel like I won!  Cake and pie!  Wahoo!

When I went and saw my parents in October, I left an afghan with my Dad.  He was looking for specific size and weight.  I totally understand in this crazy family.  I am not mending a security blanket that is 32 years old.  I need to buy more of that yarn.

I was thinking that this would give me permission to make another afghan.  No clear plans but soon.  I was on Instagram and came across the rustic granny square (I think).  It is very lacy and I am drawn lace currently.  I was able to find the pattern posted and gave it a try.  I did not use the whole pattern, just the center.  I like how it is turning out.  I am using the mini skeins I had purchased for mending.  I can still use them for mending but now I will have a wonderfully colored afghan out of those as well. 

This is going to be much lighter then the one I gave to my Dad.  I was thinking that I might make it a size that would work as a shawl too.  Fold it in half into a triangle and wear it.  I am also using the same pattern for the dress I am making.  

I have really love to create.  Being back in an office is feeling very soul sucking.  It will help buy more yarn, books, and fabric for a little bit.  I just need more control.  And patience with the library!