C- in Bread

Yesterday, along with making my lovely flowers, I was busy in the kitchen trying to "use up" some of my ingredients before rushing off to the store. The plan included oatmeal breakfast bars, chocolate chip cookies (from the freezer), white bread, dinner rolls, and pizza dough. Yes, yes, I see now that I had bitten off way more than I could chew, which no doubt attributed the poor marks in my bread-making skills.

First, let's start by saying what did work. The oatmeal bars were great, and a recipe you all might enjoy. These are a variation of Sara Snow's Oatmeal Fruit Bars, whose recipe has quite a few health-nut ingredients that I just don't have in my pantry. Here's my adjusted recipe:

2 c whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1 t cardamom
1 stick butter, room temp.
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c honey
1/4 c milk
1 t vanilla
1 t lemon zest
1 c dried cranberries
1/2 c chocolate chips
1 1/2 c coconut
3 c oats

Mix first six ingredients in a medium bowl. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar, then add eggs, honey, milk, vanilla, and zest. Add in dry mix and combine. Stir in fruit, chips, coconut, and oats. Press into a cake pan (I used a glass 9x13 pan) and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Okay, on to the failures. I tried three new recipes: ATK rustic dinner rolls, Williams-Sonoma white bread, and Emeril's pizza dough. All I'm going to say about the pizza dough is that that is how I would expect play-dough to work if I chose to make a pizza on it. It was terrible, the worst ever, hard to work with and completely flavorless.

The other two recipes, however, should have been good, but I think I had a problem with them rising properly, mostly because they sat around too long. By the time I put them in, they had this weird crust on top and had just turned into giant deflated messes. I had hoped baking them would fix that, but no. The rolls turned out more like flat ciabatta bread, and the white bread, well, calling it bread would be a stretch. There's a scene in the movie About a Boy where Marcus throws his mum's special home-made bread at a duck and kills it. That is what my bread would have done to any living creature of any size.

Aren't these just pitiful? To be fair, the rolls actually taste pretty good, but the bread was so hard I really didn't get a good try. Plus spending an hour ripping it from my pan and then soaking and cleaning the pan ruined my desire for a taste, anyway.

Oh well. I may not have passed Bread for Beginners class, but something did shine yesterday, and that was my new mixer! Wow, did it knead that bread like a pro. I'll attempt this again, but I'm afraid I had to add bread to my grocery list. And flour, since I used it all up.


  1. Hey Can, when we talked about all of this on the phone, I didn't realize you were doing the WS bread and the ATK rolls. So yeah, the WS bread...you have to use the La Cloche baker to bake it in or it will not come out, hard skin from sitting around or not. But I am sad that the ATK rolls didn't come out. What the heck!?


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