While the World Burns, Bake Bread.

hot bread
It’s a bit floppy because I sliced it too soon after the oven. But since the best bread is hot/warm bread, I have no regrets.

Because every piece of news coming out of the states right now is super bleak and people are trying to get justice for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless folks being (metaphorically) choked out by the system, I’m going to rest my heart for a while and talk about bread. The homemade variety.

I’m probably not telling you anything new when I say that I have an unhealthy obsession with bread. It’s entirely possible for me to have entire meals consisting of various types of breads – enhanced with olive oil, cream cheese, butter, bitter orange marmalade, etc. – and be very happy indeed.

Years ago, a writer friend shared a recipe for a “no knead” olive loaf that I’ve happily made a few times as well as shared with friends. When I couldn’t find the email sent to me years and years ago, I searched online and found it here. Behold, Jim Lahey’s No Knead Olive Bread. I’ve made a few versions of it, one which substitutes the olives for walnuts and raisins, another that adds Italian seasoning (basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and thyme) to the original recipe. All versions need two teaspoons of salt added.

If you’re like me, and want to eat the fruit of your bread labor the same day you start to make it, I recommend trying this “cornmeal-less cornbread” recipe from www.chocolateandcarrots.com. I actually found this when I wanted to make cornbread but had, you guessed it, not a speck of cornbread left in the kitchen. It’s quick and simple and texture-y.

 

bread
No-knead bread with dried fruit and nuts instead of olives.

I’ve made the regular version and then adapted it to make a ridiculously tasty olive bread. Substitute chopped black olives and Italian seasoning for the corn and sugar. I also used sunflower oil instead of butter. It’s a simple enough recipe ripe for alterations. I wholeheartedly agree with my friend, Asmara, who says “recipes are mainly for moral support.”

I’m also really enjoying Spanish bizcocho, which is just a super easy and not too-sweet cake with yogurt as an essential ingredient. My future mother-in-law shared it with me and I’ve been making it way too often. Here’s the rough breakdown on how to make it, although I prefer to use coconut flavored yogurt and also add crushed walnuts/almonds because texture is essential. One main reason this recipe is so awesome (aside from the splendiferous taste) is, because the yogurt container is used as the measuring cup, there’s minimum kitchen cleanup at the end. Also, what’s easier than just throwing together 3 eggs, 1 small container of Chobani coconut yogurt, 1 yogurt container of sunflower oil, 2 (or less) yogurt containers of sugar, 3 yogurt containers of flour, plus 1 teaspoon of baking powder? Bake for about 30 minutes and prepare to eat your way to the end of that loaf in less than 24 hours.

While bread has been the obsession of this quarantine, I’ve also made a few main meals, but nothing worth writing in depth about. If you eat chicken, however, I recommend giving this Balsamic Basil Chicken recipe a try. I subbed the cherry tomatoes out for sliced carrots though. Squishy, hot tomatoes give me the icks.

That’s all I have right now. If you have any easy and yummy (bread) recipes you love, do share.

Also, be kind to each other. Be just. Allow everyone else the same joys, freedoms, and prosperity you want for yourself.

mercy doll amnd book
My graphic novel, The Power of Mercy, with a Funko-Pop of my superhero because both make me happy.

 

 

10 comments

  1. I love this post! On the sunniest of mornings, when you let yourself forget about all the bad news and dare to wish that every day were like this one, reading about the delicious comforts of homemade bread is perfection. Thanks, Fiona!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Of course, you can burn your bread, too 🙂 Fortunately that hasn’t happened to me yet. At least flour is becoming more available in stores now.

    I have been making these regularly for several months: Easy Cheesy Baguettes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q0LeKpAACg. This guy has been called the Bob Ross of cooking videos and has lots of good recipes for bread and a bunch of other stuff (homemade butter, anyone?) These aren’t real, French-like baguettes, but they sure are tasty. I didn’t have fresh chives so I used dill. You can experiment with other herbs, etc.

    Bread is currently my obsession, so this post was very welcome. I’m still working full-time, but I find bread making very soothing and relaxing. Not to mention the wonderful aroma in my house. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Bob Ross of cooking videos, you say? I will check him out tout de suite! Thank you for sharing.

      Most flour is back on our shelves too but what’s scarce now is wheat and oat flour, I’ve been searching for 2-3 weeks for those two with zero luck.

      Hopefully your work has been in a safe environment. Be healthy and happy baking!

      Like

  3. There is a slow cooker recipe for bread baking. I saw it on Les Be Cooking on Facebook. It looked delicious and took about 2- 2.5 hours. I can’t quite figure out how to share with you because you are not a group member but I googled it and others are doing it too. https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-bread-in-the-slow-cooker-192421

    Primarily it avoids turning on a hot oven on a hot day. Make the bread in your on the counter device. Just another option. We are ♊ bread junkies lol

    Unfortunately, in 2020, although I love bread, Ive pretty much moved to non-bread laden meals to try and get my weight down. No red meats and low bread intake does not a happy woman make.

    Have a great month and stay sane.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never heard of making bread in a slow cooker. Interesting. I’ll take a look at your link and see what this wonder is all about. Thanks for searching the interwebs to share that with me.

      I’m with you on needing to leave the bread products alone. It’s a challenge for me, as you can see. Good luck, and hope you can find something to take up the happiness slack. I’m about to start growing berries in a flower pot on my window sill. :).

      Like

  4. thank you Fiona. The olive bread recipe sound delish and I’m going to experiment this weekend although I’ve never baked anything before. The no kneading part hooked me. Wish me luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed this so much!! I’ve never much of a bread eater myself (in the past) and suddenly, like the onset of menopause, I eat bread!! It started slowly, and I was like, “what’s happening?” then bam! I’m a bread-eater. So my first driven exercise was to make my first banana bread…at age 51…my mom wasn’t a bread eater either, so I guess that’s why that never happened earlier. <–my friends have teased me about not making BB before, so I added that disclaimer. Anyway, long story short– the only flour left on the shelves was coconut flour, which I thought would make it delicious!!! (insert crickets) Maybe I did it wrong (I found a recipe on the internet) but it came out like something I haven't found the words yet to describe. It gave me a stomach ache, it was that bad. The recipe didn't call for baking powder but did say baking soda, and I tell ya, that's all I could taste. So, I'm wondering if it's the baking soda, the coconut flour or just me? And do you happen to know a good use for this coconut flour because I'd like to do something magical with it if possible! I'm looking forward to trying the olive bread recipe! Thanks for the great read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading, Erinne! Your coconut flour tragedy is the saddest thing I’ve read in ages. With coconut anything the promise of deliciousness seemed all but fulfilled. I’ve never made anything with coconut flour but I used almond flour to make the batter for oven-roasted sliced eggplant once. Maybe try that, or to better up over-roasted fish.

      Welcome to Bread Cravers R Us, by the way. Now that you’ve crossed over to our side, it’ll be nearly impossible to escape. Luckily, the journey will be a delicious one.

      Liked by 1 person

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