July 18, 2011

Baked Oatmeal and French Bread

This post involves a random combination of foods. I've been baking a lot lately, and I have a lot to post, so I figured I would combine foods and not have to post quite as many times.  Anyway, the first food on this post is baked oatmeal. I found this recipe and decided to try it for breakfast. I love oatmeal, and this one looked really delicious. I chose to add blueberries in the mix. Then, once I scooped my portion into my bowl, I added some bananas, too. Both fruits were great in it! Next time, I'll definitely be adding some raisins and nuts before I cook it. Here's the recipe...

Baked Oatmeal

1/2 C melted butter
1/2 C honey
2 eggs, beaten
3 C old fashioned oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C milk (I used almond)
1 C Fruit or nuts of choice

In a bowl mix together the butter, honey and eggs.  Add in the oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, vanilla and the milk.  Mix and then fold in fruit of choice.
Bake in a lightly greased 8 x 8 pan at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.  May be served with milk and more fruit on top.

Next up...french bread. This was my first attempt at making bread, and it turned out REALLY good! I was so proud of it. Best of all, it didn't require nearly as much work as I thought it would. Also, it made a lot of bread, so I wrapped some up and put it in the freezer to eat another day. Here's the recipe for this one...

French Bread

5 1/2 – 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages of active dry yeast
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 cups warm water
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon water

1. In a large mixing bowl stir together 2 cups of the flour, the yeast and the salt. Add the 2 cups warm water to the flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes) Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl turning once to grease dough surface. Cover; let rise in a warm placeuntil double in size (about 1 hour).

3. Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a baking sheet.

4. Roll each dough half into a 15x10 inch rectangle. Tightly roll up, starting from a long side; seal well. If desired, pinch and slightly pull ends to taper them. Place shaped dough, seam sides down, on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl stir egg white and the 1 tablespoon water. Brush some of the egg white mixture over loaf tops. Let rise until nearly double in size (35-45 minutes).

5. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Using a sharp knife, make three or four diagonal cuts about ¼ inch deep across each loaf top. Bake for 20 minutes. Brush again with some of the egg white mixture. Continue baking for 15-20 minutes more or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove loaves from baking sheet. Cool on wire rack. Enjoy.

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