Whole Grain Maple Oatmeal Bread in 5 Minutes

We aren’t big fans of whole grain breads, but we know that’s what we should be eating.  Now that we love Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, I’m experimenting with the sequel, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which uses whole grains and generally healthier ingredients.  Today I baked our first loaf, from dough I threw together yesterday.

The Maple Oatmeal bread is made from white whole wheat flour, rolled (“old-fashioned”) oats, vital wheat gluten, wheat germ, buttermilk and maple syrup (along with yeast, a small amount of oil, salt and cinnamon).  (I trebled the cinnamon, because I don’t really see the point of using only a teaspoon of cinnamon in anything.) The dough is very different from the master recipe in AB5, but making and handling are almost identical.

Here’s the dough after 24 hours in the fridge:

One difference is that the whole grains rest longer before baking; in this case, for an hour and forty minutes.  Here’s how it looked in the pan at first:

Here’s the dough after rising:

That’s an old, battered pan that Allium was kind enough to grab for me when I realized at the last minute that the pan I’d prepared was too big.

So far, so good.  However, it seems that the back-up pan may have been the wrong choice itself, since the bread slopped over the edge a little bit.  It’s not pretty!

The underside looked much nicer:

Despite the over-crispy, sloppy top, the texture was very good, and the flavor pleasant.  We didn’t think it was a fabulous bread, but it is very, very good with a bit of jam, and would make a tasty PB&J when that’s called for.  Surprisingly, the maple syrup flavor didn’t come through well, and we both thought it might be better with honey instead.

I’ll have to practice pulling the dough out of the storage box a bit; unlike the AB5 master recipe, this one was not as forgiving of my inept turning (it’s what you do — preferably not ineptly — as you form the loaf).  In the very center, folds were clearly delineated, and there was a small hole where the dough had failed to meet.  A little more practice should eliminate this glitch.

There’s another loaf to make (the recipe makes two 2-pound loaves), so I’ll get a chance to play with it a little more.

Bento Explorations

Bento 20 – Cabbage, Gyoza and Rice Crackers

. . . in the blue, wackily-named Lube Sheep bento box.

Image of a Bento with Cabbage Salad and Crackers

Top Tier: Shredded cabbage and carrots in rice vinegar; vegetarian gyoza

Bottom Tier (clockwise from left): Fresh grape tomatoes; rice crackers; red peppers roasted with garlic; strawberries



Allium and I bought kayaks this year, and spent our first long afternoon in them in April.  We’re fortunate enough to live in a place that offers lots of opportunities to paddle within minutes of our home; kayaking would have been nothing but a dream if it had required even a hour’s drive away.

We found this creature in the parking lot, and repatriated him/her to a more felicitous location.

Zipping through the water later, I was astonished to see an enormous snapping turtle paddling furiously along, parallel to my course, but going the opposite direction. Later, Allium found himself next to another, almost as large; when he (she?) expressed an interest in tasting Alliium’s oar, we moved on.

Kayaks allow us to come very close to all sorts of creatures — even birds — without threatening them. We’re part of the landscape (albeit a bright part) in our boats. We can paddle in astonishingly shallow waters, too. If you look closely at the picture above, you can see the bottom of the lake under Allium’s kayak.