Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Loaf of Bread and Thou, or, Failing Thou, A Cup of Tea.......





It was a grey and dreary weekend. These poinsettias soldiered on outside, but I hunkered down inside where it was warm and cozy. Sewed and knitted and puttered. But then I felt peckish, and realized I had no bread. I'm not a big bread eater, so when I do buy a loaf it sits and sits and sits after the first few slices....and I often end up throwing the moldy remains in the rubbish bin.......Unless.....

Unless I bake it myself! Sticking my nose out the door, I decided that baking it myself was the better option. The quickest and easiest to make is Irish Soda bread, but I was in the mood for something different....Something dense and crunchy and yummy.

 I was in the mood for Raisin Walnut Bread. I still have the original cutting from the Montgomery, Alabama newspaper. Fragile and yellowed with age, it has a few years on The Bean.




The date says March 7th.1985, which means the OC was on a year-long school assignment in Montgomery, and had his clown posse with him. I shake my head in disbelief these days at the number of moves we made during his Air Force career. If I could be that age again and know what I know now, I'd never do it, but I can't, and I didn't, so we did.........

The recipe is from Cecily Brownstone who was The Associated Press food editor at the time, a name my brain links with the likes of James Beard and Julia..... and a time when there were a few, revered names in the culinary world, a time before the time when any dog or divil could slap a tall, white hat on his head and call himself a chef. (Don't I sound like an old fossil!)

Raisin Walnut Bread differs from soda bread in that there is some yeast in it. Every time I make it I can't believe I don't make it more often, it's so easy. The ingredients are simple---yeast, water, whole wheat flour, butter, sugar, salt and lots and lots of plump, juicy raisins and crunchy walnuts! And kneading that silky dough is so soothing to the soul!




The danger is I'll eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and blow off the whole "balanced meal" idea. But I've been good. I've only eaten it for breakfast (well, once or twice for a snack...) And now there's just a tiny heel left. You may call me Miss Piggy....





Yesterday I bought a baguette to make a sandwich for supper, because raisin bread doesn't lend itself to sandwiches,  but now there's half a baguette languishing. I guess I'll have to plan on garlic bread in the next few days.  Meanwhile, where's that Irish soda bread recipe?

17 comments:

Relatively Retiring said...

I enjoy the whole process of bread-making, especially the kneading. It's all deeply satisfying, but I never do it for myself. Perhaps we should both be kinder to ourselves?

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Miss Molly! You must re-think that statement about raisin bread not making great sandwiches. I thought so too, but when BigDaddy was in the hospital, their neighbor brought us a huge tray of gorgeous turkey sandwiches on raisin bread (a more rustic kind like yours -- not the store-bought kind) and they were FANTASTIC!!!! As Mikey would say -- Try it, you'll like it! (I'm glad you reminded me, I've been meaning to ask her where they came from -- she caters everything from fine places, so you KNOW they were awesome!)

Anyhoo, thanks for this post -- I'm definitely going to make some of your bread. BigDaddy will LOVE it!!!

(Also, we moved a lot when I was growing up and my Mom says exactly the same thing as you -- NEVER would she do THAT again!)

Isabelle said...

I shall certainly call you Miss Piggy. Unfortunately I, who don't eat whole loaves at a time, look much more like her than you do. There is no justice in this world. Amen.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Oh , that does look good . I will bookmark it for next month when I anticipate the odd moment of leisure ... or meltdown .
It sounds as though it would be nice with a hearty Cheddar cheese or with soup for lunch . Or just nibbled at every time one passed ...

Susan Kane said...

That sounded so delicious and now I am looking into my larder for supplies. Irish soda bread is definitely a possibility--maybe brown bread...

Wisewebwoman said...

Well we'e both pioneer women today. I made yogurt this morning, it is so easy and I am shocked I don't do it too often either.

Now the recipe ma'am or is that asking too much?

And where did you get the idea you couldn't slap on some fixin's on that great bread?????

XO
WWW

Molly said...

Oooh...R&R---you misunderstood! I did do it for myself, and over several days ate the whole darn thing! I was extremely kind to myself.

Anna---Of course you're right. I have to start thinking outside the box!

Isabelle---Oink, oink! Eyelash flutter.....

S&S---Yes indeed! I came in from work today, ravenous, and polished off that last bit along with a nice chunk of sharp cheddar!

SK---Yup. Brown soda bread is next up on my baking/munching agenda. The weather at the moment encourages bread making and soup supping....

WWW---Click on the link in the text to go to the recipe...Plain old butter is so good on this my mind stops there, but I'm learning!

Friko said...

No stale bread round here, the birds get it. Unless Millie gets her paws on it first.

All that provided we haven’t scoffed the lot while was fresh and the livestock doesn’t get a look in.

StitchinByTheLake said...

It doesn't matter what kind of homemade bread it is, I love it. I love to make it and I love to eat it. Which is why I'm back in Weight Watchers. :( blessings, marlene

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

For one
bread always gets old.
At a favorite bakery in the big city I always buy their Tuscany bread and freeze it and can take out a slice at a time and warm in olive oil - so good.
I make sweet breads
but not for sandwiches
good with tea.

Lee said...

Hmmmmm...now you've got me thinking. I might just have to make one of those myself...it's showering with rain and from all accounts we're in for a wet weekend; heavier rain on its way, which is great, by the way...what better to go with a wet weekend (and a long weekend at that) than a Raisin-Walnut loaf!!!

Thanks for planting the seed, Molly! :)

Secret Agent Woman said...

What about the jug of wine?


I've bookmarked the bread recipe and just told my son we will make it this weekend.

Isabelle said...

How about thou, come to that?

Molly said...

Friko---The squirrels, who are fat enough already , would probably get it before the birds! But it is a thought....

Marlene---I have heard it's not the bread itself that does it but the goodies we slather on it---in which case I should have trouble getting through the door!

O.W.---I have tried that tactic. And it does work. I just sometimes forget to do it before the bread is already stale.

Lee---hope some home made bread made your rain more tolerable....

SAW---So, did you make it? And, more importantly, did you like it?

Isabelle----The "Thou" would be the OC, "beside me in the wilderness," wielding a jug of wine. But he's off on your side of the world at the minute, and since I don't have the capacity to finish a jug of wine by myself---tea it is. Not sure if this is a satisfactory reply to your "?"



Secret Agent Woman said...

The dough is rising now. I'll let you know - baking is not my strong suit!

Secret Agent Woman said...

I posted about your bread today. :-)

Dee said...

Dear Molly, I've come over to your blog from Susan's where she's posted a story about where she grew up.

Unlike you, I crave bread--and especially scones. I try to eat just one a day when I make a batch, but sometimes I eat many more than one and say, with Flip Wilson, "The devil may me do it!!!"

I've copied and saved the recipe and will make the bread soon. Thanks so much for sharing. Peace.