Sure, when I was younger, I loved to bake, and would spend an entire day on my feet making cakes, cookies, etc.
But these days, I can only stay on my feet for short periods of time, never mind that I simply don’t have the inclination for complicated recipes. And heaven forbid, I would have to do any kneading!
However, we have a whole room full of flour, sugar, and other baking supplies that we purchased at the beginning of the pandemic, and which must be used up before their “best by” dates. Back then, we thought grocery stores might run low on bread, so we also purchased yeast.
Bear in mind that I had never, ever used yeast. My prior baking experience really was limited to cakes and cookies.
The idea of standing for some awful period of time, kneading kneading and kneading, simply didn’t appeal to me, so I searched my recipe books for some way to bake bread and rolls without all that effort.
My first try was “feather rolls”. They are yummy and easy to make (the recipe calls for ordinary white flour), but they must be used up immediately as they become stale really fast. Plus, I needed some way to use the whole wheat flour my husband had purchased. I tried the feather roll recipe with whole wheat flour, and while the rolls were ok, they didn’t light that fire that would make me want to bake another batch any time soon.
The regular bread recipes looked like too much work, and most of those recipes made several loaves at once. There’s only my husband and me – how much bread could we eat? And the only freezer we have is at the top of our apartment sized refrigerator. No room there for even one whole loaf of bread, much less several.
Finally I found what appears to be the perfect recipe, at least for me. It has only a few ingredients – yeast, milk, salt, whole wheat flour, water and molasses (but I used real maple syrup instead). No fat! No eggs! And even better – NO KNEADING! And it makes just one loaf at a time! Win-win!
It mixes easily with a spoon, bakes up perfectly, and best of all – it does not go stale the day after it’s made. In fact, it seems to get a little more moist a few days after baking if stored on a countertop. In addition, this is the best toasting bread I’ve ever had. Goes well with butter/jelly, or peanut butter, or cream cheese.
Just to be sure my first loaf wasn’t a fluke, yesterday I made some more. Every bit as good as the first time. I now have my go-to whole wheat bread recipe.
(For those who are interested, the recipe can be found in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook and is titled “Entire Wheat Bread.” The Fannie Farmer book is my favorite cookbook for basic recipes – and, in case you want them, it includes the recipe for the Feather Rolls mentioned above.)
But don’t take my word for it. What better way to judge the appeal of a food than to have someone literally begging for a taste:
Happy Friday, folks. Stay safe and healthy.
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio