In other phenomenal news, Do has got us a beautiful new home in North Oakland. It's the bottom half of a duplex, with the adorable landlords and their young daughters living upstairs. The neighborhood is a vibrant, mixed income community, yet safer than the South Side Chicago neighborhood where we lived during college. The place is also very close to all forms of public transportation (yes!! The less we have to use the car, the better!). The apartment itself is HUGE. We have no idea what we're going to do with all that space. My Dad has suggested that he move in six-months a year (I really, really hope that was a joke), and my Mom reminds us that we'll hopefully be living there until Do gets his Ph.D., so we'll definitely be acquiring stuff. Do and I agree that we're going to miss our cute, teeny, European-sized apartment here in D.C., but, well, onward and upward. If its worst flaw is that it's too big, well, I think we'll cope.
SuperMom decided that we were going to have meatloaf sandwiches for lunch yesterday (meatloaf = lots o leftovers), and asked me to bake a loaf of bread (to make a dent in the baking supplies). The cookbooks were already packed, but my little index card-recipe box was still out. In it, I rediscovered the perfect "baking bread while moving" recipe: one that uses baking soda instead of yeast and therefore doesn't need to rise. So, ladies and gents, if you're ever in the middle of moving and suddenly realize that now would be the perfect time to bake a loaf of bread, well, first acknowledge that you're just plain weird, and then use this recipe. As a disclaimer, I baked the bread in the early morning when all my packers were still injecting themselves with coffee. The bread was ready before the caffeine addicts were.
This recipe comes from a Mennonite cookbook, Simply in Season, which was recommended by a friend. The book was really appealing for someone learning how to eat seasonally: recipes organized by season, and the in-season ingredients are highlighted. Pithy little Mennonite blurbs are sprinkled throughout, extolling the virtues of family dinners and local ingredients. There were even some real winners, including several dynamite bread and soup recipes. However, I ended up giving the book to my Mom because most recipes just didn't fit what Do and I enjoy about food and cooking. The food was very middle-America, down-home hearty, no surprising flavor combinations or mind-expanding ideas. It's not a book for folks who are looking for a challenge, technically or cerebrally. The recipes are not sexy. And several of the Americanized adaptations of foreign foods (a curry, a couscous, etc.) were downright awful. So I gave it my Mom and copied down the winner recipes onto index cards.
This bread itself is dense and chewy, rather than dry. The Molasses flavor really comes through, making it perfect for sandwiches or butter & jam. It's also even easier than baking cookies.
No Rise Whole Wheat Molasses Bread (from Simply in Season).
Oil for greasing the pan
1 2/3 cup buttermilk OR plain Yogurt OR 1 1/2 cup milk & 2 Tbs white vinegar
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup molasses
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease loaf pan.
- If substituting sour milk for buttermilk, warm milk gently (30 seconds in microwave) and add the vinegar. Stir Molasses into soured milk/buttermilk.
- Mix dry ingredients in a larger bowl. Stir liquid into dry ingredients, just enough to combine, then pour batter into greased loaf pan.
- Bake until firm and toothpick comes out clean (45min-1 hour). Cool on rack for 15 minutes before removing bread from pan.
Use 1 1/2 cups whole wheat and 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, omit cornmeal. Substitute honey for molasses. Beat 1 egg into wet ingredients. Proceed with recipe.