Nutty Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread

Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

For Bread Machine directions, follow this link – https://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2015/01/22/nutty-oatmeal-wholewheat-bread-bread-machine-version/

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This is the latest recipe in my Eating Healthy series.  And I’m happy to say that after only a week of ‘eating healthy’ I’m back in my jeans – and I can actually sit here and work on this post without having to unzip them.  If I’m hungry, I eat.  I just watch what I eat.  Believe me – I have a long, long way to go weight-wise.  But I’m motivated and enjoying the process.

It took me two tries to get this recipe the way I wanted it… and it was definitely worth the effort.  Nutty Oatmeal & Wholewheat Bread has a delicious, nutty taste.  And it’s good for you! There’s a cup of oatmeal and a cup of wholewheat flour, plus a cup of regular bread flour (because I don’t like heavy bread).  I added 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, which are so very good for you – or – you could add some bran in place of the chia seeds.  I  also added 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts, which, like chocolate, make everything taste better.    ++ This bread makes wonderful toast!

small red heart

INGREDIENTS                    Makes One Loaf

  • 1 cup very warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbs. honey            ++  Or brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. butter             ++  Or Olive oil
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup wholewheat flour
  • 1 cup flour      ++  In the United States, bread flour is different than regular flour.  In Canada, regular flour has the same qualities as bread flour.  I use bread flour but this recipe works with either.
  • 2 pinches nutmeg
  • OPTIONAL    –    1 Tbs. Chia seeds    ++  Or wheat germ
  • OPTIONAL    –    1/3 cup chopped walnuts  ++  Walnuts will be added once dough has been kneaded a while.

METHOD

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Measure 1 cup very warm water.    ++  The water should feel warm on your wrist – not hot.  Too hot and you kill the yeast.  Too cold, and the yeast just sits there. 

Add 2 Tbs. honey and stir briefly.  Add 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast.  Again stir briefly.  I’ve never seen directions to ‘stir’… it’s just what I do.)

Allow water, honey and yeast to sit for 15 minutes.

++  I usually give the mixture a little stir after about 7 minutes.

++  During cold weather you may want to place the measuring cup somewhere out of drafts.  I use my microwave!

After 15 minutes the water, honey and yeast should’ve bubbled up to resemble the photo above.  ++ If it does NOT – your water may have been too cold or too hot – or – your yeast may not be good anymore.  Just dump the contents out and try it again.  DO NOT GIVE UP!  The first bread I made was heavy as a brick!!

++  The quality of yeast goes down the longer you have it.  Use ‘6 months’ as your guide for when it’s time to discard it BUT your bread won’t fail if the yeast is older.  Your bread will just not rise quite as much and will have less flavor.  (I buy small jars of yeast but the same applies to packets.)

Pour the liquid into a medium-sized bowl.  Add 1 1/4 tsp. salt, 2 Tbs. butter, 1 cup quick-cooking oats, 1 cup wholewheat flour, 1 cup flour (see note above), 1 Tbs. Chia seeds and 2 pinches nutmeg.  ++  You’ll be adding the walnuts a bit later.

Using your hands (or a large spoon if you wish) mix the ingredients until combined, which should only take about a minute.

KNEADING THE DOUGH

Place dough on lightly floured work surface.  ++  I usually use a ‘tea towel’ (a.k.a. ‘dish towel) but this dough is a bit sticky, just I just used the counter.

Knead dough about 5 minutes.  ++  To knead dough, push away from you with the palm of your hand, turn dough, fold over and repeat. If dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour.

++ Now add 1/3 chopped walnuts and knead just until walnuts are incorporated.  Form dough into a ball.

++  Here’s an excellent link to learn how to knead bread –  http://bread.wonderhowto.com/how-to/knead-bread-dough-by-hand-355638/

Dough After Kneading

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ALLOWING THE DOUGH TO ‘RISE’    

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After dough has been kneaded, place it in a greased bowl.  Turn dough over to grease top.  Cover bowl with a dish towel or plastic wrap.  Let rise in warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until double in size. 

++ During cold weather, place a 10′ x 13′ pan half-full of VERY HOT water on the bottom rack. of your oven.  Place the covered bowl containing the dough on the top rack.

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ALLOWING THE DOUGH TO RISE A 2nd TIME

Once dough has risen, you’re going to ‘punch it down’, which seems pretty counter-intuitive…but allowing the dough rise a 2nd time will make the bread much lighter.  ++  If you like dense bread – then just skip this step!

Cover bowl with dishtowel and repeat step above for rising the dough.  Again – allow to rise for 30 – 40 minutes or until double in size.

 FORMING THE DOUGH  –  This is fun and easy!!

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Remove dough from bowl.  Place on a lightly floured surface.  Using fingers, press dough into an 8′ x 12′ rectangle.  Beginning at short end, roll up tightly.  Place in a greased (I use olive oil) 9′ x 5′ loaf pan.

Bake in a 375 (F) oven for 35 – 40 minutes.  Allow the Nutty Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread a few minutes to cool off due to the denseness of the bread…. that is….if you can wait.  (I didn’t!)     Enjoy!

2 - Nutty Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse

Nutty Oatmeal & Wholewheat Bread – Bread Machine Version

2 - Nutty Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse

Follow this link for Nutty Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread made without a bread machine –   http://myyellowfrmhouse.com/2015/01/22/nutty-oatmeal-and-wholewheat-bread/

This is the latest recipe in my Eating Healthy series.  And I’m happy to say that after only a week of ‘eating healthy’ I’m back in my jeans – and I can actually sit here and work on this post without having to unzip them.  If I’m hungry, I eat.  I just watch what I eat.  Believe me – I have a long, long way to go weight-wise.  But I’m motivated and enjoying the process.

It took me two tries to get this recipe the way I wanted it… and it was definitely worth the effort.  Nutty Oatmeal & Wholewheat Bread has a delicious, nutty taste.  And it’s good for you! There’s a cup of oatmeal and a cup of wholewheat flour, plus a cup of regular bread flour (because I don’t like heavy bread).  I added 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, which are so very good for you – or – you could add some bran in place of the chia seeds.  I  also added 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts, which, like chocolate, make everything taste better.    ++ This bread makes wonderful toast!

small red heart

INGREDIENTS        ++  According to my bread machine directions, this is the order of the ingredients as they’re put into the bread machine.  Check the directions for your bread machine, just in case they differ.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbs. honey            ++  Or brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. butter             ++  Or Olive oil
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup wholewheat flour
  • 1 cup bread flour      ++  In the United States, bread flour is different than regular flour.  In Canada, regular flour has the same qualities as bread flour.  Follow your manufacturer’s directions.
  • 1 Tbs. Chia seeds    ++  Or wheat germ
  • 2 pinches nutmeg
  • 2 1/4 tsp.active dry yeast  ++  I use Bread Machine yeast but regular yeast may be used
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts   ++  The walnuts should be added during your machine’s ‘add’ cycle, which is part way through the kneading process.  Your machine should give you a signal.  If not, add the walnuts after machine has had time to knead the dough for awhile.


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Set bread machine on ‘grain’ cycle.   ++  Your machine’s grain cycle will allow for the bread to rise twice, which gives the bread a lighter texture.  Enjoy !!

++  This step is NOT necessary but if you want a darker, crisper crust, up-end your baked bread into a 9’x 9′ square pan.  Remove bread machine pan from bread.  Turn bread over so crust side faces up.  Place in a 400′ oven for 5 – 6 minutes. 

Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Not Your Grandmother’s Banana Bread with M&Ms, Nuts & a Smidge of Peanut Butter

Pretty much everyone loves Banana Bread, especially when its just out of the oven and slathered with butter.  My ‘Not Your Grandmother’s’ Banana Bread’ gives you the extra kick of melted chocolate and nuts, not to mention just a hint of peanut butter flavor.

++  Here’s a great link with all the info. you’d ever need to know about pan sizes!  http://www.joyofbaking.com/PanSizes.html

Ingredients & Directions               Oven at 350F             Bake for 50 – 55 minutes

++ Use a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan, if possible !!   If using a smaller pan, you may have to increase cooking time & the banana bread might be a bit crumbly… but still delicious!!

  • 2 medium – VERY RIPE – bananas…. enough to equal 1 cup
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice   ++ If you don’t have any lemon juice.. that’s fine.
  • 1/4 cup buttered, SOFTENED  ++Put in microwave for a few seconds.
  • 1/4 cup chunk-style peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar    If you don’t have brown sugar, use a total of 1/2 cup regular sugar.
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar    ++ DON’T pack down the brown sugar. 
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking POWDER
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup M&Ms
  • 1/4 chopped peanuts OR chopped walnuts

Put bananas in a small bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Measure out 1 cup and place mashed banana in a large bowl. Add 1 Tbs. lemon juice, 1/4 cup softened butter, 1/4 cup chunk-style peanut butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar (NOT packed), 1 large egg, 1/3 cup milk, 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking POWDER, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.

Mix with electric mixer until ‘just combined’.  Stir in 1 cup M&Ms and 1/4 cup chopped peanuts OR walnuts.

Banana-Peanut Butter Bread with M and Ms and Nuts - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Pour into greased loaf pan (I suggest a 9 x 5 x 3).   ++ I like to sprinkle the top with 2 tsp. of sugar, which gives the banana bread a nice look.

Banana Peanut Butter Bread with M and Ms and Nuts - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Bake for 50 – 55 minutes until a knife (or toothpick) comes out clean when stuck into the center of the loaf.  Cool banana bread (still in the pan) on a rack for about 10 minutes, then turn it out onto the rack to cool further.  (I bet the bread won’t last more than two minutes before someone cuts into it.)  Enjoy!

'Not Your Grandmother's' Banana Bread with M&Ms and Nuts - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Banana Nut Pancakes

banana nut pancakes - my yellow farmhouse

Banana Nut Pancakes were always a BIG favorite in our house when my boys were growing up. Unlike regular pancakes, which can be very dry when reheated, these pancakes are always dense and moist. And, they can be frozen, so you can enjoy them whenever you wish. As you may know, I’m a big believer in “Everything’s Better with Chocolate”, so I usually add chocolate chips to the batter, although I didn’t add them this time. (Perhaps I’m considering the fact that my high school reunion is only a month away….)

My friend Katie recently told me she could imagine these pancakes with a scoop of ice cream, with chocolate syrup drizzled on top. I told her, “Katie, I like the way you think!” Then, I added, how about imagining these pancakes with some slices bananas and chopped walnuts, along with the ice cream and chocolate syrup.    “Overkill”…. nah !!!

Totally off the subject of pancakes…. recently I hosted a pretty good-sized party but, due to problems with my separated left shoulder, I ended up ordering some fabulous Italian food from a local eatery. I did make a few items though. One was a green bean salad. But I was not happy with the results of my efforts, which doesn’t often happen…  Recently, Rufus, of Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide, posted a lovely recipe for a green bean salad. I told him I’m going to provide the link because it looks so delicious. – so here it is.  http://rufusguide.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/green-bean-salad-2/

BANANA NUT PANCAKES  

Ingredients       Makes about 17      Recipe can easily be cut in half…

(I really believe a griddle or an electric skillet cooks pancakes or French toast much better than a ordinary skillet because the heat is even – right to the edge of the pan.)

  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk pancake mix (I like Aunt Jemima)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk or water (I didn’t have any milk, so I used water & they were fine.) If you like your pancakes thicker, add less water. It you think the batter’s too thin, add more pancake mix.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 1 banana  (Doesn’t have to be  super “ripe”.  Just mash it up a bit.  “Chunks” are OK !)         
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  •  1/4 – 1/2 cup chocolate chips – – optional
  • oil or butter – to grease the pan/griddle/electric skillet

In a good-sized bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups buttermilk pancake mix, 1 1/4 cup milk or water, 2 eggs, 2 Tbs. oil, 1 “mashed” banana, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon & 1 Tbs. packed brown sugar. thoroughly with a wooden spoon. (I prefer to hand-mix pancakes. Just like muffins, pancakes come out fluffier when mixed by hand.) Add 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/4 to 1/2 cup chocolate chips, if you so desire but it’s certainly not necessary.

Begin heating your pan/griddle to 275 F – 300 F. Use a generous amount of butter or oil (I prefer butter) to grease your pan. Using a 1/4 measuring cup (or 1/3 measuring cup, depending upon how big your want your pancakes), pour out enough batter for each pancake, leaving a bit of room between each one.

Banana Nut Pancakes - cooking

Very soon bubbles will begin to appear on the top but it’ll take about a minute after the bubbles appear before the pancakes are ready to turn over. (If you’re not sure when to turn them over, use a spatula to peak at the bottom of one to see if it’s browned,.) The second side usually cooks faster than the first. Here’s how I check to see (especially with the first ones), I just open one up a bit with a knife so I can be sure the inside’s cooked. ) As I said previously, these Banana Nut Pancakes are moister than others – so they are far less likely to dry out.

Banana Nut Pancakes - Cooked

Now the rest is up to you. You can sprinkle these babies with confectionery (icing) sugar or brown sugar or, of course, drizzle on some maple syrup. OR – you can go crazy and add ice cream, whipped cream etc. It’s your Breakfast Party !!

++  To reheat frozen pancakes – place a paper towel on a plate, then place three pancakes on top. Cover pancakes with a second paper towel. Heat on HIGH for 1 minute & 20 seconds…. of course, it depends on your microwave.                      Enjoy !!

possible - last photo

“A Little Help from My Friends” Chocolate Cherry Nut Cake

Chocolate Cherry Nut Cake - My Yellow Farmhouse.comYour Friends !!

I “invented” this a few years ago when I needed a dessert for some friends who were planning to drop by. I usually have a least one box of chocolate cake mix, walnuts and a can of cherry pie filling in my “larder” – so I made a simple and delicious cake which turned out so well I’ve been making it ever since.   I know most people don’t have lots of extra time, so it’s always good to have a little help from your friends – even if those “friends” come in a box, bag or jar!!

++ As an aside, if you ever see something on this idea – buy it!  It comes in so handy ’cause it’s not electric, it’s small – so it’s easily stored – and all the parts can go in the dish washer. I use mine all the time, even though I have electric “gadgets”.

Nut chopper

Oven at 350 F             9″ x 13″ pan           Bake for 40 – 45 minutes

Ingredients a.k.a “Your Friends”!

  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix    (I like “Duncan Hines” Devil’s Food)
  • 1 (21 oz.) can of cherry pie filling   
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans

Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13″ x 9″ pan.

Spoon cherry pie filling on top of the cake batter.  (Many of today’s cherry pie fillings contain ‘more sauce than cherries’, which results in a bit more sauce in the ‘Chocolate Cherry Nut Cake’.  If you prefer a slightly less runny cake, use about half to two-thirds the ‘saucy’ part of the cherry pie filling.    ++ I used ALL the sauce.)

With a knife, swirl the cherry pie filling a bit, trying not to go all the way down with the knife. (Looks like peanut butter & jelly, doesn’t it?)

Choc. Cherry

Sprinkle on 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup nuts.

Chocolate Cherry Nut Cake - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Bake at 350 F for 40 – 45 minutes.

++ The cake is done when 1. it pulls away from the sides of the pan and 2. a knife put into the center of the cake comes out clean.

++ Don’t confuse the melted chocolate chips with the cake batter. If some chocolate does stick to the knife – taste it. You’ll know if it’s uncooked batter. (That’s what I do!)

Chocolate Cherry Nut Cake - My Yellow Farmhouse.comThere’s a cake called “Earthquake Cake” ’cause the top of the cake comes out with cracks.  My ‘Chocolate Cherry Nut Cake’ has a similar, cracked appearance.

Chocolate Cherry Nut Cake - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I used to make these Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins for breakfast when my sons were young. However, at that time I wasn’t topping the muffins with melted chocolate and nuts. A person only has some much time in the morning!

Breakfast has always been one of my favorite meals, so I used to love to cook all kinds of great things for breakfast, such as a really delicious breakfast custard. Or we used to have cornmeal pancakes, banana nut pancakes, apple pancakes, waffles, Egg Benedict, Eggs in a Frame and Goldenrod Eggs on toast etc.  Was I always on time for my job as a teacher….. nope. But I always arrived with a Happy Tummy!!

The original recipe didn’t call for chocolate chips – or melted chocolate on top – but I believe you can never have too much of a good thing.

Oven at 400 F     Makes 16 mini muffins      Makes 12 regular muffins

13 (or so) minutes for “mini” muffins – – – For the mini muffins, grease both the bottom & the sides of the muffin cups.

15 minutes (or so) for regular-sized muffins   You can use cupcake liners – or – grease the bottoms only.

Ingredients     I checked online and the recipe has been changed a bit since “way back when”, so I’m posting the latest amounts because I think the changes are good. There’s a bit more mashed banana, plus a little more sugar.

  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbs. melted butter – microwave for 10 seconds — OR — 3 Tbs. oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 1 1/4 cups mashed VERY RIPE banana
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips – for top of muffins
  • 1 tsp. Crisco
  • some chopped walnuts, to sprinkle on top of muffins

In a medium bowl, mix egg slightly with a fork. Add the 3 Tbs. melted butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 cups Bisquick and 1 1/4 cups mashed banana. Mix with large spoon until just combined.

Add 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups to 1/2 full. Bake according to the above directions, depending upon the size of your muffin pans. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick or a knife into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, then your muffins are done. (Don’t get confused by the melted chocolate sticking to either the toothpick or the knife. As long as the batter’s cooked, then the muffins are done!)

Allow muffins to cool for a few minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. While muffins are cooling, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1 tsp. Crisco in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Return to microwave for another 20 – 35 seconds. Stir again, then, with a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the muffins. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.  Enjoy!!

Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins - bottom photo