Sunday in my kitchen

While some people enjoy hanging around outside in sub-zero temperatures.....

....I was happy to be in the kitchen. I had gotten the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book out of the library again to see if I would actually try making the bread. Last Sunday's wheat bread had looked beautiful but wasn't very tasty and had a dry texture.

This week I decided to try the "Artisan Bread" method. We keep our house fairly cool, so figuring out how to find a warm spot for bread to rise can be tricky. The answer? Turn on the oven and bake something else! For these oatmeal cookies, I added finely chopped walnuts for a little extra goodness. Note the beautifully rising, warm bread dough :)

In order to keep the kitchen area warm enough for the bread's second rising, I then made banana bread.

Oh yes. I had a happy family. This week's bread turned out to be delicious. I made an oatmeal bread sweetened with a tad bit of maple syrup. It was moist and had a really crunchy crust.

As you can see, everybody ended up in the kitchen today.

The intention was to be able to serve these baked goods all week....well there's still 1 full loaf of banana bread and a lot of cookies.

Luckily I still have bread dough in the fridge for two more loaves. I'm hooked and can't wait to try some other recipes in the book!

Tammy  – (January 25, 2009 at 6:16 PM)  

That banana bread looks heavenly, just heavenly! I bet your family was glad you decided to stay indoors and keep warm. :)

Would you mind sharing your banana bread recipe?

Dawn  – (January 25, 2009 at 6:26 PM)  

Your family is very lucky....that all looks so delicious! It makes me want to go and bake something.

The Magic Onions  – (January 25, 2009 at 11:46 PM)  

It's the same in our house... I think I'm being really clever in cooking too much (for freezer or leftovers) but it all ends up being eaten on the day I cook it. It's "the more you make, the more they eat" rule! Makes you feel good, doesn't it?

denise  – (January 26, 2009 at 12:12 AM)  

Oh, yum. I love baking on super cold days. The best. And I LOVE baking bread! I haven't gotten that book yet - I'm on a long hold list at the library. :)

My favorite bread book so far is Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor. AMAZING book. Made a wild sponge from the book this weekend.

Linda  – (January 26, 2009 at 1:59 AM)  

All your breads look so divine, I think I've just been inspired to go and make some....

Warm regards....

sarah  – (January 26, 2009 at 3:11 AM)  

Oh my, I feel hungry just looking at your pictures. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday.

Tracy  – (January 26, 2009 at 6:07 AM)  

Isn't baking bread just the best? My kids have loved what I have made in recent weeks that I feel guilty for all those years I didn't bother with yeast!

My favorite rising place - in the oven with just the light on.

Quiltin' Mama  – (January 26, 2009 at 6:38 AM)  

I had that book out so many times from the Library that I was lucky to get it for Christmas. I have not made anything out of it that has not been terrific!! The top shelf on the outside of the woodburning cookstove is my bread rising spot, in the winter that is.Cold days,fresh bread they were made to go together.

coffeemamma  – (January 26, 2009 at 8:55 AM)  

We love that book! Hubby bought it for me last summer, and we've made just about every bread in it now. Not one has been a disappointment! And it's a great way to get the family to eat more soup; steamy homemade soup and warm fresh bread- the perfect combination.

Sarah  – (January 26, 2009 at 9:02 AM)  

Now for a really good soup cookbook!

Jeff Hertzberg  – (January 26, 2009 at 10:14 AM)  

So glad the recipes are working for you. I'm Jeff Hertzberg, one of the co-authors of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Come visit us anytime at, where you can post questions into any "Comments" field, or click on "Bread Questions" on the left side of the homepage and choose among the options.

Jeff Hertzberg

Chicago tribune video:

Mrs. Darling  – (January 26, 2009 at 10:54 AM)  

Oh that is so me! Give me the kitchen any day!

Martha  – (January 26, 2009 at 7:51 PM)  

Sounds wonderful! I'll have to check out the book. :o)

Teaching Handwork  – (January 27, 2009 at 9:53 AM)  

a friend gave me the Amish bread and I just.....never got to sad. I am sure it would have been great

Maribeth  – (January 27, 2009 at 2:49 PM)  

I haven't made the leap to yeasted bread-making yet. We have two really great bakeries in town that provide me with a tasty array of bread - I just can't imagine outdoing them. Maybe someday.

Anonymous –   – (January 27, 2009 at 9:58 PM)  

Uh-huh, just trying to keep the kitchen warm. Yeah, sure! ;-)

I liked that book too. It got me to get over my hesitation in baking yeast bread. I always thought it would take too long, I would forget how long the dough should rise, I would over-knead the dough, etc. Nah, it's not that hard. Now I just make the basic Joy of Cooking recipe a couple of times a week and it seems just as simple. Though my family always requests it be rosemary bread, so that's what I always make!

Of course, my dad gave me The Bread Bible for Christmas, and now it sounds all complicated again. Sigh.

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