Oatmeal Bread

I love baking bread. It just makes the house smell so good. And I know it doesn’t have ingredients I can’t pronounce in it. It also allows for some really easy lunches – sandwiches! Though I’ve tried many bread recipes, my go-to recipe is always Amish white bread. It has the soft texture and flaky crumbiness that just works. I try to have some slices in my freezer at all times. Sometimes, I want some variety, though. Whole wheat bread, rye bread, and  sourdough bread are great, but oatmeal bread? That’s something new to me. So when I saw Alton make bread using leftover oatmeal, I just knew I had to try it. And I did, the very same day. I didn’t eat oatmeal for breakfast, though. I cooked it just for use in the recipe. It was definitely worth it.

This bread is amazing with some salted butter or fruity jam. It’s great for breakfast, and healthy, too! Put some in the freezer for fresh bread the entire week. Those oats are good for your cholesterol, according to the Cheerios commercial. This is a bread that I’ll definitely be keeping in my bread-baking rotation. I might double the recipe next time, though. It takes a lot of time to only yield one loaf. And maybe try to make it in my mixer because after being spoiled by my dough hook, kneading by hand gets tiring (though it wasn’t nearly as hard as kneading bagels).

Oatmeal Bread, adapted from Alton Brown:

Make one loaf – I got 16 slices.


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
  • 11 ounces bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces cooked oats (to make this, use 3/4 cup oats and 1 1/2 cups water), at room temperature (you don’t want to kill that yeast!)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup (I used one tablespoon honey because I ran out of agave. Use both honey if you don’t have agave, or substitute with sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw oats
  • 1 egg + water, for eggwash


1. Combine yeast, flour, 1/4 cup uncooked oats, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Combine cooked oats, agave, water, and oil in a large mixing bowl.

3. In three increments, add dry ingredients to wet. Mix with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated.

4. Knead by hand on a floured surface for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Add more flour if it’s too sticky.

5. Oil bowl, add dough, and cover. Let rise for an hour.

6. Punch down dough and shape into loaf. Place in greased loaf pan.

7. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

8. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

9. Combine the egg yolk and water in a small bowl. Brush the top of the loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of raw oats.

10. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour (actually it took me 1 hour, 10 minutes), until the internal temperature of the dough reaches 210 degrees.

11. Cool on rack for 30 minutes before slicing.

Flaky Pie or Tart Dough

pie crust

If you have a food processor, making pie crust is very easy. If not, it’s a little more difficult (but still not so hard). I have tried many different recipes, but prefer the ones that don’t use shortening (or lard, of course!), so when I found an all butter crust in The Art and Soul of Baking, I became hooked. I don’t use it all the time, but it’s definitely a page that I turn to often.

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Amish White Bread

I decided that instead of buying bread made with high fructose corn syrup I would make my own. How hard could that be? It happened to be very easy, until it came time to shape the loaves; the first time I made them they looked a little funny, but the bread tasted great! It was such a simple recipe, and made two loaves. I made sandwiches with one for an entire week and froze the other. That was a while ago, and these pictures are from the first batch of this white bread I’ve ever baked. Now I bake this about twice a month. It makes the house smell like a bakery and leaves my stomach and wallet happy.


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After many years of finding challah recipes from books, cookbooks, and online, I finally found the best recipe. My cousin Sally gave it to me a while ago, but I was skeptical to use a recipe that used an entire 5-pound bag of flour. It was worth it; everyone at the shabbat table loved it, and there were no leftovers.

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Real vanilla extract is so expensive, and imitation vanilla is no substitute for the real thing, so now we make our own.

All you need is some vanilla beans and some alcohol.

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