Current and former members of Virtual Potluck are coming together today to celebrate the publication of a book by our founder, Donna Currie of Cookistry. We are collectively hosting a giveaway worth almost $1,900! See below for details about how to enter.
Donna’s book, Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day rekindled my love of baking. Once upon a time BD (before diabetes), I kept sourdough starter in the refrigerator and baked a fresh loaf of bread once a week. Sadly, bread is one of those foods I eat much less of these days. Trying recipes from Make Ahead Bread reminded me how much fun it is to play with yeast.
I made the Crisp Sesame Breadsticks which brought back memories of the packaged snack I once ate by the boxful, except Donna’s version is much better. I also baked the Nutella Swirls for visiting relatives Thanksgiving morning for breakfast. They were a hit! The CompostMaster, who loves dates and is so bread-deprived these days, adored the Oatmeal Honey Date Loaf (recipe below) especially when we topped it with homemade Pumpkin Apple Butter.
Each recipe in Make Ahead Bread is divided into two sections – prep day tasks and baking day tasks. Essentially, you mix up the ingredients one day, let the dough rise, punch it down and shape it, then place it in the refrigerator. Whenever you’re ready to finish the recipe, you take the dough out of the refrigerator and bake it. What could be easier?
I’d recommend this book even if Donna wasn’t my friend. It would make a fabulous holiday gift for the baker in your life.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Make Ahead Bread from Taunton Press and free products from WÜSTHOF, SilverStone and Microplane plus others to give away (complete list below). All opinions are my own.
Oatmeal Honey Date Loaf
Reprinted with permission from Make Ahead Bread by Donna Currie
While this makes a great breakfast bread, it’s also perfect for sandwiches. The sweet dates accent the savory flavor without overwhelming it.
You can use either quick-cooking oats or old-fashioned rolled oats for this loaf. The quick-cooking oats will dissolve more into the bread while the old-fashioned oats will be visible and add little bits of a pleasant chew.
A little bit of rye flour adds to the savory flavor of the bread. If you don’t have white rye flour, you can use a light rye.
MAKES ONE 9 x 5-INCH LOAF
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup (2-1/2 ounces) white rye flour
2-1/2 cups (11-1/4 ounces) bread flour, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons honey
1-1/4 cups room temperature water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup chopped dates
nonstick baking spray
ON PREP DAY
- Combine all of the ingredients and knead by hand (mix first in a large bowl, then turn out and knead) or in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, until the dough is elastic. It will be lumpy, of course, but the dough itself should be stretchy.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour in a warm room.
- Meanwhile, spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with baking spray.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a rough 8-inch square. Fold the top half to about the middle of the dough and press the edge down to secure it. Fold the top over again, this time to within about an inch or so of the bottom. Press the edge to seal. Now pull the bottom of the dough up to meet the dough roll you’ve created and seal the seam. Pinch the ends closed and place the dough, seam side down, in the prepared loaf pan.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap or place the whole pan in a large plastic bag and tie the open end shut. Refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours before baking. The dough should be fully risen after about 6 hours, but a long rest is good for it.
ON BAKING DAY
- Take the pan out of the refrigerator and heat the oven to 350°F.
- Remove the plastic and bake the bread until it is richly browned and the internal temperature reaches 195°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 55 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on a rack before slicing.
Makes 16 servings
Per serving: 138 calories, 2g fat (0g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 72mg sodium, 26g carb, 2g fiber, 6g sugar, 4g protein
A couple of notes:
- I used 3/4 cup rolled oats and 1/4 cup quick oats because I didn’t have a full cup of rolled oats.
- I substituted white whole wheat flour for the white rye because I’m not a huge fan of rye.
Today, current and former members of Virtual Potluck are featuring recipes from Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day by Donna Currie and we are hosting a huge giveaway.
Check out some of the other tasty recipes and reviews:
- Blueberry and Cream Cheese Buns from Cookistry
- Pumpkin Dinner Rolls from Cooking with Books
- Easy Naan from Rachel Cooks
- Nutella Swirl Rolls from Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine
- Butter Buns from Miss in the Kitchen
- Gluten-free Gibassier Buns from GrooVy Foody
- Cinnamon Swirl Bread from Farmgirl Gourmet
- Tart Cherry and Cream Cheese Buns from Thyme in Our Kitchen
- Sausage and Cheddar Strata with Spinach from 30AEATS
- Bacon, Tomato and Cheddar Loaf from Foodie
- Bite and Booze
Please wait a few seconds for the Rafflecopter widget to load, then you’ll be able to enter the giveaway. The contest will run through Sunday, December 21, 2014. The winners will be chosen at random. You must be at least 18 years of age with a U.S. mailing address to win. No purchase is necessary; void where prohibited. The winners will be notified by email and must respond within 24 hours or other winners may be selected.
Donna’s Book, Make Ahead Bread, is available for sale on Amazon. If you’d like an autographed copy, you can order one from Barbed Wire Books.
For the giveaway, we’d like to thank our sponsors who generously offered some fantastic prizes:
- Taunton Press, the publisher of Donna’s book, is supplying a total of 12 copies of Make Ahead Bread, one to each winner.
- Magimix is giving one winner a Magimix 3200XL 12-Cup Food Processor in Brushed Chrome.
- WÜSTHOF is giving one winner a CLASSIC 9-inch Double Serrated Bread Knife
- SilverStone is giving one winner a 5-piece set of bakeware (11×17 cookie pan, 10×15 cookie pan, 9×13 covered baking pan, 9×5 loaf pan and 9-inch cake pan) in the winner’s choice of red or blue.
- King Arthur Flour is giving one winner a rye bread baking kit.
- Duralex is giving one winner a 9-piece set of mixing bowls.
- Harold Import Company is giving three winners a made-in-the-USA hardwood baker’s rolling pin (It’s the baker’s pin, with no handles.)
- Microplane is giving each of the 12 winners an Elite Zester, Cube Grater, and Spiral Cutter.
- GIR is giving each of the 12 winners a silicone scraper.
- King Arthur Flour is giving each of the 12 winners a coupon for a bag of flour of your choice (good at your local supermarket) and a plastic bowl scraper.
- Walker’s Shortbread is supplying cookies to three winners.
In addition to supplying items for the giveaway, a special thanks to Taunton Press, SilverStone, Microplane and WÜSTHOF for supplying products for all the bloggers to work with.
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