Saturday, 15 June 2013

Honey and oat bread (aka the best homemade bread in the world)

I first made my own bread about 3 years ago. I got a breadmaker for Christmas and I spent ages playing with it, trying to come up with the perfect loaf of homemade bread. I tried so many different recipes but I never quite got it right. The bread was always too dense, or too crumbly, or just didn't taste nice.

I found a recipe online a while back for honey bread (sorry, I can't for the life of me remember where I found it. I just copied the recipe into my recipe book without thinking I would blog about it). Anyway, the honey bread I made was yummy but missing a little something. The honey bread was dusted with oats and I decided to see what would happen if I put oats in the actual bread rather than on top. Oh. My. Gosh. I think that was probably one of the very best baking experiments I have ever tried in my life. I took out some of the flour and subbed in the oats. I also added more honey to make it a bit sweeter. The bread that came out was It made perfect sandwich bread aswell. One of the banes of my breadmaking life was not being able to have a sandwich with the bread I was making. All of the other recipes I had tried, the bread was just too crumbly and I couldn't get a decent sandwich out of it. It was good to eat as is but bread by itself can get pretty boring ;)

I only ever make my honey and oat bread now and I am absolutely hooked. I like to make a double batch of the dough and make one loaf of bread and 8 breadbuns. The breadbuns are usually gone by the next morning as they are so delicious. The bread does me over the next few days. They can be frozen once cooked.

Honey and oat bread (makes 2 loaves or 16 breadbuns)

1tbsp active dry yeast
1tsp brown sugar
470ml water (1/2 cold, 1/2 boiling)
190g honey
1tsp salt
4tbsps olive oil
600-700g brown bread flour
50g porridge oats
300g plain flour

Mix the yeast, sugar and water together in a large bowl and leave for 10 mins to activate. I use my biggest bowl so I can knead the dough in the bowl but use whatever size you have. When the yeast has bubbled, add the honey, salt and olive oil. Mix well to combine. Add the plain flour, porridge oats and enough bread flour to make a soft but still slightly sticky dough. Make sure not to add too much flour or you will find that your bread is dense. Gently knead for 5 minutes. Lightly oil your bowl and coat the dough.

Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for approx an hour, to double in size. Deflate and knead gently to remove any air bubbles. Cut into 2 pieces. Knead each piece gently for a few minutes, shape into loaf shapes then place in greased or lined loaf pans.

Cover again with the tea towel and leave to rise for 30mins. Cook on GM4/180C/350F for approx 40 minutes or until the middle of your loaf reaches 85C/185F. To make breadbuns, cut your deflated dough into 16 pieces, shape each piece into a ball and place on a greased or floured baking sheet. Leave to rise for 30 minutes then cook for approx 40 minutes or until nicely golden brown.

Leave to cool then enjoy :)


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

What I've Made Wednesday #7

I made this dress for Leyla a while back and I totally forgot to blog about it. I made it using a tshirt that still fit her but was a bit boring and a too big hoodie that I had picked up in the sale. Turned out that the green on them both was near identical so I knew it had to become a tshirt dress.

I cut the tshirt straight across, a couple of inches under the armpits, then cut the bottom off the hoodie. I gathered the hoodie part along the top edge until it fit the tshirt then sewed them together with a narrow zigzag to allow for some stretch. I wanted to cover up the seam so I cut a strip and stitched it down on top of the seam line. I love how it turned out. It is just how I imagined and Leyla loves it because it is a dress.

Monday, 10 June 2013

My Homegrown Vegetable Patio Garden - Week 10

Lots of new growth this week.

Look at all the pretty flowers on my potato plants! I was so excited to go out and see the first one. Strangely enough, the first flower was on Naomie's plant, the smallest of the three. I guess size isn't everything.

Some of the leaves on my tomato plants seem very dry. I am going to increase their watering for a few weeks and see if that makes any difference. They also don't seem to be growing as much as they had been so I'm hoping extra watering will help with that too. They obviously just need more water than I thought.

My five tomato seedlings are big enough to be moved into their final growing space, so I will be doing that this week.

The girls' cherry tomatoes are doing well but need a few more weeks by the look of them, until they will be ready to be replanted.

In other news, I made myself a new blog button. You can find the grabby link on my sidebar. If you want to display it for me, I would be eternally grateful :)

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

What I've Made Wednesday #6

I actually made these baby pants a while back but I forgot to post about them. I found two hoodies in the sale in my local supermarket and absolutely loved them. I would've bought them for my girls to wear as is but they only had bigger girl sizes. I made Leyla a dress out of hers, which I don't think I have blogged about either. Naomie got these lovely trousers. I used the two sleeves so I still have the body and hood of Naomie's one. Will have to think up something to make out of that because I love the colourful stripes.

Here is the before :) So cute.

Monday, 3 June 2013

My Homegrown Vegetable Patio Garden - Week 9

Nothing to update this week. My plants are all still growing nicely but nothing has changed.

I can't believe the size of our potato plants. Poor Naomie's plant has always been the smallest. She likes it though because it is the baby, like her! 

My three biggest tomato plants are doing well outside. I have added a sprinkling of crushed egg shells around the stems, as I have a lot of slugs and snails in my garden.

My five transplanted seedlings aren't as big as I thought they would be this week. Their growth seems to have slowed down a bit. Some of the leaves also went white over the past week. Anyone know why? I am stumped. I just pulled those leaves off but would love to know what caused it to try and prevent it happening again.

Same for my remaining seedlings. Their growth has slowed down, which is strange to me since they are in full sun, damp soil, not too wet, not too dry. Same conditions as my other tomato plants which worked amazingly well. These ones are a different type of tomato so that must be why. I hope they don't all fail on me now.

Hopefully I will have more to update next week.

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