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It is called toast

Thank you for the many cheers and kind words about our anniversaries. You are so good to us! We went to Bellingham to celebrate over the weekend - which, in our world, means Monday and Tuesday, the days when Delancey is closed - and I regret to report that the dinosaur graffiti has been painted over. There’s a cafe there, and they put in some outdoor seating, so I guess they wanted to spruce the place up. The only good news is that the graffiti was painted over badly, with white paint, so if you squint, you can still make out the curving neck of the brontosaurus. Shine on, dinosaurs!

I should also report that I have made a discovery, and it is called toast. I understand that most people discover toast as teething babies, and that this makes me about 31 years late to the party. But I am okay with this, because it means that I have 31 years of toast-eating to catch up on, and that is a lot of toast to look forward to.

It’s not that I had never eaten toast before. I want to be clear about that. I have eaten a lot of toast. But if you’ve been reading here for a while, or for any length of time at all, you probably know that I’ve tended to spend my morning hours in the company of granola. I’m crazy for granola, and I am also deeply boring. I’ve been making my own for close to ten years, and I’ve eaten it almost every day. On the other days, I’ve had toast, or pancakes, or French toast, or scones, or muffins, or fried eggs, because that’s what people do, but mostly, I eat granola.

But then. A couple of months ago, the granola jar was empty, and I had some bread on the counter. It was veering in the direction of stale, so I decided to toast it. Whoop de doo. No big deal. I didn’t put much thought to it. I made some coffee, set the toaster dial to medium, slid a slice of bread in, got out the butter and jam, smeared them on, and sat down to eat. And there it was, boom, as though I had never tasted it before: crisp at the edges, a faint chew at the middle, sweet in the way that browned things taste sweet, juicy with hot fat and cold fruit. I understood toast. I cut another slice.

The world doesn’t really need a recipe for toast, and I’m not going to try to give you one. The esteemed John Thorne devoted twelve pages to the topic in his book Pot on the Fire, if you’re interested, and it’s a very good read. No one can top John Thorne, and I am willing to bet that no one can top John Thorne’s toast. But technique aside, I will tell you one thing that I have come to believe: the bread is key.

The best breads for toasting are dense and damp-crumbed. If you toast a flimsy bread, the kind that’s so soft that you can wad up a slice of it in your fist without even using any muscles, the result will be something akin to a piece of crusty old foam that you might find popping out of the busted seat of a 1960s Chevy. You do not want to eat that. This morning, I had a couple of slices of pain de campagne from a bakery, one of those breads with a thick, shattery crust and a shiny, chewy crumb, and it was excellent. But my favorite bread for toasting is a homemade one, a loaf that I’ve made three times in as many weeks, from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce.

I have to admit that I did not come to this book unbiased. I heard about it from my friend Luisa, who is apparently also into toast right now, how weird and terrific, and who was, in her previous work life, the book’s editor. Luisa told me that Kim was onto something good, and so I had high hopes when I tried my first recipe, the oatmeal sandwich bread on page 130.

It’s probably the most unassuming recipe title in the book, so if you’re thinking Booooring, I won’t blame you. But it’s a top-notch bread, and once you try it - toasted, ideally - you’ll see why I am going on and on like this about toast. This bread is my everyday ideal: dense and hearty, but not heavy, and very fragrant with the natural sweetness of oatmeal and wheat. Prior to trying this recipe, I was buying a locally made whole wheat loaf at the grocery store, and it was nice, but it was sweetened with honey, and the flavor was too strong and too sweet. This is much better. It uses basic pantry ingredients, and once you’ve got them, you can bake whenever you want, and though it takes about four hours from start to finish, the actual work time is very brief, so you could start it before dinner, finish it by bedtime, and spend most of the intervening hours lying on the couch. The kitchen will smell like yeast, molasses, and a million bucks, and in the oven, the loaf will bloom up and out of the pan like some sort of fantastic mushroom. It’s gorgeous, especially smeared with apricot or raspberry jam, or even just butter, or, better yet, butter and a fine dust of crunchy salt. And that’s only breakfast, and you’ve got the whole day ahead.

Oatmeal Sandwich Bread
Adapted from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce with Amy Scattergood

I’ve noticed that some reviews of this book complain that it calls for ingredients using only volume measures, not weight measures. I don’t find that to be a deal-breaker, but it is important to measure the ingredients correctly, particularly the flours. Before you scoop any flour out of the container, take a spoon and stir the flour, lifting and loosening it. (It tends to get packed down, and you don’t want to measure packed flour.) Now, to measure, spoon the flour into your measuring cup until it heaps above the rim. Then sweep the back of a dinner knife, or any other straight utensil, across the top to level it, letting the excess flour fall back into the container.

This recipe is made for a standard-size loaf pan, one that measures about 9 by 5 by 3 inches. But mine is on loan to Delancey, so I’ve been using a different pan, one that I picked up at a thrift shop a couple of years ago. It measures 10 by 3 ¾ by 3 inches, and I love the long, skinny loaf it makes.

One last thing: the original version of this recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. That sounds like a lot, but kosher salt isn’t very salty, and I found the bread a little bland. Instead, I now use table salt, and I like the result when I use 2 ¼ teaspoons.

Oh, and this bread is also good for sandwiches, as you might have guessed from its title.

1 package (2 ¼ tsp.) active dry yeast
3 Tbsp. unsulphured (not blackstrap) molasses
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1 cup rolled oats
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 ¼ tsp. table salt, or to taste

Grease a large bowl and a loaf pan (see above) with butter or cooking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 cups warm water, the yeast, and molasses. Stir briefly, and then allow the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes. Add the flours, oats, and butter, and stir to mix. The dough will look rough and shaggy. Cover with a towel, and let stand for 30 minutes. [This rest allows the dry ingredients to absorb the liquids, making for a dough that’s easy to work with and even-crumbed.]

Attach the bowl and the bread hook to the mixer. Add the salt, and mix on medium speed for 6 minutes. The dough should come together around the hook and slap around the sides of the bowl without sticking. If the dough is sticking, add a tablespoon or two of bread flour, sprinkling it down between the dough and the sides of the bowl. [Alternatively, you can knead by hand for about 15 minutes, adding flour as needed.] The dough should be soft and supple and slightly sticky.

For the first rise, scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it a few times. Put the dough into the greased bowl, cover with a towel, and leave it to rise for about 1 hour, or until it is doubled in size. To see if it’s ready, gently push a floured finger into it. If the dough springs back, it needs more time; if the dimple remains, it’s ready for the next step.

To shape the dough, scrape it onto a floured work surface. Press down on it, working it into a square shape, taking care to depress any bubbles. Fold the dough down from the top to the middle, then up from the bottom to the middle. Next, bring the newly formed top and bottom edges together, pinching the seam to seal. Pinch the sides together, and roll the shaped dough back and forth, plumping it so that it’s evenly formed and about the size of your pan. Place the dough in the pan with the seam side down, and press it gently into the corners of the pan.

For the second rise, cover the dough with a towel, and let it rest in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until the dough rises to half again its size. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.

When the dough has finished its second rise, bake for about 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The loaf is ready when the top crust and bottom crusts are nicely browned. [Boyce says that the top crust should be the color of molasses, but mine never gets that dark.] To see if the bread is ready, give the top of the loaf a thump with your hand. If it sounds hollow, it’s ready; if not, give it another few minutes in the oven. Remove the finished loaf from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Resist the urge to cut in until it’s fully cooled, so that the crumb has time to set and the flavor can develop.

Note: This bread keeps beautifully at room temperature. I keep mine in a plastic grocery bag, tied shut, and I set it on the counter with the cut side down. It stays good that way for 4 or 5 days, easy.

Yield: 1 loaf


Anonymous Sara Leana said...

I have been having so much toast lately, with butter, or with thick yogurt and homemade strawberry jam. Or especially lately with fresh almond butter. Mathematically it's about time I start making my own bread. This is magnificent. I adore your blog. Sad about the dinosaurs.

12:33 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger sunshinewalks said...

I love a good ode to toast!
Toast is my most favorite food, and it makes me very happy. I can't wait to try this bread recipe because there is nothing better than homemade bread toast.
(Have you made cinnamon sugar toast yet? That might blow your mind.)

2:37 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Inge said...

It´s such a coincidence that you´re writing about this bread, because I just got this great book for my birthday and decided this would be the recipe to try; and also the first bread I'll ever make.
My only problem is the molasses. I've been trying to find it here in the Netherlands, but haven't yet. Is there anything I can substitute it with?
Thanks so much and I love your new approach to the blog. More posts, yay!

2:53 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Help the novice--what is bread flour? Thanks.

3:02 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger jana said...

I have that book too, but have yet to try the bread. the other recipes i made so far were great (granola bars, olive oil cake, chocolate chip cookies). i'm eating avocado toast almost everyday during summer. perfect breakfast/lunch. yum!

4:06 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger linda said...

i have been reading "good to the grain" & admiring the carrot muffins & summer peach pie recipes…
after reading your beautiful post i think that i would try my hand @ "toast."
thanks molly!

4:38 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Tales from the Tiny Kitchen said...

Hi Molly
Huge fan of your blog. My desert island meal would be a loaf of crusty white bread and a pat of salty butter, preferably with little salt crystals in it. Nowhere to plug a toaster in, but hey. I learned how to bake bread about 2 years ago and have never looked back!

4:46 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger newlywed said...

Mmm, love the combination of oatmeal and molasses!
You know, toast for breakfast opens up a whole slew of possible spreads...apple butter, jam, lemon curd, marmalade, peanut butter, honey...

5:28 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Getting Jim Lahey's book when it came out and starting to make a loaf of his bread once a week has changed my life. Walter went crazy when he found out the recipe had been posted in the NYTimes YEARS BEFORE. He wondered what took me so long - a question to which I had no answer.

As I have recently gotten Good to the Grain, I will try YOUR loaf this weekend because


When I was a child visiting my grandparents in England, for breakfast I would be allowed to toast a thick slice of bread speared on a toasting "fork" right in the fire (followed by porridge with cream from the un-homoginized milk floating on top). It was the best toast I've ever had, but Jim Lahey's bread in thick slices comes close. I'll let you know how I like yours. Thanks for the tip.

5:38 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Joan said...

Homemade bread is wonderful. This recipe is similar to my favorite one, which is a cracked wheat loaf from New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant. The only difference is bulgur instead of oatmeal, a cup of milk and additional bread flour. Chewy, slightly crunchy, easy to slice, and divine toasted. Here's to sharing breakfasts - miles and time zones apart!

5:41 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Jen said...

I am also on a bread-making spree, but I prefer to use my bread for fancy grilled cheese rather than for breakfast. I would think you'd need the same type of bread for grilled cheese as you would for "toast" because you want the same crispy-chewy thing going on.

5:42 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Jennifer Jo said...

Hi Molly,

I'm so glad you've entered the world of toast lovers! We are sound inhabitants (both mentally and physically), eaters of mountains of toast, sometimes a whole loaf at one meal/bedtime snack.

Our favorite toast is homemade sourdough made from flour (and a little raw wheat germ), salt, and water. We slather the toast with way too much butter and grape jam---the jam is made from the same arbor from which I obtained my bread starter's grapes. All my life's a circle...

5:54 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Lauren Starkey said...

How fitting a title! Last night you were toasted at our book group on the shore of Lake Champlain in Vermont...We feasted on the corn cakes, tomato and fennel soup, salmon, meatballs, pasta with pesto and zucchini, and the french yogurt lemon cake from your book. A Homemade Life was enjoyed by all...and I'm a dedicated reader here. Your voice is so refreshing--and your taste is even better!

5:57 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger lizibeth said...

Oh, this is funny (in a great sort of way)!
I was going through some old (1930's era) cookbooks last week and found a handwritten recipe really similar to this. You're right, it's delicious. And quickly becoming a favorite around here.

6:05 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf said...

Oh heaven help me.

I can't say no to fresh bread. I sometimes make my own, if I have the time and energy at the exact moment the stars align (or the kitchen is clean). I've been looking for better recipes, so I'm going to have to give this one a try!

6:47 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Torrie said...

My mom was a very 'the-littlest-time-I-have-to-spend-in-the-kitchen-as-possible' type person. She still is. Yet her food, as simple as it was and is, always hits the spot- and leaves me wondering if I'm approaching the whole 'food thing' wrong. My kids rave about her food. Always a reminder that simple is okay, and better than complex at times.

Toast is one love that my mom passed on to me. I thought it was universal, until I got strange looks from my husband when early in our marriage, I suggested (if short on time- or food:)), "Let's just have toast." Toast with butter and jam- YUUUUUUM.

6:52 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Patty said...

I like making (and eating) bread, although I try not to use the oven in the summer. I don't use a mixer for bread, especially not just one loaf. I usually just buy unbleached white flour for bread flour. Do you find it makes a difference? Where do you get bread flour?

6:56 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Katie (Mama May I) said...

I'm a toast addict, especially this time of year with homemade jam in abundance. The bread recipe sounds delicious. My little one loves to make bread~we'll give it a try. One of my favorite breads for toast (again, this time of year) is peaches and cream bread (recipe from king arthur flour). It needs nothing more than butter. Yum!

7:14 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Man...I love toast. Unabashedly and forever. I've had my eye out for a nice wheaty, oatmeal-y bread and this looks like just the thing.

I'm so glad you're back, Molly.

7:19 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous DessertForTwo said...

I've been wanting Kim's new book for a while now, but other books keep pushing their way to the top of the list. But by the looks of this recipe, it looks like I need to buy it! Thanks for sharing :)

7:32 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Oh yum. It looks quite delicious! Ali has requested that I stop testing loaves and just pick one that can be our daily loaf, but what I can say? I love new things. So I think I'll give this a whirl this weekend.

I've made this oatmeal toasting bread from Susan at Farmgirl Fare several times, and it's also delicous: http://foodiefarmgirl.blogspot.com/2006/11/oatmeal-toasting-bread-baking.html

You actually soak the oats and butter and sugar in some hot water for a while before beginning in earnest. Mmm.

7:41 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Francesca said...

I love oatmeal bread! I made my first and only batch this past winter. It is about time I make another. My loaves turned out quite flat, not very good for sandwiches, but it was magnificent toasted. Mmmm...

7:42 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Rachel said...

This book is really having a moment! It's at the top of my wish list, especially since our neighborhood bakery recently shut down after more than 80 years of a family business. :( I'm making do with grocery store toast in the meantime (Arnold's Ancient Grains isn't half bad!).

7:49 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous rebecca said...

Toast. A thick slice of stodgy toast with a thick slab of butter, a slice of cheese, and a lovely ripe tomato. Olive oil. Salt. Really, it's so delicious....

Love your writing.

7:50 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Gwyn said...

I was so excited to see this topic today...I worship at the church of toast! it is humble and yet totally satisfying. my favorite homemade loaf for toast is english muffin bread. i'll also throw in some sunflower seeds and millet for even more crunch and texture.

my favorite (well one of them) wintertime simple dinner--toast with salt sprinkled on it with a huge cup of hot chocolate (the kind made by melting reeeeeally good chocolate in milk).

a toast to toast!

8:19 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Nancy said...

I like the sound of this bread, and the earthiness of the oats and molasses. My favorite toast ever was with my very own homebaked sourdough rye. But alas, after several heavenly loaves my starter up and died. Toast just hasn't been the same since.

8:23 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous LH said...

Ode to toast: I love toast so much that for the last year or two, I've had it nearly every day for breakfast and often for snacks as well. It's one of those things that serves as a canvas for whatever you are craving--savory or sweet. And good bread makes it a thousand times better. Thankfully I read this while eating toast. I might make my own bumper sticker that reads I HEART TOAST.

Too much?

8:33 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent! Thanks for the enticing recipe, and your sterling writing, Molly. Looking forward to trying this bread. Cathy

8:36 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger donna baker said...

I have made crabapple jelly and white peach jam this summer. Still have to make the wild plum jam. On toast there is no 'depth of flavor'. Just the fruity goodness, butter and toast. Sublime on these hot summer Oklahoma days.

8:44 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Charlotte said...

Molly - love your ode to toast. I'm making a loaf of oatmeal spelt bread right now because I love it so much (it's based on the basic bread recipe in America's Test Kitchen) and uses brown rice syrup instead of honey. It is yummy for sandwiches but divine toasted - especially with Luisa's mustard mayo & avocado mix. Better go make some toast right now.

8:44 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger kenzie said...

i love toast, lately I've had it with my homemade marionberry jam, which is my favorite of all. Best with homemade bread.

8:53 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toast can be wonderful, indeed. So what brought you to Bellingham? I live here, and I can't figure out where the dinosaur graffiti was. It's driving me crazy! :-) Happy Anniversary, by the way!

8:59 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Damaris said...

Yeah, toast is pretty awesome. My 10 month old teething baby thinks it's the best thing around too. She's right though, it is. My husband is the baker around here and nothing beats his honey whole wheat bread with homemade blackberry jam. It's so good we serve it as dessert.

I grew up in Brazil eating white bread from the store with mayonnaise. It was alright but nothing to rave about. However, white bread toasted with mayonnaise is pretty good too.

9:00 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Anne Zimmerman said...

Toast is easily my favorite food. There's so much to enjoy: jam, honey, butter, nutbutters... and that is just breakfast. Lunch can be divine too. I regularly have a French style tartine at noon. It's what gets me through the afternoon. Enjoy your toasty adventures.

9:03 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Jenny said...

I just now got back from being out in this damp morning to get toast! At Nelly's, by the Ballard Locks. They make the most delicious toast ever -- with butter, with jam, with cheese, with Swedish fish paste toppings...it's fabulous. How fun to see toast feted!

9:06 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Too bad about the dinos but I'm glad you finally "get" toast. It's my go-to meal when My Beloved is not home for dinner.

9:28 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger DeeAnna said...

I'm so glad you "discovered" toast! I too, am a granola maker, but often get lazy and neglect to make another batch...those are peanut butter toast mornings (crunchy, homestyle PB).

9:32 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Linda said...

This sounds like an absolutely fabulous recipe. I have been really hooked on your granola for the past few months...my son has even put in orders for it to be sent to him at college on a regular basis. But this loaf looks like just what I have been looking for.
Thank you! You are the breakfast queen without a doubt!

9:33 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Christie Franke said...

Toast and tea are my go-to breakfast choices right now. But I can't say I've ever had much success with baking my own bread. Maybe I'm cursed, but it never rises properly. I'm going to give this recipe a try, though. It really does sound delicious.

9:57 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Baking Midwife said...

I like the idea of molasses in bread. Can't wait to try it! Yesterday morning I had a piece of toasted leftover baguette with apricot puree on top. The puree is for my experimental Chaussons aux Abricots, which I haven't gotten quite right yet. In the meantime the puree works well as a sub for jam. BTW I love your recipes (and blog), they always work amazingly well!

9:59 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Chrissy said...

As soon as it isn't August in Massachusetts, I am trying out that magnificent bread recipe.

Also, in a fairly unrelated note, I finished reading your book yesterday, and had to say how much I adored it. It really seemed to speak to who you are as a person... and that person rocks. Please keep on with the blog, I love it!

10:17 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Chris said...

great-looking bread! will have to try it, for sure!

10:24 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Ms. George said...

Have you seen/heard Heywood Banks's song "Toast"? We heard this on a marathon car trip with my kids and nephew on Sirius Kids. It is hysterical...
There are few things better than toast.

10:28 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Sisyphus said...

MY love of toast is reignited with one simple find while traveling the isles of the World Market last night. The word is Marmite, and to me it beats peanut butter any day. I was given my first taste years ago in a Peruvian hostel by a lone wandering Aussie who later visited me in my Eugene home and gifted my a bottle of this salty goodness. I had forgotten about it in the years since and admit I yelped in delight when I spotted it on the shelf. Just a light spread of this soft yeast on thick warm bread and its heaven for me!

10:48 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous baileylayne said...

You make toast sound like... an early morning spent sitting out by a waterfall in a fragrant dewey garden... or really good sex... or even a nap stolen away in the middle of the day with sunshine warming your face.
I want to experience this kind of toast. I may just have to bake some of that bread.

11:20 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Fred said...

Yum...I love toast with butter and a perfectly ripe avocado half spread over it with salt and fresh ground pepper mixture of pink peppercorns, white peppercorns, allspice and coriander. Sigh. Also butter and marmite is a tasty treat. Thanks for the bread recipe, I can't wait to try it.

11:20 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Bethany said...

This sounds fantastic and would be great for my daughter, whose current favorite food is a warm slice of bread. But a question: I'm off dairy for the time being, so do you think there's a way to alter this so that something's used instead of butter?

11:22 AM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my best toast experiences is with Bill Granger's Coconut Bread. The bread itself is easy to make and fabulous - the resulting toast sublime (served with rhubarb compote). It also lends itself beautifully to French toast.


11:33 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Shawn said...

Oh Molly you just make me laugh- I just love your writing! I agree~ there's nothing better than toast made with homemade bread. I really am looking forward to trying that oatmeal bread recipe! Got all the ingredients in my pantry! Woo hoo!

12:07 PM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Anna said...

I love your bread photos! I have heard so much about this book, I can't wait to pick up a copy.

12:39 PM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous vanessa@cardstyle said...

Adored this post! Makes you remember how sweet the simplest things can be. And those recipes look excellent... thanks!!

12:44 PM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Tammy said...

Molly, what a great writer you are.
I have been suckered in with toast and now I am baking bread. lol.

1:06 PM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Stacy said...

The toast thing happened to me 2 summers ago when I discovered how to make toast over a campfire, after 5 days in the woods. Add butter and honey - it was true bliss.
Can't wait to try this bread!

1:32 PM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Mellybrown said...

Bellingham! I'm from Lynden, which is a bit north. I'm curious where you stayed and where you ate. -- B'ham has some grat spots. I especially love Pepper Sisters.
I usually bake bread once a week, so I'll have to throw this recipe into the rotation and give it a whirl.

1:57 PM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous jen said...

I was watching nigella lawson videos the other day and one episode in particular, she made a trio of toasts and toppings for breakfast which looked perfect to me, as I opt for the savory breakfast rather than sweet on most occasions. She made a chickpea, parmesan and lemon spread, by just pureeing the mixture a bit and spreading on toast, another was avocado and lime. Worth a go, I think.

1:59 PM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Ena said...

We don't have molasses where I live, so what do you think the bread would taste like if I omitted molasses? Or what would the best substitution?

2:19 PM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous molly said...

For as many years as I can remember, I've known that my last meal (not that I intend to be forced to choose one, but it gives the mind something to rattle on about) would be toast. Buttered toast. Good bread, browned just so, and buttered to the point that it is JUICY.

Oh, and if you haven't tried it? Caramelised toast! Take a piece of bread, toast it to your specs (a bit on the light side), butter it well, then toast it AGAIN, until the butter bubbles and browns (yes, the BUTTER browns) and the whole shingle top goes nutty and sweet. Stop me now.

It's a little fiddly, since you have to handle that second toasting in the oven, so I don't do it often. Which is a huge relief, or I couldn't reach my shoelaces, ever. But oh, as a treat, or a last meal, it is magnificent.

A very happy 31-years-of-toast-eating-catching-up to you.

2:30 PM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Claudia said...

Someone should write a sonnet to toast. Shakespeare should ahve skipped comparing thee to a summer day and written more extensively about food. It is my "go to" snack/breakfast/accompaniment to coffee, teas and wine.

2:58 PM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Nicole said...

I love your ode to toast. Where you have eaten granola for breakfast, I have eaten toast. And I completely agree with your assessment that the right kind of bread is the key.

4:02 PM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Good to the Grain has been my before-bed reading lately. I've been dreaming of chocolate babka and olive oil cake. Now I must take a closer look at this oatmeal sandwich bread. I love a good slice of toast. Thanks.

4:54 PM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous PFG said...

I know this goes without saying, but a slice of crispy bacon, tucked longways into a slightly buttered piece of toast, is about as good as it gets.

Ummm...bacon. And if you put a little blackberry jam on the crust, well game over!

5:55 PM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Louise said...

this made me giggle until i reached the toast description... you are right, nothing like warm buttery fat and cold jam...

7:26 PM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Jessica said...

I have been meaning to try this bread again--I made a loaf right away when I got the book, but found it really dry compared to a really similar bread I've always made also sweetened with molasses, but made with oil instead of butter. I'll have to try being more careful with the measurements. Still, I ate it as toast at least two meals a day for about a week spread with butter and honey.

For anybody looking for a place to start in the sea of delectable photographs that is "Good to the Grain," I loved the Rosemary Olive Oil Cake, which Luisa ran a while back(http://www.thewednesdaychef.com/the_wednesday_chef/2010/05/kim-boyces-good-to-the-grain.html). It is excellent.

8:11 PM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Susan @ The Spice Garden said...

I am reminded of a book I posted on a while back ... 'Making Toast' ... a worthy read ... also, I have done toast today with bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes. Nothing like that late summer delicacy - the classic BLT. Go for the toast!

9:05 PM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Caitlin said...

I'm really into toast especially with my mom's special cinnamon sugar (which is all about ratios of the two). Toast makes me happy, always. I've never felt grumpy with toast. That's pretty impressive since I can't think of anything else which has that track record. Glad toast made the blog, it's deserved of your discerning palate. Cheers to toast.

9:07 PM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

toast with lashings of fresh avocado, a decent squeeze of lemon, sea salt and pepper is about as good a breakfast (lunch or tea) that you can have...

12:01 AM, August 07, 2010  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Just read 'A Homemade Life' and im hooked. Scottish lemon and ginger scones fabulous. Thank you for enhancing my life.Food, Glorious Food!Never visited anyones blog before, and i love knowing you really exist. The first time I visited was yesterday before you added 'its called toast' and saw all your celebrations. Sweet Woman.
Michelle, Auckland, NZ

12:06 AM, August 07, 2010  
Anonymous janie said...

i agree, with a long absence, toast can be great and super. In the summer, I am a huge lover of fresh berries, yogurt and muesli. But every once in a while I get a monstrous craving for a piece of toast. With peanut butter and jam. It can be a day or two of heaven! I must admit, i usually return to yogurt and other things but once in a while, I eat with abandon, a great slice of bread with peanut butter and jam. Now I will think of you!

3:21 AM, August 07, 2010  
Blogger Knitting Out Loud said...

In Elizabeth David's magnificent book "English Bread and Yeast Cookery" she states that the best toast is made over an open fire.

I always thought this was ridiculous until last winter when during a power outage I found a long fork and toasted our (always homemade thanks to my husband) bread in front of the fire. And, YES, it is better, much better. You haven't had toast until you try it.

4:31 AM, August 07, 2010  
Anonymous Jessie said...

looks gorgeous, like a mushroom! (i'm very much attracted to everything mushroomy...haha) I want to make some bread and croissants too, soon after the cheesecakes and macarons!

8:10 AM, August 07, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had just read The Wednesday Chef's blog on toast so I made this bread and put her topping of mustard mayo with mashed avocado on the toast. It was fantastic!

11:05 AM, August 07, 2010  
Anonymous Jen/YVR said...

I grew up with our main source of bread being my great-grandmother's two hands. The toast I ate as a kid was made from this bread - thicker than pre-sliced, store-bought bread, with lots of jagged edges that seem to get shatteringly crisp when you toast it.
Aboslutely lovely, but my favourite thing about the homemade bread was not the toast. As soon as my grandma's loaves came out of the oven and she tipped them out of the tins, she would brush the top crust with butter, adding a salty-savoury note. But the best was yet to come. In true grandma fashion, I'm sure she spent my childhood trying to fatten me up (and I can't say she didn't succeed). She would thickly slice off one of the still-warm heels, pour a good measure of cream into a small glass bowl, and hand the two of them to me. I would eagerly tear off chunks, dipping into the cool cream, and popping them into my mouth, savouring the combination of the warm, buttery crust and the cool dairy sweetness of the cream. Heaven!
I must admit, I still carry out this ritual every time I turn a fresh loaf out of a pan. The taste isn't quite the same - no one makes bread like grandma did - but it is close enough to take me back to her kitchen.

12:43 PM, August 07, 2010  
Blogger tweal said...

Well I don't think I've ever been as hungry for bread or toast as I am right now. I need to try this recipe, thanks!

12:47 PM, August 07, 2010  
Blogger Rachell Taylor said...

Toast has always been one of those things that I know I love, and I know I don't eat enough of. I always forget that its an option. But when I DO eat toast, its usally to mop up my poached eggs, or lately with butter and hummus spread across it. Delish.

1:43 PM, August 07, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sister and I always talk about...the other side of life. Grapefruit juice -- for the other side or Orange juice. So there's toast -- the other side of doughnuts.

Toast is the match for butter. Okay, there's popcorn and an butter. But I'm all about toast. And butter. Sure, you can jam it up. But make sure you're in the mood for that fruity-sugary jolt. Me? All about the butter.

And toast is a 24/7 food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, post-bar closing. Toast.

6:22 PM, August 07, 2010  
Anonymous Maegan said...

Really nice post Molly. Your writing is always a joy.

7:30 PM, August 07, 2010  
Blogger Julie Alvarez said...

I have ALWAYS had toast, for breakfast AND as an afternoon snack too.
But only when I started making my own bread I really enjoyed them.
I make an oatmeal-wheat bread too, but it's just plain or salty, without any sweetener. I just heard once that if you moist the oatmeal first in warm milk (or water) it would soften a lot and make the bread feels perfect.

9:29 PM, August 07, 2010  
Anonymous Katharine (Meal Muse) said...

Wow, I NEED to bake this bread. Possibly as soon as tomorrow morning. I just mastered jam-making, so this would compliment those efforts perfectly. Now all I need is a good recipe for butter...

10:34 PM, August 07, 2010  
Anonymous The Rowdy Chowgirl said...

I have got to get this book. I wonder what would happen if I made the bread with blackstrap molasses, since that's what I have in my cupboard...would it be a disaster, I wonder?

12:32 PM, August 08, 2010  
Blogger Alice Q. Foodie said...

toast is definitely the busy person's friend! I like to start my days with toasted Ezekiel with almond butter and jam, so I can definitely relate!

6:18 PM, August 08, 2010  
Blogger kim said...

I adore toast!!! I love to use great rustic bread which has gone a bit stale (bruschetta, anyone?), but your recipe looks fabulous. I can't wait to bake it, just as soon as the temperature drops below 90 degrees so I won't create a sauna . . .

3:54 AM, August 09, 2010  
Blogger michaela said...

molly-this is good bread for toast with butter and your mixed berry jam.

inspired by kim boyce's chocolate chip cookie recipe, i tried "the cookie recipe" with some wheat flour and definitely enjoyed it.

5:08 AM, August 09, 2010  
Anonymous Jim Cab said...

I just picked this book up from the library and now I need need NEED it! It's a great book, with really great, innovative recipes. I love bread and I love different types of flours, so this is the perfect book for me. I will have to try the Oatmeal bread today!

6:32 AM, August 09, 2010  
Anonymous Becca said...

I agree completely about the magical qualities of good toast! Would you think this recipe could work without a standing mixer?


6:42 AM, August 09, 2010  
Blogger farmGirl said...

Isn't it funny how you can live your whole life eating something and then suddenly through a series of coincidences you discover you have never really eaten a perfect version of that food? That happened to me this summer. I had some crusty homemade bread and decided to make french toast...wow! BTW was in your neck of the woods this summer and wanted to eat with you but my friends were stuck on seafood being from the mid-west and all. Going to go try this recipe now.

7:17 AM, August 09, 2010  
Blogger h.anna said...

Toast is one of my ultimate care-for foods. I love toast but (being in college and lacking a toaster) never make it myself...so whether the occasion is a sit down breakfast at home, stuffing myself with hashbrowns and eggs and bacon, or a late night hauling home an inebriated 21-year-old to a mother who happily makes us toast in celebration of us making it through the night, I always have room for that warm piece of toast.

8:31 AM, August 09, 2010  
Blogger Jill said...

Molly..you are the best thing next to sliced bread! Just goes to show that your writing and photos make me crave bread right now.

I loved baking bread during the awful East Coast winter we had. I was into the No Knead Bread (adapted from the Sullivan Steet Bakery) made in my LeCrueset and brioche...heaven.

9:14 AM, August 09, 2010  
Blogger margie said...

Oatmeal Bread is my favorite bread both for baking and for toast. I actually just got home from a week visiting my parents, and I think I ate my weight in toasted bread, butter, and homemade jam.

This recipe looks less fussy than my current oatmeal bread recipe, so I may have to try it tonight (hooray for a pantry with all of the required ingredients!).

10:14 AM, August 09, 2010  
Anonymous Liv said...

A year ago, I had a wonderful vacation in Western Ireland where I had the most extraordinary toast for breakfast each day. I had bought a loaf Irish Soda Bread from a specialty bakery, paying 3x more than I would have in the grocery store, but oh was it worth it. It was dense and full of flavor and toasted, WOW!, crunchy, delicious, wonderful yumminess. I can't find anything close to it here in Seattle. Thanks for taking me back to my Irish Toast.

10:27 AM, August 09, 2010  
Anonymous Jackie said...

Awesome - your posts are so inspiring. My friend and I want to make this tonight -- however, can I use instant yeast rather than active dry? That's what I have in my fridge. If anyone knows, please leave a comment.

10:59 AM, August 09, 2010  
Blogger Christine said...

I adore oatmeal toast! Now is the perfect time to start making your own peach jam to compliment the oat-y toast. It's easy to do and will fit nicely into the time your bread is rising.

As a backup, I'm with Jana about avocado toast. I bash it up a little while my bread toasts, spread it over and sprinkle generously with salt. Best lunch ever!

11:10 AM, August 09, 2010  
Blogger cstar said...

Toast with good mayonnaise and tomato (with a healthy dose of salt & pepper) is my summer OBSESSION. Especially with the awesome beefsteak tomatoes you all have out there in the Pacific NW. I make due with heirloom here in the SE, but I miss NW produce...sigh.

11:28 AM, August 09, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi, all! Thanks for such a good toast discussion here.

Inge and Ena, if you can't find molasses, you can substitute honey (same amount), but the flavor will be a bit different. I was just looking around online, and I see that in some parts of Europe there is also something called sugar beet syrup, and that might be a good substitute. Or dark corn syrup, if you can find it.

Anonymous and Patty, bread flour is a high-gluten flour that is made from hard winter wheat. It's particularly good for making bread, because the high gluten gives the bread more loft and chewiness. I use King Arthur brand, and I get it at my neighborhood grocery store.

Lisa, I love the idea of soaking the oats! (Reminds me of the oatmeal pancakes I posted a while back.) I'll have to try that Farmgirl recipe.

Bethany, I'll bet you could just substitute a neutral-tasting oil for the butter. It should work just fine.

Molly, you crack me up.

Jen/YVR, what a beautiful memory! Really so beautiful.

The Rowdy Chowgirl, I don't think blackstrap molasses would be a disaster, but, well, I don't know. Its flavor really is too dark for something like this, and I think it might even bring a funny hint of bitterness.

Becca, you can definitely make this without a stand mixer. You'll probably need to knead for about 15 minutes, and you'll want to keep some extra flour on hand, dusting it over the dough as necessary.

Jackie, I just looked up your yeast question on the Cook's Illustrated website - worth the membership fee! - and they say that you can indeed use instant yeast instead of active dry, but that you should use 25% less. (In this case, then, you'll want to use 1 3/4 teaspoons of instant yeast.) And you do not need to dissolve the yeast in the warm water and molasses first. Just add it to the flour mixture.

11:58 AM, August 09, 2010  
Blogger Sharon said...

A tip learned from a bread-making class: when cutting a fresh loaf of bread, make one cut straight down the middle, and take your slices from the middle outward. Store your bread with the cut sides touching in a tightly sealed plastic bag. Cutting it this way will keep the bread fresh longer!

7:04 PM, August 09, 2010  
Blogger Jennie said...

Try the fig scones in that book. I used store-bought fig jam, and they were still DEE-licious.

9:06 PM, August 09, 2010  
Blogger hayden said...

I came to find the Pimm's cup, and you surprise me with Oatmeal bread, and TOAST, and while those are two very awesome things, I am ever-so-sadly unable to eat Oatmeal (curses!), and so will need to substitute or improvise.
Yet thank you! Homemade bread should be for everyone!

9:57 PM, August 09, 2010  
Anonymous Anna said...

Loved hearing about your newfound appreciation for toast! I'm a cereal-for-breakfast girl myself, but a recent houseguest from Sweden brought back memories of travels there and eating toast all summer long with new cheeses and jams. Needless to say, I'm on a temporary toast kick.

11:17 AM, August 10, 2010  
Anonymous Anna (londonfoodieny) said...

Next you need to try slathering with butter a dash of marmite and then dunk into soft boiled eggs. It's the British way!

12:49 PM, August 10, 2010  
Blogger Torrie said...

I commented earlier, but just wanted to come back and let you know that I made this bread over the weekend. It tastes wonderful and has been a nice 'treat' to wake up to in the kitchen.
Thanks for inspiring me to foray into the world of bread making:).

If you want to see my result, click here!


3:32 PM, August 10, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rye Toast was my comfort latch-key kid food. It made doing homework less awful. I like to think my palate has been refined somewhat, Russian black bread from the farmers market with its robust oniony flavor has been on the plate recently.

5:50 PM, August 10, 2010  
Anonymous Tori said...

Makes me think of the "Yeah Toast" song Weird Al Yankovic does.


6:50 PM, August 10, 2010  
Blogger andreagroves said...

I love breakfast, and I love toast. I read this post as I was making bread in my bread machine - it turned out flat because I neglected the bread flour and used just ground flax and whole wheat. However, your love of toast has inspired me to throw my too-careful nutrition mindset away and just make a beautiful loaf of bread with this recipe. As soon as I buy molasses.

8:32 AM, August 11, 2010  
Anonymous Den said...

It's Minimalism!

10:06 AM, August 11, 2010  
Anonymous missfrizzly said...

This recipe looks great, I will have to try it. I am so excited that you mentioned this book, I first read about it on smittenkitchen and then a friend gave it to me as a gift...so far I've only made the chocolate chip cookies which got rave reviews! Funny thing is that I gave my friend (the same one who gave me Good to the Grain) the Jim Lahey No Knead cookbook...which was also mentioned in your post!

11:46 AM, August 11, 2010  
Anonymous Elisa Girard said...

Hi Molly, I've never written to you before, but I have been enjoying your blog for the past couple of years and have read your book twice. This week I have been on vacation in Seattle (from Boston)and I made it a point to check out Delancy on Monday night with my husband and two friends. The food was so delicious and we loved every minute of hanging out at your cozy restaurant. My husband wanted me to get a photo of you or your autograph, but I didn't want to bug you. You and Brandon looked like you were having fun. I just wanted you guys to know what a good time we had. Thanks for the lovely blog and I look forward to reading your next book.
~Elisa Girard

5:16 PM, August 11, 2010  
Anonymous Beens said...

I made this today, it's cooling on a wire rack but I couldn't resist cutting a couple of slices. The molasses adds an interesting element, I am happy for tonight's supper just to consist of some toasted bread and some chunky hummus

11:05 PM, August 11, 2010  
Blogger josyhighpear said...

I love toast. Recently it's been toast with laughing cow cheese and homemade strawberry, apple, blueberry jam. Homemade bread will make it even yummier.

6:08 PM, August 12, 2010  
OpenID kiwifr00t said...

Alright, I have to confess, I found myself printing out this recipe before I'd even finished reading the blog post. And it came out delightful. I've had a couple of pieces of toast with my eggs and such since it came out of the oven yesterday. But it was not until just now - when I toasted a piece, gave it the full butter + jam treatment and took my first bite - that I grokked how amazing this bread is.
Thank you Molly - you're my hero.

2:04 PM, August 13, 2010  
Anonymous Gina Spadoni said...

Toast! Wonderful. You've gotta check out one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle (if you haven't already) -- Dinette on Capitol Hill. They specialize in toast. Seriously. And seriously good, too. Here's a link to their dinner menu (note the toast section): http://www.dinetteseattle.com/menus/dinner.pdf.

2:55 PM, August 14, 2010  
Anonymous Kate said...

(Tori, just trying to give credit where credit is due... the song you posted is by Heywood Banks, of Bob and Tom fame! It's so great, isn't it?!)

Molly, can't wait to try this recipe when the summer heat starts to wane. Happy toasting!

3:59 PM, August 14, 2010  
Anonymous Kelsi said...

Molly....that dinosaur graffiti was across the alley from my favorite graffiti ever (which has since been painted over, too, damn you Honeymoon). It read
'Mick Jager" in really childish, spider-y writing. Never failed to make me laugh. RIP.

5:31 PM, August 14, 2010  
Blogger Jenny said...

I made this today! I'm eating it right now with a not-so-sweet marmalade. I feel very grown-up. It turned out *so* well, especially since this is the first time(!) I've made bread-with-yeast. It was so easy to follow your instructions. Thanks for being awesome!

10:52 PM, August 15, 2010  
Blogger kristin said...

just made this bread yesterday. Thanks for the recipe! It went great with the peach preserves i made. i love toast!

9:57 AM, August 16, 2010  
Blogger wren said...

Can we talk about this bread please? This bread and its tendency to over achieve and to triumph in the face of a kitchen whose temperature reached unthinkable heights? Who got left, after its second rise, in the loaf pan, in the refrigerator without forming a crust (a mystery) and, against all odds, soared in the oven, doming with perfect symmetry disregarding my haphazard, last minute shaping that lacked a certain prowess? And then, of course, tasted sweet with a delicate cumb, standing up bravely against the blade of the serrated bread knife whose has seen much much sharper days? Thank you for the photographs and for hustling me into the kitchen to make this. It's a life changing loaf.

8:06 AM, August 17, 2010  
Blogger Jenny said...

When I saw that picture in the first post, I thought to myself...that sure looks like an alley in Bellingham by Western! I was right! I live in Bellingham and love your blog - congrats on your anniversaries.

This bread looks great! As soon as it cools off around here, I shall make some.

11:33 AM, August 17, 2010  
Blogger The Errant Cook said...

Tulsa had a cool spell and copious rain yesterday- a welcome relief after this blistering August- and I celebrated by trying this bread. I was not sorry for doing so. I'm blogging about it now.

9:29 PM, August 18, 2010  
Blogger Mercermom said...

Just pulled the loaf out of the oven -- it looks (and smells) fabulous. I went to reserve the book at the library, and found that I did it so long ago that I'm nearly at the top of the list. This loaf will undoubtedly be nice segue into more of her recipes.

Shannon in Seattle

6:09 PM, August 19, 2010  
Anonymous jillS. said...

This bread looks fantastic. Love toast (even though I'm a cereal most everyday girl). I'll have to make a loaf this week and expand my breakfast horizons. I'm going to try with my coveted French salted butter.

6:21 AM, August 23, 2010  
Anonymous kim boyce said...

Hi Molly!
Thank you so much for making the oatmeal bread and writing about it on your blog. I've admired your writing and story for so long now.....and now that I'm living one state below you I'm trying to figure out how to sneak in a trip to Delancey. First I have to escape the kitchen.
Warmly, Kim

4:05 PM, August 30, 2010  
Anonymous jo said...

this was my first ever foray into bread-making today & WOW!! moist, delish, just perfect... & i'm british; i KNOW good toast... :)

thanks for not yet steering me wrong...

6:37 PM, September 01, 2010  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Just popping back in to say I did indeed make this loaf. Delicious. I've been doing it with butter and jam at breakfast and then butter and jam for an afternoon snack, mainly. Tonight we cut the rest of it into thick chunks and dipped it into some bean soup, which we ate in glorious celebration of the chilly nights we're finally getting.

I had a blast making it -- had loaned out my stand mixer bowl temporarily and so kneaded by hand which was glorious, and not the kind of slow peaceful thing I get to do much of these days. I'm hoping you've got me back on a regular bread baking habit, which would be awesome.

9:43 PM, September 01, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly Read what you posted about the kosher salt in the oatmeal bread. Why not some good ground sea salt? I don't like how they process table salt. Should you just use more of the sea salt?

9:53 AM, September 04, 2010  
Blogger Gale said...

Help! I made this bread and it didn't cook all the way through. Rose beautifully both times (did the first rise all day in the fridge). It "thumped" correctly when it came out. Then a day or so later when I sliced into it there was pure dough in the middle. My loaf pan is 8.5x2.5x4.5, so not quite 9x5x3. I've made your Rancho La Puerta bread a thousand times and never had a problem. Any suggestions???

8:14 AM, September 07, 2010  
Anonymous Becky said...

I love to toast everything. I am a big fan of cinnamon toast. I like for breakfast, or as a quick snack later in the day. Just toast your bread, then spread on butter and sprinkle with suger and cinnamon (to taste). Excellent!

Just found your blog and I love it.


12:25 PM, September 07, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Anonymous, you're welcome to use sea salt. If you have sea salt that's ground to the size of table salt, it would be perfect; otherwise, wing it!

Gale, I'm not sure what to tell you. I do wonder if the smaller pan was a problem, though I honestly don't know. Assuming that your oven temperature is accurate, I don't know what could have caused it to look and feel normal but still be raw inside. I'm so sorry that I don't know how to help!

12:32 AM, September 09, 2010  
Anonymous Sara Rassler said...

I just stumbled upon your blog after following a link from Michael Hyatt to Jamie Chavez and from her blog to yours and you're inspiring. I have a blog-two, actually-and never before have I written a very interesting blog post. However, you just wrote a blog post about toast that is more interesting than anything I've ever written, and more inspiring than many things I've read. And you wrote about toast.

Thanks for that.

5:25 PM, September 26, 2010  
Anonymous Sarah@Buttered Up said...

Here's something funny for you. In the Middle East, many of us called any square white bread "toast". This includes it being untoasted. Lol. I never actually realized that despite my many years in international schools. I was speaking to an American friend one day and it hit me that he had no idea what I meant when I said, "Now, get two slices of toast". He says, "Like what kind? What toast?" That was when I threw a hissy fit and felt inferior. WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHAT KIND? TOAST IS TOAST! That was when I came to the realization that bread is bread until toasted. Cheers! :)

5:57 AM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger Demetra said...

I am sitting with my daughter on the couch right now, both of us eating toasted oatmeal bread! This post drove me immediately to the kitchen to make this bread; talk about convincing. I was sold on the first paragraph. I am happy to report that I fully agree with your assessment of the suitability of this type of bread for TOAST. YOU ARE RIGHT. My husband, who is Greek, told me "this is tsoureki." Tsoureki is a soft-ish, sweet bread that all the family loves to toast. I had never even thought of trying to make that. And here, without even trying, I had produced a bread that he likened to a famous and much more labor-intensive bread. (I have always found the recipe to be daunting; in general I cook, I don't bake.) Thank you!!!!

8:26 PM, October 23, 2010  
Anonymous Ena said...

You said that you were previously buying bread that was too sweet with honey. Since we don't have molasses anywhere near where I live, do you think I could still use honey for this bread, using 1.5 tbsp instead of 3? How could I adapt that to make it not really sweet, perhaps with only a hint of sweetness?

10:17 AM, November 21, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Ena, I think you could definitely use honey. The flavor of the bread will be a little different without molasses, but I can't imagine that it wouldn't be good.

6:59 PM, November 21, 2010  
Blogger e said...

what am i doing wrong???

i've been making this bread since soon after you posted the recipe and we all love it! it always turns out but i must be doing something wrong cos the dough always wraps itself around the dough hook about 1 minute after i start kneading it. if i've made this bread 10 times, that's happened at least 8 of them.

and it's not just for this recipe. i've a recipe for pizza dough and cinnamon swirl bread and more often than not, the dough wraps round the hook then too. it drives me nuts and leaves me thinking the dough hasn't been kneaded enough. the easy thing to do would be to knead by hand but i happen to get pretty bad eczema on my hands and it seems gross to put my hands right into the dough like that. ick.

any advice?

also, missed you in BA again this month. someone else wrote your column - what gives??


5:15 PM, January 12, 2011  
Blogger Molly said...

E, don't worry about the dough hook. Mine does that too! The dough climbs right up the hook, but it still seems to get kneaded just fine. I think it has to do with the shape of the hook: mine is more compact and more tightly curved that others I've seen. The ones with a wider curve to the hook seem to work better. Does that make any sense? Either way, though, it should work well enough.

8:40 PM, January 12, 2011  
Blogger lizzie said...

I love toast also and I have made two of your loaves this week and they are delicious. As an ex-pat brit toast and Marmite is my favorite. We always ate it when we came home from school.
Marmite must be introduced to children before the age of 2 - babies in England eat it on toast "soldiers" sitting in their high chairs !

2:01 PM, February 04, 2011  
Blogger vikki said...

hi molly--thought i'd let you know this has become our standard household bread almost since you posted the recipe; i started making our sandwich bread right around that same time and this is my favorite recipe--my kids eat it for breakfast pretty much every day. i wanted to let you know some of the ways i've tweaked it, just for the sake of variety: for instance, i use coconut oil in place of the butter, which is fabulous to smell and apparently also very healthful. i always add a few tablespoons of vital wheat gluten, just to give it some extra lift and shape, and i usually substitute a cup or so of another flour just to mix things up: spelt works well, white whole wheat, millet, i've even tried coconut flour, which is also awesome in the banana chocolate bread from your book (which, btw. are also scrumptious with blueberries instead of chocolate). anyway, i've got a loaf of this stuff rising on my stove right now and suddenly thought, "you should tell molly how much you love this bread!"

so there you go.

11:36 AM, May 25, 2011  
Blogger Cannella Vita said...

Dear Molly,
Is it possible to make this in the bread machine?

9:30 AM, August 27, 2012  
Blogger Molly said...

Cannella Vita, I wish I could be of more help, but I'm sorry to say that I've never used a bread machine!

11:15 AM, August 27, 2012  
Blogger Cannella Vita said...

Thank you for your help! I have tried two of your banana bread recipes... AMAZING. I cannot help but sneaking little nibbles from the freezer every 2 minutes... I think I've already stood up 10 times :)

3:53 PM, August 27, 2012  
Blogger Rachel Page said...

I just love scrumptious breads.

7:07 AM, November 08, 2014  

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