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This Was A Mistake, Not A New Year’s Resolution

There are no electrical sockets on the outside of my house, so whenever I need to make repairs to my car I have to plug a glue gun into the living room outlet and then sprint to the car with it before it gets cold.  I only have about 10 seconds of hot glue left by the time I get there, so I usually formulate a strategy in advance.  Like: the number one priority is to fix the cup holder, and then if I have enough glue sticks left I’ll do the visor that dangles in front of my face when I drive.

I’m perfectly happy to get my exercise this way.  The occasional sprint to the car is enough for me.

But this morning, against my better judgment, I went to the gym.

I wasn’t going to go, but Scott made me a deal.  He said  if I went with him, he’d let me drink white wine and watch Season 2 of Downton Abbey for the rest of the day.  With no interruptions.  That’s a pretty good deal, you guys.  He usually interrupts me every five minutes to ask if we have any cheese, or if we should order pizza, or what I think Kim Kardashian and Kanyé West will name their baby.  (Dash?  Beyoncé?  Shoe?)

So I went to the gym.  I sat on an exercise ball and drank a smoothie.  For almost an hour.  It was exhausting. 

I’m sore already, and outrageously hungry.  So I made bread.

I made melt-in-your-mouth herb rolls.

rolls

And then I made oatmeal bread for sandwiches this weekend.

bread

And now I’m on the couch, enthusiastically sipping a glass of wine.

Two glasses, actually, because I heard that wine doesn’t turn into alcohol unless you let it sit for a while.

bread

Happy weekend, friends!

~~~

Here are the recipes for the herb rolls and the oatmeal bread.

The rolls really melt in your mouth, but we like to cut them open and add butter anyway because that’s just how we roll.  (GET IT?! Roll?)  Man,  I crack myself up.

The oatmeal disappears from the oatmeal loaf, by the way.  I don’t know how it breaks down, but it does.  When you cut into the loaf, it will be almost like white bread but more flavorful.  It would be a good loaf to try if you have kids who are fussy about “green stuff” in their food.  And it’s awesome toasted.

Buttermilk Herb Rolls {Download & Print Recipe}
Recipe from Buttermilk, by Debbie Moose, and told in my own words.  I just used different herbs, as noted below.

Ingredients: {Makes about 25 rolls}

1 (1/4-oz.) envelope of active dry yeast (not instant or highly active)

2 Tbsp. sugar, divided

1/4 c. warm water

1 c. buttermilk

1/4 c. + 1 Tbsp. melted butter (preferably unsalted), divided

3 c. flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. salt

herbs: I used 3+ Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped.  The original recipe calls for 1 Tbsp. dried dill and 1 tsp. dried thyme.  You could also experiment with oregano, basil–whatever you like.

Directions:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, put the yeast and 1 Tbsp. of the sugar.  Pour the warm water over it, stir gently once or twice, and let it sit until small bubbles form and the yeast froths.

In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the buttermilk just slightly until it feels warm but not hot if you dip your finger in it.  (Otherwise it might curdle.)  Remove the buttermilk from the heat and stir in 1/4 c. of the belted butter.  Pour the buttermilk mixture into the yeast mixture and stir it lightly a few times with a spoon or a fork.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and the remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar.  If you’re using fresh herbs, chop them well.  Stir the fresh or dried herbs into the flour mixture.

Pour the flour mixture into the buttermilk-yeast mixture.  Using the dough hook attachment, beat the dough for 3-4 minutes only, on the lowest or second-lowest speed, until it’s soft and smooth.

Pour hot water at least halfway up the sides of a skillet or a shallow baking pan (like a pyrex) and place the bowl in it so the dough will be kept warm and humid.  Cover it with a light dish towel and place it in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until the dough has risen to twice its size.

Discard the baking pan of water and punch the dough down.  Coat a rimmed baking pan or two with a very thin layer of olive oil–just enough to make it non-stick.  Put the remaining 1 Tbsp. of melted butter in a little bowl.

Pull off a piece of the dough a little smaller than a golf ball.  Do not handle it a lot–just tuck the ends under so it looks like a little pillow of dough.   Dip it in the butter so that it has a little butter all over it.  Place it in the baking pan.  Repeat with the remaining dough, melting a little more butter if needed for dipping.  Place the rolls a few inches apart because they’ll expand a little during baking and you don’t want them to touch each other.  Cover the baking pans will a light towel and place in a warm spot until the rolls have risen to twice their size.  (Roughly-speaking.  Mine didn’t look a full two sizes larger but they did rise a little again.)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the rolls on the top rack for 15 minutes or so, until they’re a slight golden brown.   Check them at 13 minutes if you have a hot oven.  The bottoms of the rolls will get a little browner, but they should not get dark brown.  Serve.

~~~

Oatmeal Bread {Download & Print Recipe}
from The Bells Are Ringing, told in my own words

Ingredients:

1 envelope of active dry yeast (not instant or highly active)

1/3 c. lukewarm water

2 c. boiling water

1 c. oats (just old fashioned rolled oats, not instant oats)

1/4 c. brown sugar, packed

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter

2 1/4 tsp. salt

5 to 6 1/2 c. flour

Directions:

Bring the 2 c. water to a boil on the stove.  Pour the yeast and lukewarm water into the bowl of an electric mixer.  Stir it gently once or twice and let it sit until small bubbles form and the yeast froths.  Put the oats in a medium bowl and pour the water on top of them.  Add the brown sugar, butter and salt to the oat mixture.  The butter will melt.  Stir the mixture and let it sit until it’s cool, and then add it to the yeast mixture.

Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough, and beat it for 10 minutes on the lowest or second-lowest setting of your mixer.  After 10 minutes, add enough of the remaining flour to form a stiff dough (but one that still comes together and doesn’t have shards of dough falling off it).  Beat on low for a minute or two more, until the dough is smooth.

Wipe a large bowl with a little olive oil so it’s non-stick.  Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to lightly coat the surface.  Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place for an hour or more, until the dough has risen to twice its size.

Divide the dough into two pieces.  Shape each piece into a loaf and place the loaves in two lightly oiled 4×9″ loaf pans.  (Disposable foil loaf pans work fine.)  Cover the pans with the towel again and let the loaves rise an hour or more.  They won’t really double in bulk this time, but they should definitely rise more inside the pans.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the loaves until they are golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.  If you like, run a pat of butter over the top of the loaves for a moment after they come out of the oven so that the crust turns out buttery, with a little shine to it.

~~~

I hope your weekend is THIS happy:

seymour happyAnd this serene:

thunder sunning

40 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi guys! I made the pictures a little bigger–what do you think? Better the other way? Let me know if it’s talking longer to load, could you?
    xo Katherine On The Couch

    January 11, 2013
    • Larger photos are great and they didn’t take any longer to load. Yay! for season 3 of Downton Abbey. You have to hurry with season 2 so you don’t miss it.

      January 11, 2013
  2. OK, I am sure the bread is lovely but i could not read the recipe, I was still laughing about the exercise ball and the smoothie.. i will have to go back.. thank god that wine glasses can be refilled darling.. otherwise what would we do!?..I c

    January 11, 2013
    • Cecilia, Scott actually got a funny wine glass while we were shopping for Christmas presents. I think we were supposed to wrap it up and give it to someone, but we forgot. It has a line near the top of it that says “for the pan” and then has marks for a glass, a half glass, etc. The box it comes in says “I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.”

      January 11, 2013
      • That is brilliant, big slosh for you, little sip for pan? I can see why you .. um.. forgot to wrap it, what will all the sipping and sloshing! I love that glass!! c

        January 11, 2013
  3. The pictures are great. Bigger is better especially when it comes to bread… How did you know, by the way, that I was just thinking I’d like to make some sort of buttermilky rolly bready type thing last night? I think that smoothie must have given you telepathy.

    January 11, 2013
    • I’m looking for even more buttermilk recipes for stuff because now I have a whole carton. So if you come up with something and post it, I’m totally going to try it! I imagine you’re awesome with bread since you always make such great soups!

      January 11, 2013
      • Hah! I do like to make bread, but don’t have much in the way of the buttermilk variety. Pancakes, waffles and biscuits are usually my speed when it comes to buttermilk… Though now that you’re a Southerner, you may enjoy the delicacy known as “cornbread crumbled into buttermilk” so many of us enjoy. But you have to use proper Southern cornbread. None of that sweet cakey stuff. I do have a version of that kind of cornbread on the blog. So you make it, eat it with dinner and then pour yourself a big ol’ glass of cold buttermilk and crumble the cornbread into it and eat it with a spoon. You can sub regular milk, but then you won’t be using up the buttermilk will you?

        January 11, 2013
  4. Wine, TV, and fresh bread in exchange for one hour at the gym? Good deal! Sadly, if I made that gorgeous yeast fest, the entire loaf and all of the rolls would be gone in less than an hour. Nobody in this house can resist fresh bread….and butter, LOTS of butter. I’d have to spend much more than an hour at the gym….not that I go to the gym much…..er, I mean ever.

    January 11, 2013
    • We eat tons of bread over here, so I know what you mean about it disappearing fast. Usually for dinner we have some kind of vegetable side dish (but a big intense one) with a spinach salad and fresh bread with butter. (I sprinkle salt on my bread, too. Which is probably bad. But I just love it.)

      January 11, 2013
  5. Photos look great; they don’t take too long to load!

    January 11, 2013
    • Thanks for letting me know, Rikki!

      January 11, 2013
  6. Nikki #

    I just want to know why we sailed right past the “I fix my car with a glue gun” thing….. I mean…. I have seen it…. I understand…. but i’m just saying… way to bury the lead.. :)

    January 11, 2013
    • YOU are solely responsible for my car’s improved appearance. Ever since we bought a glue gun when you came to town, I have been using it to (hurriedly) fix my car. It looks. . . . so good now.

      Better, at least. It looks better.

      January 11, 2013
    • Anna F. #

      Nikki, I was wondering the same thing!

      January 14, 2013
  7. Your pups are a hoot – ha! – made me chuckle:) That bread and those rolls – I love the smell of fresh baked bread – YUM! Happy Weekend:)

    January 11, 2013
    • Freshly baked bread smells divine, doesn’t it? It’s right up there with garlic simmering in olive oil, and almonds toasting, and . . . hmmm, what else?

      January 11, 2013
  8. The bread and rolls look yummy. FYI, there’s a cordless glue gun in case you decide you don’t need the exercise! I know how hard it is to keep glue hot enough to work!

    January 11, 2013
    • A cordless glue gun! I had no idea! Come springtime, maybe I’ll get one. That way I could take breaks to frolic in the flowers while I work on my car. . .
      Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

      January 11, 2013
  9. Great pictures!!

    January 11, 2013
  10. a #

    I want to be Thunder! He looks so content…

    January 11, 2013
  11. elaynne #

    Since you have so much buttermilk left, here’s my soda bread recipe:

    3.5 c all purpose flour
    1 t sugar
    1 t salt
    1.5 t baking soda
    2 c buttermilk.
    Mix until combined (don’t over mix)
    Put into a oiled stoneware baking dish. I use as round Pampered Chef stoneware baker.
    Bake at 400F for 45 minutes. When you tip the bread from the baker, and tap the bottom, the loaf should sound hollow.

    You might have to adjust cooking length for altitude. (I live at 6800 ft.)

    This is the only bread I ever eat (can’t tolerate yeast) and I love it :)

    Love your blog & your dogs. And heck, you and Scott, too!

    January 11, 2013
  12. You should write a manual on glue gun car repair; I’m sure it would be a hit! The rolls and the bread look so delicious! Funny thing, I find myself racing through the recipes to get the bottom of the post to see what pictures you’ve chosen of the dogs this time. They are adorable!

    January 11, 2013
  13. Your pups make me happy :)

    January 11, 2013
  14. jenny_o #

    Not sure which is best – the glue gun intro, the recipes, or the dog pictures – I love them all :)

    January 11, 2013
  15. Great pictures, great recipes, great sense of humour – always a joy to read your blog!

    January 12, 2013
  16. Oatmeal bread – hellooooooooo… This is something I need. Also drinking wine and watching a boxset is pretty much the best way to spend a day ever, especially when uninterrupted. It is particularly good when things are then fetched for you to improve your viewing experience – like more wine, or bread, or pizza…

    January 12, 2013
  17. Holy Crap! Seymour is *not* a puppy any more! The pic of Thunder is priceless—“Imz da Sun Goddess, Tunder. You may worships me ‘n’ gives me treats.”

    January 12, 2013
  18. These recipes look amazing. Doubly so because of my decision to go gluten-free for January. Ha. I was nourished by the pictures, however, and the title of the cookbook you got the oatmeal bread from – love the poetry of it!

    January 12, 2013
  19. Trish #

    You are so lucky you can get good pictures of your dogs! I LOVE Seymour’s expression, totally brightens my day. I can’t get a good picture of my dog because he’s afraid of the camera. Actually, all cameras. My dSLR, my P&S, and my phone… let him check it out, try to sneak a pic when he doesn’t know I’m there, nothing works. *sigh*

    January 13, 2013
  20. Love the bread, but more I love the humor :)

    January 13, 2013
  21. We need to get you a glue gun that can be plugged into that cigarette lighter thingy in the car.

    Also, those rolls and that bread are awesome looking – I should know – I’m practically a boulanger. (If I graduate, that is.) I see a bazillion loaves of bread every week, and I can tell you that your crumb is next level, and so are your dogs.

    January 13, 2013
  22. Amy #

    Wow, your oatmeal bread looks seriously professional. Awesome job. I still need to work on my loaf-making skills. And those rolls…yum!

    Is Thunder meditating?

    January 14, 2013
  23. Alice #

    I made the oatmeal bread last night and it is SO FREAKING AMAZING I cannot even begin to tell you. It was fast and easy to make, and so good. I’ll be making it again and again. Thank you so much!

    January 14, 2013
    • Alice, this makes me so happy! I’m so glad you you liked it. And it was kind of you to write and tell me so! Have you toasted it yet? I’ve been toasting it, putting butter on it, and then some peach-amaretto jam I got for Christmas. We also made french toast with it yesterday and it was good for that. Cheers!

      January 14, 2013
      • We ate an entire loaf last night while it was still warm, it was that good. Today Jason took some to work for his tuna fish sandwich, and I hate some with peanut butter for breakfast and with salami for lunch and those were both great. I should try the french toast thing. :)

        January 14, 2013
  24. If anyone out there is looking for a gift for Katherine, I have four words for you: 50 ft. extension cord.

    As for the recipes, how did you know I was just thinking, I need an oatmeal bread recipe with some butter in it so my kids will eat it? You’re psychic!

    January 15, 2013
  25. Extension cords and duct tape do a woman right. Sounds creepy i know, but it’s true.
    The photos are great and the crumb in that oatmeal bread looks perfect.

    January 15, 2013

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