Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Sap boiling day...and fresh oatmeal bread

We decided today was the day.  We've been storing our sap long enough, and the days are getting warmer.  We started out with sap boiling outside, and this went well for several hours.  While boiling we enjoyed the first really sunny spring day, with an outdoor lunch picnic, and planting up the cold frame with lettuce, chard and spinach greens.  Then the sunshine turned into a surprise spring rainstorm...not so great for an outdoor boiling event.  The sap boiling was moved indoors - given we are doing a very small batch this didn't seem so bad to have some of it be done on the stove.  Hoping for sunshine tomorrow to take the boil outdoors again.   And, if we ever do this on a bigger scale we'd set up a proper fire pit and evaporator...some day.

During the boil day we were staying close to the house, so it seemed like a great day for baking bread.  Having it rising while we checked and stirred the sap, and freshly baked when we came in from the cold rain, was perfect!  We adjusted our favourite oatmeal bread recipe to use up this morning's left over oatmeal.  Yum!

Here's the recipe:

Oatmeal-Rye 4 grain seeded bread
2 cups left over cooked oatmeal
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
3 Tbsp butter
2 tsp sea salt

Combine the above ingredients in a large bowl.

2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp quick yeast

Mix the water and yeast in a large measuring cup.  Stir, then let sit for about 5 minutes until it foams.

6 cups unbleached wheat or spelt flour
2 cups whole rye flour
1/4 cup millet grains
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
Extra oats and sesame seeds to sprinkle on top of risen loaves

When yeast has foamed, mix this with the wet ingredients.  Then add flour and seeds and mix well.  Knead about 10 minutes to make a soft dough. 

Put dough back into the large bowl that has been oiled, and cover with a cotton cloth.  Let rise 1 hour, or until double. 

Form dough into 3 medium sized loaves and place into lightly oiled loaf pans.  Wet top of loaves lightly with water, and sprinkle with oats and sesame seeds.  Let rise again for about 45 minutes in a warm room (near your stove that is preheating to 400F). 

Bake at 400F for 5 minutes, then lower heat to 350F and bake another 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
Let cool before slicing.

1 comment:

  1. Bread looks delicious!
    I've been boiling maple sap for the last 3 weeks or so. Every time I get a gallon (almost daily), I strain it and put it in my biggest pot and just let it boil down on my wood cookstove .
    I used to live in K-W over 30 years ago.