Grandma’s Oatmeal Bread

This recipe is adapted from “Mountain Measures – A collection of West Virginia Recipes” published in 1974. This is a hearty bread that goes well with a soup or salad, and also makes for a great breakfast with butter and jam. If you have never made bread before, this recipe will be great to start with since it is not difficult and the dough comes together quite easily. Even if you are an experienced bread maker, give this one a try, you will love it!


Ingredients for one loaf

  • 1 package active dry yeast (or 2-1/4 tsp. dry yeast)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1/6 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 Tbsp. salt
  • 3 to 3-1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. rolled oats
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  1. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water and add sugar, let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine 3/4 cup boiling water, quick-cooking rolled oats, molasses, shortening, and salt; cool to lukewarm.
  3. Stir in 1 cup of sifted flour; beat well. Add beaten egg and the yeast; beat well. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough, roughly 3 cups total.
  4. Turn out on lightly floured surface; cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  5. Knead until smooth and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning dough once. This should take about five minutes. Cover, let rise until doubled, about an hour.
  6. Knock down dough (knead gently to remove any air bubbles that may have formed)
  7. Coat a well-greased loaf pan with 2 tablespoons of oats on all sides. Shape loaf and place it in pan, and let rest for 45 minutes.
  8. Brush with egg white and water mixture and sprinkle lightly with oats.
  9. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes.

Notes

Probably the most important thing to be aware of when making any bread is making sure the yeast has the proper conditions to do its job. This means to make sure you are not using old and stale yeast, and also not using too hot or cold water when starting it. I used 2-1/4 tablespoons of dry yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water, and as suggested on the yeast packaging, added 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and let sit for 10 minutes. This made a very foamy mixture, and this is how you know the yeast is working. When kneading, you want to make sure you do it long enough to get a smooth and consistent texture, and this took me about 5 minutes of fairly vigorous kneading to get to that point. Make sure to not skip the “knock down” to remove any large air bubbles that may have formed during proving. Please let me know what you think of this bread in the comments below, and don’t forget to like and share! Enjoy!

Easy Dependable Pastry

This recipe is adapted from “A Cook’s Tour of Athens” published in 1963. This is a basic pastry that is not difficult or time-consuming and can be used for any type of pie or savory dish that calls for a standard pastry. Although it is very convenient to buy a pre-made pastry, making it from scratch changes it from being an easily forgotten pie-filling carrier to one of the best parts and adds a noticeable “homemade” quality. If you have never made pastry before, give this recipe a try the next time and let me know if you notice the difference! 


Ingredients for 2 single layer pies/one double layer pie

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons Crisco
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 5-1/2 tablespoons ice water
  • 1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  1. Add salt and 2 cups of flour and sift into bowl.
  2. Cut the Crisco and butter into flour until a loose dough starts to form.
  3. Slowly stir ice water into the remaining 1/4 cup flour and mix until smooth.
  4. Add to shortening mixture and stir with a spatula until well blended and dough can be easily formed into a ball with the hands.
  5. Divide into two balls, wrap in wax paper, and chill for 1/2 hour in the refrigerator.
  6. Roll out pastry on lightly-floured board or counter top.

Notes

When you add the flour-water mixture to the dry ingredients, mix for several minutes before making any adjustments. You may have to add more ice-water to get the mixture to come together. When you are rolling out the dough, make sure to flour the work surface and the rolling pin so it does not stick. If the pastry becomes sticky as you are rolling out, do not be afraid to add more flour. A rip or tear is not a big deal, it is easy to form the pastry back into a ball and start over. Just make sure it does not become too warm in this process; you do not want the butter to melt out of the mixture. Just place it back in the refrigerator to cool if needed. If you try this recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe! Enjoy!

Norwegian Apple Cake

This recipe is adapted from “Morgensolen Favorites” published in 1978 from the Morgensolen Lodge #545 Sons of Norway. This is a very straight-forward apple cake recipe that is easy to make and is a real crowd-pleaser; there is nothing about it not to like. The cake has a light and crumbly texture and keeps plenty of moisture with the addition of fresh apples. Also, the cinnamon and sugar mix on top makes a delicious sugary crust once baked. I love this cake with a cup of coffee. 


Ingredients for 1 cake

  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 c. milk
  • Peeled & cored apples
  • Cinnamon sugar topping
  1. Cream shortening & sugar.
  2. Add beaten eggs & vanilla.
  3. Add sifted dry ingredients alternating with the milk.
  4. Spread 9″ springform pan.
  5. Top with apple slices, placed around the outer edge. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. cinnamon mixed with 1 c. sugar across the top liberally. You may not need all of the sugar mixture.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 45 min.

Notes:

This is a very straight-forward cake recipe and would be great for a beginner to learn a few baking skills. When baking, the cake rises around the slices and leaves an interesting pattern on top. Feel free to experiment with the apple layout with rows, patterns, etc… I used Honeycrisp apples, and these were delicious. I think you could use almost any apple that is good for baking with success. Please let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe! Enjoy!