Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lazy Loaf

With all the bread making I've been doing this summer, I was very intrigued by the recipe for "Lazy Loaf" I came across the other day while paging through my copy of Nigella Express. It's a yeast bread that is stirred together like a quick bread--even quicker than that, actually--you just dump everything into one bowl and stir. Then it's into a loaf pan and into a cold oven. After two oven temperatures and almost two hours, you have a dense, grainy loaf.
I just had to try it, and you know what? It's pretty good. Very heavy and grainy--not what I want for my everyday bread, but nice for toast or snacking. And seriously easy--a toddler could practically make it.

Oh, and I made freezer jam again--this time apricot with fruit from the neighbor's tree. I used the lower-sugar pectin. Turns out, the low-sugar pectin is not all that low sugar after all--just one cup less than the regular pectin--still plenty sweet. There's no reason to buy the regular pectin again (although I still have a box and am sure I'll use it). I love the apricot taste for a freezer jam. My complaint is the soft-setness of the freezer jams in general. Fine for home, but when I send the teens to school with their PB and J sandwiches, I can't have them all runny and drippy--that will never do. I must learn proper canning. Next year.
Here's the bread recipe in case you want to try it:

Lazy Loaf from Nigella Express

2 3/4 c. whole wheat bread flour
2 c. unsugared muesli
2 1/2 t. rapid rise yeast
2 t. kosher salt
1 c. 2% milk
1 c. water

Stir everything together in a bowl, then transfer to a greased loaf pan. Place in a cold oven. Turn on the oven to 225 for 45 minutes, then increase the temperature to 350 and bake for an hour. When done, turn the bread over (out of its loaf tin) and tap it--it should sound slightly hollow. If not, put it back in the oven for a bit, out of its tin (mine was fine the first time). Cool and slice--that's it!


ames said...

I'm about to embark on my first ever canning experience, I just picked up all the supplies over the weekend...eek!

Erin said...

Hi Mary Beth-I too have been making jam. I made strawberry rhubarb, blueberry rhubarb and raspberry jalapeno. I'm totally addicted! I don't do the water boil to seal. I just turn the jars over and turn them right side up again and they seal themselves.
Also, I saw you had Bob's Red Mill Muesli. Have you tried the cookie recipe on the package? I think it's delicious and I feel like it's somewhat "healthy".

MamaBlogger said...

looks yummy! i have a recipe for homemade pectin if you're interested. it greatly reduces the amount of sugar needed in jam-making. i'm super new to jam-making and haven't tried it, but took a class and the teacher swore by homemade pectin.

TLC said...

Hi Mary Beth, I have to comment. I have spent a while reading, and I have to tell you, you are so good at telling a story with pictures. It's wonderful. And your eye for detail and composition, well, all the pictures look like something out of Martha Stewart or Real Simple magazine. You have some great ideas and I think more people need to know about you.

Would you mind if I added you to my blogroll? I am in the process of updating it.

Your blog really is something special.


Jessica said...

I'm going to have to try this bread recipe and make apricot freezer jam when apricots are in season. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe for the bread! I'm addicted to making freezer jam-it's sooo much easier than making 'normal' jam, however, that is a lot of fun as well. In fact, fingers crossed, its raspberry jam weekend this upcoming weekend.

Twelfthknit said...

Homemade jam the traditional way is SO easy - here is a recipe from the internet. You need to have a big, deep, wide pan so that the jam can boil up safely. The'wrinkle test' mentioned - put a teaspoon of jam on a cold plate. Let it cool - run your finger through it as you hold it up to the light - when it makes a wrinkle in front of your finger it's set. It's a good idea to take it off the heat when yuo are doing the test.


Simple strawberry jam

Makes 1 litre (1 3/4 pints)

By Skye Gyngell
Sunday, 1 July 2007

Print Email Search
Independent.co.uk Web
Bookmark & Share
Digg It
What are these?

Change font size: A | A | A
English strawberries are ripe and sweet at the moment. I like to hull them, but don't otherwise cut them up, so that the jam - when cooked - is studded with deliciously satisfying whole fruits.

1kg/2lb strawberries, hulled
1kg caster sugar
The zest and juice of 1 lemon

Place the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest into a saucepan. Place over a low heat and simmer very gently until the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat to high and boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Do the wrinkle test (see introduction); if the jam has set, remove it from the heat and leave in the pan for 10 minutes to ensure even distribution of fruit and juice.

Spoon into sterilised jars, seal and allow to cool before storing in the fridge or cool place.