Scavenger’s Bread

I hesitate to print this recipe since I played the role of a scavenger going through my cupboards and fridge to find ingredients to tinker with not necessarily thinking it would ever be a repeatable loaf of bread! What scraps of things did I have lurking around that were not past their expiration dates?

I was acting on a whim, inspired by the ultimate scavenger/tinkerer of them all.  You may have already read about some of his antics in my post Tinker Away, Darrell!

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I am not Old Mother Hubbard. There was plenty in my cupboard!!!

I baked this bread keeping my dry ingredients even in proportion to the Honey-Whole Wheat Bread recipe I’ve made before but then threw in some things (walnuts, flax seeds, currants…) that I found while I was poking around. Feel free to do the same when you make your own version of a Scavenger’s Bread.

breadI baked it late one night and left the loaves on the counter to cool.

Since I’m up and out early in the mornings, I didn’t really get to taste it until the next afternoon.  It was a surprise to find half of one loaf already gone by the time I got home!

Darrell looked at me a little sheepishly. “I know,” he said with a sigh.  “I’ve already made 3 sandwiches out of it.  It’s good!”

And it was!  So how could I not share the recipe?

This bread would make an excellent french toast and be unbelievably good filled with a chicken salad.  The bits of walnuts, craisins, and currants would be an amazing addition to a grilled cheese sandwich!   But remember…

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This is a thrown together bread based on what I could find rummaging through my own kitchen.  Along with Keeping It Simple I find it’s a good practice to pause every once in a while to use up what I have before going out to accumulate more.

I hope you’ll do the same and let me know your results!

Scavenger Bread ( based on the honey-whole wheat bread in The Bridal Edition! )

The ingredients looked beautiful going into the bowl.

The ingredients looked beautiful going into the bowl.

  • 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup golden flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup shortening (I lean towards butter)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (plus an extra drizzle if you like!)
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 1/4 cups warm water (hot from the tap works)
  • 3-4 cups all purpose flour (though I often use bread flour)
  • * during kneading add in 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup currants, 1/4 cup craisins (or whatever you find rummaging in your own cupboards!)

Directions:

Mix the oats, whole wheat flour, syrup, shortening, salt and yeast in a bowl. Beat on low speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute, then medium speed for another minute (although I prefer to hand mix). Afterwards stir in enough all purpose (or bread) flour a cup at a time to make the dough easy to handle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKnead the dough for about 8 minutes.  In this case I invited my scavenger husband to knead the dough!  Sprinkle on the walnuts.  Knead another minute or so.  Then sprinkle on the currants.  Knead again.  Finally, sprinkle on the craisins and knead until you have a smooth, pliable dough that is Post-It note tacky, but not sticky.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou’ll have nuts and fruits rolling out as you knead, but just tuck them back into the dough and keep going. (the alternative, of course, is to just pop strays into your mouth directly)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlace the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise until doubled in size (about 40-60 minutes).

Grease 2 pans (8 by 4) with shortening or cooking spray.  (I always use butter because it’s what we have in the house and it works great..)

Gently deflate the dough (who wants to be punched down?) and divide in half. Flatten each half into a rectangle about 18 by 9 and roll it beginning at the 9 inch side. Press with thumbs to seal after each turn and pinch edge of dough when you finish.  Put it seam side down in the pan.

At this point you can just cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise another 35-50 minutes.

Move the oven rack to low position so that the tops of the pans will be in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Bake 40-45 minutes or until loaves are deep golden brown and sound hollow when thumped.

Remove from the pans to wire rack and cool.  (If you cut hot bread, it’ll be gummy on the inside….just like us sometimes when we’re not quite ready for something!)  Cool at least an hour then have at it!

Don’t forget to comment in with what’s happening in your kitchen!  You can see what another reader commented about her attempts to make the brioche here!

Hope to see you around the bread bowl soon.  Maybe when we get together, we should all bring one ingredient from our cupboards, toss them all into the dough, and see how it comes out!?? 

If you’ve gotten inspired to start thinking about what’s tucked away in your own cupboards and how to use up what you already have, why not inspire someone else, too, by sharing this post?

As always,

Mary

Mary’s bio

Special Events:  Seymour Library July 22

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