A few weeks ago some dear friends from Portland contacted me with an idea to review a special cookbook from their family and share one of the recipes with you. I mentioned receiving it in this Three Things post and making some yummy caramel-pecan-chocolate bars right away, which is pretty much required when looking through a classic cookbook, right?
Guys, this book, Cookbook from Yesterday and Today for Tomorrow, is really a wonderful glimpse into a family’s treasured recipes – complete with the original handwriting preserved from the author, Venetta Sanford (my friend’s mother). It’s an accumulation of many years of recipes taken from six generations of cooks in the family line. There is a bit of history, but mainly it’s just recipes of good, classic food – all handwritten as if you’ve discovered a box of vintage recipe cards!
There are breakfast recipes for Overnight Cinnamon Buns, Good Day Granola and “Lil Pig Soufflé,” soup & salads recipes like Squash Soup and Finnish Sour Cream & Cucumber Salad and main dishes like Pork Wellington, My Cabbage Rolls, and Pork Chops, Rice, and Vegetables (sautéed and then baked in an iron skillet). There are lots of desserts, both classic (Sour Cream Raisin Pie, Homemade Doughnuts) and modern (Rice Krispies Sandwich Cookies, Biscotti).
Classic breads are one of my favorite things to try from vintage cookbooks and since March’s recipe theme is breads, I decided to share one of the bread recipes, “Seven Grain Cereal Bread,” a sandwich bread with a richer dough than my standard sandwich bread, containing eggs and butter along with the multi grains. However, since I had received Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain cereal and Bee Raw Honey for February’s breakfast posts (which I used for these delicious make-ahead muffins), I adapted the recipe to use these ingredients and to have a bit more whole grains.
Probably because I added a a couple cups of whole wheat flour, the dough was pretty sticky and maybe heavier than it would be with all unbleached flour – you can see the bread in the mixing bowl doesn’t look traditionally kneaded, but this was after 3 minutes and it was not sticky to the touch, so I called it good and let it rise in a bowl as usual (under one of these ‘shower cap’ food covers that I use for all my breads – it keeps the dough more moist than a towel and yet is reusable, unlike regular plastic wrap). It rose beautifully anyway and made a couple of wonderful loaves.
It really is an easy recipe and results in a soft and tender loaf that makes fantastic sandwiches.
Of course, slathered with butter and eaten warm, it’s not too bad, either. 😉
- ½ c. 10-grain cereal (or 7-grain)
- 2 c. water (divided)
- 6 Tb. butter
- ¼ c. honey
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 c. flour (I used whole wheat flour)
- 2 pkg. dry yeast (I used 1-1/2 TB)
- 2 eggs
- 3 to 3-1/2 c. unbleached flour*
- For Topping
- 1 egg yolk
- 1-2 Tb. sesame seeds or poppy seeds
- Combine multi-grain cereal and 1 cup of water in a small pan. Cook over medium-low heat, covered, for 20 minutes (it only needed 10 minutes for me).
- Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted then add the remaining 1 cup of water, honey, and salt. Cool to lukewarm (I used cold water to speed this process).
- In a mixer combine the 2 cups of whole wheat flour, yeast, cereal mixture and eggs. Beat at low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl, then beat at high speed 2 minutes.
- Using a dough hook (or by hand), stir in 3 c. unbleached flour to make a soft dough. Knead with hook 3 minutes (or by hand 5-8 minutes), using remaining flour, if needed. (Note: don't add too much flour at this point when using the 2 cups whole wheat - the dough will still look sticky on bottom and sides of mixing bowl, but will not be stick to the touch)
- Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease all sides. Cover and let rise until double (1 to 1-1/4 hours).
- Punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half, cover and let rest 10 minutes (I rested just 5...).
- Shape into 2 loaves and place in 9x4-in pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled (45-60 min.)
- Combine the egg yolk with 1 Tb. water and brush on tops of loaves. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Turn out of pans and let cool completely on racks before slicing.
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