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Saturday, January 16, 2010

We're Back!!!!

Immense apologies for the prolonged silence and with that thought come the memory of a familiar Winston Churchill story that happens to tie well to the fact that Dawn and I have just returned from England. What a long thought but oh well. I am not positive the story is true but it is comical nonetheless. The story goes that Mr. Churchill was attending a party at which he was rather intoxicated and swaying from the libations and a woman approached him and said, “Mr. Churchill, you are extremely inebriated,” to which he replied looking her in the face, “Yes ma’am, but in the morning I will be sober and you will remain ugly.” However, that has nothing to do with plump oven baked eggs in tomato sauce or tender oatmeal bread that Dawn and I cooked just before we crossed the big pond.

The weather is cold in Columbus now and was just as frigid before we left, so a nice loaf of bread just out of the oven sounded warming. With recipes aplenty for amazing bread from James Beard himself, eating anything from the store seems blasphemous. And yes, every one I have tried has been splendid—especially when toasted and buttered as he often suggests. We instead chose to dip the warm bread into the zesty tomato sauce Dawn prepared with the eggs. Each recipe was a simple respite from the bone chilling cold that is sweeping the U.S. all the way down to Atlanta (that surprisingly had tufts of snow on the ground when we flew in from London). As with any bread recipe, patience and good ingredients are as inherently essential as proper measurements.

The bread has a medium crumb with many oats that melt into the loaf adding earthy goodness and substance. The eggs are comfort food in a way that surprises the senses and can be served with angel hair pasta or fresh bread, whichever you prefer.

Oatmeal Bread
Adapted from "Beard on Bread"
1 C. rolled oats
1 C boiling water
2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp.)
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 C. warm milk
1/2 C. warm water
1 T. salt
1/4 C. dark brown sugar
4-5 C. bread flour, approximately
Add oats to glass bowl with boiling water and stir until cooked for three minutes. Pour into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool to lukewarm. Stir the yeast into the warm water and sugar and allow to proof about six minutes. Add the warm milk, salt, brown sugar, and yeast mixture to the oats and stir well, then stir in four cups of sifted flour into the oats one cup at a time. Turn onto a floured surface and knead (ten minutes) into a smooth elastic ball using more flour if necessary. Roll dough in a buttered bowl until covered and allow to rise for an hour and a half in a warm draft free area, covering the bowl with a damp towel. Ball should be doubled in size.

Punch the dough down and tuck sides under to form loaf, scoring diagonally four times on top. Place in large nine by five by three buttered loaf pan and bake in 375 degree preheated oven for forty to fifty minutes or until loaf sounds hollow. Flip onto cooling rack and allow to cool for eight minutes. Toasted with jam or preserves also makes a delectable breakfast snack.

Zesty Oven Baked Eggs

6 free range brown eggs
2 C. homemade tomato sauce
¼ C. fresh grated white cheddar (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pour tomato sauce in oval earthenware dish and gently crack eggs into tomato sauce. Bake in 400 degree oven for approximately fifteen minutes or until eggs just begin to set. Make sure not to over cook as eggs will go from plump and juicy to rubbery very quickly. Top with cheddar, salt, and black pepper after removing from oven.  


Fresh Local and Best said...

I always say that freshly homemade bread is heavenly. The oven baked eggs is an ingenious recipe.

3 hungry tummies said...

welcome back! This is a great post, perfect for wintery night!

Divina Pe said...

Glad that you're back. Great two recipes you have there. They are really scrumptious. I have to try those baked eggs in tomato sauce. Fresh bread is always heavenly to have.

Chef Fresco said...

Hey thanks for visiting our blog! I love making bread - probably about my favorite thing to bake. Looks delicious!

Chef Aimee said...

Thanks for visiting! Oh this bread is a must try for me - I am on a big oatmeal kick! :)

Cinnamon-Girl♥ said...

The oatmeal bread looks excellent! And this is a unique recipe for eggs. It looks very hearty and warming cooked in the sauce. Never had the combo before - I would love to try it.

NOELLE said...

Welcome back! Great post for your return.

The Chickenless Chick said...

Welcome back :) What an interesting baked egg dish. Looks delicious.

Tracy (Amuse-bouche for Two) said...

This looks incredible. Inspiring a great deal of hunger right now. :)

grace said...

there's not much worse than rubbery eggs and not much better than homemade bread. you do some good eating, my friend. :)

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! The baked eggs sound super especially perfect with the fresh oatmeal bread!

tam said...

Yummy! What a delicious looking meal!

Thanks for stopping by x

Sook said...

First time here and love your blog! I'm glad you're back into the blogging world. It's always great to find a new blog that I love! :)

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