Sometimes recipe blogging is a little absurd. Take this recipe I’ve just poached, I mean posted.
Somewhere, many years ago, someone nicknamed Gran perfected a recipe for Easy Little Bread. Her granddaughter Natalie Oldfield published the recipe in a cookbook, which was then purchased by food blogger Heidi Swanson, who made it, photographed it, and rewrote the recipe for publication on her blog. Then I read the recipe on Heidi’s blog, and in turn, made, photographed and rewrote it yet again for publication on my blog.
Maybe the fact that I’m posting this recipe makes me unoriginal or even a thief, but the truth is, I love this bread. I’ve probably made it 20 times since I first saw the recipe in 2011. It tastes like something I probably ate growing up. It’s easy to make, and it is delicious plain or smeared with butter and raspberry jam.
I guess that’s where the absurdity of blogging and reblogging old recipes gets overshadowed by the beauty of sharing. For Gran, it was as simple as making this bread for her family. For Natalie, it was a desire to preserve that lovely family recipe (and many others) in a cookbook. For Heidi, it was a love of collecting interesting cookbooks like Natalie’s and sharing that find with her loyal followers–which no doubt helped sales of the book in turn.
And for me, it’s a love–nay, a compulsion–for sharing the stories behind the recipes I find, because food is a huge part of who I am.
Whether you create a recipe yourself, watch your grandmother make it a hundred times first, or find it online and fall in love with it–it evolves a little each time you make it as you inject more of your own preferences and little flourishes. Eventually, it becomes part of who you are, until you pass it on to someone else, and allow them the chance to make it until it becomes their own. And so on.
I’m not sure who the very first person to make Easy Little Bread was, but I’m sure glad it came into my life. And now I can’t help myself but to share it with you.
Easy little bread ³
originally adapted from Gran’s Kitchen
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup unbleached AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
Method: In a medium bowl, sprinkle the yeast onto the warm water and stir until the yeast dissolves. Whisk in the honey and set aside for a few minutes, until the yeast blooms and swells a bit, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix the flours, oats, and salt in a large bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir very well.
Brush an 8-cup loaf pan or 8-by-8-inch baking dish with the melted butter. Turn the dough into the dish (spreading into an even layer if necessary), and cover with a clean, slightly damp cloth. Set in a warm place to rise for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F with a rack in the middle.
Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, until golden and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Finish briefly under the broiler for a golden brown finish on top.
Remove from the oven, and turn the bread out of the pan quickly. Let it cool on a rack so it doesn’t steam in the pan. Serve warm, smeared with butter and your favorite jam.