My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Spread the butter thick.

My Mum baked all our bread when I was a kid.  She had five loaf tins and they were put into service about twice a week (maybe once, I can't remember).  I loved her bread, even though at the time I wished I had shop white bread like everyone else (blurk!!).

Now that I'm regularly making my own bread, I want it to be like hers.  But Mum died when I was 16 and her bread was one of those things she just kinda made and never really had a recipe.

So I've been working on it.  And I've almost got it sussed - it's really good, and it's close enough to what I remember.


3 cups warm water
1 tablespoon of Surebake Yeast - this is one with bread improvers added but you probably don't need it, just use a little less regular yeast.
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
Put these all in a bowl and leave for 15 minutes or so to activate the yeast (I added my rolled oats now to get a bit of soaking time - if I was a real Western A. Pricer, I would have soaked them overnight).
Add 1 egg, 3 tbsps oil and 1 tsp salt and mix.
Add 4 cups white flour (stoneground, highgrade - whatever takes your fancy).
Add 2 1/2 cups brown flour and then maybe some more.
Mix until a quite wet and sticky dough forms.  Mix really well (almost like kneading) with the wooden spoon, you wouldn't want to get your hands in there - too wet.
Cover and leave to rise until doubled.
Mix really well with wooden spoon again then divide into half and 'plop' into two well-greased loaf tins.
Leave to rise again until well risen in the tin and then bake for about 45 mins, the first 10 mins at 200 degrees Celsius, the last bit at about 160 degrees Celsius. 

The original recipe was Grandmother Bread from Chickens in the Road Blog, but I added and changed etc etc and this is about right.  You can add linseeds, rye flour, cold porridge, any science experiments in the fridge, but I find as long as I have about 4 cups of white flour and a sticky texture, it turns out well.

P.S.  I also baked about a gazillion chocolate chip cookies today....after I washed off the toothpaste that dear daughter had applied to the cubed butter sitting on the bench softening.  The minty taste was hardly noticeable at all.  Note to self:  DON'T TURN YOUR BACK ON AN ALMOST-THREE YEAR OLD!


  1. This recipe sounds fabulous. There doesn't seem to be any kneading?? I always thought you would have to knead it heaps, which with having mild arthritis in my hands has always put me off making bread. I should give this one a try!

  2. Lottie, there is something about making yeast bread, that draws me, too. I never did that as a child, but for most of my working years for the school system, we made our own homemade rolls,etc. until the schools went to centralized baking. That took all the fun out of it for me. I love cooking of anykind, but I think experimenting with the yeast dough recipes was my favorite. Now that we are retired,I must worry about our weight and Pop's blood sugar, so I don't do that much baking anymore. I do miss it.

  3. It looks yummy.

    And what a sweet memory to have of your Mom.

    About the white bread... Growing up in Germany there was a lot of rustic, crusty bread. I used to think white bread would be better. I don't think so now...

    Happy baking!

  4. Bread looks good!

    Love the toothpaste cookies - hope you took a photo to hare on her 21st

  5. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I've tried making bread a few times but never any great success. That is I'll eat it but no one else likes it! Will give this a go.

  6. Yum! I make my own bread too....must try your recipe!

  7. I've been trying to recreate Mum's bread for years, and yours looks a lot closer than anything I've ever produced - I'll have to give yours a try! I'd love to bake our own bread regularly again.

  8. the recipe sounds fab. I'm definitely going to give it a go. ( No kneadnig?) I use our breadmaker but would like to make it myself.
    Oh on the bunny front - L got our first wild one at the beginning of the week.

  9. That does look just like mum's, I might try it too. I wonder if I can soak it in some way to make it more Weston A Price-ish? Though I have bought some wheat so could soak that prior...

  10. As for kneading - you don't really need (!) to, but I do give it a really good hard mix with the wooden spoon.

    Laura - rabbit pie? or dog food?

    Cat - Apron Strings did a post about sprouted wheat bread recently - looked yummy.

  11. rabbit pie :) He's off out a hunting again, now.
    I am making this bread right now! Done the first raise - took about 2 hours. Am now letting it raise in the loaf tins. Having never made bread without the bread maker I sent poor L out to get some tins. Poor thing, his choice was limited. He got one smallish one in one place then got 2 large ones in another Im using the small one and a big one and hoping for the best.

  12. MMmmm made it and it is LOVELY! thank you for sharing xx

  13. I love your writing, it made me think of food that reminds me of loved ones too. Ive been teaching myself to bake bread over the past few months, it definitely takes time to get it right. My first attempts were like boulders!


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