For those of you who know, I have been without an oven for many months. This has been my own private circle of hell, the oven is an essential tool for a chef and the home cook alike. I have gotten by… it turns out that one can adapt and overcome just about anything. I even managed to make pizza on the griddle which was great, but there is something about baking a loaf of bread…the working of the dough…the aroma of it baking…the anticipation of cutting into it and that first taste.
My son has been counting the days when we get an oven again (he loves to bake bread) and that day has arrived at long last. He chose a recipe from the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook, on page 134, that we have never made before. In fact, this recipe is something I had not considered before either…it is a yeast leavened “batter” bread. Normally, when I think of a batter bread I think of quick breads that are leavened with baking powder like zucchini bread or banana bread. This was something new. The batter came out like a loose bread dough, not quite a batter and too loose to be a proper dough.
We did it together. Besides being fun, it was interesting because it was a recipe that I have never done before. Needless to say the bread came out great! All of the flavor of a yeast bread with a texture more reminiscent of a quick bread and much less kneading than than a traditional yeast bread. Give this one a try, I am sure you will like it…there is nothing like fresh bread!
Onion Oregano Batter Bread
2 cups water, about 110°F
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp or packet active dry yeast
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup minced onion
2 tsp dry oregano
4 cups unbleached all purpose flour (we used the white whole wheat flour)
onion rings for garnishing the top
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Dissolve the yeast and the sugar in the warm water. Let the yeast activate and become bubbly. Add 2 cups of the flour and stir to combine. Add the salt, the minced onions and the oregano and combine completely. Stir this for 2 to 3 minutes and then add the rest of the flour combining completely. Cover and let the dough rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until doubled. Stir the batter down, pour half of the dough into each of 2 lightly greased 4 1/2 X 8 1/2 inch bread pans. Cover and let this rise until doubled again. Toss the onion rings in the melted butter and decorate the top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown and crusty. Let the loaves cool slightly and turn them out onto a cutting board.
I dare you to try and let them cool. In my house they were gone in short order. Enjoy.