This past weekend, we were out shopping and stopped in to check out an Olive Oil and Vinegar infusing specialty store. It was beyond expensive and I didn’t think of purchasing anything they had (except for a cute little olive plate for $8 I couldn’t resist) but I did get my mind racing on making my own versions of some oils and vinegars. Most of them need to rest for weeks to reach their peak flavors. I’ll save those details for a future posting but I couldn’t resist trying out an old favorite, oil and red pepper flakes, with a new bread recipe today.
In a former life, I was on the road for work nearly 10 days every month and I’ll never forget one stressful Italian dinner with my bosses. We had been sitting in meetings all day and then finally, after 8pm, got around to getting out to eat something. The restaurant was packed. We were all tired and the wait staff couldn’t have been less attentive. But our long stressed evening did have one high point, for me at least. One of the managers with us was obviously a native New Yorker familiar with Italian traditions. He demanded that the waiter bring us all several dishes with Olive Oil, red pepper flakes and fresh ground pepper for our bread. It was fabulous and we all filled up on bread, forgot about the bad service and long day and left stuffed and happy. The crusty bread sopped up every bit of that spicy oil. If you really want to enjoy the experience you can drizzle in some balsamic vinegar and complete the Italian euphoria. Either way, the bread needs to have a good crust and a chewy center to truly appreciate the flavors of the oil and spices.
This Onion Oat loaf has all those amenities and more….it’s kinda healthy to boot!
Make sure your bread is just warm enough to warm the oil as you sop up dip after dip. Cold bread here just wouldn’t be right…
- 1 cup + 2 Tbs warm water (110 degrees)
- 2 tsp quick rise yeast
- 3 Tbs. Olive Oil + more for greasing bowl
- 1 tbs. sugar
- 1 cup Unbleached Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 cups Unbleached Organic Bread Flour
- 1/4 cup whole flax seeds
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp powdered onion salt
- Mix together water, oil, sugar and yeast. Set aside for about 5 minutes while the yeast becomes frothy.
- Mix together all other ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the liquid ingredients into the center of the dry and stir gently until the flours get moist. Using your hands, kneed the dough into a rough ball and transfer the dough ball to an oiled bowl. Cover with a cloth and let it rest in a warm area until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour (or longer if needed, you can leave it over night if you'd like)
- Punch the doubled dough down and re-form the dough ball. Cover again and let it rise for an additional 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350. Form the dough into a smooth ball and place in a greased baking pan. Baste the dough with vegan butter and sprinkle with onion powder and a few oats if desired for extra flavor. Bake for 30 minutes. Check with a meat thermometer that the internal temperature of the loaf is at 160 degrees for 'doneness' Cool and store for up to 1 week.
Well I’m not accustomed to having just bread and dipping oil for my meals. So I warmed up a bowl of my detox Lentil soup to kick this meal up to 11. When you run out of oil, the flavors of the soup will work just as well to compliment your Onion Oat loaf. Maybe even better than the oil so……
Last year this time I was dipping into a deliciously sweet & sour chocolate tart:
“Cocoa Lemon Berry Tart”
Enjoy and stayed tuned for details on that oil!
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