I had never heard the phrase “butter fricky” until last Thursday – have you ever heard it? Last week in my pre-school class we baked biscuits and made honey-butter. I baked the biscuits, Pillsbury frozen ones, which I happen to think are pretty darn tasty, while the kids were in library time. After they returned from the library and washed their grubby little fingers they were each given a bowl with some soft butter, a glob of honey and a spoon for mixing. It’s surprising how many children are not given jobs in the kitchen at home. They do love to learn in the kitchen at school however, and from time to time we bake or make goodies at school. They all stirred diligently until the honey was mixed in with the butter. Then they were all handed a warm biscuit told to break it apart and spread the butter mixture on the biscuit. They were pretty excited to be trying a new task and a new taste. As they begin to bite into the warm, flaky biscuits spread with the soft, sweet honey butter I asked, ” how does it taste?” The first comment delivered with a big smile, from a dark-haired, dark-eyed little girl was, “butter fricky!”. There you have it, the new catch phrase for the old combo of bread and butter. I rather fancy it! How about you?
Reminded of how delicious the simpleness of bread and butter can be I decided to bake fresh bread on Saturday. As soon as I smelled the fragrance of yeast I remembered why baking fresh bread has many rewards. Not only is the smell of fresh-baked bread incentive to make it often, I’m motivated by the healthy aspect as well. No preservatives, not too much salt or sugar and easy to make. I find the fragrance of yeast bread wafting out of the kitchen pulls people in to see just where is that smell coming from. It takes me back to elementary school when the smell of fresh-baked yeast rolls drifted from the cafeteria, encouraging kids to buy a tray lunch complete with a hot, puffy roll plopped on top. Possibly the best thing coming from the cafeteria were those melt in your mouth rolls.
We have already polished off one entire loaf of this bread. It makes wonderful toast (spread it with honey-butter), a delicious snack and it’s great for sandwiches. I find myself compelled to say, “with a swipe of butter it’s just downright butter fricky”!
Check out the “Bees and Honey” page -“The Bee Yard- Dogs & Additions” (at the top of this blog) for an update on my bees.
Whole Wheat- Oatmeal Bread
2 cups milk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (NOT quick cooking) plus additional for topping
1/2 cup warm water (105-115*F)
2 tablespoons active dry yeast (3 packets)
1/2 cup mild honey
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional for buttering pans
3 cups whole wheat flour
About 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten with a little water
2 8×4″ loaf pans
Heat milk in a 2 quart saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling, then remove the pan from heat and stir in oats. Let stand, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooled to warm.
Stir together warmed water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of honey in a small bowl; let stand for about 5 minutes or until foamy. Stir yeast mixture, melted butter and remaining honey into cooled oatmeal.
Stir together whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour and salt into a large bowl. Add oat mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead with floured hands, adding just enough of remaining unbleached flour to keep from sticking, until dough is soft, smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1- 1 1/2 hours.
Lightly butter loaf pans. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf, then place 1 loaf in each buttered pan, seam side down, tucking ends gently to fit. Cover loaf pans loosely with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free, warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Put rack in middle position of oven and preheat to 375*. Lightly brush tops of loaves with some of the egg wash and sprinkle with oats. Bake until bread is golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 35-40 minutes. Remove bread from pans and transfer to rack to cool.
Tips & Tidbits:
Use a candy thermometer to test water temp before adding yeast.
If yeast does not foam, discard and start with fresh yeast.
Better yet, be sure and always check the expiration date on the yeast before beginning.
For extra tasty loaves use a stone pan.
Bread will remain fresh wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature 4 days. I’ll be shocked if you have any left after 4 days!