The worst thing about being unemployed are those days you realize you haven’t left the house, and the only people you’ve talked to all day were your kitchen appliances. I definitely talk to inanimate objects waaaay more often since I lost my job. In fact, as I sat down to write this post, I chastised my computer’s power cord for being difficult and not staying plugged in.
But this week has been a really good week. I’ve managed to get out and about every single day. On Monday I got to fill in for a volunteer who had to cancel last minute at Martha’s Table, helping to pass out soup and sandwiches from the back of a van as part of their mobile soup kitchen, McKenna’s Wagon. It’s one of my favorite actitivies, all the guys that come out to get free food are very friendly and love to chat us up, and they always help us unload and load the tables and water jugs from the van.
Tuesday night, a friend and I went to see Rocky Votolato and Matt Pond in concert. It was just a fantastic show. The highlights were when Matt Pond and crew came out to play White Daisy Passing with Rocky, and then Rocky came out during Matt’s set to play New Hampshire with them (my favorite Matt Pond song). After the show, we ended up going out for drinks with the band, so now I can officially say I’ve taken a tequila shot with Matt Pond. (I hate tequlia, but I love Matt Pond, so it evens out, I guess).
Last night I had volunteer orientation with 826DC, so now I can start volunteering with them too. I’m very excited about it. We’re actually having a bake sale this Sunday (tentatively) at Eastern Market, so if you’re in DC, stop by! I’m making peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and maybe a few other things, depending on how much time I have on Saturday to bake. Most of the volunteer work will be tutoring kids after school and helping out at the writing workshops they host, but I have to get TB tested and background checked first.
And today is St. Patty’s Day, so I guess I’ll be drinking green beer later. Gross.
But anyway, in the midst of my busy week, I had a chance to make this bread, and it is just the most fantastic bread I’ve ever had. Quinoa just kills me every time. It’s so delicious. There is so much flavor here, so nutty, so fulfilling.
Let’s get a close up:
Mmmm so good.
There’s a lot to love in this bread, you’ve got your quinoa, your oatmeal, your whole wheat flour, and a bit of honey to sweeten things up.
I decided to use red quinoa, just to give the bread a fun color, but white would work just as well.
I thought I was home alone when I was making my bread, but then my roommate walked into the kitchen while I was kneading and making a lot of odd grunting noises. But I think she forgave me once the whole house smelled like fresh baked bread.
I also had a chat with this bread about how it was doing such a beautiful job of rising. Really, it was a champ.
I was expecting a denser bread, since there is so much whole grain going on here, but it was really not dense at all. Just absolute perfection.
Honey Quinoa Bread
Adapted from Marian Blazes
Makes 1 9×5 loaf
1/2 cup raw quinoa
1 cups water
¼ cup oatmeal
¼ cup water
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoons yeast
6 tbsp warm water
2 ½ tbsp honey
2 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ cup milk
1 ¼ – 1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Cook the quinoa in 1 cup of water for 10 to 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. While the quinoa cooks, cook the oatmeal in the ¼ cup water and ¼ cup milk until liquid is absorbed. Let both cool.
Place 6 tbsp warm water in a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer) and sprinkle yeast over the water. Let rest 5 minutes. Stir honey, oil, and milk into the yeast mixture with a wooden spoon (or with dough hook on low speed).
Add 1/2 cup of the bread flour and the salt and stir well. Add the cooked quinoa and oatmeal and stir.
Add all of the whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup more of the bread flour and stir. When the dough starts to get stiff, turn out onto floured surface and begin to knead. (If using a standing mixer, continue to knead with dough hook). Keep adding flour and kneading until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes with a mixer, or 10 to 15 minutes by hand. Dough should feel slightly sticky but should not be wet and slack. You should be able to form it into a ball and it should hold its shape.
Lightly oil a large bowl with vegetable oil and place bread in the bowl, turning to coat lightly with the oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
Let bread dough rise in a warm spot until double in size, about 2 hours.
Oil a 9×5 loaf pan. Punch down dough and shape into a ball. Pat/flatten into an oval shape about the length of the bread pan. Fold long sides in and tuck them underneath as you place the bread into the pan, so that the top surface of the bread is smooth and without seams.
Let rise in warm place until bread has almost doubled in size, 45 minutes to an hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
When oven is hot, place bread in center of oven. Throw a handful of ice cubes into bottom of oven to create steam. Bake for 20 minutes. Cover bread loosely with foil if the top is getting too brown and bake 5-10 minutes more. Bread should sound hollow when tapped.
Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack and let cool completely.