There can be a great deal of truth to the old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Around our house, this is particularly true when dealing with food. Yesterday I fiddled where I shouldn't have. Here's my confession.
Bless me father for I have sinned, I tinkered with the oatmeal yesterday. Instead of just making steel cut oats which everyone likes, I added in some amaranth in an attempt to use it up. The result was less than stellar. My penance? Figuring out what to do with four cups of unappetizing goo. (Frugality prevents me from just throwing food out and I'm pretty sure even the dogs wouldn't have touched this.)
Salvation came in the form of the Use it All cookbook by Jane Marsh Dieckmann. This cookbook is set up in alphabetical order by ingredient. I peeked under "cereals" and was rewarded with the recipe for Hearty Breakfast Bread. I veganized it and here's my version:
Hearty Breakfast Bread
leftover cooked cereal (up to 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1 1/2 Tbs dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 Tbs blackstrap molasses
1/4 canola oil
1 tsp salt
8-9 cups whole wheat bread flour
Combine leftover cereal with soymilk and blend well. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the remaining wet ingredients to the cereal mixture. Pour in yeast mixture. Let sit for a few minutes to allow the yeast to bubble a bit. Add in the salt and half of the flour and mix well. Add in remaining flour 1 cup at a time, until dough is no longer sticky.
Knead about 10 minutes (especially if you're using whole wheat flour, if you use a combination of white and whole wheat you can knead a bit less.)
Cover and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled. Divide into 3 loaves and place in greased pans. Cover and let rise another hour or until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.
The resulting loaves made great toast and bore little resemblance to the mess that had been breakfast. BTW, I still think Barbara's whole wheat bread recipe is the best tasting, most versatile home made whole wheat bread.
The thing about the amaranth is, I can't find a good use for it! We used to buy amaranth cookies and amaranth cereal which everyone loved. So, I happily got amaranth last time it was on sale at the coop. I used it in a granola recipe and everyone hated it. I ground it into flour and tried adding a bit to some quick bread recipes everyone complained about the taste. Adding it to hot cereal obviously wasn't a hit either. So my quest for a recipe to use the excess amaranth continues. In the interim, I'll keep sneaking a little into pancake batter. Shh, don't tell!