Friday, December 17, 2010

Hi Haley,

I felt The Guilt last night. That weight of responsibility to a sister, particularly to one who is younger than you, is a hefty thing. Particularly when you slip up.

Like I did when I told Crach Friday was ours and downtown would be our oyster.

The next day I made a series of small mistakes: I invited two of my friends. I made plans for lunch at a particular restaurant at a particular time. I accepted a shift for Friday morning.

In none of these did I consult Crach. Rather, I dumped the plans on her last night on a car ride home and then got snippy when she wasn't thrilled. Relationships can be so tricky. An action rarely leads to the conclusion you hoped for. Around Christmas these intimacies seemed to be even more riddled with puddles and pot holes. Our expectations are so high. Time is so short. Life is so busy.

Now I want to say that bread is the boon:constant, comforting, simple. Although, that isn't real true. In a way, bread is just bread. But I like it. And yesterday I was happy to make it and it felt simple, comforting, and constant.

This is Maple Oat Bread is really good. It's sweet, but brown, whole-wheaty, and soft.

Maple Oat Bread (Adapted from Beth Hensberg's Honey Whole Wheat Bread)
1 cup warm water
pinch sugar
2 packages yeast (4 and 1/2 tsp)
1 cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cups oats
3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 Tbsp salt

Combine water, sugar, yeast and wait ten minutes for the yeast to foam.

Warm the buttermilk to take off the chill. Melt the butter and combine the two, along with the maple syrup.

In a large bowl combine the whole wheat flour, oats, and salt. Add the buttermilk mixture and the yeast mixture. Mix smooth. Add the remaining flour half a cup at a time, mixing smooth after each addition. Knead 7-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. The dough will be a bit sticky, just be patient and add Tbsps of flour to your counter top as you knead.

Form the dough into a ball, place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rest for one to one and a half hours, until doubled.

On a floured counter top, divide the dough in two, shape and place in greased bread pans, and let rise another 45min, or until doubled.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40-50 min.


  1. Classic Reems 1) Defensively getting snippy 2)The Guilt, nothing like a good dose of Dutch Calvinism mixed into the gene pool. I'll have to remember this bread recipe next time the guilt hits :) Looking forward to mixing up the relationship pot in a few days!

  2. heehee just read this post today...I'm sad you felt The (completely unnecessary, naturally) Guilt, but I'm glad it led to the posting of this very yummy looking bread. The Honey Whole Wheat Bread is the staple bread recipe in our house (aka tiny apartment) thanks to the birthday bread book you gifted me last year, so I'm pumped to try your lovely adaptation.

    Love and miss both you lovely bloggers!
    -creems reems

  3. Dear Reems Sisters,

    Thank you so much for those tasty-tasty cinnamon buns. They were inhaled within 2 days in our house. Even Mike had to admit they were better than his. This has sent him examining his own recipe and now I'm looking forward to comparing his next attempt to the memory of yours.

    Yours in blogging,