Seed Bread–Step by Step

Here’s the post I promised–a step by step tutorial on making whole grain seed bread.

First up, gather your supplies:


8 x 4 loaf bread pans

Plastic wrap or cotton kitchen towel

Large rising bowl

Heavy Duty mixer with dough hook or very, very strong arms

Kitchen thermometer

Rolling pin or dowel

Dough scraper


2/3 cup steel cut oats

1 tablespoon salt

4-5 cups good quality whole wheat flour, freshly milled, if possible

3 teaspoons vital wheat gluten

4 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons each black, golden & brown sesame seeds, flax seeds

2 tablespoons vegetable oil & flax seed oil (or all vegetable oil)

3 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey if preferred – not vegan)

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 ounce raisins


The night before you are planning to bake:

Place 2/3 cup steel cut oats in saucepan

Measure in 1 tablespoon salt

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil; pour boiling water over oats.  Cook on low heat until thick, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the stove.

Next up–the seeds!

4 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons  of each of the following: black sesame seeds, brown sesame seeds, golden sesame seeds, & flax seeds

Mix together

Stir seed mixture into oatmeal

Cover and let sit overnight.

If you can, mill whole wheat berries into flour

If you don’t have that option, choose the best quality, “fresh” whole wheat flour you can find i.e. don’t use the local supermarket’s dusty bag of whole wheat flour.  Whole wheat flour becomes rancid and does not behave well when it sits on the shelf for months.

Soak 1 ounce of raisins in 1/2 cup water for 15-30 minutes, until raisins are plumped (you can do this step the night before at the same time as the oats)

When nicely plumped, pour water and raisins into blender and liquify.

Pour into seed/oats

I am sure you are thinking by now:  “I see why Dave’s Killer Bread” is over $5 a loaf”

To the oat/seed/raisins, add

2 tablespoons good quality vegetable oil

2 tablespoons flax seed oil

3 tablespoons agave nectar or honey

Warm 1/2 cup water to 110 degrees.  Stir in 2 teaspoons dry yeast and let sit 5 minutes until foamy.

Using a heavy duty mixer with dough attachment:

Measure 3 cups whole wheat flour into mixing bowl


3 teaspoons vital wheat gluten

Blend oat and yeast mixtures into flour on low.

Not very promising.  But wait! Give the flour time to absorb your oat/seeds.  About a 15 minute rest, at least.

Then adding somewhere between 1-2 more cups of flour, knead the dough with your machine.

When properly kneaded, it will look very rustic but clear the sides of the bowl.

Plop it on your counter

Now give it the finishing turns to make a lovely ball.

Place ball in large rising bowl

Cover with a damp cotton dish towel

Place in a warm location and let rise until doubled. One to one and half hours.

Doubled dough does not fill in when you poke it 🙂

It sighs instead.

Do this one more time, deflate, round into a ball and let rise once more.  It will take half as long this time.


Cut in two with a dough scraper (if you don’t own a dough scraper, I would hurry and get one.  They are an inexpensive, invaluable tool for all sorts of scraping you do in the kitchen)

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutesThe 10 minute rest relaxes the dough so the next step is easier–roll the round into a rectangle

Using your dough scraper,  tightly roll the rectangle into a loaf

Tuck in the ends

Place in prepared 8 x 4 loaf pans (spray with PAM),  place in warm rising area, and cover with plastic wrap or wet towel

Let rise until beautifully doubled in pan

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for35- 45 minutes.  The loaves will be a deep golden color.  Leave loaves in pans to cool for 2-5 minutes on a rack, then flip onto rack to cool.  The loaves should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Your reward.


We would LOVE any feedback on this recipe.  What worked or didn’t work for you!

This post is linked to Pennywise Platter and Monday Mania



Filed under Breads and such, Eating well, Vegan

Salmon Cakes II

salmon cakes

We decided to have salmon cakes for lunch the other day.  I had mentioned that adding some Panko to the outside might be a nice addition; so that’s what these pictures demonstrate.  Make the cakes as the linked recipe directs then before cooking, pat on some Panko on each side.

Squish the crumbs into the patties.

Carefully place patties into the heavy skillet when the oil is just starting to smoke slightly.

Cook until nicely browned on both sides. Definitely an upgrade.


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Filed under Eating well, Lunch, Main Dish

Vegan Peanut Sauce

Are you a fan of Thai food?  Peanut Sauce?  This post continues my search for easy, make-ahead Vegan food.  I started with an online recipe and expanded it to include more texture and flavors.  It was beautiful to make.  Hope you enjoy the pictures and are inspired!

Vegan Peanut Sauce with Rice Noodles

2 TB coconut oil (or other vegetable oil)

2 shallots

1/2 red and yellow pepper

5 large mushrooms

3 celery stalks

2 carrots

1 cup natural peanut butter, chunky or smooth

4 TB brown sugar

1 TB soy sauce

1/2 lime

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 to 1 cup hot water

Hot sauce to taste

Rice noodles, soaked in hot water until soft

Chop shallots.

In medium pan, on medium heat, melt coconut oil.  Saute shallots.

While shallots are cooking, dice peppers.

Add to onion

While peppers are softening in oil, chop celery

And carrots

Add both to onions and peppers

Measure peanut butter

Pour in soy sauce and brown sugar

Slice mushrooms.  When you are satisfied your vegetables are soft, in go the mushrooms.

Partially cover with lid

Cook briefly, until mushrooms are the way you like them…soft? Still some chew?

Squeeze lime to juice into peanut butter mixture

Stir together and “dump” into vegetables.  The peanut butter will melt as it heats.  Continue to stir until the vegetables are well coated.

Now for the creamy finishing touch…fold in coconut milk

Whisk gently until velvety, adding hot water as needed.

Pour over softened noodles and serve.  If you want more “heat”, add hot sauce.

For a non-vegan option, add chopped, grilled chicken

Although there are many ingredients, the prepping does not take long and you do it as you are cooking.  From first chop to mouth in less than 45 minutes.  You can’t get take-out in that time, can you?


This post is part of Fresh Bites Friday @


Filed under Eating well, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Lunch, Main Dish, Vegan

Vegan Whole Grain Seeded Bread

If you live in the Pacific Northwest,  you have certainly heard of the story of Dave’s Killer Bread.  Son of a baker, Dave came into his legacy late in life after a rather storied past.  He has ingeniously used that story,  together with terrific baking skills, to market a wonderful line of vegan friendly, whole foods bread.  “WOW”. That is what most people say when they eat his bread.  It’s also terrifically expensive.  I am going on a baking journey to find his secrets and have ‘Dave’s bread on demand’.   I have scoured the internet for ideas and have only found one “genuine” Dave’s recipe–for his “Sin Dawgs” i.e. cinnamon bread roll.  Some help, but only the barest.

UPDATE:  Here’s the complete recipe link!

Here is my first attempt…no recipe, just pictures of my first two loaves.

I started with my favorite, “tried and true” Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book Oatmeal Bread recipe.  Using the steel cut oats from his ingredient list, I added 2 tablespoons of each of the seeds listed.  I let the seed/oat mixture sit overnight.  My whole grain recipe calls for two risings and then shaping for another rise.

I cut the dough in half

I rolled out each piece until the dough mounds were about 3/8  inch thick

Using a dough scraper

I rolled the dough into a tight loaf, tucking in the ends

Gently I lifted the dough into the  8 x 5 loaf pans and set them in a warm location (in this case, the oven stove top)

Covered it the pans with a damp cotton towel

Then it was a waiting game…until the dough has doubled in size

Baked at 350 degrees in just 35 minutes I had these loaves to admire!

Although we were pleased with the bread, I have some work to do on the recipe.

More to come!



Filed under Breads and such, Vegan

Vegan “Cheese” Casserole

This was going to be Vegan Mac and Cheese post until I realized that rice noodles were the only vegan pasta I had on hand.  I have been attempting to expand my vegan cooking/baking I do for my vegan son.  Mostly, it’s been Bean Enchiladas for ages.  Lately, I have been filling the enchiladas with not only beans but sauteed tofu, onions and chopped red pepper.

But I digress.  I did some research of recipes online for vegan mac and cheese and found a recipe that used not only nutritional yeast (a common favorite for the “cheese” taste) but sweet potatoes.  I was intrigued.  It passed my son’s taste test so here’s the recipe with my changes, comments and pictures.

Vegan “Cheese” Casserole

6 TB nutritional yeast flakes

1 1/2 cup soy milk

3 steamed and mashed sweet potatoes

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon pepper or, to taste

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1/2 cup chopped onion

Rice noodles, approximately 12 ounces

Crumb Topping

1 cup Panko

1/4 cup vegan margarine

1 teaspoon veggie seasoning

Measure soy milk and add to a medium mixing bowl.

Add nutritional yeast, vinegar and pepper

Press garlic to mince

Chop onion.  The next time I make this, I will saute the onion in oil to soften and mellow the taste.  An improvement suggested by the recipient.

Whisk onion into yeast mixture

Steam sweet potatoes.  I am a huge fan of the microwave steam bags; easy and FAST.  Remove peels.

Mash until creamy

Soak rice noodles in hot water until soft

Melt margarine in small saucepan.  Add Panko and seasoning.

Mix until Panko is thoroughly coated

Stir softened noodles into sauce

Coat noodles

Place in baking dish.  I found these small foil pans at the Dollar Store.  They are the perfect size for small meals, made ahead.

Top with crumbs

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until nicely browned.

I liked this picture so much, I had to add it at the beginning and end.

More vegan recipes to come! 🙂


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Filed under Eating well, Lunch, Main Dish, Uncategorized, Vegan

Firewood 101


We are digressing from food to fuel this post.  We hope you don’t mind………although we don’t often have to use firewood to cook our food, it certainly does happen when those winter storms turn us back a century to preparing our meals on our wood stove.

We had an especially wet spring with summer barely showing up in late July.  All this extra rain made us realize our aging roof could not possibly tolerate another drenching winter of 100+ inches of rain.  (Our rain forest we fondly call “the mountain” makes Portland look almost balmy and dry.  When they are getting a mist, we are experiencing downpours.)

Ah….but can we re-roof and leave all the factors that prematurely age a roof?  So there you go, or rather, there THEY go…….the trees surrounding our property making our home a small swath in the towering trees of Hockinson mountain had to be removed.

We found it very entertaining to watch the tree fellers at work.

First they remove branches.


This is why you pay money to have someone do this!

Feeling dizzy?

How about this one?

Next up is cutting into rounds.

and more rounds

and still more rounds


All this “rounding” left us with piles and piles and piles of rounds of firewood needing to be split,  stacked and covered.  We had somewhere around 20 trees felled. Our real work began.

My photographer husband has been splitting wood for us for almost 35 years.  Here are his favorite tools:  Gloves, Maul, Split wedge

Firewood 101……how to split:

Find a check mark

Tap in the splitting wedge halfway between the end of the check and the outside edge of the round.

Continuing pounding until the round is split in half. You can use the maul to pry the halves apart, if needed.

To further split the halves, a firm, hard surface works well.  A freshly cut tree stand is high enough to keep from too much bending.

These steps repeated numerous times results in a pile like this:

Unfortunately for us, all this firewood was downhill from where it needed to be stacked.  So hours and hours of moving it uphill with a combination of throwing(where it was too steep to carry), carrying (where it was too steep to wheelbarrow) and wheelbarrow-ing brought us to the pallets (the favored surface to stack wood in our aforementioned wet climate).

A level pallet, air space between rows and 6 ml plastic sheeting protects all that hard work.

If you don’t have a tree to be an end to start your stack, a crosswise stack can suffice.


We had so much wood to protect that we bought a box of 6 ml plastic sheeting 10ftx100ft; we cut on the fold lines, making four 30″ x 100 ft lengths. These strips are kept in place with small, flat head nails.

Here’s a typical row

Our stacks are Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar on the bottom, as those woods last the longest, topped with Alder, Maple and other various NW trees.

On to the roof in pictures:

Delivery Day

All ready for the crew

Men at work

More men at work

In a little over one day

Wish we could say the same about the firewood… has been an odyssey of over 5 months and counting…….but we are nearing the end.  It looks like perhaps 15 cords of wood will be ready for fueling our home thanks to the tireless efforts of my photographer husband.

Winter chill, come.







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Silky Smooth Chocolate Ice Cream

Wow.  I had no idea.  You can make the smooth on your tongue, blissful ice cream without eggs!  Although S. is famous for her egg-tempered ice cream, I, on the other hand, dread those recipes and have mostly avoided doing those kinds of ice cream recipes, favoring Peanut Butter or cream cheese recipes that don’t require near the patience.  On a summer visit, S. left me a copy of Saveur magazine and within it’s pages was a beautiful article on homemade ice cream by Jeni of “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home“.  Wow, again.  So here’s the method and the recipe.  Be amazed it can be so simple to have something this wonderful, this easy.

Chocolate Ice Cream

Place 3 tablespoons cream cheese in a small bowl and let warm to room temperature.

Whisk together in a small bowl:

1/4 cup whole milk

4 teaspoons cornstarch

This will be called a “slurry”.

Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together:

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

1 3/4 cup whole milk

Add 2/3 cup sugar

Pour in 2 tablespoon corn syrup

Blend in 1/4 teaspoon salt

Pour this mixture into 4 quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cook for 4 minutes. Use your timer.

Stir in your slurry.

Bring back to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes, until thickened.

Add 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture to the cream cheese.

Whisk until smooth.

Blend together.

At this point, you have a plain ice cream base….I couldn’t resist adding my favorite chocolate to the recipe.

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate

Stir until chocolate is fully incorporated.

Pour ice cream base into a Ziploc freezer bag.  This is a messy without some help to keep the bag open while you pour, just letting you know :).  Submerge sealed bag in a bowl full of ice water.

When mixture is fully chilled,  process in your ice cream maker.


Did I say “Wow”?


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Filed under Eating well, Special Desserts