An article in an old Gourmet magazine caught my eye–it was all about making small-sized quick breads for holiday giving, and their recipe for Sesame Whole-Wheat Soda Bread looked especially good. The loaves, which are about four to five inches across, sounded perfect for wintertime dinners–golden brown and nubby with oats and sesame seeds, and quick to make. And they are so cute! Each chubby little loaf is perfect for two to three diners, and they can be frozen. Oh, and they taste delicious! And slices can be toasted. Here is the recipe.
Sesame Whole Wheat Soda Bread
2 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, cut into bits
2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1-2/3 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, the all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. Add the butter and mix and smear it in with your fingertips until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Stir in the oats and sesame seeds, and add the buttermilk. Stir until the mixture forms a rough ball.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead lightly for about a minute until smooth. Form into a rectangle (see photo) and cut into fourths. Form each quarter into a smooth ball, and flatten slightly. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, brush the tops with additional buttermilk, and sprinkle with more sesame seeds. Cut an 1/8-inch deep X into each loaf and bake the breads for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Baking notes: I made a number of changes to the original recipe, mainly reducing the amount of sugar (the one tablespoon rounds out the flavor of the bread), added a bit more buttermilk and baked the breads longer. The mixed dough should be fairly light textured and wet–only slightly sticky.
Photos: The butter before and after being mixed into the flour, the type of oats to use, the mixed dough, the dough cut into fourths and the breads ready for the oven.
After baking, I set aside a loaf for dinner, and then allowed the rest to cool. Then I placed them in a plastic bag–twisted it tightly, and placed the bag in the freezer. I have a loaf out on the kitchen table right now, defrosting. We will have it with homemade chicken soup and a fruit salad for desert.
More pages have fallen out of the inexhaustible Paper Butterfly Scrapbook that I found a few weeks ago, and I particularly liked this frilly butterfly, which can be used as a bookmark.
Again, I determined to make my own. Fortunately, I have a Fiskars Corner Punch, and plenty of origami paper. This corner punch may be available at craft stores, and is also available on Etsy and eBay.
The directions for this butterfly, which apparently comes from Australia, can be found here. This calls for a square of paper, again, with the corners punched.
One thing I learned while doing this project–the type of corner punch makes a difference. The Fiskars punch shown here makes a nice frilly edge. If you have a different corner punch, try it on a piece of scrap paper to see if you like it. Peace to you. Fran