05 January 2013

O, tidings oven comfort and joy

Our oven quit just in time for the holidays, refusing to heat above 95 degrees. I spent December experimenting with crock pot and stovetop baking. Experienced a couple of epic fails, but I did manage to make some tasty tin can yeast loaves; a right appetizing little birthday cake for my sister-in-law, Amy; and what will henceforth and forever be one of our house specials: a terrific and versatile white wheat stovetop bread that can be savory or sweet or stuffed. I'm pretty proud of my first-world survival skills. I did no Christmas baking this year, but on the upside, that did simplify my life.

Still. When a repairman came to my house a couple days ago and fixed the oven, it didn't take me long to warm up to it again (har har). Two mornings in a row now we've had celebratory Swedes for breakfast, another of our favorites. (Scroll down for my recipe.)

Swedes: Make this.

Smother like this.

Experience joy and renewal.

Now you're ready to smile at the world.

Do you think the old lady readers make me look like a librarian?

Also. Here is proof that the age of miracles has not passed. Behold, the stovetop birthday cake (but please ignore the DIY ghetto cake stand):

Looks good enough to eat.

Hold me candle, tiny dancer.


This thick, custardy “pancake” is my favorite breakfast to make for my family or when company comes over. It dresses up easily and becomes an elegant meal. People often ask how complicated it is to make and are always surprised to learn that the process is almost entirely hands-off. The magic happens in the oven. Though I typically tweak it, the recipe I generally use as a guide originated with Kim Carlson from the Culinate Kitchen collection online.

2-3 Tbsps butter (when counting calories it also works to just use cooking spray in the pan)
2 cups flour (I like it best with 100% whole white wheat, or ½ whole wheat and ½ unbleached)
¼ cup sugar (brown is also lovely)
1 tsp salt
6 large eggs
4 cups milk (I typically use rice milk, but any kind will do, and of any fat content)
fresh lemon juice
your choice of toppings: brown sugar, raw sugar agave nectar, pure maple syrup, honey, Nutella, berries or other fruits, jam, etc. (a favorite combination at our house is lemon juice, brown sugar, and blueberries or homemade jam)

Place butter in a 10” ovenproof frying pan, preferably cast iron, or coat it lightly with cooking spray, and place pan into oven. Preheat oven and pan to 375 F. Combine remaining ingredients in a deep mixing bowl and blend well with an electric beater or a whisk. When oven has reached 375 F, remove hot pan and pour in batter. Carefully return pan to the oven (it will be full) and bake for 50 minutes. Check to see whether the center is set. If not, continue to bake, checking every 5 minutes. When the pancake is set in the center, remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes. Serve warm, and any other toppings you desire. NOTE: Low-fat milk is plenty rich for this recipe.

P.S. Happy birthday, Anneliese! I wish we lived close enough for me to make you a weird cake too. xo

1 comment:

Holly Decker said...

by golly you are one beautiful person. xo