Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fresh Bread, Homemade jam

Is there anything more delicious than fresh, homemade bread, warm from the oven?  Maybe fresh, homemade bread warm from the oven with a little butter and some homemade jam!  Here's this afternoon's batch.

I recently made a batch of raspberry jam the 
old fashioned way:  Mix together equal 
amounts of crushed fruit and sugar.  Bring to a boil in a very large pot.  Add a 
lump of butter to keep it from forming too much foam.  Boil briskly for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, set clean jars in the sink,
fill them with boiling water.  Place enough
canning lids in a pan and cover them with
very hot water.

Stir the jam often with a wooden spoon
to keep it from sticking to the edge
of the pot.

After 20 minutes, pour a little of the
hot jam onto a saucer and put into
the fridge for about 2 minutes.
Take it out and see if it has begun
to jell.  If it runs too fast, boil it
another five minutes and try

If it seems to run rather slowly, take the
pot to the sink, place a hot, drained 
jar on a towel beside it.  Ladle in the
jam to within a half inch of the top.
Put a warm lid on the jar and screw
the ring on tightly. 

Place the filled jars on a pad of
two towels to protect the counter
top.  Place them about 3 to 4 inches
apart to help with the cooling.  Sit
back and listen for the lids to 
snap shut. 

Enjoy your jam with homemade bread,
on ice cream, as a topping with yogurt,
pancakes, waffles, cheesecake, etc.
This jam will not be as stiff as commercial jam, but will have oodles more flavour!


  1. Looks great, but I have a question:

    Does your bread stay tasty after it cools? I started making bread-machine bread about six months ago, and Cindy and the kids raved about how wonderful fresh, warm bread was. Recently, however, they confessed that they all thought my bread tasted like cardboard after a day.

    Is this something common to bread-machine bread? Does your homemade bread stay tasty?

  2. We think the bread tastes fine even after it's been frozen. But of course, it's always the best when it's just fresh from the oven.
    However, I never bake our bread in the breadmaker. I use it only for the dough cycle. Then I shape the dough into whatever I'm wanting to make (buns, bread, bagels, English muffins, etc.), let it rise and then bake it in the oven. You might try baking yours in the oven and see if it makes any difference.

  3. AND A FEW FURTHER THOUGHTS: Flour will become rancid if kept at room temperature for some time. I always keep my large bag of Robin Hood Best for Bread flour in the freezer, and take out about 3 lbs at a time, which I then keep in the refrigerator.

    When I bake bread I usually follow this recipe:
    12 ounces of warm water
    1 large egg
    3 tablespoons of Canola oil (stored in the fridge)
    2 cups of Best for Bread flour
    2 cups of freshly ground whole wheat flour
    (I have a mill and grind the whole wheat flour
    from organic Hard Red Spring Wheat.)
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    freshly ground Flax seed (about 2-3 tablespoons)
    (This I grind in an old coffee grinder.)
    2 tablespoons of wheat gluten
    2 teaspoons of Fleischmann's Quick-Rise Instant yeast
    (which I buy by the pound, and keep in the fridge.)

    The freshness of your ingredients is probably the key to a good tasting loaf.