Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Oatmeal Bread

I've been baking bread.  Not the quick breads that I know and love but real bread that needs to rise before it bakes.  So far they've all been edible, although one loaf was so doughy it needed toasting before eating it.  I've tried several different recipes and this oatmeal bread has become our favorite.  It's wonderful toasted, with just butter or jam.  It works well with soups and stews.  I haven't made sandwiches with it, but I'm sure it would hold together well.  Try it, you'll like it.

The best thing from this recipe was rising instructions:  Preheat the oven to its hottest setting for 1 minute.  TURN OFF THE OVEN.  Place covered bowl in the oven to rise until doubled.  Since I started doing this, all of my breads have risen better.

The recipe makes two loves; I keep one to eat and freeze the other for later.  It also called for two tablespoons of butter, but I have omitted that so my dairy-allergic friend can eat it. 

Oatmeal Bread
Adapted from The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

¾ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1¾ cups old-fashioned oats
3 cups boiling water
1 pkg active dry yeast (2.25 tsp)
¼ cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups whole wheat flour

Place brown sugar, salt and oats in a large mixing bowl.  Add boiling water.  Let stand.

In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over the 1/4 cup warm water.  Let stand for about 5 minutes.  Stir.

Add this yeast mixture to the oat mixture AFTER the oat mixture has cooled to 120F or less.  If the oat mixture is not cool enough, begin adding flour, then recheck the temperature.  Once it's below 120F, add the yeast mixture.

Add the flours a little bit at a time, stirring to combine after each addition.  Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.  (Preheat the oven to its hottest setting for 1 minute.  TURN OFF THE OVEN. Place covered bowl in the oven to rise until doubled.)

Generously grease two standard sized loaf pans.  When dough has risen, punch it down, then divide it into two equal portions.  Place each portion into prepared loaf pans.  Let rise until dough creeps above the rim of the loaf pan.

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Bake loaves for 10 min.  Reduce heat to 350F.  Bake for another 40 to 45 more minutes or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped — you have to (obviously) remove the loaf from the pan to test this.  Turn loaves out into wire racks immediately to cool.

I'm linking up with Freemotion by the River's Linky Tuesday.

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