Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bread Recipe!

Okay, here's the promised Oatmeal Bread recipe! Just for the record, it's adapted (I can almost NEVER follow a recipe exactly!) from "The Quaker Oats Treasury of Best Recipes."

Adapted, it reads like this:

Oatmeal Bread

~ 3/4 TBS active dry yeast
~ 1/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
~ 1 tsp salt
~ 6 cups whole-wheat flour (works best with a 'lighter' whole wheat. Nothing really heavy.)
~ 2 1/2 cups quick or old fashioned oats, uncooked
~ 2 1/4 cups warm water
~ 1 1/4 cups milk (this really isn't all milk, since we dilute our milk with water - makes it go twice as far!)
~ 1/4 cup butter


In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast, sugar, salt, 3 cups flour, and oats. Mix well. Heat water and milk until warm, and add to flour mixture. Stir to combine, then melt butter, let it cool to "warm," and add it into the bowl, too. (You may want to melt it earlier, and let it be cooling while you mix the yeast, flour, oats, etc.)
This next step is very important for nicely-textured bread: beat - with a mixer preferably, but by hand works too if you're strong! - for 5-8 minutes on low speed. Then, by hand, gradually stir in rest of flour.
Now you're ready to knead. This dough works best in a machine, because it starts out looking and feeling like....well, oatmeal. As the oatmeal slowly absorbs the water, the dough gets to looking more like dough, but it will still be sticky. Anyway, if you're like me and must divide your dough to fit it in the machine, divide it in half, and knead each half for 8-10 minutes. (15 minutes, or 300 strokes, if you're kneading by hand.) If you've made bread before, and you know the consistency you're looking for, add water or flour as needed. Just bear in mind this dough might be slightly wetter than you're used to.
Let dough rise in a draft-free - but not necessarily 'warm' - place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled. Punch down, shape into three loaves, place in three greased bread pans, and let rise 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and let the dough keep rising a little longer while the oven gets ready. Then put your bread in to bake, and let bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown on all sides, and bread sounds hollow when tapped on top. Remove from pans to cool.

10 minutes before going in the oven



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