Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mom's Oatmeal Bread

Mom's Oatmeal Bread
(the recipe she tried as a new bride that gave her the confidence to bake bread)

1 cup oatmeal
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 package dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
6 cups flour (can use 1/2 wheat)
Pour boiling water over oatmeal in a large bowl. Stir in butter, honey and salt. Allow to cool. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water and add to the oatmeal mixture. Add flour. Knead for 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let raise until double in volume. Punch down, and form into two mounds. Place into two greased 9x5" bread pans. Let rise until double. Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes.
Okay, that's mom's recipe. Over the years I've changed it a touch. First of all, 9x5" loaves don't fit nicely into a bag for freezing, so I use 8x4" pans. And I increase the recipe so I make 4 loaves at a time. I've learned that adding gluten makes wheat bread lighter and I like the texture that results when adding an egg or two. Here's the recipe that I used today:

Oatmeal Bread

1 1/2 cups oatmeal
3 cups boiling water
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3/4 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons gluten
1 egg
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
5 cups wheat flour
5 cups white flour

The procedure was the same. I left it rising while I ran errands for a couple of hours. It then rose in the pans for 40 minutes. And I baked it for just under 30 minutes. Yummy!!!

Super, Duper Oatmeal Bread - We have some food storage oats that are old enough to be tasting bitter and we're trying to find ways to use them faster. (We don't believe in just throwing things out!) So, I tried increasing the ratio of oats (I ground them with the food processor into a coarse flour) to wheat flour in this recipe, to half and half. That made a pretty dense bread, so next time maybe I'll try a 3 or 4 to 1 ratio.

I also had the thought to mix old oats with new oats, and that turned out to be a brilliant idea, particularly for our morning breakfast cereal!

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