Sunday, December 6, 2015

Recipe Advent Calendar - Day 6 - Colonial Oatmeal Bread

I haven't made this one in quite a while, but it's one of my favorite bread recipes.  I can't even remember where I got the recipe!  I started making this when we lived in Florida and I liked it because it wasn't baked in a loaf pan, but on a cookie sheet in an oval.  I'll post our Thanksgiving and Christmas roll recipe tomorrow.

1 Tbsp salt
2 pkgs active dry yeast
4 cups whole wheat flour
About 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour (more or less, depending upon the weather)
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup honey
4 Tbsp butter or margarine (butter is much better, in my opinion)
1 egg
1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked

In a large bowl, combine salt, yeast, 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup of all purpose flour.

In a 2 quart saucepan, over low heat, heat water, honey and butter or margarine until very warm (120 to 130 degrees.) Butter does not need to melt completely.  With mixer at low speed, gradually beat liquid into dry ingredients just until blended.  Increase speed to medium, beat 2 minutes occasionally scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Gradually beat in egg and 1 cup WW flour to make a thick batter.  Continue beating 2 minutes, scraping bowl often.  With a wooden spoon, stir in oats, 1 cup of WW flour and 1 cup of AP flour to make a soft dough.

Lightly sprinkle work surface with AP flour.  Turn dough onto the surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  Working in more AP flour (about 3/4 cup) while kneading.  Shape the dough into a gal and place in a large greased bowl, turning dough over so that the top is greased.  Cover and let rise in a warm place away from draft, until doubled - about an hour.  Dough is doubled when two fingers pressed lightly into the dough leave a dent.

Punch down the dough.  Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, cover with the bowl or a cloth and let rest 15 minutes for easier shaping.  Grease a large cookie sheet.  Cut dough in half.  Shape each half into a 7x4 inch oval, tapering ends slightly and place them on the cookie sheet, not touching.  Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  With a knife, cut 3 to 5 criss-cross slashes across the tops of the loaves. Lightly dust tops of loaves with some AP flour.  Bake 35 to 40 minutes until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped with finger.  Remove loaves from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.

Makes two 1 3/4 lb. loaves.

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