Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Bread

Makes 2 loaves
2 sachets active dry yeast
4oz/115ml Warm water
4oz/115ml molasses
3oz/90ml oil
1/2 pint/285ml water
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 lb/225g rolled oats
1&1/4 lb/565g wholemeal flour

Stir the yeast into warm water and set aside for 5 minutes. Stir again to dissolve.
In a large bowl, mix together molasses, oil, water, eggs, and salt. Stir in yeast and then oats. Add flour, using just enough to form a soft dough. You may need to use a little more.
Knead dough in the bowl for several minutes to develop gluten.
Cover and leave to prove in a warm draught-free place for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until doubled in bulk.(An ideal place for the dough to rise is inside a cold oven).
Knock dough back down and knead again.
Divide dough in half and place in two greased loaf tins. Cover and leave to prove again until doubled in bulk, about 45 min.
Bake at 375f/190c for about 45 min or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. When done, remove from tins and cool on a wire rack.

This was from The Vegetarian Times cookbook. I’ve decided that I love this book for snacks, breads, and desserts. They’ve got tons of desserts that don’t have sugar or artificial sweeteners in them, their snacks are fun (see Oat –Cheese Balls), and I am totally in love with this bread. I love it so much, that I am going to make it again tomorrow. I am going to make it again, and this time, I am going to add a bunch of seeds to it, because I think this bread is wonderful, and deserves to have versions of it’s self.

Most of the time when I make whole wheat breads they are fine, but in the end they just seem like a less enjoyable, but healthier alternative to a loaf of white bread. This was different. The molasses gave it a really beautiful flavor, and the texture was soft and chewy at the same time. To top it all off, it slices like a dream, which means it’s good for sandwiches and makes excellent toast for my son, who has a toast obsession.

As for making this bread, it is like any non-white flour bread…it’s tough. It takes some real muscle to knead, but it rises really nicely, and it’s totally worth it.

I made a half batch, and made it up into one loaf, that works fine if you want to start with a tester loaf.

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