Saturday, November 10, 2007

Oatmeal Bread 101

I just taught this class the other night so I thought I'd share it with all you lovelys. My sweet mother-in-law had a bread stand for 14 years and this is the recipe of her best selling bread with tips by yours truely.

oatmeal bread

1 cup “toasty warm” water
4 packages/4 Tbs dry yeast
pinch of sugar

8 cups boiling water
4 cups oats

2 cups molasses
6-8 tsp salt
4 Tbs shortening*

White flour

*I usually substitute olive oil for the shortening and it works perfectly.

Now, I’ll take you through it step by step…

Make the oatmeal

brittip: I always start with the oatmeal, because it takes a while to cool off enough to add the yeast—if it is too hot, it will kill the little yeasties. Mix it in a large pot—this recipe makes 6 loaves; it is too much dough for most mixers, so you’ll do the mixing in the pot and the kneading on the counter.


While the oatmeal is cooling down, add the salt, molasses and shortening* and start the yeast mixture, let “proof,” and add to the oatmeal mixture.

brittip: I usually add the warm water and yeast to the measuring cup that the molasses was in and stir it up well. That will be plenty of sweet stuff to get the yeast working. {It will get foamy—once it starts, it goes pretty fast, because it is a large yeast/water ratio, so watch it closely.} The oatmeal pot should be warm to the touch, but not burn you when you add the yeast mixture.


Add enough flour to make a soft dough, pour out on floured board and knead until smooth and elastic.

brittip: Add a bunch of flour to the pot and start stirring it in with a wooden spoon. (I’ve never measured, but say its 4-5 cups or so.) It will get harder to stir and make a soft dough. At this point, turn it out onto a counter that has been generously floured (say 5 cups or so) and start kneading. It is a very sticky dough. Keep adding flour until it is the right texture.



Cover in bowl and let rise for 1 ½ - 2 hours. Punch down and rise until double again, then shape into loaf pans. Let rise until double again, about 45 minutes.

Brittip: This part takes a long time, but most of the time you don’t have to do anything—it’s just sitting there rising! Go run some errands or clean the house or do something fun!


Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Brittip: mine were turning out too dark, so I have been baking them at 375 for about 30 minutes and they have been turning out beautifully. When they are done, they have a hollow sound when you turn it out of the loaf pan and give it a tap. Place on cooling rack until cool enough to cut and devour.


Paige said...

No chance I will ever make this but I really love the photojournalism.

Anonymous said...

I love that you're posting every day. It's so great. Wow, that's a lot of bread!


Kara said...

Perhaps if I was pregnant I might get the inclination to do something like this, perhaps not! It looks delicious!

Georgia said...

Okay... that looks SOOOOO good!

I am drooling a little bit right now... well, actually make that a lot.

Celia Fae said...

You lost me on the molasses, but it looks delicious. I really might have to try it. I suck at baking but hope springs eternal.

Celia Fae said...

You lost me on the molasses, but it looks delicious. I really might have to try it. I suck at baking but hope springs eternal.

Courtney said...

I'm going to try it, but maybe just 1/3 the recipe. But I guess they probably freeze well. And unlike Celia, you actually HAD me at molasses. "2 cups??" I thought. Yum! I can tell its good bread.

I love the recipe-sharing idea. I may copy you, because sharing food and tips is so great!

Clairissa said...

I'm making this bread RIGHT NOW. Seriously ... all the ingredients are sitting on my counter waiting and ready. I've been on a major homemade bread making kick lately and this is right up my alley. Thanks! :)