Jo N.'s Oatmeal Bread
I like this recipe because it makes three nice loaves with little effort. You do not need to attend to the bread that closely so you can go off and do other chores while it is rising (2 times) and baking.
Today was bread making day for me, and this is an easy recipe that can be made with supplies we all should have on hand.
Oatmeal Bread (makes 3 loaves)
4 c boiling water
3 c oats (Quaker Oats, not instant)
7.5 to 8.5 c flour (regular is fine and is what I use)
2 packages yeast (4.5 t if you buy yeast in bulk, as I do)
2 T salt
4 T oil (I use olive but any vegetable oil will do)
1/2 c honey, maple syrup, molasses or combination thereof
Pour boiling water over oats in a large bowl and let cool. Stir in 2 cups flour and the yeast. Place in warm, draft-free space, uncovered, and let rise until double in bulk (usually about 2 hours). Punch down and work in rest of ingredients, including enough flour to make a dough that you can knead. Turn out onto flour-covered surface and knead for about 10 minutes, adding flour as you go so dough is firm but pliable and not sticky. You cannot over-knead this bread. Divide dough into 3 parts and shape into loaves. Place each in a greased loaf pan. Allow to rise until double, again about 2 hours. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, but can take as long as 60 depending on your pans.
Turn out and cool. I like to make two loaves of regular bread and one loaf of cinnamon raisin. I do this by kneading in about 1/2 to 1 c raisins before shaping the loaf. I pat the dough out flat (could roll, but then I need to wash rolling pin) and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. I roll up dough like a jelly roll and place seam-side down in greased pan and let rise and bake with other two loaves.
If you are skilled, you can bake the bread in a Dutch oven on a camp fire but I live in suburbia and a campfire is not allowed! Bread is not like an oatmeal cookie with flakes of oatmeal. It is a light colored, fine crumb bread that makes the most excellent toast.
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