The bread of love

Remember when I said my wonderful friend Mary sent me a present of Teff flour so I could make the Injera bread with the Bread Baking Babes last month? Well she also sent along an extra little present, a bag of wonderful King Arthur Whole Wheat flour! I was so excited, I could not wait to get to baking with this flour as I have heard so much about it!

It took me awhile to discover what I wanted to make with it. Afterall, whatever it was, it had to be something exceptional, a bread worthy of my special flour.

Then it hit me: Mary's Oatmeal bread that she made me for my Housewarming Event! It was too perfect, I couldn't possibly make anything else!

Luckily for me, Mary was home when I started making this, as her posted version of the recipe is missing one little detail: the molasses. The directions say when to add it, the ingredients do not list it. If you make it, it is 1/3 cup of regular molasses, not blackstrap. (The recipe has since been corrected, so you are safe to make it straight from Mary's site.)

You know, there is something so relaxing and theraputic about having your hands in bread dough. Flour all over the place, on your clothes, the counter, sometimes your face, and you just know it won't be a simple clean up job to get it all, but still, it is so relaxing and satisfying. Seeing the dough rise, smelling it as it bakes up golden and brown, and knowing you will get to eat it soon.

This bread came out so nicely, and smelled wonderful! It was hearty without being heavy. Tasty, tasty, tasty! (I love having fresh bread in the house.)

Since this was a bread made with love, love in the recipe, love in the flour, it was only appropriate that I pass on the love, which is why I gifted one of my loaves to a coworker for her birthday, who was thrilled to receive it. She tells me she refused to share her bread and enjoyed every single crumb of it.

Big hugs and thanks to Mary for my adorable bag of flour. I still have some left, which I likely will use in the cookies I want to make later tonight.

Now go make some of this bread!

Oatmeal Bread
adapted from the 1943 version of the Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book
from The Sour Dough

Makes two (2) loaves

1 cup cooked rolled or steal cut oats (not quick cooking)
1 cake yeast (.6 oz cube) (If you don't have fresh yeast, substitute 1 package active or 2 tsp rapid rise)
1/2 cup luke warm water
1/3 cup molasses
pinch of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter, melted
2 1/2 cups ap flour
1 cup bread flour
1 cup KA white wheat flour or whole wheat flour

Cook oats per instructions, remove from heat and allow to cool completely and absorb any excess water. You want a big "glob" of oats. (I used steel cut oats, made 4 servings, used half in the bread and my son ate the rest for breakfast the next day.)

Proof yeast in lukewarm water and pinch of sugar. Allow to sit for 5 - 10 minutes until foamy.

In bowl for stand mixer or large bowl, break up cooled oatmeal into medium chunks, and using the dough hook (if using stand mixer), stir in proofed yeast, molasses, salt, and melted butter until oatmeal is completely broken up.

Add in bread and wheat flour and stir until wet dough formed. Add in 1 1/2 cups AP flour until shaggy dough ball is formed. Add in remaining flour 1/2 cup a time until soft dough ball that cleans bowl if formed. Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes to absorb excess flour. If using stand mixer, hand knead for 5 or 10 quick turns.

Dough should be soft and very slightly tacky. If clumps of dough stick to hand, knead in additional AP flour on palmfull at time.

Place dough in greased bowl, cover and let rise until double (about 2 - 2 1/2 hours). Punch down, form 2 loaves, place in 8 1/2 x 5 greased loaf pans, lightly grease top of loaves, loosely cover, and allow to rise until dough is about 1/4" above edge of loaf pans.

Slash top of loaves down center if desired. (I desired, doesn't it make the top of the loaf look rustic and fresh?)

Place loaves in preheated 350 degree oven and bake 30 - 35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees.

Allow to cool completely before slicing. (Or try anyways.)


PJH said...

Hi Jenny: The bread sounds (and looks) fabulous! I'm definitely trying that recipe. Thanks so much for posting it - and for your warm words about sharing. You might be interested in our bake2share program - bakers are posting their stories, just like you did, about what they bake and share. Take a look:
Cheers - and thanks for using our flour. PJ Hamel, King Arthur Flour baker/blogger, on behalf of my fellow 167 employee-owners

breadchick said...

Jenny, I'm SO glad you loved your surprise gift of the KA Flour and enjoyed baking your special bread.

It does look lovely and makes me want to bake the loaves again.

Anonymous said...

Your loaves look amazing!