Friday, March 16, 2012

Whole Wheat Molasses Oatmeal Bread

This recipe has more of a cool weather feel to it, but since some of you are still experiencing freezing temperatures (and some ice and snow for some people, I think!), I decided to go ahead and share this recipe. I've been experimenting with it for a while, and I think I finally came up with a formula that I like.

The whole wheat flour absorbs the extra moisture, yet doesn't leave the bread dry. The oatmeal gives it a very pleasant texture, while the molasses gives color, fragrance, and the tiniest hint of sweetness. It's excellent hot out of the oven or toasted with butter or jam. My personal favorite is blackberry jam.

Whole Wheat Molasses Oatmeal Bread

Makes 2 loaves

2 cups scalded milk (almost boiling)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon salt
1 packet yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons rolled oats

Place the butter, salt, oats, and molasses in a large mixing bowl. Pour over the hot milk and stir. Leave for 1 hour.

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and water. (I usually add a pinch of sugar, too). Leave for 10 minutes.

Add the yeast to the oat mixture. Mix in the whole wheat flour. Mix in the bread flour 1/2 cup at a time. Stir to form a sticky dough.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Lightly dust your hands with flour and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, 20 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover and set in a warm place* until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and return to floured surface. Divide dough into 2 pieces and form loaves. Place loaves on baking trays. Using a serrated knife, slash the tops of the loaves 2-3 times. Let the loaves rise for 40 minutes.

Preheat the over to 350 F. Brush the tops and sides of the loaves with beaten egg and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon oats each. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until top is golden brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool before slicing.

* To proof the dough, heat a bowl of water in the microwave for 4-5 minutes. Take the water out and put in the bowl of dough. This hot, steamy environment will help the dough to rise adequately.

I love to bake bread. It's like a meditation for me. I use the kneading time to chant, pray, or meditate. It's good therapy. I highly recommend it. :)

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Sapphire said...

once I get more bread flour and molasses (probably picking some up tomorrow, actually), this will be the first bread to be baked in the new house. :)

Diandra said...

We are having a spring get-together with some friends next week, and I am so making this!

Paper Cut Reviewer said...

This sounds so good. I just wrote down the recipe. *yay* can't wait to make it. Thanks Nar! :)