Saturday, October 11, 2008

Honey Oatmeal Wheat Bread

This is our family's favorite bread. It's simple to make, delicious, and with a yield of 3 loaves it's enough to last a couple days.

3 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup warm water
3 pkgs. yeast (6 3/4 tsp)
1/2 cup honey or brown sugar (we always use honey)
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp salt
3-4 cups whole wheat flour (we use more like 5 cups)
4-5 cups bread flour (we just use enough to make a soft dough... don't even bother measuring)

1. Pour boiling water over oatmeal in large mixing bowl. Cool to lukewarm (or it will kill yeast).

2. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until foamy (or until oatmeal is lukewarm).

3. Add yeast to oatmeal mixture. Add honey and oil. Blend well. Add salt. Add whole wheat flour, stirring well after each addition. Gradually add bread flour, forming a soft dough. *

4. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 5-10 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until double.

5. Punch down and form dough into 3 loaves. Let rise about 20 minutes.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Put on rack or board for cooling.

* I do steps 3 and 4 differently.

Add honey, oil, salt, and 3 cups whole wheat flour to oatmeal. This helps the oatmeal cool faster. Stir until well moistened. Add yeast mixture. Stir until yeast mixture is incorporated into dough. Add more wheat flour if desired. Stir until it begins to get stiff. Turn out onto well floured surface (several scoops of flour) and knead bread flour into dough until dough is no longer sticky and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and pliable.

I measure only the first 3 cups of wheat flour and only because I'm afraid the yeast mixture won't incorporate if the batter is any thicker than that.

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