Monday, March 30, 2009

Oatmeal Bread

A tasty, slightly grainy bread that is good for both toast and sandwiches makes my day. Today's winner? The oatmeal bread recipe from King Arthur Flour:
The sweet dark flavor of molasses and the heartiness of oatmeal tie the bread together. To start, you steep your oatmeal in water with molasses and a bit of butter, brown sugar and salt - note the steam rising from the bowl:

Then the recipe gets simpler: add flour and yeast:

This recipe notes that you add up to "about" 5 cups of flour. This is how my dough looked with the full five cups - a little tough to work it all in, maybe, but I needed it once I was kneading:
Here is the bread ready to rise. I spent about 10 minutes kneading by hand to get it smooth enough, but a stand mixer would get the job done a bit more quickly:

After the first rise:

And shaped into loaves:
After I shaped my bread, instead of proceeding with the recipe, I tightly covered the dough and put it in the fridge overnight. This will leave you with partially risen dough in the morning that takes a little longer for a final rise, but it allows you to have freshly baked bread a little earlier in the day than if you had started the dough before you showered. Here is the bread after a long, cold night:

And a few hours later, ready to bake!

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