Sunday, October 25, 2020

Bread Baking Again - Oatmeal Whole Wheat

After a very long, very hot summer and early fall, we are finally getting some cooler autumn weather. At the moment there isn't any smoke, but that could change today or tomorrow with the coming of offshore winds and a fire that is burning in Napa. We are, again, under a red flag warning for fire danger. I'm going to enjoy cool and smoke free air for as long as I can. Where we live is not scheduled for pre-emptive power outage either, but nearby communities are, through Tuesday morning. Such is the life of a Sonoma Co, CA resident now. Fall used to be my favorite season, but now it is fraught. I'll be sure to put up a post if we are evacuated or in any danger. I know that some in my family use this blog for such news.

Back to bread! 

This oatmeal bread starts with cooked oatmeal, cooled, and barely warm water with yeast hydrated for 10 minutes. Flour is whole wheat and bread flour and all-purpose. I makes a nice, tight-grained, moist sandwich loaf with a great flavor. I especially like molasses with oatmeal bread, so I added a tablespoon. The recipe is my own, but there are probably others like it around. 

Oatmeal Bread

1/2 cup rolled oats (old fashioned kind is best, but not instant)
1 cup water

1/4 cup barely warm water
1 packet (1/4 oz.) instant dry yeast

1/2 cup bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk, barely warmed
1 tablespoon molasses

In a large bowl, place the rolled oats and the water. Microwave on high, uncovered, for 2 minutes, until cooked through. Let cool completely.

While oatmeal is cooling, place the barely warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast and hydrate for 10 minutes. Mixture should show some froth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the bread flour, whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with bread hook attachment, place the 1/2 cup barely warmed milk, the molasses, and the hydrated yeast and water. Stir to combine. Add 1 cup of the flour mixture and stir to combine. Lower the dough hook and turn machine to low. Add the remaining flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms and the sides of the bowl are cleaned by the dough mass. There may be flour mixture left, or you may need a bit of additional all-purpose flour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured clean work surface and knead for 2 minutes. Form into a ball. Place ball of dough into a lightly greased large bowl. Turn ball to coat with grease. Cover and let rise in a draft-free warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Turn dough out of bowl onto a lightly floured clean work surface. Press down to get rid of excess gas. Shape dough into a loaf and fit into a greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise until slightly above the rim of the pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes. Crust will be browned and loaf will sound hollow when bottom is tapped. Let cool completely before slicing. Makes one loaf.

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