This is an oatmeal bread recipe that I found on the King Arthur Flour website. I’ve tinkered with the ingredients because that’s what I do AND because we weigh everything that gets baked in our house. It’s more efficient and it’s more accurate. I just put the mixing bowl on the scale, tare, and start tipping in the ingredients. If you’re trying to learn how to bake, do yourself a favor–buy a Scale. Spending time with measuring cups and measuring spoons takes a lot of time and it’s NOT precise. With a scale, you can just put the bowl on the scale, hit “tare”, add the flour, hit “tare”, add the oats, hit “tare” and just keep going. Sure, mise en place rules would have you weigh out each of your ingredients into separate bowls and then add them together. I don’t like to wash all those bowls. You decide.
I like this technique better than Alton Brown’s Leftover Oatmeal Bread recipe. I’ve tried actually preparing the oatmeal and then incorporating the mush into the bread ingredients, but it’s really an unnecessary step. I suppose he was trying to use up leftover oatmeal with his recipe. Or perhaps his idea was to create an oatmeal soaker to develop more oatmeal flavor. I am more interested in a simple recipe that I can do consistently. Rolled oats are soft enough for me without precooking.
Oatmeal bread is a great loaf. It’s delicious for sandwiches or just plain, toasted. Oatmeal has a ton of fiber and it’s delicious besides. Oatmeal bread is a good way to keep oatmeal in your daily routine, without having to eat mush for breakfast.
26 ounces King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
7 ounces rolled oats, old-fashioned oats
2 ounces butter, melted
.75 oz salt
3 ounces brown sugar or honey
2 teaspoons instant yeast
20 ounces lukewarm water
Mixing: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all the ingredients, mixing to form a shaggy dough. Knead dough, by machine for 5 minutes. finished dough should be soft and supple.
Proving: Place dough in a lightly greased proof bucket, cover and allow it to rest for 1 hour; it’ll become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk.
Shaping: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface, cut in half and shape it into two logs. Place the logs in two, lightly greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans, cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap), and allow the dough to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it”s crested 1″ to 2″ over the rim of the pan.
Baking: Bake the oatmeal bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 190°F. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. You can bake 25 minutes for a nice soft loaf.
Cooling: Let rest on a wire rack for about an hour. Sure, you can cut into it as soon as you can handle it, but try to wait. Bread starch has gelatinized in the hot oven and needs time to cool and set to create a sturdy, slice-able loaf. The crust forms a container that holds in the steam which helps support an even cooling rate while the starch sets. This is an important step.
It’s best to let the loaves cool in a Bread Box overnight. From there, I like to put them in Forever Bread Bags. They’re inexpensive and they are a close cousin to Green Bags. Now, these green bags are the bomb! They’re like magic time capsules for produce! You can keep cilantro in the fridge in one of these green bags for a week! No kidding! I just wash them out and let them dry. They’re heavy-duty and only have to be replaced every six months or so! I can’t say enough about these green bags.