Several people have written to ask for the oatmeal bread recipe I mentioned in some of my breadmaking posts. I have been making this bread for a long time and it is one of our favorites. I would guess that this recipe originally came from the back of a bag of Quaker Oats… although I am not sure. The recipe as it was given to me is simply a list of the ingredients… there are no instructions given… but here is how I make this bread.
Can anyone help me with the name of this perennial?
It’s a member of the mint family and I think it has “violet” somewhere in the name…
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 to 6 1/4 cups unbleached flour (I use King Arthur)
2 cups oats, uncooked
I start by stirring the yeast into the 1/2 cup of warm water so it can proof while I measure out the rest of the ingredients. I warm the milk and the remaining cup of water so it feels comfortably warm to my inner wrist (about 110°F to 115°F) and add the 1/4 cup of butter, which will melt from the warmth of the milk and water. I add the milk, water, and butter to the yeast and water mixture… then the sugar, salt, and all of the oats… mix well and add about 2 cups of the flour. Sometimes I beat this by hand, sometimes I use my elderly KitchenAid stand mixer. I continue to beat the mixture and add small amounts of additional flour until the dough is a kneadable mass.
At this point I start kneading the dough by hand, adding more flour as necessary. I continue to knead until the dough is no longer sticky and is smooth and elastic. This usually takes at least ten minutes of kneading. Let the dough tell you when you have added enough flour… depending on the humidity and other factors, you may need slightly more or less flour than the amount specified in the recipe.
Once the dough has been kneaded, I put it in a greased bowl (I use the same bowl I mixed the dough in) and cover it with a damp cloth. The dough needs to rise until it has doubled in volume… this should take about one and a half hours. After the dough has doubled, I punch it down, divide it into equal portions, and shape it into loaves, which I place in greased bread pans for another rising (allow about thirty to forty-five minutes this time). This recipe makes two or three loaves depending on pan size. Recently I have been using larger pans and making two loaves.
I bake the loaves in a preheated 375°F oven for thirty to forty minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped.