January 5, 2010

Oatmeal Bread

The deal with wild yeast (what most folks call sourdough starter) is, you can use it to make any kind of yeast bread. This was a wonderful loaf of oatmeal bread that I adapted from one of the Taste of Home cookbooks. A good rule of thumb for converting a store bought yeast recipe is 1 c of starter and replaces 1 packet of yeast (1/4 of an ounce) PLUS one cup of liquid. There are lots of recipesout there for "catching" the wild yeast out of the air (think of it as good mold) or you can purchase a starterfrom several places. Your other choice is to get starter from someone you know. See caring for your starter for more info on how to take care of it.
This recipe called for 1 1/4 c of water, so I just substituted my well fed starter. It smelled so good coming out of the oven, that I cut into too early, which is why it looks a little mushy in the middle. I have trouble resisting that fresh hot bread smell and taste. This bread went perfectly with tonight's dinner from the freezer of vegetable beef soup.
Honey Oatmeal Casserole Bread makes 12 wedges
1 c starter
1/4 -1/2 c warm water
1/4 c softened butter
1/4 c honey
2 eggs
1 c quick cooking oats
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 c flour

In a large bowl put 2 c flour and all other ingredients. Mix well (or you can do this in a stand mixer with the bread dough hook) until smooth. Then mix in the remaining 1 1/2 c flour. This should form a nice soft dough that pulls away from the bowl a little or is binding around your wooden spoon. Dump the dough into a clean well oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Put it in a warm draft free place (like your oven with the light on) until it has doubled in size. This should take around 12 hours, so you could do it overnight. The way you know if it has risen the right amount is to gently poke it. If it springs back, it has not risen enough, if it leaves and indent, it's perfect and ready.  If it collapses, you need to knead it again and let it rerise because it's over risen.
After the first rise, you gently deflate it (if your poking didn't already do the job) and form it into a ball.  The best way to do this is to tuck the edges under into the middle, going around and around, until you have a smooth ball. Place the ball into a round well greased casserole dish (think Pyrex). Spray the top of the dough with a little cooking spray too. Put your plastic wrap over it and put it back into its warm home. Let it rise for 6-8 hours until it passes the poke test again.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. You know it's done when you tap the top and it sounds hollow. Cool for 10 mins in the dish and then gently shake to loosen. Dump it out on a wire rack and let cool (unless you are like me, then just start eating).

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I love Homemade Breads. I will have to try this recipe.
    Jason and I were on a homemade bread kick for a while. It's been a long time. We need to start that back up! I bet the kids would love it.
    Besides....it makes the house smell WONDERFUL!


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