My mother baked bread several times a week when I was young, and this was one of our favorites. Now my family enjoys it, especially with homemade soup.
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 2-1/4 cups water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Additional quick-cooking oats, optional
- In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, oats, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat the water, honey and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape into round or oval-shaped loaves. Place on two greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- With a sharp knife, make several shallow "X-shaped" cuts on the top of each loaf. Sprinkle with additional oats if desired. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until browned. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).
Originally published as Colonial Oat Bread in Best of Country Breads 2000, p51
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