Breads and Crackers · Molasses · Oats

Oatmeal Molasses Bread

IMG_6874_1

At the beginning of December I said I was going to cut back on processed white stuff and other unhealthy food, and try to get myself in shape, since we're going skiing in February and I would like to at least give the illusion that I'm all healthy and athletic.

Hahahahahaha.  Anyway, I tried, but certainly wasn't perfect about it.  I did, however, pay more attention to what I was eating, and I think, for the most part, I ate less of the bad stuff.

So when I decided to make bread today, I did so with an eye toward keeping it healthiER than the all-white-flour breads I often make. 

And I'll tell you right now, that it's SO hard for me to give up white bread.  Not so much the white sandwich bread – I can live without that, though I do make a mean loaf of soft, beautifully-crumbed sandwich bread.  But it's the other breads…the baguettes, the ciabatta (which I was going to make today, but am postponing that until a day when I don't have painting to do) that I crave.  Sob.

Anyway, I saw a recipe for oatmeal bread on the back of my package of King Arthur bread flour, and decided to tinker with that a bit.

And here's what I came up with

First, the ingredients:

Two packets of active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups of milk

1 cup of water

IMG_6841
2 tablespoons of honey

IMG_6842
4 tablespoons of molasses

IMG_6847

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

IMG_6848
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I would have used more, but that was all I had)

IMG_6849

1/2 cup cornmeal

IMG_6851
2 cups oats (the old-fashioned kind, not the instant stuff)

IMG_6852

3 cups bread flour (to start with)

IMG_6853

4 teaspoons salt

 IMG_6854
All of the above ingredients went, in order, into the bowl of my stand mixer and combined them on low speed with the dough hook for about 5 minutes.

IMG_6855
IMG_6856
IMG_6857

The dough was still pretty wet at this point, as I expected, so I started adding more bread flour, a half cup at a time, until I had a pretty stiff dough.

IMG_6859

I ended up adding a cup and a quarter additional bread flour, fyi.  You may require more or less than that, depending on humidity and whether or not Mercury is in retrograde.  Just kidding about that second part. 

Once I was happy with the dough, I dumped it out on the counter…

IMG_6861

and kneaded it briefly until it was smooth and elastic.

IMG_6862
Then I put the dough into a greased bowl, pressed it down a bit, covered the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it on a little desk near a south-facing window to rise.  (It's warmer there than elsewhere in the house.)

IMG_6866
It took about 2 1/2 hours for the dough to rise sufficiently (til doubled in bulk), probably due to a combination of things – the cold air here today, and the heaviness of some of the ingredients – the oats, the whole wheat flour.

Once the dough was ready, I cut it in half and shaped each half into a loaf.

IMG_6868
IMG_6869

I put these back in the sun, covered with plastic again, and let them rise while I painted some more upstairs.

About an hour later, the loaves had risen and were ready to bake.  I preheated the oven to 350 degrees F, and when the oven was ready, I prepped the loaves….

IMG_6871
I brushed the loaves with water and sprinkled some oats on them, then I slashed two parallel diagonal lines on them before sliding the baking sheet into the oven.

IMG_6872

I baked them for…let's see…25…plus another 15…and another 6…46 minutes.  So we'll say 40-50 minutes, just to give you a ballpark time frame. 

Oh, my house smelled good!

IMG_6873

I set the loaves on a rack to cool…

IMG_6874
And a little while ago, I HAD to slice into one – couldn't wait til tomorrow.

The bread is soft and moist and earthy and a little sweet, and I'm betting it will make excellent toast tomorrow morning. 

Go ahead and give it a try!

IMG_6880_1_1_1 

 

10 thoughts on “Oatmeal Molasses Bread

  1. Didnt punch them down – that tightens the gluten and makes them hard to shape. I just divided and shaped. They deflated somewhat as I did that, but I didnt flatten them beforehand.

  2. Jayne your bread looks awesome, if you can find it in your area wheat gluten helps wheat breads to rise a little better when added to the dough. Where I live is dry and humid and its takes such a long time for wheat bread, any bread for that matter to rise, and wheat gluten has been a savior for me. Cant wait to make this 🙂

Leave a Reply