Nothing says love quite like warm oatmeal bread fresh from the oven. Soft, slightly sweet and slathered with a pat of butter, oatmeal bread brings a sense of balance to nearly any moment in your day and fills the recipient with a dose of needed love. And this week as I prepare to send my baby boy off to college, I'm looking to fuel him with lots of love and good food, hence... we have our favorite oatmeal bread.
The bread has a history though, and I'm excited to be a link in its story. You see a few months ago a girlfriend moved her aging mom from their family home and began the process of cleaning out decades of life. As world travelers Cindy's parents had accumulated artifacts, souvenirs, and books from nearly every corner of the earth, and knowing my love of books she invited me to peruse the collection before they donated the leftovers.
Immediately my eye touched the stacks of cookbooks, and the first one my hand touched was a yellowed, paperback version copyrighted 1970 of Our Daily Bread, by Stella Standard. Picking the book up a few handwritten recipes fluttered from the pages, but it was the notes carefully taped to the front cover that led me to the recipe on page 187. A few recipe tips along with a water stained page had us making the recipe titled Cracked Oats and Oatmeal Bread the very same day.
Adapting the recipe for our dairy-free needs proved an easy task and our leftover steel-cut oats had the ingredients already one step ahead of the game. Filled with the aforementioned prepared "cracked oat porridge" along with oat flour and whole wheat flour, the bread packs a healthy dose of whole grains. A small scoop of coconut sugar serves to enhance the sweetness of the oats, and fresh from the oven our loaf lasted only a mere 20 minutes before satiated eyes begged for more for the next day.
As I wash that final load of clothes for my son and help him pack up those few last minute items before he heads out the door, I tell him I'll have a loaf ready for him to take to college with him. He assures me there will be bread in Santa Barbara, but I know even he, my stoic and non-emotional son, may need a little dose of love that first day in a new dorm. I'm sending it along.
Found on page 187 of Stella Standard's book, Our Daily Bread copyrighted 1970, this oatmeal bread has stood the test of time. Soft, nubby and with a touch of sweetness, it delivers a needed dose of love and restores balance to life with every bite.
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (we use Red Star)
1 cup "cracked oats porridge" (leftover cooked steel-cut oats)
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs butter (we use Earth Balance butter alternative)
1-2 Tbs coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup oat flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
Additional all-purpose flour as needed
|Wait until cool... if you can! :)|
Add the oat flour, then the whole wheat flour and allow to incorporate. At this point you may need to add additional flour so the dough will form into a ball (measurements will vary depending on the "wetness" of your cooked oats). Continue adding all-purpose flour by the Tablespoon until a dough ball forms and cleans the sides of the bowl.
Allow to knead for 5-7 minutes.
Turn the dough into an oiled bowl, turning over once and cover with a cloth. Place in a warm location and allow to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350.
Gently deflate the dough and knead lightly in your hands. Place into an oiled bread pan (either 9x5-inch or 8 1/2 x 4 1/2) and cover with the cloth. Allow to rise 20-30 minutes, or until the dough is about an inch over the rim of the pan (rising time will depend on the temp of your kitchen...).
Place pan into preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the bread is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped. I use the "tapping the bottom" method for checking for doneness, but according to King Arthur the bread should read 190º on and instant read thermometer to insure it's fully baked.
Turn bread out onto a rack and allow to cool. These directions are included in most proper bread recipes, and I know that the texture of the bread will be "proper" if I allow it to cool... however. We don't usually do that, and will cut the bread when it's cool enough to handle. Slather with a little butter and enjoy the love.