Making bread has become a natural routine for me. A few years ago – I thought of making bread as finicky, difficult and time consuming. While yes, sometimes it can take a while, I’ve found that bread is very forgiving. Make a mistake! Bread don’t care. Like today: I forgot to put in the oil until I was already kneading the dough. Oops! I just kneaded it right in, and It still turned out beautifully. On Thanksgiving: the bread didn’t rise, but I threw it in the oven anyway and POOF! Beautiful bread.
Culturally, bread making has become somewhat of a lost art. I say we should bring it back. Its such a beautiful process and it’s become therapeutic to me. Put on some jams (I highly recommend Supertramp or Simon and Garfunkel. IDEAL bread making music) and knead away my friends. Your troubles will seem miles away.
This recipe comes from a wonderful book called Recipes from the Old Mill, by Sarah E. Myers and Mary Beth Lind. The whole book is stuffed with recipes for homemade goodness. I highly recommend taking a look.
adapted from Recipes from the Old Mill
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 cups boiling water
2 TBS oil
1 tablespoon yeast (or one package)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
31/2 – 41/2 cups AP flour
In a large, wide rimmed bowl, combine oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar and salt. Pour boiling water over ingredients. Stir to combine. Add oil and cool to lukewarm.
Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. When the batter has cooled to lukewarm, add the yeast mixture.
Stir in enough flour until it becomes to stiff to mix. Knead in bowl (or on a floured surfaced), adding flour as necessary for 5-10 minutes.
Place in a well greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled (about 1 hr). Punch down, and let rise once more.
Preheat oven to 350F, grease two 8×4 loaf pans and divide dough equally into both pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Brush with milk for a softer crust. I found that they baked perfectly at 35 minutes.