Oatmeal Bread Recipe

I liked this recipe because.....it was very open to interpretation and still turned out to be a slightly sweet, yummy, wheat like bread that has healthier ingredients.  My friend, Deb, has been making this for years and she was lovely to give the recipe to me.  It is especially good when toasted with your choice of toppings.  I'm just a plain 'ole butter girl, myself.

1 cup rolled oats
3 cups hot water (I used 2)
1 tsp salt
1 tbs butter
1/4 cup honey or molasses
1 cup bread flour
6-7 ups King Arthur whole wheat flour (I used 3 cups bread and 3 cups wheat)
1 1/2 tbs dry yeast (I used 2)

Boil 3 cups water.  In one bowl put oats, butter, and salt.  Cover with 2 cups boiling water, stir then add honey or molasses.  Allow mixture to cool about 45 minutes.  (I didn't boil the water, just allowed it to get very hot out of the sink, which made my cool down time only about 10 minutes)  Sift flour together, set aside.  In a very large bowl ,pour 1 cup boiling water, let sit for 8-10 mintes then and the yeast and 1 tbs sugar.  Let sit to form a sponge about 20-30 minutes.  The mixture will have a spongy appearance as the yeast works.

Once the oatmeal mix is cool enough, add to the sponge and stir together.  Add 2-3 cups of the flour mixture.  Dough will be sticky and continue to add flour 1-2 cups at a time until the dough develops into a ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Turn out to a floured board/counter and knead about 5 minutes, adding flour to keep from sticking to your hands.

Coat large bowl with butter and place dough to rise for 1-1 1/2 hours or doubled in size, cover bowl with a cloth.  Punch dough down divide into 2 equal parts, place in well greased bread pans.  Allow to rise for about 1 hour.

Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 25-35 minutes or until well browned and hollow sounding when knocked upon.

***Note--I did not make the sponge.  I added my yeast directly to the oatmeal mixture as I was certain it wouldn't be too hot.  This did cut the prep time by around 30 minutes as I was running late.  Next time will make the sponge to see if it improves the texture or changes the taste.

This is linked with Ulitimate Recipe Swap.