A few months ago I found this recipe for making a delicious Oatmeal Bread at the King Arthur Flour web site. Since then I’ve made it several times, always with great success, but I’ve made a few small changes along the way.
For example, I use regular white granulated sugar rather than brown sugar simply because I have no other regular use for brown sugar which would just get hard sitting around waiting. And like I almost always do, I use olive oil instead of butter. In my experience olive oil actually produces a better baked product, but your experience might be different.
And I’ve been adding a few flakes of rolled oats on top of the loaf, just to give it more of an oatmeal-y look. So here’s the recipe. I give instructions for using a bread machine to make the dough and then transferring it to a bread pan for the final rise, but of course, it can be made by manually kneading the dough if that’s your bag or mixed in a food processor.
Total time is about three hours.
1 cup lukewarm water
1/3 cup lukewarm milk
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) olive oil (or butter, if you prefer)
2 tablespoons sugar (or brown sugar, if you like)
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup rolled oats (usually called “old fashioned oats” in most places)
1/2 cup oat flour (or grind some rolled oats)
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour (all purpose flour will probably work as well)
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bread machine and run it through the dough cycle.
2. Lightly grease a 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan with butter and place the dough in it, deflating it. I like to sprinkle a few flakes of rolled oats on it at this point. Then cover the pan loosely with a towel. Put it in a warm place (I turn the oven on for a minute or two and put it in there, but don’t let it get too warm) and allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F. (Take the pan out first, of course, if you’re using the oven to let it rise.) Here I spray a little water on the top of the loaf as I think it helps to adhere the rolled oats flakes to the bread.
3. Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil for the final 10 minutes of baking (I’ve never had this problem).
4. Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
When it cools, I wrap it in waxed paper and put it in a cake keeper. It keeps for four or five days for me. If you like, you can freeze it, of course.