We were running low on bread recently and I didn't have a trip to the grocery store planned for a few days - so I decided to make some homemade bread. It had been awhile anyways.....a long overdue treat.
I had just spotted this recipe in a Taste of Home cookbook from 1999 and it made me think of my friend Jenny.
See, Jenny was our neighbor across the street for 3 years in VA and quickly became a dear friend, as well as Corban's piano teacher. Our kids loved to play together and we spent many a summer evening standing outside chatting in the driveway while occasionally chasing our toddlers and watching the older children ride bikes up and down the sidewalk. Jenny is a great bread baker and there were several times that she would drop by with a freshly baked loaf, just because. How's that for a good neighbor??? :)
Anyways, one of the breads she made had oatmeal in it.....and I really loved it. I had never baked a bread with oats in it before and it was just so delicious. I totally need to get that recipe from her.
When I read this one, I thought maybe it was similar to what she had made....so I couldn't wait to try it.
What's interesting is that while the bread has a cup of oats in it, after they're soaked in boiling water for awhile and mixed into the dough, you really don't even notice them in the finished loaves. The addition of both molasses and brown sugar make this a lightly sweet bread that tastes amazing just plain, without butter.
I think it's not exactly like Jenny's bread, but I have a feeling her family would love it as much as mine did. I wish I could take her a loaf. (of course, now that I'm in Arkansas and her family has just moved to Germany, that would be exceptionally difficult).
Homemade Brown Bread
Yield: 2 loaves
1-1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. bulk yeast (or a 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast)
3/4 cup warm water (110° - 115°)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
4-3/4 to 5-1/4 cups flour (I used 3 cups white whole wheat and 2-1/4 cups all purpose)
In a medium bowl, combine boiling water, oats, butter, and salt. Cool to 110-115°.
In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Sprinkle with sugar. Add oat mixture, brown sugar, molasses, and 3 cups of flour; mix well. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Divide in half and shape into two loaves. Place in greased 9-in x 5-in x 3-in loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks. Brush with melted butter.
Source: Adapted slightly from Taste of Home 1999 Annual Recipes