Friday, August 5, 2011

Oatmeal Bread

I grew up babysitting for the Dean family. The 4 kids were like my little siblings that I never had but always wanted; and Todd & Becky were like another set of parents to me :) I still consider them 'family'. Becky and I were hiking in Laguna Beach a few months back, and we were talking about recipes and baking bread and so on. Soon after, she told me about this wonderful oatmeal bread that was one of her family's recipes. It is sweet and wholesome tasting at the same time. The oats give it that light, nutty, wholesome taste, and the molasses lends to its  dense sweetness :) Mmmmmm! 

On the afternoon that Becky was teaching me how to bake this special bread, I got so excited when I saw there was molasses in it; I LOVE the rich flavor of molasses. Becky laughed and shared a great story...
Becky grew up in Bolivia, and as a kid- molasses was such a treat for her down there. When she was little, she used to go over to a friend's house and they would get spoonfuls out of her friend's mom's molasses jar for a special treat. One day, driving on the narrow Bolivian roads, a large truck overturned and TONS of molasses was spilling out. The driver told everyone to gather molasses if they wished, as it was all spilling to waste! There happened to be a large tupperware container in the back of their car, so little becky got to fill it with molasses. She had died and gone to heaven! ...until she ate herself so sick on molasses that she still has a hard time even smelling it to this day! Luckily though, she still enjoys this oatmeal bread :)

*Nutrition Noteworthy: Molasses is a great source of Iron commonly recommended for those who are anemic.

Recipe (makes 2 LARGE loafs, or 1 Large loaf + 1 Large tray of rolls): 

  • 2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) Yeast 
  • 1/2 cup Warm Water (for rising yeast)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sugar (for rising yeast)

  • 1 1/2 cup Quick Oats
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup Molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups Boiling Water

  • 2 Eggs
  • 6 cups Flour

In a glass container, dissolve the 1/2 tsp sugar in the 1/2 c. warm water and stir in the yeast. Allow to rise while you mix your next ingredients...

...while your yeast is proofing, combine the Oats, Butter, Molasses, Salt, and Brown Sugar: 
Then pour the boiling water over it, and stir until the butter is melted and all the ingredients are combined: 

 Then crack in the 2 eggs and stir well into the oat mixture. THEN you can finally add in the proofed yeast and stir well: 

 Add the flour in 1 cup increments, kneading until you get a warm, supple, dough ball- almost the same smooth, stiffness as play dough.  
It did not require any more than 6 cups flour.

Here is Amy, the youngest of the 4 Dean kids, buttering all of the baking dishes:

We doubled the recipe, and it made this much PLUS another loaf that didn't make it in this picture:
(the large loaf was exactly 1/2 of one recipe yield, and the dinner rolls were made by rolling the other 1/2 of the dough into either large balls in the glass casserole, or 3 small balls into each cupcake tin to make the clover rolls.)

We covered the dough with a large tea towel and let it rise (about 30-40 minutes): 

Look at how beautifully all of the dough rose!

These baked goodies went for 30 minutes at 325 degrees F, and out came warm, delicious rolls and loaves! 
While they were still warm out of the oven, Becky rubbed the tops lightly with a little spread of butter (something that I used to watch Nana do when she made rolls also!)

We had to eat some right away while they were warm :D 
Some of these clover rolls were pulled apart and enjoyed with a little butter and some with jam, and some with both!

 Oh my goodness- this is a beautiful sight! 
Peter and I enjoyed this loaf ALL WEEK. Every morning we would toast another slice and sit together while we savored every warm bite :)

Thank you Becky!!!

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