Are you ready for one of the best things that you can put in your mouth? Can you handle an explosion of flavor? Are you ready for the earth to shake?
If not, please leave now:)
This is the most amazing recipe I make. So simple and basic, but good. We use this at our house for all things bread related. Sandwiches, toast, nests, or just with butter. That's the best. Fresh from the oven with butter melting into it.
Huh? Oh, sorry.
So here we go.
This isn't your typical bread dough. Normally you dissolve the yeast in the warm water and add all your ingredients after that. This recipe is the complete opposite. The yeast is one of the last things you do.
Let's get started.
In the bowl of an electric mixer pour in the oatmeal; salt and sugar; then the oil and molasses. Pour the boiling water over all; and stir to combine. Stick in your thermometer that was your mothers (and shed a little tear), or just your thermometer; and walk away. But keep checking back. You want the temperature to be between 110 and 115 degrees so you can add the yeast. Now it's time for the 9-10 cups of flour. I put the guard on my bowl and use the pouring spout to pour the flour in; a half cup at a time. When all the flour is incorporated and the dough looks nice and happy pour it out onto a floured board. This cutting board is my most favorite thing in my whole kitchen. It was built right into the counter. It makes me happy;) Get your hands into it and press; fold over; and press again. Don't be afraid, you can't hurt it at this point!
Keep kneading and sprinkling it with flour if it starts to stick. When the dough is smooth and elastic it's done. I form it into a circle; drop it into a greased bowl, cover it, and place it in an obviously dirty oven. And I just grabbed that cookie sheet out from under my '54 Buick to try and disrupt the filth that is my oven. Sadly it didn't work. And sadly I don't have a '54 Buick either.
I place a measuring cup full of steaming hot water in there with the dough and close it up tight.
When an hour and a half if over pull it out and take a peek. It should be nicely risen. If you press your finger into it and the indention stays, it's ready. Punch it down; and grab a tool like this one. Please don't ask me what it's called. It's just wonderful. I use it for all the bread that I make. The inches marked on it are really handy when rolling something out like my Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread. Or when my children can't find an actual ruler anywhere in your house. Sadly it looks like it's been under my Buick, too.
Cut the dough into three even sections; and place into three greased loaf pans. No worry about making sure it's perfect on top. I like a little unevenness to it. Makes it look more rustic.
Um, yeah, not really. I just don't need that kind of pressure.
Cover the loaves back up and put them in your dirty oven with fresh hot water.
Please don't tell me if you don't have a dirty oven. I just couldn't live with myself if I knew.
When the hour is over, check the loaves for a nice round top. Perfect! Cover them again and pre-heat your oven.
When the oven is hot uncover them and slide them in. While they bake go try to accomplish something while the smell of their goodness fills your house. Personally I can't concentrate. I just stand in the kitchen with my knife and butter....waiting.
After baking to a nice golden brown, place them on wire racks and cool for a few minutes. Run a knife around the edges and pop the bread out when the pans are cooled enough to handle. Cool completely.
From here I make Shawn slice them for me with an electric slicer that we got as a wedding gift from The Funk's. Kind of like the type a deli uses to slice meat. We leave one loaf in the fridge and freeze the other two. Wrapped in foil they will keep for a long time. But it won't last long, I promise!
Molasses Oat Bread
4 c. boiling water 2 c. old-fashioned oats 1 c. molasses 3 T. canola oil 1/4 c. sugar 3 t. salt 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast 9-10 c. all purpose flour
In a mixing bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Cool to 110-115 degrees. Add yeast; mix well. Add enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down and divided into thirds. Place in three greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.