Thursday, January 30, 2014

Leftover Oatmeal Bread {for the bread machine}

I've been trying to introduce more whole grains to my family. The problem is they're quite picky when it comes to the bread they'll eat.  I've tried making my Country Buttermilk Bread with half whole wheat flour before, but unfortunately it was a no-go with Hubby and the munchkins.

I've been making hot cereal for breakfasts since it's such a nice way to warm up on cold winter mornings, but I invariably have leftovers, so I've tried my hand at making oatmeal bread.  I've played with ratios and flours and sugars and have finally come up with what we consider to be a stellar loaf of bread!  For the past few weeks it has even replaced our staple Country Buttermilk!

Leftover Oatmeal Bread (yield: 2 loaves)


2 1/2 cups leftover oatmeal*
1/2 cups warm water
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup brown sugar
3-4 teaspoons yeast


Add all ingredients to the bread machine bowl. I add them in the order listed even though my manual says to add dry ingredients first; this way just works out better.

Set it to "Dough" and press start. I usually check on it about 10 minutes in because sometimes the paddle doesn't dislodge pockets of flour in the very corners of the bowl. A quick swipe with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula usually does the trick and then it's safe to be left to the end of the cycle.

When the timer signaling the end of the Dough Cycle goes off, remove the dough from the machine onto a lightly floured surface.

Divide dough into two more-or-less equal portions and shape into loaves.

Drop into two greased loaf pans.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Cover the loaf pans with a damp tea towel and allow the two loaves to rise 30-45 minutes in a warm place.

Bake for 30 minutes.

When done, turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

I really like what vital wheat gluten does for my bread, but it is not strictly necessary to make this recipe work. You can also play around with the flour ratios. I'm trying to ease my way up to 2 cups whole wheat and 3 1/2 cups white flour, but I'm not positive my picky eaters culinary experts will go for that.

* When I make oatmeal I use either Quick Oats or Old Fashioned Oats. I boil 5 3/4 cups of water and add 3 cups of oats (or 1 3/4 cups water and 1 cup oats).  When the oatmeal is cooked, I melt 3 tablespoons (or 1 1/2 tablespoons) of butter into it.  Any sweetener or milk we add to our oatmeal is not added to the main pot.  The leftover is what I use to make this bread.

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