Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Soft oatmeal bread

This bread completely reaffirms my love of no-knead breads.  This is super tasty, but so much more work, and produces a completely different kind of bread.  It takes about 3 hours from start to finish, which is of course much faster than the no-knead kind, but also requires a solid 30-40 minutes of actual work time, plus WAY more cleanup.

It does make a really soft, fluffy bread, though.  I'm pretty sure it will make fantastic sandwiches. 
From the back of a King Arthur bread flour bag.

3 cups bread flour
1 cup rolled oats ('old fashioned')
2 T butter, melted
1-1/2 t salt
3 T brown sugar
2 t instant yeast
1-1/2 c. lukewarm milk (measure it out, then zap it in the microwave for a minute)

1.  Combine all ingredients in large bowl, mixing to form a shaggy dough.

2.  Knead dough for 10 minutes until it's smooth.

This is where I decided that no-knead bread IS the greatest thing since, well, sliced bread.

My dough started out looking like this:

And ended up like this:

These pictures fail to convey the stickiness of kneading.  You start off with this sticky mess and then you start kneading.  It gets even stickier, and sticks to everything.  I had half of it stuck between my fingers.  (I, of course, have no pictures of this stage since I don't want to destroy my camera.)  Then, miraculously, it gets stickier still, but no longer wants to stick to everything, only itself.

At this stage, it had been 15 minutes instead of the 10 promised on the directions, and my back hurt from bending over the table.  I'm guessing if you have actual kitchen counters, this won't be a problem. 

3.  Place dough in greased, covered bowl; let sit for 1 hour.

4.  Shape into a log and place into an oiled 9 X 5 loaf pan.  Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap.

Let rise for an hour and a half, until dough is crested an inch or two over the rim of the pan.

5.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or so.

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