Saturday, January 6, 2007

A Fantastic Loaf

The other day on the Cooking Light Bulletin Board, I was discussing breads with a gentleman who mentioned that he was making a buttermilk bread at the moment. That sounded so intriguing, and I really didn't want to bother him to type up the recipe, as bread recipes can get lengthy. So I went on a search online to see if I could find such a bread. Well, I didn't find the one he mentioned (which he actually posted later anyway-thanks Bob!) but I did stumble across this loaf of Buttermilk-Oatmeal Bread on Recipezaar and it is fantastic. It is a slightly sweet loaf, with a hint of nuttiness from the oatmeal- perfect for eating slathered with butter and jam, or toasted for a quick breakfast. Even better, it uses buttermilk, which I always am scrambling to find a use for by the end of the carton.

The only changes I will make to this bread in the future are to try adding more oatmeal- I use plain rolled oats- not quick cooking, and they puff up into these incredible chewy nuggets in the bread. Mmmm. I'm going to use more oats next time, as well as make this a free form loaf on a baking sheet. It was huge. If you have 8x4 loaf pans, you could easily get two loaves out of the recipe. I have 9x5 pans, so I don't think I could get two whole loaves. Still, it was a lot of bread. Some reviewers on Recipezaar had problems with their bread falling over in the oven, so free form it will be. Maybe even today. Here's the recipe. Sorry there's no photo today- we ate it much too quickly for a picture.

Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread
Recipe #101533

This bread makes lovely sandwiches. Rise times are included in the prep time.
by Hey Jude

2 teaspoons fast-rising active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk

  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a small bowl; do not stir; set aside for at least 5 minutes to proof to a foamy consistency.
  2. Stir together the flour, oats, sugar and salt in a large bowl; add the butter, buttermilk and yeast mixture and beat with an electric mixer until the ingredients are well blended.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl; cover with a tea towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until it is doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Pun the dough down and let it rise again, covered with a tea towel, for 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350° and oil a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
  7. Punch the dough down again and place it in the loaf pan; bake for 35-40 minutes or till the loaf pulls away from the side of the pan and loaf sounds hollow when you thump it.

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