Friday, November 28, 2008

Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread - Part Three

Shape the bread into two loaves - I'll have pictures of shaping the loaves in another post. I cut the risen dough into two parts with a bench knife and form the two loaves. This recipe calls for two 9" bread pans. I usually bake in smaller pans, but since I was at my daughter's house and these are what she had, we baked in 9" pans.

When the loaves rise to the top of the pans, bake them in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes. I almost overbaked these loaves - you can see the dark corner in the fartherest loaf. Cool the bread on a rack.

Slice and enjoy!

Posted by Picasa

Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread - Part Two

Stir in the cold buttermilk, the salt and the brown sugar. Allow the mixture to cool to 115 degrees, although using cold buttermilk usually does the job. I like Sparkman's Buttermilk for it's natural treatment of the cows and its freshness.

Stir in 2 cups of bread flour and mix. Add the proofed yeast and beat until smooth. Continue to add flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
At this point, I switch my mixer to the dough hook and continue to mix in flour.At the end of the mixing when the dough forms a ball around the dough hook, it's time to knead the bread.
My grandson is my "chief kneader." Here he is at work:

Knead well until the dough becomes pliable and elastic. Add flour to the board as needed. You should knead about 8 - 10 minutes if you do it entirely by hand. If you have used the dough hook on the mixer, counter kneading can be for about 5 minutes.

Grease a bowl in which the bread dough can rise. Put the dough in the bowl and turn it over to allow the top to get greased. Cover the bowl with a damp dishtowel or plastic wrap. Put in a warm place until doubled in size.
Posted by Picasa

Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread - Part One

I love to bake bread. I try to bake every Friday. My grandson and I baked every Friday of his first two years until he moved to Virginia. When I visit him we still bake together.

In my family growing up, my mother would always appear to "follow the recipe," but I discovered that in actuality, she made many improvements to the recipe. We all call that "mothering" the recipe. She bakes bread as well but mostly she bakes the same kind - why change a winning recipe?

I will report here any "mothering" that I do to recipes that I find and I'll share the recipes I've found and use with you. I'm not an invent-your-own-recipe baker - one of my daughters says that baking is a science; cooking is an art. I am much more of an artist than a scientist, so I generally follow the scientific approach (the recipe) to bake bread.

I visited my daughter's family in Virginia for Thanksgiving where my grandson Dylan and I baked Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread. We found the recipe here.

Ingredients (varied from the original recipe as indicated below with blue type):
2 cups water
1 cup regular oatmeal
2 T butter
1/2 tsp white sugar
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 cup buttermilk
1 T salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
5 - 6 cups bread flour

Put 1/2 cup of warm water into a small bowl that has been warmed by filling it with warm water and then pouring the water out and drying the bowl. Stir in 1/2 tsp of white sugar and the yeast. Allow to proof for about 10 minutes. The mixture looks like this as it proofs:

Put 1 1/2 cups of water and the oatmeal in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. (This allows the oatmeal to get really tender and makes the pan much easier to wash than if you bring the water to a boil and then add the oatmeal.) When oatmeal thickens, remove from heat, stir in butter and pour into your mixing bowl.

Posted by Picasa