Friday, November 28, 2008

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.

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