Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oatmeal Bread from Dolores Casella

In the mountains over the weekend, I made the oatmeal bread in one of my favorite old bread-baking cookbooks: A World of Breads by Dolores Casella. This recipe is designed to make three loaves of bread.

Here are the ingredients:

1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
4 cups boiling skim milk
2 cups oatmeal
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup molasses
1 T salt
10 - 11 cups bread flour

This bread tasted great, but I am sorry I made it because it is such a large recipe that it overwhelmed my mixer in the mountains. The dough crawled up during the mixing process and gunked up the top of the mixer. It really made a mess and I finished making the bread by hand.

First the milk, oatmeal and butter go together and sit for 30 minutes to cool. Then you mix in the yeast, and the rest of the ingredients. Obviously you add the flour gradually - and you might have the same fun I had with the mixer!

My daughter says that she doesn't bake because making bread is its own unique version of making glue! That's how the mixer cleanup seemed to me....

Here's the bread rising before I divided it into three loaves.

Here are the three loaves rising. I didn't have 3 nine inch pans at the mountain house so I used two 8 1/2 inch pans and one nine inch one.

The bread bakes at 400 degrees for 40 - 50 minutes. I set the timer for 45 and regretted it. I was knitting and didn't get up to check it and the tops got too dark in my oven. I'm used to myThermador at home that is well-calibrated. I believe the mountain oven runs hot.

At any rate, I wished I had checked at 40 minutes - really they were probably done at 35.

The slices were pretty and tasted really good with the molasses in the recipe.

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Anonymous said...

I bought "A World of Baking" in 1976 when I was elevated from line cook to kitchen manager at the age of 20 in a restaurant that served more than 5,000 meals a day. The book saved my life. While I eventually moved on to a career as a writer - the book has stayed on my counter all these years as Dolores understood great recipes made simple.

aardvark willow said...

I have used Dolores Casella's World of Breads for many years and this is the only bread baking book you will ever need! Every recipe I've tried, never a bad one, unless the yeast is bad. I love her every time I try a new recipe and wonder what her history is. My home is in India so friends love the break from the traditional Indian flat breads,even though they are delicious too. One thing I've always wondered is what the difference is between cake yeast and dried powdered yeast as I can only get dried. I do remember my mother using the cake yeast. The book mostly calls for cake yeast so I wonder what I'm missing. My book is literally disintegrating from use and when I priced a new one on Amazon it cost almost 125.00$U.S.! I will look for a book mender here!