Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Oatmeal Bread With Sunflower Seeds

This is a very heavy, moist oatmeal bread. Certainly, the recipe could be made omitting the sunflower seeds and wheat bran. Quick cooking oats would also be a suitable substitution. I like to brush the tops with a mixture of equal parts molasses and water and then dust them lightly with a bit of oatmeal-but this would work just as well rubbing a bit of margarine on the loaves as they come from the oven (for a softer crust). This bread makes wonderful toats.

You Will Need:

2 ¼ teaspoons granulated dry yeast
½ cup lukewarm water
1 cup old fashioned oats
½ cup whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat bread flour)
½ cup brown sugar or molasses
1 tablespoon salt (less if using salted sunflower seeds)
½ cup sunflower seeds (more or less to taste)
3 tablespoons wheat bran
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups boiling water
5-6 cups bread flour

Dissolve the yeast in warm water and let proof. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, butter, sunflower seeds, and wheat bran. Pour on the boiling water, and stir. Cool to lukewarm, and add yeast. Mix in half the flour and then gradually add the rest until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Place in buttered bowl and let rise slowly until doubled (about 2 hours).

Punch dough down and shape into loaves. Place in very well buttered pans. Let rise a second time until almost doubled in bulk (about 45 minutes). Brush with water and molasses, and dust lightly with oats. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until bottom sounds hollow when rapped with knuckles. Cool on rack.

This bread had a pretty short shelf-life because it is so moist, it tends to go mouldy after a few days. Placing it in the icebox will help preserve it.

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