Sunset’s pebble-top oatmeal bread

I was in the mood to make a couple of wholesome loaves of bread, something I could toast up and slather with butter and jam for breakfast. So after rifling through Sunset’s Breads cookbook, I settled on the simple and straightforward pebble-top oatmeal bread.

The recipe:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (~110 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups regular or quick-cooking rolling oats
  • 1 cup each boiling water and cold water
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Pebble top oatmeal bread Pebble top oatmeal bread Pebble top oatmeal bread
I started by adding the yeast in a bowl with the warm water and a tablespoon of the molasses and let that marinate for about 15 minutes. Then, in a large bowl, I mixed together the rest of the molasses with the butter, salt, sugar, 2 cups of the oats and boiling water until the butter had melted.

Pebble top oatmeal bread Pebble top oatmeal bread Pebble top oatmeal bread
In went the bubbly yeast mix (see left) as well as the cup of cold water. Once incorporated, I started in on adding the flour one cup at a time. Once I’d stirred in four cups, I turned it out on my well-floured work surface.

Pebble top oatmeal bread Pebble top oatmeal bread Pebble top oatmeal bread
Adding flour as I went, I kneaded the dough until smooth and satiny, about 15-20 minutes.

Pebble top oatmeal bread Pebble top oatmeal bread Pebble top oatmeal bread
I placed the dough into a well-oiled bowl, turning it over to oil the top. I covered it and left it to rise for an hour and change. With the dough ball nearly doubled in size, I punched it down and kneaded it just enough to release the air. Then I divided it in half and shaped them into 2 loaves, dropping each into its own oiled 9×5-inch pan.

Pebble top oatmeal bread
The oats, which were soaked in milk, went on top of the bread. One final rising, covered in a warm place, for about 45 minutes, and they were ready to go in the oven. About halfway through this rising, I flipped on the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pebble top oatmeal bread
After about an hour in the oven, out came these crusty, crunchy, springy loaves. Mmmmmm …. fresh baked oatmeal bread = deeRishous.

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