For everyday miracles, nothing can match homemade bread. A little flour, water, salt and yeast transform into a a loaf of springy, warm, edible food. A miracle every time. It’s like watching a great movie: you know how it ends, but you enjoy it so much anyway.
- For about 15 years, my favorite book has been
- . Of the 200-odd recipes, I’ve prepared maybe half of them. For ten ears until 2007, I baked a loaf almost every week.
And that’s partly because of dough hooks. I wouldn’t have done it without dough hooks. The directions “Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic”? Might as well be in Norwegian for all I follow them. I just put it in the bowl and let the dough hooks do the rest.
- This oat and wheat loaf has been my workhorse because it has all the qualities you could ask for in a loaf of homemade bread. It’s easy to mix, hard to mess up, and the recipe doubles perfectly. The bread is multigrain and also tastes great, the loaves keep well, freeze well and when it goes slightly stale, it makes great toast.
Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Bread
2/3 cup rolled oats
2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (more if you’re a sweet tooth, less if you’re not)
1/4 cup butter or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 package (2 teaspoons) yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
6 cups flour, white or a combination of white and whole wheat
Combine the oats and water in a large bowl. Add the milk, sugar, butter and salt and cool for about 20 minutes until you can hold your finger in the mixture for a count of 20.
Combine the water and yeast and let stand until foamy. Add to the oat mixture, then stir in 5 to 5 1/2 cups of the flour to make a stiff dough. Knead or use dough hooks, adding remainingflour as needed to make a soft but not sticky dough. Knead 5 minutes with dough hooks until bread is smooth and satiny.
Shape the dough into aball and place in a greased bowl. Spray the top with cooking spray. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to let rise until nearly doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, divide into two and shape into loaves or rounds. Put into two greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise until puffy, a bout 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool completely. Makes 2 loaves.