Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thick and Hearty Oatmeal Bread

So this post was originally intended for yesterday. I hadn't written it yet, but in my mind it was set for yesterday. Below I have included what I originally intended to say. But I wanted to explain what got in my way yesterday. I don't know if any of you occasionally have issues with anxiety or stress. Sure, we all have moments where we feel overwhelmed and we all have moments when that stress is a good thing and drives us. I sometimes, less and less as I get older and learn how to cope with my issues, have a third kind of anxiety. A cement-in-my-boots kind that literally stops you in your tracks. Like all of a sudden a wall is in front of you with no way around it and no doors and no windows and it just keeps getting higher and higher. I was faced with a massive paper that is due at the end of the week and although I know that it's really, really important, I couldn't bring myself to work on it. I tried. I sat and stared at the computer screen. But for some reason I felt paralyzed. I think it might have something to do with a fear that I won't finish, or I won't finish to my satisfaction, but I'm no expert. Either way, I eventually got my fingers moving and was able to produce some work. Not as much as I had hoped for the day, but enough that I am not tragically doomed to failure. I don't share this story to ask for sympathy, everyone has their own burdens, sometimes mine is a tendency to be over-anxious. I tell you all because I know there are a lot of people out there who struggle with similar issues and are worried they are alone. Worried if they talk to people they will be judged. Mental illnesses or just difficulties with these sort of things are a tricky subject in today's society and while I don't think my humble little post will fix that, I do hope it's one step in the right direction.

Raise your hands if you like bread. Picture me raising both hands emphatically in the air, perched precariously on my tush as I try and raise both feet too. Ok, not such a cute image, but I really like bread. If I could live on bread, fruit, desserts, pasta and cheese I'd be a very happy girl. Fat, crazy unhealthy, but pretty happy. I'm always on the lookout for great bread recipes, and if it's quick and great for breakfast (as we know I struggle with that meal), even better. Since school has been gobbling up my time lately (the nerve! <- this is sarcasm by the way, I fully expect school to dominate my time, I entered grad school willingly) I need fast recipes. Multiple hour rises are not in the cards at the moment. So this bread worked great. Only one quick rise, no kneading involved, and it produces an amazing, hearty, flavorful bread. Warning: if you are expecting a sweet, dessert-like bread here, you will be disappointed. This baby belongs in the burly, masculine pile of breads. The loaf would definitely be a he if these things had genders in the English language. No frilly lace or bows or sparkles here. I digress....I really enjoyed this bread heated up in the morning with a little drizzle of agave nectar or honey over the top. The author initially added walnuts for additional nutty taste, which I preferred to leave out. Jam would also be an amazing topping. So without further ado...

Thick and Hearty Oatmeal Bread
from here

1 1/4 cups warm water (about 105-115°F–it should feel warm to your wrist but not hot)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup kamut flour/whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons neutral oil-> next time I'll use butter

 I started by mixing together the yeast, honey and warm water. Then I let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, I whisked together the flours, oats and salt.
 I also oiled up the loaf pan. Next time I'll use butter because the oil really didn't prevent the loaf from sticking.
After about ten minutes the yeast mixture was bubbly and foamy.
 Next, I mixed together the flour mix and the yeast and stirred until just incorporated.
 I put the mixture into the loaf pan and placed a slightly damp towel over the pan and let it rise for 30 minutes. This picture shows how bread looks after the rising time.
 I baked the bread for about 35 minutes, until slightly golden on top (see the next picture). The bottom was a little bit of a disaster. I had to work really hard to get the loaf out. So next time I'll use butter.
 Here is the loaf once it was cooling.
 Once the loaf was mostly cooled, I sliced a piece and drizzled some honey on top. It was so delicious and so filling!

1 comment:

  1. The problem with you making bread around me is that it lasts for about five minutes once it comes out of the oven. I would love to try this.


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