to eat: Old-fashioned Brown Bread

September 15, 2012 § 1 Comment

In my fantasies of happiness, there are a few images that are ever-present: I live in the woods or on a farm or a combination of those two things. Just imagine the most beautiful house amongst the most beautiful landscape and you’ll know where I am. My hunky husband is likely building me something wood-like and useful or out hunting for our dinner or just generally being rugged. And I am taking a break from my (very productive) studio time to make old fashioned brown bread in our fabulously decorated, open-concept kitchen. We have chickens. And a garden. And vote NDP.

It may seem farfetched, but I can dream, can’t I? Anyways, while I wait for my Gosling-shaped-bison-catching-manz to come along, I’ll make bread, because I am a strong self-actualizing woman. Oh, did that sentence contradict itself? Let’s just focus on the recipe. I love this bread so much. It’s a little bit sweet and really hardy and is the perfect side to a festive fall soup:

Pour 3 1/3 cups of boiling water over one cup of oats (I’ve used instant and OFR and I couldn’t tell the difference). Add 1/2 a cup of cubed butter and 1/3 cup of molasses. Stir and let sit until room temperature (or until you get tired of waiting).

Add into a separate bowl: 3 1/2 cups of AP flour, 5 teaspoons of active dry yeast and 2 teaspoons of salt. Stir together. Slowly mix-in wet mixture, adding in more flour (up to two cups) until dough starts to form (basically until it stops sticking to your fingers). Knead out dough on a hard surface (so, like, not on your couch) for up to 8 minutes or until it feels elastic and forms into a nice ball. Grease ball with olive oil, cover with a cloth and let sit for one hour. When dough has risen, punch dough down and divide into two equal globs. Knead smaller portions for a few minutes and place into their baking tins. Cover and continue to let sit for half an hour. You can preheat your oven now (375 degrees F). Bake loaves for 30-45 minutes. Let cool (for a second) and consume with all the butter.

I forgot to take a picture of the finished product but it looks like brown bread. The best part of this recipe is that it makes two loaves, so you can give one to a friend. Believe me, they’ll be really impressed with you.

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