Oatmeal Bread~

Adapted from James Beard

1 cup oatmeal (not Quick-Oats)

1 cup boiling water

2 packages active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup warm water (100-115º...no hotter)

1 cup warm milk

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

4-5 cups all purpose flour

Cook the oatmeal in the boiling water till thick, about 3 minutes. Put into the bowl of your stand mixer and allow to cool to lukewarm.

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and warm water.  Let sit till mixture gets bubbly, about 5 minutes.  If it does not bubble, your yeast is not alive...either old or your water was too hot. 

Add the yeast mixture, warm milk, salt and brown sugar to the oats and stir together.  Using the dough hook to mix, add 4 cups of flour, one cup at a time, and let mixture knead about 8-10 minutes till an elastic dough forms. You may add up to 1 more cup of flour if necessary. I only used 4 cups total.

Shape dough into a ball and place in a large, buttered bowl.  Move dough around in bowl to lightly coat all sides with butter.  Cover and allow to rise in a warm spot till doubled, about 1-1 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down.  Knead for a couple minutes, then divide and shape into two loaves.  Place each loaf into a buttered loaf pan (8 x 4 x 2 inches).  Cover and let rise till almost doubled.

Preheat oven to 375º.  Bake on lowest rack for about 45-50 minutes.  Loaves should sound hollow when rapped with your knuckles.  Remove from tins and return to oven for 5 more minutes.  Cool loaves on rack.