This is a special bread usually baked around Christmas for giving to friends. But honestly, this bread is so special it can and should be made anytime of year. It includes raw oats (not the rolled oats we are used to but the whole oats) and a lot of them. Because they, themselves are a bit crunchy, they give a 'nutty' texture to the bread and lots of flavor. The bread is dense, again because of the oats, but don't let that deter you. Spread some fresh butter or jam on this bread after lightly toasting and you will love it. What a great way to start your day!
This recipe is adapted from that all-time classic bread cookbook, Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads. What can I say, if you don't have it, and you're serious about baking bread, GET IT!!! It's that good.
Here's What You'll Need:
1 1/2 cups oats
1 1/2 cups boiling water (to soften the oats)
3 Tbs. butter or margarine
3 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup raisins
1 Tbs. dry yeast
2 eggs, large, room temperature
4 to 5 cups bread or all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. butter melted
1 cup sugar
2 Tbs. cinnamon
Here's What You'll Need To Do:
1. In a large bowl, mix the oats and the boiling water. Stir to blend, then add the butter or margarine, honey, brown sugar, salt and raisins. Let this mixture cool down to no more than about 130 F (45 C). You can also use a food processor to make this dough as seen here. Use the plastic dough blade to mix.
2. Add the yeast, then the eggs and 2 cups of flour. Beat with a wooden spoon (or the paddle attachment of your mixer) for a few minutes, working in additional flour, one half cup at a time, until it is solid enough to 'clean the bowl'. It will still be a bit sticky but can be removed to a work surface for additional kneading. For kneading with a food processor, after all the ingredients are combined, knead for about 1 minute being careful not to let the dough get too warm as that will harm (kill?) the yeast.
3. Knead vigorously for about 8 minutes adding a little flour if necessary. Or 1 minute with the processor.
4. Place the dough in a buttered (or oiled) bowl, turn to coat, then cover to rise. It will rise slowly but should double in about 2 hours.
5. Remove the dough from the bowl, cut into 2 equal pieces, and flatten and shape into a rough rectangle.
Sprinkle the dough with the sugar and cinnamon, then roll it up like a jellyroll. Shape into a loaf, place in a loaf pan and cover for the second rise, about 1 hour.
6. Bake in an oven heated to 350 F (180 C) for about 40 minutes until it is nicely browned. Brush with melted butted while still hot after removing from the oven. Cool on a rack.