Oatmeal Bread

I just love baking bread. I used to use my bread machine about once a week, but it’s been put away for over two years now. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to pull it out of hiding!

PhotobucketI found this oatmeal bread recipe in Better Homes and Gardens’ “Bread Machine Recipes,” and I thought it sounded like just the perfect thing for the fall weather we are having here!

I made a 1-1/2 pound loaf. (Though I am wishing I had made a 2 pound loaf!) The instructions here are for the 1-1/2 pound loaf; the printable recipe card below has both sizes.

First, toast 1 cup of quick-cooking rolled oats in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, until they are brown (stir occasionally). This brings out a really great nutty smell and flavor.

oats sm

Then fill up your bread machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For my Toastmaster, I added 1/3 cup water and 2/3 cup milk, warmed to around 80 degrees, and 1 tablespoon of butter, cut into pieces.

milk and butter sm

Next I added 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar and 3/4 teaspoon salt. I layered 2-1/2 cups of bread flour and the toasted oats on top of the liquids.

The cookbook instructions are to add the oats with the flour. I added half the flour, then the oats, then the rest of the flour.

flour and oatmeal sm

{It is important to use bread flour in bread recipes, not just all-purpose flour. Bread flour has a higher gluten (a kind of protein) content than AP flour. The gluten traps the carbon dioxide that is formed by the yeast, which helps the dough to rise. AP flour just doesn’t have the same gluten content, and may not hold up to all the kneading that goes on in bread-making. Save yourself some headaches, and make an extra trip to the grocery store for bread flour.}

Finally, I added 1 teaspoon of Red Star Quick Rise Yeast in a little pile right in the middle.

yeast sm

I loaded everything right into the bread machine, and set it for the whole wheat cycle, and a medium crust color. I love just a hint of crunch on the crust, while the inside of the bread is nice and soft – the medium crust color setting hits this perfectly for me! (If you don’t have a whole wheat or whole grain setting on your machine, just use the basic white bread option.)

bread machine sm

Four hours later, and ta da – it seems like no work at all! (And isn’t that the best thing about bread machines?!)

finished loaf sm

This bread was so good warm with butter right out of the bread machine…

slices sm

But it was also great lightly toasted with egg salad, fresh garden tomatoes, and homemade pickles! (The good thing about putting in a garden late, is that we still have fresh off the vine tomatoes in September!)

egg salad sm

This will be a huge favorite of mine coming into the fall and winter. Something about the oats just gives this bread a great texture. We will be eating this with soups and stews, with big hearty sandwiches, and just warm with a bunch of butter. Can’t beat that. 🙂

The printable recipe card…oatmeal bread recipe card

(Thank you to Red Star Yeast for a coupon for the yeast.)

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