Sue's Oat Bread

Bake at 375°



2c. Milk

3c. Oats

Heat milk in a saucepan (don't let it boil or scald, just heat it up till it's good and hot - boiling or scalding won't ruin it, though). Remove from heat, add the oats and let soak and cool.

Sponge

2 pkg. yeast

a drop of molasses

1c. warm water

a sprinkle of flour



As soon as you've set the oats aside, mix sponge ingredients in a warm heavy bowl. Leave for 30 to 60 minutes (45 works) while the oats cool.

Cook milk/oats, mix sponge, and melt butter. Then you have time to take a bath, and come back to mix the dough.




Dough

¼c butter, melted

1 egg, room temp.

2t. salt

½c molasses (blackstrap)

4 or more cups white flour, unbleached


When oats are cool and sponge is sponge-y, mix them together and add Dough ingredients to make a soft sticky dough. Work it with your hands in the bowl until it is distinctly stretchy (this is messy - have fun with it...pretend you're 5...)


Let dough raise in a warm place until it's roughly double in bulk. Scrape it onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes (with a fair amount of flour - just enough to keep the dough from sticking to everything - don't worry if you use a good bit of flour for this), then form 2 loaves** and let rise in lightly greased loaf pans.

( at this point, before the loaves rise, you can refrigerate as long as a day/overnight. Then let them warm up and rise...)


Bake at 375 until nice and brown, and the sides don't stay dented when you press gently.


**to make loaves, divide the dough roughly in half. smash one half flat, and roll it up tightly, like you would a sleeping bag. As you roll, try to fold the edges in so it comes out pretty much blunt on either side. if the ends of the roll are pointy, turn them in before putting in the loaf pan.