Monday, January 23, 2012

Oatmeal Bread - vegan

When Mr Official Taster set his sights on moving back to California, visions of palm trees swaying in the warm ocean breezes danced in his head. To be fair, we did miss Snowpocalypse 2012: Seattle, but instead the Bay Area greeted us with classic Seattle weather: cool, cloudy, and rainy.

As part of this move, we are lucky enough to have a whole moving package, and a team of people to help us. I can't even begin to explain how helpful is has been to have a realtor to show us around, explain the neighborhood divisions, help us get a feel for the area, and aid in decoding the crazy rental market here. The other great part has been an apartment for us to borrow while we find our new one. It's a fully furnished temporary home, but apparently some people out there have a slightly different idea of what a fully furnished kitchen is. Or maybe they just don't expect any cooking to happen.

Thankfully, they did provide one baking dish, so I was able to make (box) brownies last week. When a girl doesn't have a place to call home, brownies are critical. There are no loaf pans, and mine are in storage, but if there were, this Oatmeal Bread recipe would be perfect. Nice, easy, and forgiving. Perfect for warming your kitchen whether you have this or this for winter.

p.s. you should really please take the survey

Oatmeal Bread - vegan
adapted from King Arthur Flour (the back of the bread flour bag, actually)

3 C bread flour
1 C rolled oats
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp brown sugar or honey
2 tsp instant yeast OR 1 packet active dry yeast
1 1/4 C lukewarm water or milk

If you are using active dry yeast, first dissolve it in the warm water or milk before combining it with the remaining ingredients.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix with a spoon until it starts to come together as a "shaggy" dough. At this point, it'll be easier to continue to knead with your hands, in the bowl, until you've collected all the scraps. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for another 10 minutes or so - until it's smooth. Form the dough into a ball.

Lightly grease another medium bowl. Place dough in the bowl upside down (seam side up), and then flip it over so the seams are on the bottom. This way, you've easily coated the surface with the oil. Cover, and allow to rest for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. It will become puffy, but probably won't double in size.

Lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Turn the risen dough into your hands and, using gravity to help, allow the dough to lengthen and shape into a rough log. Place the log in the pan, and gently use your knuckles to convince the dough to reach into all four corners. Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Ideally, it will have crested 1 to 2 inches above the rim of the pan. If not, it's ok. It'll still taste delicious.

Preheat your oven to 350F. Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes. Top will be golden, and you can test that an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 190F. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool in the pan. When the pan is cool enough to handle bare-handed, turn out the loaf and completely cool on a wire rack.

This is an amazingly forgiving recipe. I have made it successfully with the wrong amount of water, quick-oats, no oil at all, and without dissolving my active dry yeast in water first (all separate mistakes, thank goodness!). It's great for toast (the aroma is heavenly), sandwiches, or just snacking on.

The original recipe called for butter where I use olive oil and milk where I use water. Pick and choose as you like.

For the original, and for bread machine instructions, head on over to King Arthur Flour.

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