It was cold, gloomy, rainy weekend past up here, and the thing to do when all outside plans cease to be a possibility is bake. Cook. Tie on an apron, crank up some tunes (in my case, for this particular recipe, The Beach Boys) and get to work. With tennis plans cancelled and a lot of hours to kill, I decided to make bread.
A nice brown, oat bread. You know the kind that comes hot and soft and irresistible at certain steak restaurants?
Yeah, that kind.
It’s the kind that takes a lot of time, but not a whole lot of work. We sit around and wait for the bread to rise and the yeast to do it’s thing. Give it a knead, and let it rise some more. Make some tea, and grab a book, because we’re here a while.
This recipe comes from Simon Thibault’s new book Pantry and Palate, which explores the unique and distinctive Acadian cuisine (read: French-Canadian). The recipes are simple and hearty and will no doubt stick to your ribs. Essentials, when faced with a cold and seemingly endless winter.
You know why it’s brown? Molasses! Genius.
Also, if you’re yeast-phobic, don’t be. Just remember that no one, not even yeast, likes to be scalded in the bath, and you’ll do just fine.
You’ll need a good five hour stretch to get this done, but all the time and waiting will be worth it when you’re house fills with the best kind of warmth, and the best kinds of smells, made possible only from magic in the kitchen.
- 2 cups water, at room temperature
- 1 cup oats
- 2 TB sugar
- 1 TB salt
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 tsp yeast
- 5 1/2-6 cups flour
- Place the oats in a medium bowl. Bring 1 cup water to a boil and pour over the oats. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to 1/2 cup water, add the sugar, salt and molasses. Stir to mix well.
- In a separate bowl, add the final 1/2 cup water and the yeast. Stir to mix well.
- After the oats have sat for 30 minutes, add the molasses water and the yeast water, and mix well. One cup at a time, add the flour until and stir with a wooden spoon. Keep adding the flour until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and continue to add flour and knead the bread until it's no longer tacky and all comes together. You may not use all of the flour. Continue to knead the dough for about 5 minutes until nice and smooth. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave the bowl on the counter or in a warm place, and let rest 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, place the dough on floured surface and knead 1 minute. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and let rise another hour.
- After the time has expired, turn the dough onto a floured surface and divide in two equal pieces. Add the two loafs to 2 floured and buttered loaf pans, or, alternatively, place the formed loaves onto a greased cookie sheet. Let rise another hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Once the oven has preheated, bake the bread for 1 hour, until the loaf is hollow when you tap its bottom. Remove the bread from the loaf pans and let cool 1 hour before slicing into it (you can wait that long-we know it's hard, but you can do it!).
Written during…the baseball continues.
I received a copy of Pantry and Palate for review. All opinions and ramblings are mine alone. This post contains affiliate links.