Colonial Oatmeal Bread

This was one of the first breads I ever made, and still one of my favorites. It’s soft and sweet and chewy—and the kneading works off stress, too!

1T salt
2 T. fast-rising dry yeast (2 envelopes)
4 C. whole-wheat flour, divided
2 C. all-purpose flour, divided
2 1/4 C. water
1/2 C. honey
4 T. butter or margarine
1 egg
1 C. rolled or quick oats

In a large mixing bowl, combine salt, yeast, 2 C. of the whole-wheat flour and 1 C. of the white flour. Meanwhile, heat the water, honey, and butter/margarine to 120º, and then add it to the dry ingredients. Mix well. Add the egg and another cup of the whole-wheat flour, and mix again. Add the oats and the last 2 cups of the flours to make a warm, dense dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic. Let rise in a greased bowl until double. Punch down and shape into two loaves, and place in two greased/sprayed 9×5” bread pans. Let rise until doubled. Preheat the oven to 350º and bake about 35-40 minutes. Cool in the pan about 10 minutes before loosening the edges to carefully remove the loaves. Finish cooling on a rack.

Kitchen Hint: I burned out two or three mixer motors making bread dough before my husband bought me a big Kitchen Aide mixer that’s built to handle the strain of bread making. Don’t even try to use a hand mixer on this or any bread recipes! If you hear your motor straining, or it starts to smell hot, stop the mixer and do the rest of the mixing/kneading by hand.

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