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Happy Sunday Bread Heads!

In a lot of places it is starting to fell like fall. The mornings are crisp, the days are not as hot and what we crave to start the day begins to change. Oatmeal and things drenched in maple syrup come back into the menu. Which brings us to this week’s bread.

Maple Oatmeal Bread is a wonderful loaf. It has the lovely hardiness of an oatmeal bread with a light sweetness. It smells and tastes of maple syrup with out being overpowering. And it is one of the best pieces of toast you will ever have for breakfast!

The downside, such as it is, is that you must use real maple syrup for this recipe. Using Aunt Jemima syrup will just not produce the results. Real maple syrup is rather expensive, but if you look around you can find it for less than $10 for an 8.5 oz bottle. A lot of that will depend on where you live, of course. The closer you are the North East United State, where most of the maple syrup comes from, the less expensive it will tend to be.

Now that I’ve teased you enough, let’s make some bread!
Maple Oatmeal Bread


Ingredients:

2 ½ cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) yeast
¾ cup Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 cups bread or all purpose flour

Baking Pans – 2 8” x 4” baking pans

Method:

In your large mixing bowl, or the work bowl of your stand mixer, combine the boiling water and the oats. Allow the water and oats to stand for 1 hour.

After an hour stir in the yeast. Then add the maple syrup, salt, oil and three cups of the flour. Using a wooden spoon or the flat paddle attachment of your stand mixer, mix vigorously for 2 minutes. This will form a thick batter.

Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow the batter to rise for 45 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and stir down the batter. Stir in the remaining 3 cups of flour, ½ cup at a time, stirring each addition in completely before adding the next.

You will now have a shaggy mass of dough. If you are doing this by hand, turn the dough out onto a well floured work surface. This dough tends to be sticky at this point, so flour your hands before starting to knead the dough with a strong push-turn-fold method. If the dough is sticking to the work surface or your hands a lot, you can add more flour. Try to add as little as possible and in no case add more than ½ cup.

Knead for 10 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic and loses that stickiness.

If you are doing this in your stand mixer, switch to the dough hook attachment and knead at low speed for 10 minutes. Watch the developing dough. It should be a ball the revolves around the dough hook, if it is not, add up to ½ cup of flour, a little at a time. By the end of the 10 minutes it should be cleaning the sides of the bowl.

When the dough is kneaded divide it in half and form each half into a ball. Cover with a tea towel and allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes.

To form the loaves, take one of the dough balls and flatten it into an oval longer than your baking pans. Fold it over the middle and pinch the seams together tightly. Tuck the end under and place it in your baking pan seam side down. Repeat with the other ball of dough.

Cover the pans with a length of wax paper or a clean tea towel and allow the loaves to rise until the top of the loaf is about an inch about the edge of the pans, about 45 minutes.

20 minutes before baking, set a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350 degrees.

When the oven is hot and the loaves are risen, slip the pans into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. By then the loaves should be golden brown on top. Test for doneness by turning one of the loaves out and thumping the bottom with a finger. If this yields a hard, hollow sound, the loaves are done. If not return to the oven for another five minutes.

When the loaves are done, turn them out onto a wire wrack to cool completely before slicing.

As I said above this is one of the ultimate breakfast breads! Any parent will fell good giving their child a toasted slice of this bread as part of breakfast, that is if they are willing to share!

It also makes a very interesting sandwich bread for tailgating parties. Everyone will rave about the texture and the way the maple flavor, lacking the blinding sweetness of syrup really adds to a roast beef or ham sandwich.

So there you have it Bread Heads, the first loaf of fall!

The flour is yours!

Bill Egnor

Bill Egnor

I am a life long Democrat from a political family. Work wise I am a Six Sigma Black Belt (process improvement project manager) and Freelance reporter for Govtrak.org

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