Knead by hand or use a stand mixer with dough hook attachment.
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Yield: Makes 2 Loaves
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats, or use quick oats
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup molasses, such as Grandma's
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup milk, warmed to about 105° (if using cake yeast, warm to 95°)*
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus approximately 1/2 to 1 cup more for kneading
- melted butter for tops
In a saucepan, bring the 2 cups of water to a rolling boil.
Pour the boiling water over the oats. Stir in the molasses, salt, and butter, blending thoroughly. Let the oat and molasses mixture cool for about 1 hour.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the warm milk* with the yeast and sugar. Stir to blend and let stand for 5 minutes.
Add the yeast mixture to the cooled oat mixture, stir to blend. Add 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour; mix until moistened. Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and, with floured hands, begin to knead the dough. Continue kneading, adding flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. You want to keep the dough soft, but not too sticky. Alternatively, you may use a stand mixer with dough hook to knead. Just add flour as needed during the process.
Generously grease a large glass or metal bowl with butter. Gather up the dough and put in the buttered bowl. Turn the dough so all sides are coated with the butter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
Meanwhile, butter 2 loaf pans.
Punch the dough down and remove to a floured surface. Divide into 2 portions. Shape into loaves and place in the pans. Brush with a little melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean dish cloth and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 45 minutes, until doubled in bulk.
Position the rack around the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°.
Bake the loaves for 40 to 50 minutes. The loaves will be golden brown and will have a hollow sound when lightly tapped with a finger. If the tops seem to be browning too quickly, loosely tend the loaves with foil.
Remove the loaves to racks and let cool completely before slicing.
Makes 2 loaves.
* If the milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast, which will halt any rising action. An instant read thermometer will insure the milk is the right temperature. The temperature of the milk should be around 100° F to 105° F for active dry yeast, and around 95° for cake yeast. For rapid rise yeast, check the manufacturer's label for the optimum temperature.