Sunday, December 4, 2005

Oatmeal and Potato Bread

This makes one dense, moist loaf that is good plain, toasted or as an accompaniment to beef or lamb.

2 baking potatoes (you want a floury type potato like the Russet, not a waxy potato)
3 1/2 cups King Arthur's bread flour (with extra for dusting)
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon Molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 Tablespoons uncooked oatmeal
2 Tablespoons powdered milk
1 cup slightly warm water

Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch bread pan. Cut the potatoes into large pieces, but do not peel. (leaving the skin on for cooking results in a moister potato). Cover the potato chunks with water and bring to a boil, cooking for about 22-25 minutes (you want tender, but not falling apart.) Drain, remove skin and mash until smooth. Let cool

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl that is slightly warm. Cut in the butter until well blended (or blend in with your fingers) Stir in the sugar, molasses, yeast, oats and powdered milk. Mix in the cooled mashed potato, then add the water and gently mix into a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured clean surface and knead for 5-10 minutes (just until smooth and elastic). Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour)

Turn the dough out again and knead lightly, shaping into a loaf and placing in the greased pan. Cover and let rise again in a warm place for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven for 425 degrees C (220 C.)

Brush the surface of the loaf with water or milk and sprinkle with a few pinches of dry oatmeal. Bake for 25-30 minutes (It should be light brown and sound hollow when tapped). Cool on a wire rack and serve warm.

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