This recipe came from a favorite source in the 1980s – The Blue Ribbon Gazette, a newsletter with recipes from blue ribbon winners from all over the country. I won a blue ribbon with this bread at the large Harvest Home Festival (Cincinnati) in 1989.
This is a hearty bread that stays soft for several days and is wonderful toasted or used for a grilled sandwich.
HONEY OATMEAL BREAD
1-½ cups milk
1 cup oats, quick
1 Tblsp. salt
2 Tblsp. canola oil
One 13 oz. can evaporated milk, undiluted
¼ cup honey
2 Tblsp. fast acting yeast*
2 cups whole wheat flour
3-4 cups all-purpose flour
**I use Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast. I buy it in bulk (454 g) and the package says that it is made in Canada. I understand it is packaged under the name “Instant Dry” for distribution through stores like Sam’s, “Rapid Rise” in the U.S. and “Quick Rise” in Canada. The “Instant Dry”, “Rapid Rise” or “Quick Rise” yeast is especially formulated to be used mixed with the dry ingredients and can withstand the hot liquid.
Grease three 7-½ inch or two 9-inch loaf pans
Place 1-½ cups of milk in a pan, bring to a boil. Add oats and salt and cook for 2 minutes. Add oil, evaporated milk, honey and salt. Cool to 130 degrees F. (cooling will take 10-15 minutes).
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place yeast and 2 cups whole wheat flour. Beat to blend flour and yeast. Add 130 degree F milk/honey mixture and beat with paddle beater for 3 minutes on medium speed.
Remove paddle beater and insert dough hook. Continue to beat for 6-1/2 minutes, adding all-purpose flour a little at a time. You may not have to use all of the flour – the dough should be smooth and elastic after 6-1/2 minutes. Although a little sticky because of the honey.
Place dough in an oiled bowl, turn dough over once and cover with a napkin or tea towel. Let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place that is free of drafts (I put mine on top of my microwave which sets under a cabinet).
After 45 minutes, punch down dough (press your knuckles into the dough to deflate it). Remove dough to a lightly floured board and divide into three portions for 7-½ inch loaves or into two portions for 9 inch loaves. Roll each portion into a loaf, pinch seams to seal and place seam-side-down in a greased 7-½ inch or 9-inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise for another 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake 7-½ inch loaves for approximately 30-35 minutes and the 9 inch loaves for about 50-60 minutes or until bread is golden brown and has a hollow sound when tapped (200 degrees on a bread thermometer*).
Cover with a piece of foil if top is browning too fast. Remove bread from pans immediately, cover with a napkin or a tea towel and let cool on a wire rack.
Yield: Three 7-½ inch loaves or two 9 inch loaves