Grandmother’s oatmeal bread


bread1For a time, my grandparents lived with us as they renovated their home. I could also plan to come home from school to fresh baked something made by Gramie. Her specialties were seemingly endless – chicken pot pie, whoopie pies, oatmeal bread, chocolate chip cookies, pot roast and more.

Many of her recipes were passed down to her by her mother-in-law, my great-grandmother Margaret Kinney. Great Gram must have known some secret, not only are her recipes delicious, she lived to be 107 years old.

No family gathering would be complete without her oatmeal bread. No matter how many loaves Gramie makes, we always seem to run out.

You’ll want to note the cooking times on these. The Kinney family likes their baked goods gooey in the middle, or as many might consider it, undercooked. If you prefer things well-done, you may want to add a few minutes to the baking time.

Oatmeal Bread

2 cups old-fashioned oats

2 cups boiling water

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup molasses

1 tablespoon yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ cup lukewarm water

4 cups King Arthur flour

In a large bowl, mix oats, boiling water, salt and molasses. You may want to measure and pour in the molasses first. Then, measure the boiling water in the same cup after to help unstick residual molasses.

Set the bowl aside and let it cool.

Look at that yeast rise!

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the lukewarm water, sugar and yeast. Let activate in a warm place. If the yeast mix doesn’t start to bubble after a few minutes, trash it and try again.

When the oat mixture is lukewarm and the yeast is ready, mix together. Then add in flour one cup at a time.

Let the dough rise, covered, in a warm place for about 1½ to 2 hours. Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface, then form four balls. Place two balls each in two greased bread pans. Let rest for about 15 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for a half hour.

Serve warm from oven or toast day-old bread.