Knead It Monday: Oatmeal Bread

You probably think by now that I sit around and brainstorm ways to totally mess up my breadbaking experiences. It may make good blogging material, but I am honestly just a girl who wants to make a decent loaf of bread but sincerely does that many dumb things in the kitchen. That being said, I had another weird bread adventure.

This week's loaf is also from the Reader's Digest Homemade book. I had such great success with the homemade pretzels, that surely their bread would be good, too!... Right? Right?

I baked this on the eve of that bad snowstorm that swept the Midwest. The recipe said that it was for one loaf of bread, but since I wanted two, I doubled the recipe. Herein was the first problem: the ingredients.

For a mere two loaves of bread, here are some of the ingredients I had to cough up:

  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 entire stick of butter
  • 4 yeast packets (that's almost 1/4 CUP!!!!)
  • 3 eggs (should have been 4, but I'm cheap :-P)

And when it came time to add all the flour and start kneading, I knew we had a problem:

This poor Jello is waiting to go to a good home after my pantry purge.

That is one GIANT lump of dough. I was sure that those Reader's Digest nincompoops had failed to test their own recipe, because this was obviously four loaves' worth of bread! I pulled out the two biggest pans I own, divided the dough, and set it to rise.

Since I only had three loaf pans, I called up my former-classmate-now-neighbor Rachel, who graciously lent me hers. It was only after this that I looked at the recipe and found out that I was actually supposed to knead the dough again after the first rise. This reduced the enormous puff of dough back into an enormous ball... that looked big enough for two loaves. Ugh.

But I was not about pour all those ingredients and that neighborly kindness into just two loaves, so I divided the dough into three pans. The end result?

Three of the most delicious loaves I've ever eaten, chewy and moist. And nicely-sized. I am still undecided as to the what original recipe was intended to yield-- was it really for a single loaf? 

The bread was absolutely scrumptious, but if you are looking to save money on baking your own bread, you will want to skip this recipe. I was really impressed by the texture, though, so I'll be sure to revisit oatmeal bread-- with a different recipe next time!

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