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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Oatmeal Bread

Pain au levain, a French bread
Pain au levain, a French bread (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Juvy S. Iliwiliw

My sister just can't get rid of her cravings for sweets. It was really in her to munch something sweet almost everyday. A very sinful habit she wants to let go but just can't find the easiest way out. Sweets are just as tempting to eat as to see. She would sometimes turn her head away from looking it but she still struggles to forget it in her mind. One day, she has become so unstable that the doctor insisted on stopping her eating habit just that. She can't stand it at first but with her determination and lots of courage, she was able to do it sweetly. She manages her diet well and even substituting a whole lot of healthy options for her once awful eating habit.

Now, this is her oatmeal bread that says, "if you don't want to give something that's sweet, why not a healthy loaf of bread?" It is like satisfying yourself without having to worry about becoming unhealthy again.

You will need:

2 teaspoon yeast

½ teaspoon sugar
2 cups water
½ cup honey
1/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
6½ cups flour
2 teaspoon salt

Here's how:

In a large bowl, combine the yeast and sugar with the lukewarm water and set aside for a few minutes, after which it should bubble and look frothy. Add the honey, shortening and eggs and mix well. Add the oatmeal, flour and salt and mix until well blended. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth. (If you have a mixer with a dough hook, combine yeast mixture with remaining ingredients then process for ten minutes; no need to knead further.) Place the dough in a buttered bowl and allow to rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and divide into two pieces. Shape each into a loaf and place in a greased 9-by-5 inch loaf pan. Allow to rise, covered, in a warm place for another hour or until doubled. (To know if dough has doubled, press one finger. Dough has doubled if the indentation does not spring back.)

Bake at 350oF for about 40 minutes, or until loaves make a hollow sound when knocked on.

Yield: 2 loaves
Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus 2 hours rising time
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Storage time: 1 week, refrigerated or 3 months, frozen
Packaging Ideas: Wrap in clear cellophane

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