The choice for the Bread of the Month (BOM) for September is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Bernard Clayton’s Complete Book of Breads. I was thrilled when I learned that we would be making this Maple Oatmeal Bread for the Artisan Bread Bakers this month. I love oatmeal bread. This loaf is very fluffy and has a delicious and light sweetness due to the maple syrup.
Did you know that maple syrup was discovered by the Native Americans who lived among the maple forests in North America? However, it was the pioneer, or early American housewife that turned it into the commodity it is today. Sugar was scarce in those times, but maple syrup was plentiful so it was used in breads, biscuits, and pies and poured over pancakes.
-- Bernard Clayton, New Complete Book of Breads
Maple Oatmeal Bread
Makes: Two Loaves
Recipe from Bernard Clayton’s Complete Book of Breads
This loaf, created by the baker at Staffords in the Field Inn in New Hampshire, is reminiscent of those times. The recipe was adapted from a century-old recipe. I don’t know about you but I enjoy tasting history.
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1 package dry yeast
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon oil
5 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour, approximately (I used about 7 1/2 cups total)
Put the oats into a bowl. Pour the boiling water over the oats and set aside to soak for an hour.
Add the maple syrup, salt, cooking oil, and 3 cups of the flour. Blend all of the ingredients. It will have the consistency of a heavy batter.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about an hour.
Knead for 10 minutes. Add more flour if the dough is sticky. Mine was really sticky so I added more flour.
Divide the dough into two pieces,
then shape into loaves and place in greased loaf pans.
I used one glass pan and one nonstick pan to see if they baked it differently.
Cover and let rise another 45 minutes or until the dough reaches the edge of the pan. I used wax paper so it wouldn’t stick to the loaves.
Remove the loaves and place on metal rack to cool before serving.
Notes: This bread makes great toast and can be kept frozen for an indefinite period at 0 degrees. I think I’ll freeze this loaf to enjoy later and eat the other loaf now.
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Here are some additional bread-making resources:bread making blog.