Oatmeal breadThis recipe was given to me by my Aunt Celia (my mother’s sister) which she thinks was used by her grandmother (my great grandmother!) probably in the early 1900s. It comes from Fannie Farmer’s Cookbook. I’ve adapted this for modern UK ingredients. Makes 3 small 1 lb loaves, or two 1 ½ lb loaves

3 oz porridge oats
16 fl oz boiling water

12 oz strong wholemeal bread flour
12 oz strong white bread flour
2 teaspoons (12g) salt
7g dry active yeast (1 pkg)

5 oz (weight) molasses (½ cup)
1 Tablespoon butter

In a bowl, combine the two flours with the salt and yeast.

In a large bowl, weigh the porridge oats and pour on the boiling water. Stir, and leave to one side to cool a while, until hand-hot, about 50°C.

Stir in the molasses and butter into the hot oats.

With a wooden spoon or dough scraper, work in enough of the flour to make a knead-able dough, and turn it out to knead for a couple minutes to make sure it’s thoroughly combined. (Use as much flour as you need, but as little as you can get away with.)

Cover and leave to rest for 10-15 min.

Resume kneading the dough until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top, and cover. Leave to rise until double, around 45 min to 1 hour (depending on your room temperature).

Punch dough down, knead briefly, and divide into 2 or 3 equal portions. Grease three 1 lb loaf pans or two 1 ½ lb pans. Shape each portion of dough into a loaf and place into a tin.

Cover, let rise in warm place until double again. Bake at 190°C for 35 min or until done. Turn out and let cool on wire rack.