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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

My Honey Sorghum Oatmeal Farm Loaves

Today is another gloomy, grey, wet, drab, Winter day.   It's only January 6th, but I've already had enough.  We haven't even had a terrible winter.  We've only had one good, heavy snow of 6", and a couple of nuisance snows.  We've had several rounds of freezing rain and freezing fog, which I LOVE to look at, but don't like to drive in.  We have YET to have any LONG spells of seriously brutal frigid weather.  And by that I mean a week of temperatures around 0'F and wind chills well below that.

I know the winter is young, but it really starts to loose it's grip in February. By March, it will make a few valiant attempts at reminding us who is in charge, but for the most part gardeners are plotting land, and stores abound with shorts and flip flops.

But I digress.  For now I will snap myself back into reality and take you with me on my weekly bread baking.  Italian, Challah, French, Wheat, White it's all fair game. 

The choice of bread usually revolves around the week's menu.  I tend to make a little extra so that I can freeze it for another day, another use.  This is especially true for Challah (bread pudding, French toast) and Italian (garlic bread, stuffing cubes).
Of all the breads that come from the oven, my honey sorghum oatmeal bread is a favorite.  The loaves are high and hearty, without being dense.  It makes an outstanding sandwich bread, and an amazing toast.  It is lightly sweet, without being overbearing, but yet has enough flavor on its own to stand up to "slice snacking".

This recipe is for TWO LARGE farm loaves.  They use a non traditional 10x5" pan, that hold 1.5 pound loaves.

 Go big or go home!  LOL.  Honestly, as much as I ENJOY baking bread, I don't want to do it everyday.  Even with modern equipment, it still takes a chunk of your day.  3.5 hours of "work", but luckily you can occupy your self with other chores while it rises (twice) and bakes.  Even so, baking large loaves once a week and bagging them allows me to have enough slices on hand to avoid store bought.

Honey Sorghum Oatmeal Farm Loaves

1.5 cups of quick (not minute) oatmeal
3 cups of boiling water
1.5 T butter
1 T salt
2 Tablespoons of Sorghum in a half cup measure top off to half a cup measure with honey
(OR use all honey 1/2 cup)

1 rounded Tablespoon of dry yeast
3 ounces of warm water

8.25 cups (2 pounds 10 ounces) of all purpose flour
1 egg


I use a KitchenAid, a big 6 qt one.  This is a heavy, sticky dough and I do not use past speed 2 to mix it.  It can be mixed and kneaded by hand.  After mixing, simply knead by hand for 10 minutes to incorporate all the ingredients and bring it together into a smooth elastic ball before setting it aside for the first rise.

This is the order I place things in the KitchenAid bowl to save on dishes.  (Obviously I didn't bother to save on dishes for this post, as I put everything, measured out, in cute little bowls. That does NOT usually happen!)

Let's get started.

In the KitchenAid bowl, pour the 1.5 cups of DRY oatmeal, 1.5 T of butter, 1T of salt, and your 1/2 cup sorghum/honey (or just honey).  Heat the 3 cups of water to boiling, and pour it over the oatmeal mixture. Stir and then allow to sit to soak and cool to lukewarm.

When the oatmeal mix has cooled to lukewarm, add your dry yeast to the 3 ounces of warm water and allow to bloom for 5 minutes.

Yeast After sitting for 5 minutes.  Happy, Alive and

Add the yeast mixture and almost all of the 8.25 cups of flour and the egg to the oatmeal mixture.  Start on your slowest speed until all the ingredients are taken up in the flour.  It won't look like it is possible, but give it a chance.  It will all come together.  At this point you can slowly add more flour.  It might not take the last half cup or so.  When the mixer forms the dough into a solid ball, stop adding flour.  Save any leftover flour for dusting your board.

Allow the dough to knead at speed 2 for 5 minutes.

Remove the dough and place in a container for rising.  You CAN use your 6qt bowl, but it will climb quite high during the rise.  So be prepared for a Lucy moment if you do.

Cover and rise in a warm, draft free location until it is doubled.

Remove the dough and deflate.  Do not beat it or knead it, just deflate on your VERY LIGHTLY dusted board.

Cut flattened dough into two equal pieces and form into loaf.

Place each piece into a lightly greased/sprayed 1.5 pound loaf pan.  I spray my loaf tops lightly with PAM Coconut spray. 

Bake in a preheated 350' oven until internal temperature reaches 200'.  This can take 40-50 minutes depending on the true temperature of your oven.

Turn out of pans and allow to cool completely before slicing.

NOTE: YOU CAN top the loaves with decorative oatmeal.  Simply lightly brush tops with water and sprinkle loaves with oatmeal flakes prior to baking.  It's pretty, but I can't stand chasing fallen oatmeal on my counters and floors when people slice the bread for sandwiches.

1 comment:

  1. Love your photos!! So pretty. I am sure I cam smell that bread. I do know you made my mouth water!!! xx