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Old 15-06-2005, 10:31 AM
Tim
 
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Default HABIT BREAD

HABIT BREAD

Soak two cups of oatmeal in four cups of boiling water. I generally use
quick oats, but traditional rolled oats are fine as long as you get them
soft -- cooking them at a simmer for ten minutes would probably help.

At any point after the oats have softened you can add the following:

* 1/2 cup oil -- safflower, vegetable, or whatever

* 1 cup honey

* 1 teaspoon salt

* *a cup or two of powdered or instant milk

* *some wheat germ, to taste

* *some bran, to bowel tolerance

When the mixture has cooled to lukewarm (under 115 degrees Fahrenheit) you
can add the yeast. I use about 2 or 3 tablespoons of instant dry yeast. But
take care that the whole mixture has really cooled before adding the yeast.
The ability of a mass of oats to retain heat is truly phenomenal: if the
insulation people ever hear about this fibreglass is dead. About once a year
I used to damage or destroy the yeast ferment by adding it too early. If you
are going to cut the temperature close, try to do this near the Jewish Feast
of Unleavened Bread if possible--you'll have enough to feed a large
congregation. I usually start the yeast in a cup of warm water mixed with a
teaspoon of sugar about ten minutes before I add it.

Blend all of this well and start adding flour. You can add up to 50% whole
wheat flour, but I've gradually decreased the whole wheat content over the
years. The bread has enough roughage and protein from the wheat germ, bran
and oats. Sometimes I use all white flour (unbleached, of course). At any
rate, add the whole wheat flour first if you use it. Keep working in the
flour until you have something that looks like it could be kneaded. You
should be able to get in about ten cups of flour, but the humidity, altitude
and condition of the flour all affect this.

After you turn it from the pan, knead it for at least ten minutes, the more
the better. Let it rise to double size, then punch it down and put it in
bread pans. I have found that if you use good bread tins, grease them
moderately before each use, and store them in the freezer between loaves, it
isn't necessary to wash them very often.

Bake at 300 fahrenheit for about 45 minutes, or 350 for less. Too little
cooking and the added oat bulk will keep the loaf pasty, too much and the
bottom burns. When it is done perfectly, the loaf will look a little too
moist if you cut it while it is still hot, but it will be just right after
it cools.

This bread freezes well. I put everything which we are not going to use in
the next two days in the freezer.

*optional





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