This particular inspiration came, as many do, from the combination of my husband and his food hero Alton Brown. The husband part is that he and I have been working on adding good things into our diet and pulling back on some of the not so good. One of the things that comes up all the time in this discussion is oatmeal. Oats are good for you, they are high in fiber and types of fiber that help to carry a lot of unwanted stuff out of the body. I love oatmeal in a bowl with brown sugar. My husband…not so much. He likes the FLAVOR of oats and oat products, but something about that texture just kills him.
So we were watching old episodes of ‘Good Eats’ and saw Oat Cuisine II, in which Alton makes one of our favorite things: Oat Waffles. But then he also makes a loaf of oat bread. And we pondered this option. Oats in bread. With some adjustments and some E-Z Gel, could we come up with a bread that had all the lovely benefits of oats without the texture problems?
I am very happy to say that the answer is a resounding yes. We created an oat bread that is the best of both worlds with the E-Z Gel helping to maintain moisture and give the yeast a jump start. This recipe for oatmeal bread makes one large loaf, which is perfect for sandwiches, French toast, or just slathering with jam in a jiffy freezer jam and cheese and having as a late night snack. And with all the fiber it’s pretty close to guilt free, and did we mention it’s yummy? So with credit to Mr Brown for getting us started, here you go.
Oatmeal Bread with E-Z Gel
1 Tablespoon yeast
11 ounces bread flour, give or take (This will change based on your altitude and the weather, but start with 11 ounces)
1/3 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoons E-Z Gel
12 ounces cooked oatmeal at room temp (In my kitchen at a little under 5000 feet this is one batch of 1 cup oats to 2 cups water)
1/4 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tablespoon water
Combine yeast, bread flour, oat flour, salt, and E-Z Gel and set aside.
Combine the cooked oatmeal, water, honey and olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Add the dry mixture to the cooked oatmeal mixture and combine thoroughly. (I did this in my stand mixer, though it can be done fairly easily by hand). Knead by hand or machine for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed. Dough will be slightly sticky but should not amoeba around the counter.
Remove dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a slightly damp tea towel. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
Punch dough down and shape into a 9×5 inch loaf. Cover and let rise 10 minutes. (If desired you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight for an early morning bake).
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine egg and water in a small bowl and brush the top of the loaf. Additional dry oatmeal can be sprinkled on top of the loaf if desired. Bake 50-60 minutes until bread is done through. We test with a thermometer and in Utah, 200-205 is perfectly done. Closer to sea level that temp should be higher and higher up that will drop to 195-200.
Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool an additional 15-30 minutes before slicing.