Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Minnesota Oatmeal Bread

The Johnson Girls before the world invented color
This bread could be called My Aunt's Oatmeal Bread-but since there were six Johnson girls, it wouldn't be fair to name it after just one.  My Mom and her sisters were known for their beauty, great smiles, love of gardening and fun and their talent at throwing a dinner together for how ever many people would show up at their door. These sisters could cook and bake! Everything was whole, fresh food, probably from their gardens or  farms; or their neighbor's farm. They all lived in Minnesota and our families would visit back and forth almost every week.  I am so blessed to have a legacy of music, fun, gardening and great recipes in my life.  So, whatever you want to call this oatmeal bread, I call it one of the best breads in Minnesota, and probably even in the whole wide world!!!

Minnesota Oatmeal Bread
2 cups milk
2 Tables. butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 teas. salt
2 packages yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water, 
pinch of sugar
2 cups rolled oats
5-6 cups flour

Scald the milk and stir in the butter, brown sugar, molasses, salt and rolled oats; stir all together till dissolved and allow to cool.  In a large mixing bowl soften the yeast in the warm water and add a pinch of sugar. Let it stand several minutes and then add the milk mixture and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about ten minutes. (dough will spring back when pressed with the finger). Place the dough in a greased bowl, grease the surface, cover and let stand in a warm place for about two hours or until doubled in bulk.  Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface, divide into thirds and shape into loaves. Put the loaves in 9x5 inch bread pans.  Brush the tops with melted butter, cover and let rise again for an hour. Bake at 400F./220C. for 45 minutes. Remove from the pans and allow to cool . I can never let them cool too much before cutting off a hunk and enjoying it with butter....just smells too wonderful!!

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