I made this bread spur-of-the-moment Sunday a week ago, and I am in love! It was perfect, despite the fact that the dregs of my maple syrup had finally gone ’round the bend and I had to toss it. I’ve adapted the recipe a bit to make up for that fact, and finally caved in to add maple flavoring to my summer spices-and-flavorings shopping list.
Maple Oatmeal Bread
adapted from Country magazine, obviously submitted by someone who lives in Vermont and can spare a huge half cup of liquid gold on a single recipe!
1 cup hot brewed coffee (or instant in my case)
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup maple syrup (or corn syrup, or molasses… I did about 1/4 cup of each)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 packages active dry yeast (total 1/2 oz)
1/4 cup warm water (110-115F)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
5 1/2 to 6 cups flour – I used 2 cups bread flour, 2 cups slightly coarse whole wheat, and the rest all-purpose white flour
Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large measuring cup or bowl. They should be at least as cool as the warm water when you finish mixing them; if not, let them cool a bit.
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the wet oat mixture, eggs, and 2 cups of flour. Mix well.
Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough and knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour in a warm spot.
Divide dough in half and knead briefly to form 2 loaves. Place into greased loaf pans, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes until golden-brown; the bread should sound hollow when you remove one from the pan and knock on the bottom with your knuckle.
Remove from pans and cool on a cooling rack before slicing. Serve with butter freshly churned by your students, with natural peanut butter and raspberry jam, or with sharp Vermont cheddar cheese melted over it!