Mom’s Oatmeal Bread

One of my favorite things about my childhood is that my Mom made bread every week. There was nothing like coming home from school to a house filled with the warm homey smell of fresh bread. Mom would cut it in thick slices and top it with butter. It spoke of comfort and security to me. She even had a little loaf pan that she would let me bake a mini loaf in as a special treat.

I have funny memories of the weekly bread ritual such as running to the store with mom while the bread was rising and coming home to dough overflowing onto the counter. Mom would laugh and gather it all up and quickly make it into loaves.

When I came home as a 23 year old to take care of her while she was battling cancer she taught me how to make bread myself. As she taught me how to form the dough into loaves we laughed and laughed as she tried to put to words something that she had done expertly for decades. My loaves were lumpy and lopsided and hers were perfect.

After Mom passed away I continued to make bread while I was at home with my Dad and Ben for the following year. It was a piece of her that I could hold onto somehow and fill our home with the memory of her labor of love. Years passed and life filled with a full time job, ministry, marriage, a baby, a move to Southern California, a house, another baby.

Last year I started making bread again. My trusty Kitchen Aid growled and rumbled through the kneading process but would get so hot that every time I made bread I worried it would die. I began praying for a Bosch. A Bosch is the coolest bread mixer around town. It effortlessly kneads a 6 loaf batch of bread. When December rolled around I opened a big box and tears of joy rolled down my face. A shiny Bosch! I have been making bread ever since. Sometimes Ellie helps. I love it. I love letting Mom’s bread making legacy live on.

If you have shied away making bread in the past because it seemed overwhelming and complicated let me encourage you to try it. You don’t have to have a fancy mixer or a bread maker. You can knead by hand or if you have kids old enough let them knead it. It is such a fun experience for kids and truly does fill your house with the smell of homey goodness!

Mom’s Oatmeal Bread

6 Cups boiling water
2 Cups Oats
2 Tbsp Yeast
1 1/2 Cups Honey
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Oil
1 Tbsp Salt (heaping)
15-16 Cups Flour (I do half white, half whole wheat)

Yields 6 loaves

Please note. I usually make 3 loaves which is a simple half of this recipe. I also am by no means a bread expert and am learning as I go. The following is just how I make bread currently and its working for me.

This is the Bosch-ola. I love her.
I start by getting the boiling water and oats soaking. When the temperature cools to warm but not hot (comfortable for the finger to touch) I add the honey and the yeast.
Honey is what activates the yeast and you will start to notice bubbles forming as the yeast does its thing. Then I add the eggs, olive oil and salt, switch to a dough hook and start adding flour.

I know have added enough flour when the dough cleans the sides of bowl. I like my dough on the sticky side (it seems to make for a moister loaf) so I stop adding flour usually around cup 15.

Then I set my Bosch for 10 minutes and let it knead away. 

Once kneaded I dump the dough out on the counter and get to work making loaves.
Once I have my loaves shaped and into pans (that have been oiled) I put them in an oven that I pre-heated to the lowest temp possible and then turned off. I let them rise for 20-40 minutes in there.
Then I take my risen loaves out of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 and cook those babies for 30 minutes.
 Also, you probably noticed that I only let my bread rise once. Typically after you add all the flour, and knead for while, you let your dough rise before punching it down and making it into loaves. I started skipping this step after I got my Bosch. The Bosch kneads the bread so well you don’t have to apparently? I’m a fan of that! It stream lines the process and makes my bread project last a few hours instead of all day. We found our Bosch on craigslist and I have heard stories of people getting them for super cheap at garage sales.

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