I’m finally up to June in my Long Distance Kitchen recipes, and the first recipe of the month was the Oatmeal Sandwich Bread from Good to the Grain, a cookbook that’s certainly been earning its keep around here – so far I’ve made five of the baked goods, plus the fig butter (and I’ve made the buttermilk pancakes at least 3 times so far), and I can’t wait to try more. In fact, I have to hold myself back from just assigning a recipe from here every week.
Anyway, the bread – I love oatmeal yeast breads for the way the rolled oats sort of disappear into the loaf, leaving something that slices nicely and makes the best toast ever. As sandwich bread, it’s probably best sooner rather than later, but as toast it’s delicious as long as the loaf lasts. While I’m no bread expert, I’ve worked with yeast often enough to feel confident in what I’m doing. There’s nothing like baking bread on a chilly day, since it’s a good excuse to leave the oven on for a long time.
This recipe actually rose amazingly quickly, which would be great if you’re in a hurry or if you don’t have a nice warm place to let it rise. Both Bronwen and I ended up with super-tall loaves, and I didn’t even let it rise for the whole recommended time. Bronwen also succumbed to the temptation to make it look like the picture, and she made apricot jam to go along with the bread – yum! I was this close to doing the same thing, stopped only by my lack of apricots.
I’ll definitely be making this recipe again – although it’s pretty similar to the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion recipe for Vermont Oatmeal Maple-Honey Bread, which I’ve made several times. If it weren’t for the fact that my arms might fall off after all the kneading, I might make them both at once and do a side-by-side comparison. The KAF recipe is probably a bit sweeter, but otherwise I think they’re close.