Kiss the Cook-My Grandmother's Oatmeal Bread
It's November, and you know what that means..Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. To us that means family and friends gathering for food, fun and football! Our recipes this month will focus on that, and should you have any to share...by all means, it's not a party until everyone get's here! Shoot us an email and maybe we'll feature your family favorite!
Today's recipe comes courtesy of my Mimi, not a gourmet cook, but none the less, a great cook. She made three meals a day from scratch, hearty meals with lots of fresh vegetables, and nothing-not a green bean-went to waste. A week or two later, that lone green bean joined a bevy of vegetable and meat friends, pulled from the freezer in a stew so good, you swore she made it fresh. She wasn't afraid of the butter, yet you could knock her over with a feather she was so thin. At six months pregnant, with her sixth and final child, she told me no one could tell she was pregnant, "Who knows? Maybe it was the martinis and cigarettes that kept me so slender?". She taught my grandfather to cook two meals-meatloaf and pork tenderloin- in his late 60's "just in case". And breakfast was always a meal for a king-coffee so dark you could almost stand a spoon in it, fresh fruit, and the thickest slices of homemade oatmeal toast slathered with butter and fresh preserves. This oatmeal bread was unlike anything my other grandmother ever fed me up north-her toast came in a bag and was pre-sliced and labeled "Wonder". Now this..this was bread.
Mimi had arthritis and couldn't knead her bread so my popsi rigged up a homemade standingKitchenAid mixer before they even existed, and she'd go about and make her four loaves of bread. I never left without a loaf on my trek back to Miami, and now I never make a loaf without remembering her and all that butter. Honest to God..she had the cholesterol of a world class athlete, but nothing could spare her from Alzheimers. It took her memory, and eventually her, but I can always pull out a loaf of oatmeal bread and taste those memories like yesterday.
MIMI'S OATMEAL BREAD
This recipe is a little rusty. Mimi made it so often, she knew it like the back of her arthritic hand. I say it makes approximately 4 loaves that freeze well when wrapped tightly. I suggest thawing overnight in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that this is a toasting bread,free of preservatives, and will not stay fresh long.
*Note: I use the dump method-dump first ingredients into mixer, and cool. Dump yeast, etc. Dump, flour, blend. This works in my kitchenaid...barely..it's crying to be let free by the last cup of flour but I'm a rebel like that. Do so at your own risk.
4 CUPS BOILING WATER
4 CUPS OATMEAL (uncooked according to recipe-I use regular NOT fast)
3/4 CUP DARK MOLASSES
1/2 CUP BUTTER
4 TSP SALT
3/4 CUP BROWN SUGAR
-when above is cooled.....mix together
2 PACKAGES YEAST
1/2 CUP WARM WATER
2 TBSP SUGAR
-and add to mixture
8-10 CUPS OF WHITE FLOUR (my mimi never used bread flour. Straight up white flour)
Knead well + let rise twice before putting into greased pans. I'm sure she used butter, feel free to use Pam. Let rise again in pans.
-bake in a preheated 350 degree oven, 30 minutes