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Maple Oatmeal Bread

I have a new favorite toasting bread...and it goes by the name of Maple Oatmeal.  The name is a bit misleading, though.  I mean has oats in also has maple syrup in it...but it doesn't taste like oats OR maple syrup!  Pretty sneaky.  The loaf actually comes out soft, yet hearty...with a hint of sweetness.  It works great both as a sandwich loaf and for toasting.  I mean, I'm sure it would have been great for many other things, as just didn't last long enough to figure that part out.  The recipe is enough to make two loaves.  I figured one would be good enough to last a few days, so I froze half of the dough. Um.  Shouldn't Have.  Took it out of the freezer the following day to let it thaw so that I could then let it rise at room temp. again the following day- and just in the nick of time!  As soon as the first loaf ran out, the second one was being pulled hot and fragrant from the oven.  This is a loaf...loaves...I will make again and again. 

Maple Oatmeal Bread
from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads
Makes 2 loaves

2½ c. boiling water
1 c. rolled oats
2½ tsp. dry yeast
¾ c. maple syrup
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. oil
5 c. (bread) flour

Put the oats into a bowl. Pour the boiling water over the oats and set aside for an hour.

Mix the yeast, syrup, salt, and oil into the oats. Mix in 3 cups of the flour. Cover the bowl and let rise for an hour.

Add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is the correct consistency. Knead for 10 minutes. Cut the dough into two pieces, then shape it into loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise another 45 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 40 - 50 minutes.
I let the loaf sit on a rack in the pan for about 5 minutes, then turned it out and let it cool the rest of the way most of the way until I was ready to slice it!
It was awesome slathered with Apricot Jam w/ Noyaux...but once I toasted it and spread it thickly with peanut butter and sprinkled it with ground flax seeds and wheat germ, there was no turning back!  I ate thick, toasted slices like this for breakfast, snack, and second-snack all day until no more remained!!!  Okay, other people in the house at the bread, too.  Just sayin'.

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