by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Friday, August 5, 2011
50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #9 Irma Rombauer - Oatmeal Molasses Bread
adapted from The Joy of Cooking (1997 edition)
yield: 2 loaves (or 24 rolls)
1½ c. water
1 c. rolled oats
1 Tbs. butter
¾ tsp. fine sea salt
1 Tbs. active dry yeast
¼ c. warm water (~110° F)
½ c. room temperature water
⅓ c. molasses
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. unbleached bread flour + more, as needed
Stir first four ingredients together in a small pot over medium-low heat until oatmeal is soft, smooth, and thick, ~10 minutes. Let cool, stirring occasionally, until mixture is no longer warmer than 115° F.
Combine warm water and yeast in the bowl of a mixer and let stand until the yeast is dissolved, ~5 minutes.
Add oatmeal mixture to mixing bowl along with remaining water and molasses. Stir on low (using dough hook attachment), until well blended. Add flour, 1 cup at a time until dough is moist, but not sticky. Knead on medium until dough is smooth and elastic, ~7-10 minutes (or ~15 minutes by hand).
Form dough into a ball and transfer to a large, well-oiled bowl. Cover with plastic and let sit until doubled in size, ~1-1½ hrs.
Punch dough down, then divide into two. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
At this point, either free-form your dough into loaves and place on a baking sheet lined with a silpat/parchment or roll and place into oiled bread pans. Grease some plastic wrap, cover, and let rise until doubled in size again, ~45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375° F during last 15 minutes of rise time.
Slide into oven and bake for ~40-45 minutes. Let cool a bit before slicing.
to make rolls:
After first rise, punch dough down, cover and let sit 30 minutes. Divide into 24 equal pieces, roll into balls and place ~2" apart on a lined sheet tray. Covered with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 400° F during last 15 minutes of rise time, then slide in and bake until golden, ~20-25 minutes.
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Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.