17-41: Molasses Oatmeal Bread

Merry Christmas! ? As I mentioned at the end of 17-47: Italian Fruit Bread, the first of my holiday baking entries for this year (XMAS 16), I had a vegan gift recipient this year, so I made a specially adapted version of 17-41: Molasses Oatmeal Bread to replace all the other treats and goodies that weren’t quite vegan-friendly. I gave the other loaf (this recipe made two, and I didn’t multiply it like the others I made this year) to my aunt who loves these kinds of things. ?

This recipe isn’t vegan-friendly without a bit of tweaking (swapping coconut-almond milk for regular milk and coconut oil for shortening), but it’s pretty easy to do and still results in a beautiful and tasty loaf of bread. ?

Not a terribly difficult bread to execute, and while I see the note about bread flour, I don’t currently have any, so all-purpose flour it will have to be.

Ingredients. As mentioned before, I made this recipe vegan-friendly by substituting coconut/almond milk for regular milk and coconut oil for shortening. Feel free to keep things the way they are if you aren’t interested in the vegan angle.

This milk boils just as well as regular milk, in the microwave or on the stovetop. ?

I used regular quick oats for this bread, but they don’t seem particularly picky about which kind you use. ?

There really was no way to make this look good–it’s the oat/milk/molasses mixture, before heavy mixing.

Oat/milk/molasses mixture after heavy mixing (note the color change) and dissolved yeast, ready to be combined.

Again, less than appetizing, but will come out much better once flour is added and mixed.

Molasses dough, ready to rise for a while. Note the line on the bowl (below 8 cups). It’ll end up above the 12 cup line.

Cut the dough in half and shaped each piece into a loaf. Pan goes back up on top of the fridge to let the loaves proof.

Definitely a noticeable difference from the un-proofed loaves–these ones are touching the sides of the pan now. Slashed the tops of the loaves with a curved paring knife and started them baking, rotating the pan halfway through.

After baking the loaves. Instead of brushing the loaves with water, I used a squeeze bottle filled with water and squirted some on the inside of the oven door right before closing it, creating steam within the oven. I used to do it on the bottom of the oven, but the creaking and groaning of the contracting metal bottom of the oven made me think twice. ?

After brushing one of the loaves with the molasses. It does give it a shinier, glazed finish.

As beautiful as these loaves turned out, apparently both were eaten by animals before the intended recipients could get to them in completely separate and unrelated events. I suppose this could be a recipe to try again someday, just so someone gets to eat them.

Grade: A(?) – based on appearance & aroma

?? Interested in the full list of Simply Delicious treats we made for 2016’s holiday baking extravaganza? (XMAS 16) ?

How about another year’s Simply Delicious holiday bake-off?  XMAS 15