This recipe is adapted from “Mountain Measures – A collection of West Virginia Recipes” published in 1974. This is a hearty bread that goes well with a soup or salad, and also makes for a great breakfast with butter and jam. If you have never made bread before, this recipe will be great to start with since it is not difficult and the dough comes together quite easily. Even if you are an experienced bread maker, give this one a try, you will love it!
Ingredients for one loaf
- 1 package active dry yeast (or 2-1/4 tsp. dry yeast)
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1/4 cup dark molasses
- 1/6 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 Tbsp. salt
- 3 to 3-1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 Tbsp. rolled oats
- 1 egg white
- 1 Tbsp. water
- Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water and add sugar, let sit for 10 minutes.
- Combine 3/4 cup boiling water, quick-cooking rolled oats, molasses, shortening, and salt; cool to lukewarm.
- Stir in 1 cup of sifted flour; beat well. Add beaten egg and the yeast; beat well. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough, roughly 3 cups total.
- Turn out on lightly floured surface; cover and let rest 10 minutes.
- Knead until smooth and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning dough once. This should take about five minutes. Cover, let rise until doubled, about an hour.
- Knock down dough (knead gently to remove any air bubbles that may have formed)
- Coat a well-greased loaf pan with 2 tablespoons of oats on all sides. Shape loaf and place it in pan, and let rest for 45 minutes.
- Brush with egg white and water mixture and sprinkle lightly with oats.
- Bake at 375° for 40 minutes.
Probably the most important thing to be aware of when making any bread is making sure the yeast has the proper conditions to do its job. This means to make sure you are not using old and stale yeast, and also not using too hot or cold water when starting it. I used 2-1/4 tablespoons of dry yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water, and as suggested on the yeast packaging, added 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and let sit for 10 minutes. This made a very foamy mixture, and this is how you know the yeast is working. When kneading, you want to make sure you do it long enough to get a smooth and consistent texture, and this took me about 5 minutes of fairly vigorous kneading to get to that point. Make sure to not skip the “knock down” to remove any large air bubbles that may have formed during proving. Please let me know what you think of this bread in the comments below, and don’t forget to like and share! Enjoy!