Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Very Best Bread of All....

loaf of bread

I think there's this misconception about baking bread-- that it's something hard to do or that it has to be some big deal to make it.  I love baking bread for lots of reasons, but in this season of life, it's mainly because I haven't found a reliable dairy and soy free store-bought bread and I'm not about to go a year (or however long we end up nursing) without bread.  That's just too much to ask of a girl! 

So I give you...
The Very Best Bread of All!

slice of bread

We LIVE off of this stuff around our house. I don't know what I would have done were it not for this wonderful recipe! I've included the basic recipe and then the tweaks I've made over time along with a few suggestions that I've found helpful. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we have...

You can make this dough in a bread machine (I just have a cheap-o Oster machine from walmart and it works great!) or you can do it by hand. 

Oat Bread
2 and 1/2 cups of water (cold if using a machine, warm if by hand)
1 cup of oats
1/2 cup of whole wheat
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3 TBSP canola oil
5 cups white bread flour
1 pkg yeast (2 and 1/4 tsp jar)

*Put in bread machine in the order listed and set to dough cycle, allow it to rise in the machine (it will be huge)

By hand:
* knead til smooth- 5-10 min.
*double covered in a big bowl (1-1 and 1/2 hours)


*preheat the oven to 350

*After dough has finished rising, punch down, cut in half, shape like loaf, put into two greased loaf pans (I rub canola oil around the pan with a paper towel)

bread bowl

dough in the pans 

*allow the dough to rise (roughly double) in the pans for 30 min.
(I put the pans on the stove and cover them with a towel that covers the front of the oven as well.  This traps a little of the heat under the towel and helps them rise. 
When the towel that I've covered it with gets a little hill, I know it's time to stick them in the oven :) )

bread rising

*bake 30 min at 350

Take out of the oven, allow them to cool in the pans for a few minutes...

in the pans

and then completely on a rack...

two loaves

edge of loaf

That's all there is to it!  Give it a try! 


Here's some tips I've found along the way:

*Makes DELICIOUS cinnamon toast and when it starts getting a little dry- french toast! :) But my dear hubby just prefers it with lots of plain ole butter nuked in the microwave for a few secs!
And now that I've discovered Dairy and Soy Free BUTTER, I enjoy it that way too!!
We also make sandwiches out of it!

butter on my bread

*Another option is to wrap one of the loaves in saran wrap and then in aluminum foil and freeze it. Thaw it in the fridge for a day before putting it out. It's really pretty good this way- a little dry- but excellent for toast or french toast!

This is what my counter looks like when I'm making bread:
{note the little basket of ingredients on the left}


I have a basket that I keep all of my bread ingredients in.  That way, when I go to make bread, instead of hunting down all the ingredients, I just grab the basket! 

bread box

In the containers in the basket, I have the measuring cups that I use for each part of the recipe.  That way I don't have to wash the measuring cups each time I make bread, or hunt down the right size.  It's just cuts down on the process of it all....

measuring cups

I buy bread machine yeast in the jars.  Just be sure to keep it in the fridge, not in the bread basket :)

bread machine yeast

Since this recipe makes two loaves, sometimes I'll make just one loaf of bread and instead of using the remaining dough for another loaf, I'll form it into buns (just balls of dough smashed flat) for use as hamburger or BBQ buns. 


There's also a correlation between milk supply and oatmeal, (as discussed in this article) so eating oat bread could have some added benefits to a milkin' mama! :)

And lately I've been storing the bread in a tupperware container with press and seal saran wrap on top, just like I do my banana bread . In order to keep it moist, I cut the end piece and keep it pressed against the remaining loaf.

in the tupperware

The hardest part is waiting for the bread to cool enough to slice :)


This bread rocks my dairy/soy free world! :)


Justina Selim said...

I just recently found your blog and I am excited that you are updating it again! I have a 3 month old who can't have milk products and I am struggling to not eat milk products! I am slowly learning all of the things that milk are hidden in! Your site has been very helpful! Just wanted to say thanks!

Beth said...

Hi! I just found your blog through Must Follow Recipes. We had a similar story. My daughter is 18 months old and I had to cut out dairy in my diet for over a year. When she was about 15 months old I tried just a little dairy in my diet and she did fine. She's still nursing about once/day at 18 months, and she still can't have dairy, but does not have nearly as bad of a reaction anymore. Thanks for your blog - we still do not have any dairy in the house and cook exclusively dairy free for her! (And nut free - and chicken free for my husband - although we have chicken when he's not going to be home :)

Rosie Magruder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rosie Magruder said...

This is indeed awsome! I tried baking this with my kids and we had fun and of course they loved it! They even asked for more! I sure will recommend this recipe as well as your blog to my friends. Thanks a lot and I'll be looking forward to your future posts. You may also check this one out if you’ve got a milk allergy or sensitivity, our lactose free bread might just be the healthy solution for you. Many store-brand bread-makers are still using milk in their products to give it that wonderful texture. But we’ve got a recipe that makes a delicious loaf of bread with that same texture without using milk. lactose free bread

Courtney Michels said...

How do you buy just whole wheat? Or is it whole wheat flour? Looking forward to making this bread as my little guy has mspi, but want to make sure I do it right! Thanks!

Christi Long said...

I was wondering the same thing! Did you ever get an answer?

Cristy said...

Hi! Could you add seeds? Like sunflower seeds or millet? I've never used a bread machine before so I wasn't sure how easy that was to do! Thanks!!

Rachel W. said...

This recipe looks really great! I'd really love to try it. Can i leave out or sub out the oats? And what would you recommend if a substitute is needed? We have oat sensitivities in our house...

danaesimmons said...

I am eating dairy free for my little one but I heard somewhere that dairy free and non-dairy are not the same thing. Is that butter safe to eat? I got some but stopped eating almost immediately afterwards.

I am also curious because I was dairy and nut free but drinking soymilk at the pediatrician and GI's recommendation. Then in seeing an allergist, he advised me to go off of soymilk (but soy was okay in my diet) and drink almond milk instead but with no other nuts in my diet. My daughter's diapers are still purely mucus and I am worried that I have not cut out what is bothering her tummy. Any input on that? I understand you're not a doctor- just another mommy who is trying to help her little one feel better.

Melody Smith Wagstaff said...

I am also curious is the 1/2 c whole wheat; whole wheat flour? For my bread machine it would list adding the wheat flour closer to the step with the white flour is why I am confused. I'm not sure what 'whole wheat' alone would be as I have not baked with it before.

Thank you for your blog as my three month old has been diagnosed with an intolerance to dairy and soy recently and we are doing our best to continue with the breast! Appreciate your words of encouragement!

Melody Smith Wagstaff said...

AWESOME!!!! My bread machine can only handle 1 loaf at a time unfortunately and had me add the ingredients in a different order (wet/dry/yeast) but we are going on our 4th loaf today. This recipe is AMAZING!! It's wonderfully moist and great for anything from sandwiches, to folding for buns, toast, etc. I did use old fashioned oats, whole wheat flour, and active dry yeast pkg~ halved for one loaf (buying the bigger bread machine yeast jar today). Happy to have this recipe available for the duration we are eating soy/dairy free. Thank you for keeping this site available.

Unknown said...

I have to tell you how much our family loves this bread! I first started making it as a nursing mama last year, and now it is still a regular in our house because of my toddler's severe allergies. I feel like I often end up with different consistencies with my dough, but it always turns out tasty! Thank you!

Catherine Ouellette said...

Hi, did you mix the yeast with water and sugar first or did you just mix it in?

Melody Smith Wagstaff said...

If you're using a bread machine it should have you layer the ingredients wet, dry, and yeast last on top. If no bread machine; go ahead and mix the yeast w water and sugar. (It should bubble if your yeast is good.) Haven't tried just throwing it all in my stand mixer but I know some recipes that works ok w. Give it a try! ;) This recipe is good enough even the oops loaves are pretty good. Best of luck if you're having to go df/sf. My little guy is much better now bc of it!