This deliciously hearty Oat Nut Bread is loaded with whole oats, nuts and a touch of molasses. Great for sandwiches, toast and more.
1cupsteel-cut or old-fashioned oats
¼cupdark molassesNOT blackstrap
4cupssifted all purpose flour plus more for kneading(optional: replace 2 cups AP flour with whole wheat flour)
1packet active dry yeast2 ¼ teaspoon
¼cupwarm waterabout 85°F
1cuppecans or walnuts, roughly choppedoptional
¼cupsteel-cut or old-fashioned oatsoptional
In a medium bowl, add oats, molasses, shortening and salt. Pour in boiling water and stir in 2 cups of flour. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes (old-fashioned oats only need to soak about 5 minutes, steel-cut at least 10).
In a small bowl dissolve yeast in ¼ cup warm water. Mix yeast mixture into oat/flour mixture and add in remaining 2 cups flour and nuts (if using).
Knead dough with a dough hook (preferred because it will still be warm and dough is a bit sticky) or by hand until smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. Add extra flour if necessary, but dough should be a little sticky.
Place dough in greased bowl, cover with a towel and place in a warm draft free place to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough and knead again for a few minutes. Divide in half, shape into loaves and place into two greased loaf pans. If desired, soak ¼ cup oats in a tablespoon or two fo water for a few minutes then spread evenly on the loaves, pressing in slightly to help them stick.
Let rise again until almost doubled.
Bake at 375°F for about 40 minutes until brown on top and loaf sounds hollow if you gently thump on the top and the loaf has started to pull away from the sides of the pan.