It’s that time of the year here in the Northeast. Our ovens become our winter friends. They heat our kitchens, fill our homes with wonderful aromas, and help us produce delicious comfort foods that warm our souls.
I love making homemade bread, and a chilly day with snow in the air gives me just the reason to do it.
What could be better than a warm slice of bread without any preservatives, and topped with fresh butter? Hmmm… maybe a piece of toast slathered with homemade strawberry jam that was made with plump berries from Silver Queen Farm in Trumansburg, NY.
Rustic Oat Bread
3/4 c. milk
3/4 c. water
2 tbsp. butternut squash seed oil
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 c. oatmeal, plus extra for topping
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 c. all-purpose flour, plus 1 cup for kneading
2 tbsp. honey
In a small saucepan, add milk, water, oil, and brown sugar. Bring to boil; stirring constantly. Once boiling, remove from heat.
In a large bowl, add oatmeal, salt, and cinnamon. Pour milk mixture over oatmeal; mix ingredients. Let stand until lukewarm.
Add yeast and flour; mix completely. On lightly floured surface knead dough by hand for approximately 7 minutes. Place in a large bowl greased lightly with squash seed oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place and let rise until doubled.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Cut in half, briefly knead each half into a ball. Place each ball a distance apart from each other on a floured cookie. Cover with a clean dish towel and let it rise until doubled.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Brush each ball of dough with honey, and sprinkle lightly with oatmeal. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes until bread is golden brown, and sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer to wire baking rack to cool.
*Baker’s note – I made this hearty bread with Stony Brook WholeHearted Foods Butternut Squash Seed Oil that’s produced in Geneva, NY. I like using squash seed oil because it gives food a deliciously light nutty flavor. If you don’t have squash seed oil you can always substitute it with olive oil.
Here is a question for you local foodies. Will Stony Brook WholeHearted Foods and Silver Queen Farm be nominated for a Finger Lakes Foodie award this year?