The need to knead

oatmeal bread

Pun aside: I’ve been making that no-knead bread, and it is terrific, but there are times I just miss that hands-on tactile relationship with bread dough. And yesterday was so cold and dreary, I didn’t want to go outside — just wanted to stay home and turn up the thermostat…. or turn on the oven!

Oatmeal bread, a recipe I’ve had for years and years, was just the ticket. It called for two eggs, but I only had one. It called for light molasses; mine was pretty dark. The original recipe also called for milk powder, but I never have that. No matter.

I used a mixture of wheat flour and bread flour, started around noon and by late afternoon I had two beautiful loaves of bread, just ready to be served with tea or soup. This is the kind of bread that is perfect for a sandwich or toast with butter….(but then, isn’t every kind of good bread perfect for that?)


With a little butter (and some marmalade) this was indeed a royal slice of bread, reminding me of A. A. Milne’s whimsical poem, The King’s Breakfast, which my dad used to often recite at our breakfast table:

     The King asked
     The Queen, and
     The Queen asked
     The Dairymaid:
     “Could we have some butter for
     The Royal slice of bread?”
     The Dairymaid

     Said, “Certainly,
     I’ll go and tell
     The cow
     Before she goes to bed.”
Oatmeal bread
1 tablespoon yeast
 1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup light molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
2 large eggs, beaten
flour: wheat, white or a mixture
  1. Dissolve the tablespoon of yeast in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water till bubbly.
  2. Meanwhile put the oats, molasses, oil and salt in a big bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Cool to lukewarm
  3. Stir in 2 cups of flour, add the 2 beaten eggs and the yeast mixture.
  4. Beat well
  5. Stir in enough flour to make a soft, but not sticky, dough. Turn on a floured surface, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Then knead until smooth.
  6. Let rise in a warm place until double — about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down.
  7. Coat 2 bread pans with oil and sprinkle a couple tablespoons of oats in each.
  8. Shape the dough into 2 loaves and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes
  9. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and brush the tops of the loaves with a mixture of 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon of water; sprinkle
  10. more oats on the top.
  11. Bake for about 40 minutes or until done. Check after 30 minutes and cover the tops with foil if they are getting too brown.
  12. See if you can let it cool a little before slicing!

1 Comment

Filed under baked goods, bread and pizza, winter

One response to “The need to knead


    Love this recipe and sweet poem and all your wonderful culinary suggestions throughout the year. Thanks so much and happy New Year!

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