Oatmeal Bread

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The great part of having a web site is that people write to me! I received an email from a gal who took my Natural Foods Cooking Class in 1980. She had moved to an area with ‘horrid bread’ and wanted to know if I could send her a copy of this bread recipe. For me, the real satisfying part of her note was that she said I was a great influence on her eating habits. She expressed thanks that our store had survived (Believe me, thirty years ago everyone had their doubts!) and said people are finally taking notice. She is right!

 This particular recipe comes from The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook published in 1971. Some one received it in a book club and gave it to me because she knew I was eating natural foods. My English Setter puppy got a hold of it and chewed it up, and with use, it lost its cover. My copy looks pretty sad! There are a lot of memories here.


Delicious Oatmeal Bread


1½ cups water

1 cup rolled oatmeal

¾ cups molasses or barley malt

3 tbsp. soft butter or safflower oil

2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp dry active year

2 cups lukewarm water

8 cups flour (½ whole wheat & ½ unbleached) or your choice of other flours


1. In a large bowl, pour boiling water over the oats and let stand 30 minutes

2. Add molasses, butter or oil, and sea salt to oat mixture .

3. Dissolve yeast in warm water by allowing it to stand until dissolved, and add to oat mixture.

4. Add enough flour to make a soft dough, and turn onto a floured board and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes or use your Kitchen Aid with the dough hook and let the machine do the work!

5. Place the dough in an oiled or buttered bowl, turning over so top is oiled. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in bulk, about one hour.

6. Turn onto a floured board and knead it into a ball to shape into loaves.

7. This recipe makes 2 large loaves or 4 one pound loaves. I made three medium sized loaves, using 8.5 by 4.5 by 2.5 loaf pan. (For 2 loaves, use a 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf pans)

8. Divide into the amount of loaves you want. I flatten the ball of dough and then roll up, pinch together, fold ends under, and place in an oiled loaf pan, again oiled side up. 

9. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.

10. Bake loaves for 5 minutes at 400, and then reduce oven to 350 and bake 40 more minutes for the 2 loaves, and less for the smaller loaves.

11. Brush tops with butter for a soft crust if you like!