Monday, September 1, 2008

Herbed Oatmeal Bread

1 c. water
1/2 c. uncoaked oatmeal
1 & 1/2 TBS butter
2 c. unbleached flour
1/8 c. sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1 egg yolk

Herb Cheese Topping*:
2 tsp grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 TBS butter, melted

Grease 8x8 inch baking pan (glass work best).

Bring water to a boil in medium saucepan; stir in oatmeal. Remove from heat; stir in 1 & 1/2 TBS butter. Cool to 120-130 degrees.

In large bowl, combine 3/4 c. flour, sugar and yeast. Blend well. Add oat mixture & egg mixture. By hand, stir well, until moistened. Beat for 3 minutes. Stir in 1 c. flour to form stiff dough.

On lightly floured surface, knead in 1/4 - 1/2 c. flour until dough is smooth & elastic, about 5 minutes. Shape dough into ball; cover with inverted large bowl. Let rest 15 minutes. Punch down dough several times to remove all air bubbles. Press into greased pan. Using very sharp knife. cut diagonal lines 1&1/2 inches apart through dough. Repeat in opposite direction, creating diamond pattern. Cover loosely with grased plastic wrap & cloth towel. Let rise in warm place until light & doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. Uncover dough. Redefine cuts by poking tip of knife hits bottom of pan; do NOT pull knife through dough. In small bowl, combine Parmesan, basil, oregano & garlic. Set aside. Spoon 2 TBS melted butter over the cut dough. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Brush remaining butter over partially baked bread. Sprinkle with Parmesan-herb mixture. Bake for an additional 15 minutes until golden brown.

Serve warm or cool.

*Topping is optional. Omit or substitute as desired.

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