I found a recipe for an oatmeal bread, Laudate Oatmeal Bread (page 229), that it looked like fun to try in Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette’s The Pure Joy of Monastery Cooking. I just found the cookbook at Borders this past week but the publication date is 2010.
¾ cup butter
1 cup raisins
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup blue agave
2 cups whole wheat flour
¼ tsp salt (slight ¼ tsp)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs, beaten
Grease two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans .
Bring water to a boil and add butter, once dissolved turn off the heat. Add raisins, oats, and blue agave. Stir wells and let mixture stand to absorb all of the water.
Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the beaten eggs and mix well.
Add the oat mixture to the flour mixture and stir until dough is uniform. [d’Avila-Latourrette says to knead with damp hands, but it was too wet for me, so I stirred with a spatula instead.)
Divide dough into 2 equal parts and spoon dough into each loaf pan.
Bake for 40 minutes or until top is a deep brown. Check for doneness by inserting knife into the center – if it comes out clean, the bread is done.
Cool on rack.
First, the bread is moist, which is nice. However, I wonder if because I used blue agave as the sweetener, a liquid, that perhaps I should have used a bit more flour to make the bread less moist. The loaves weren’t overly moist, but seemed to be on the verge. [By the way, none of my tasters thought it was too moist, just wondering.]
Second, the loaves are crumbly, so cut thick slices.
Third, I felt I had a Goldie Locks & the Three Bears experience with this bread. Ron declared it to be too sweet for him; I thought it wasn’t quite sweet enough (due, I think, because of my expectation that the quick breads I normally eat are more sweet than yeast breads); and a Taiwanese friend exclaimed that she loved the bread because the sweetness level was just right, reminding her of a New Year treat from home – similar texture, flavor, and sweetness level! Because of this wide range of reactions, I called on another taster this morning. She really liked the bread, the sweetness level was just right and the moisture was right for a quick bread. Since she was a homeeconomics teacher, I was glad to hear her comments.
Forth, in the end, we all really like the bread, even Ron!