Whole Wheat & Oatmeal Bread (plus Crock Pot Dinner Rolls)
- 1 pkg active dry yeast
- 2 cups of warm (not hot) water - divide into 2 portions of 1c each
- 1 - 2 tsp white sugar
- 3 tbsp margarine or butter, softened but not melted
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 c golden brown sugar (yep, that's right) or 1/2 c honey or molasses
- 1 c rolled oats
- 1 c white flour
- 3-4 c whole wheat flour (more for kneading)
- Prepare warm water. Place 1 cup warm water mixed with white sugar in a small bowl or 2c measuring cup. Sprinkle package of yeast over the water and place in a warm spot to rise (10 to 15 min.)
- While yeast rises, place brown sugar and salt in a large bowl.
- Soften margarine or butter in microwave until soft, not melted (30 seconds or less)
- Stir yeast/water and stir into brown sugar, adding additional cup of warm water and stirring well. Make sure you get all the yeast out of the mixing cup.
- Add one cup of white flour and 1 c rolled oats and stir.
- Stir in approximate 2 to 3 c of whole wheat flour.
- Once you can't stir in more flour, remove mixture to a floured surface to knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and not sticky. Add additional flour as needed to make a MEDIUM stiff dough. The secret is to keep kneading until all the flour is mixed in and the dough is smooth. Kneading adds air to the dough, producing a delicious, lighter bread.
- Butter the bowl you used for the dough, place the dough in the bowl, cover with a towel and rise in a warm spot for 1 to 1 1/2 hours - until the dough has doubled in size. You may want to put a bit of butter or margarine on top of the dough as it rises. It makes a tastier finished product.
- Once dough has risen, punch down and dump onto a floured surface. Cover and rest for about 10 minutes.
- Take about 1/3 of the dough (or a bit more) and divide into 8 pieces (about the size of an egg) for rolls. Roll each bit between your hands (rest the piece of dough on the palm of one hand and cup and roll your upper hand to form a smooth roll - I learned this when I was a baker's assistant :)
- Place in an unheated buttered crock pot and let rise for an hour or so).
- Take the remainder of the dough, shape into a smooth oblong roll and place in buttered loaf pan. This should also rise for about an hour until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Turn the crock pot to high and bake the dinner rolls for approximately 60 minutes or so. Check to make sure they are soft and no longer sticky. They should have some 'give' but not be too soft. Mine were done in about 55 minutes, but my crock pot is fast. The original recipe said 60-90 minutes.
- While the rolls are baking place the bread in the preheated oven. Bake for about an hour or so, until the bread is a deep golden brown and the top can be tapped (not a hard bread, but solid).