Two loaves of mild oat bread get a kick from dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. Honey and molasses add a modest sweetness.
INGREDIENTS (for 3 servings):
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 6 cups bread flour
- 1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds
In a small bowl, soak cranberries in hot water. In a separate bowl, dissolve the yeast, honey and molasses in 1 cup warm water. Let stand until creamy, about ten minutes. Drain and chop the cranberries, reserving the liquid; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the reserved water, oats, eggs, salt , shortening and 2 cups of flour. Mix until well blended. Then stir in the yeast mixture. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has started to pull together, add the cranberries and the sunflower seeds.
When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
Grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form into loaves. Place the loaves into the prepared pans. (The dough can also be formed into longer loaves and placed on lightly greased baking sheets.) Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then decrease heat to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and continue to bake for another 30 minutes. Turn out of pans a few minutes after removing from oven. You can brush all sides with a little butter or margarine, if desired. Don't cut this bread too quickly, it tastes best slightly warm or at room temperature.