Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Bread

Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Bread

cinnamon oatmeal fruit nut bread

My dad, in addition to being the number one fan (and often only reader) of this site, was the person who taught me that homemade bread can be easy and is so much better and more satisfying than anything you can get at the store. More than that, though, he has inspired in me a passion for cooking and an ardent desire to master bread baking, and he has given me a lasting impression and model of the quintessential father and man–in other words, something to aspire to. Oh yeah, and what can only be described as an unyielding addiction to pie… he gave me that too. In the unlikely event that I ever have children of my own, if I can be half as good a dad as he was, I’ll still be great. And likely twice as good as your dad! It’s the truth.

I had hoped to spend this summer by his side in the kitchen as his cooking apprentice, building new skills and learning his magic. My dad died in April, and although there are still so many things I want to share with him and I know that I will be always be desperate for his advice, I feel lucky just to have had him in my life. And he certainly didn’t leave me empty handed. Sure, he gave me enough knowledge to make tasty bread, but more importantly, I know he gave me the tools I need to make my way in this life, to be successful and to be a good man.

Oat Nut Fruit bread

Like so many things, I never got the chance to share this bread with my dad, but I know he would have loved it. He would have been proud even if the bread was poor, but, as it happens, it’s delicious.


1 cup of warm water

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 ½ tsp yeast

1 cup whole rolled oats

plus ¾ cup of water

3 cups white bread flour

¾ cup white-whole wheat flour

¾ cup whole wheat flour

1.5 tsp salt

1 tablespoon powdered milk

2 tsp malt powder

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ cup raisins

¼ cup chopped walnuts

1 apple, finely diced

1 tbs of olive oil



Dissolve 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in the warm water, add the yeast and let it proof.

Place the oats in a small bowl and add the ¾ cup water. Set it aside while you assemble the other ingredients.

Combine the flours, salt, milk powder, malt, 3 tbs of brown sugar, walnuts and raisins in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, and give them a mix.

After the oats have absorbed the liquid (about 5 minutes), add the oats and apple to the mixture and stir until everything is evenly distributed throughout.

ingredients bowl

Add the proofed yeast to the bowl and mix for 15 minutes. The dough should be very sticky.

Grease the mixing bowl with the olive oil, add the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 1.5 hours.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and shape into a round loaf.

oatmeal bread dough

bowl cover

Cover the loaf with a bowl, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and allow it to raise for another hour. 5 minutes before you are ready to put the bread in the oven, cut a # sign into the dough and place a baking pan with 1 cup of water in the oven.

Place the bread in the oven and allow to bake for 10-15 minutes (keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t get too brown). After the bread has browned, turn the oven down to 375 degrees F and place an aluminum foil tent over the loaf. Let the bread bake for another 20-30 minutes or until the center of the loaf reads 200 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.

Allow it to cool and enjoy.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

me and dad

oatmeal frut nut bread sliced