I usually make a lot of homemade bread during the winter months, but this year I have to admit that I’ve been a slacker. 

Today, I decided my slacker days are over. 

The thing I like most about homemade bread? Other than it’s deliciousness? There are zero preservatives in it. 

These loaves of bread didn’t rise particularly high, but the texture and flavor is exactly what I was looking for.  This recipe makes a moist, dense, and hearty stick to your ribs kind of bread.   I can’t wait to toast a slice and slather it with homemade jam!

Homemade Hearty Rye Oatmeal Bread

(Makes two loaves of bread)

1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

2 cups boiling water

4 tsp. instant yeast

1/4 c. warm water

1/8 c.  honey

1/8 c. molasses

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 c. rye flour

2 c. all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, soak oatmeal in two cups of boiled water for about 20 minutes, or until it cools and is just warm.  Add  remaining ingredients in order; mix by hand.  The dough will be slightly sticky.  On a moderately floured surface, knead dough into a ball.  Place ball into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Let rise until doubled.

Knock dough down and cut in half.  Knead each half on lightly floured surface for about two minutes; shape into loaves.  Place loaves in greased bread pans and cover with towel.  Let rise until nearly doubled. 

Bake at 350 degrees about 20-25 minutes, or until bread sounds hollow when tapped.  Remove from oven and lightly brush olive oil on top of each loaf.  Remove loaves from pans and allow to cool before cutting.

*Note – if the yeast is added to the oatmeal mixture before it has cooled sufficiently, it will hinder your bread from rising properly. 

How do you feel about preservatives? Do you read food labels when you shop?  If so, what is most important to you when you choose a product?

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