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posted: 7/1/2014 6:00 AM

Maple Oatmeal Bread

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¾ cup old fashioned oats, plus more for garnish

1¼ cup water

1 packet (¼ ounce) plus 1 teaspoon dry yeast

⅓ cup very warm water, 105-110 degrees

½ cup milk

½ cup real maple syrup, plus more for garnish

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter

2 teaspoons salt

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 egg, beaten

In a medium bowl, mix oats and water. Microwave on High for 2 minutes until water is absorbed. Allow to cool until lukewarm.

In second bowl, mix yeast and warm water, stir slightly; set aside till slightly foamy.

Put milk, maple syrup, sugar, butter and salt in a saucepan, heat until lukewarm to your hand, no more than 110 degrees. Do not add yeast to any mixture warmer than lukewarm to your hand or you will kill the yeast.

Mix flours in a large bowl; stir in the liquids and oat mixtures and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 6-8 minutes till smooth and elastic; work in additional flour as needed to make a smooth non-sticky dough. Shape into a ball. Put the dough into a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a piece of oiled plastic wrap and put the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough double in size, about 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the bowl and gently punch down the dough. Divide the dough in half and shape into two rounds. Put the rounds into greased baking pans. Brush the rounds with the beaten egg, cover with oiled plastic. Put the pans in a warm non-drafty place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Uncover and bake 35-45 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the pans and place on a cooling rack. Brush the hot loaves with the additional maple syrup. Sprinkle with oats.

Makes two loaves; serves 16-20.

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