Oatmeal Bread

The Eastern, or Atlantic provinces of Canada were settled by Scots and Irish looking for a brighter future.  They brought many of their customs and traditions from food to music – indeed there are still some gallic speaking communities in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. 

This bread most certainly has celtic origins.  If the oats and raisins do not convince you, the porridge oats will.  It is a delicious bread, developed in the day when oats were cheap and plentiful and wheat was scarce and dear.  Wheat was needed to make bread that rose and oats were needed as a cheap filler – to make your wheat go farther.

Oatmeal Bread

Like most “poor people’s food” this is delicious and nutritious: simple, hearty, satisfying…a real “stick to your ribs” bread; perfect for a long day at sea.
Cook Time45 mins
Soak oatmeal12 hrs
Total Time45 mins
Keyword: Bread, Canadian bread, Scottish bread
Author: Jane Mason

Ingredients

  • 1 Big mug Porridge oats As unrefined as you can get them
  • 1 Big mug Boiling water
  • 1 tbsp Lard or Butter or coconut oil/the vegetable oil of your choice
  • 1 tbsp Molasses or honey
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 300 grams Whole meal flour or spelt or white or a mixture
  • 200 grams Water room temperature
  • 1.5 grams Instant yeast or 3 g dry or 6 g fresh yeast

Instructions

Previous night

  • The night before you want to bake (or several hours before) measure the oats into a bowl and pour over the boiling water.
  • Stir in the lard, salt, and molasses.
  • Cover and let cool completely or it will kill the yeast.

Main dough

  • Once the oats are completely cool, measure the water into a bowl.
  • Add the yeast and let it sit for 10 minutes to dissolve.
  • Add the flour and the oat mixture and get it together in the bowl. Turn it out on the counter and knead well for 10 minutes. It will be very sticky and that is ok. If you are using a mixer, knead for 10 minutes on the lowest speed.
  • Pop it back in the bowl and then cover it and let it rest for 1-2 hours until it has at least doubled in size. Grease a big bread tin or two smaller ones – you want to fill it about 2/3 full. Pop a little handful of oats in the tin and shake the tin around to get the oats to stick to the bottom and the side of the tin.
  • When the dough is ready, heavilly flour the counter and get a bowl of water handy to wet your hands. Pull the dough out and, using a sraper and wet hands, shape the dough into a sausage (or two, if you are using two tins) and place the dough in the tin (s). Try not to incorporate more flour into the dough – you just need the flour to prevent the dough from sticking too much to the counter. Cover the tins with a light tea towel and let the dough rest for 45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Spray the top of the dough with a plant sprayer and sprinkle some oats on the top. Pop the dough in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes.
  • This dough will not sound particularly hollow when you tap it because of all the oats.
  • Let it cool completely and then eat with butter and (if you are feeling particularly sinful) brown sugar. Or just jam or cheese if you like cheese and raisins together. It keeps for ages and is excellent toasted.