By Bettina Schormann

At the restaurant, on any given day, we will make up to seventy loaves of bread. Oatmeal Molasses Bread stands out as a little bit sweet, with a thin crust and a hearty oatmeal flavour.

Makes 2 loaves

2 cups boiling water
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking rolled oats, divided
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup mild (light) molasses
6 cups all-purpose flour (approx.), divided
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dry instant yeast
1 large organic egg, whisked with 1 Tbsp water

In a large bowl, combine boiling water, 1 cup of the oats, the butter and molasses; let cool until lukewarm.

In another bowl, whisk together 2 cups of the flour, the brown sugar, salt and yeast. Add to oat mixture, stirring well to combine. Using a spoon, gradually work in most or all of the remaining 4 cups of flour just until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 12 minutes. Place in a large greased bowl, turning dough to grease all over. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a still oven, with light on and door closed, until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.

Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and press each half into a 12- by 9-inch rectangle. Starting at a narrow end, roll up into a cylinder and pinch along the bottom to smooth and seal. Place the cylinders a few inches apart on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking pan, cover with tea towels, and let rise in still oven until dough no longer springs back when lightly pressed, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of oats.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake loaves until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 50 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool.

Excerpted from Earth to Table by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann, © 2009. Published by Random House Canada. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.

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