Yes, things are getting busy. With Thanksgiving dinner and then holiday shopping and baking and visiting, life can get a bit hectic. Recent family health issues have caused me to slow down and reflect on the things that matter. While I’m thankful for so many big blessings like family, friends and home, I’m also thankful for many smaller joys.
I love the way the rain hangs on the crabapples in the back tree, the voices of the new neighbor boys as they play in the backyard reminding me of my own boys. There’s nothing like a great book on a cold evening, the hoot of the owl when I can’t sleep at night. And I think my favorite meal consists of a great bowl of soup and some homemade bread. Simple is many times better.
I encourage you this holiday season to take some time to slow down and be thankful for your many blessings, help those who have less than you, look for the good in those around you, enjoy a job well done, show simple kindness and enjoy it in others. And sit down and enjoy a bowl of soup and some fresh, homemade bread.
Enjoy the holidays ahead!
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats
- 2 packages dry yeast or 4 teaspoons dry yeast
- 1/3 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 5-6 cups flour
- 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water
- In a large mixer bowl, pour the boiling water over the oats and let the mixture rest until the oats are completely softened, about 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast with the lukewarm water and allow to stand 10 minutes.
- To the oat mixture, add the salt, honey and melted butter; combine, then stir in the yeast. Gradually add enough flour to make the dough soft and kneadable. Knead for 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed. The dough should be elastic, soft and smooth.
- Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl, turning to coat the surface. Cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm place to rise for about an hour.
- Preheat oven to 325.
- After the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and divide into 2 8”x4” loaf pans that have been sprayed with Pam and sprinkled with rolled oats. There is no need for further rising. Brush the loaves with the egg wash and sprinkle some additional oats on top. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until golden brown. Tip bread out onto a wire rack to cool.
- This bread freezes well in a Ziploc freezer bag.