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Monday, 23 July 2012

STOVES and BREAD


Mom’s first stove was called, quite appropriately, the “Homesteader”.   Dad bought it from a Mr. Haney for $2.50.  Mom said she had to plaster the oven with a mixture of ashes, salt, and water, which made a kind of cement, because there was a hole between the fireplace and the oven.  (Salt was cheap.)

“It was a wonderful stove,” Mom said.  “Sure baked good bread.  It baked everything.  It was warm.  You could sit on the hearth in front of the fireplace.”
 
“We got rid of it when Keepers were moving to Flin Flon and were selling their stove for $5.00.  It wasn’t as good.  I missed the other one.”




OATMEAL BREAD
3 loaf pans
2 cups rolled oats
¼ cup shortening
2 tsp sugar
5 tsp yeast (or 2 envelopes)
2/3 cup molasses
2 ½ tsp salt
enriched flour

1.       Boil 3 cups water.
2.      In a large mixing bowl, stir water into rolled oats and shortening.  Let stand.
3.      Generously grease another large mixing bowl and set aside with a clean tea towel.
4.      Stir sugar into 1 cup lukewarm water.  Sprinkle on top the yeast.  Let stand 10 minutes.
5.      Stir molasses and salt into oats bowl.   Let stand another 5 minutes.
6.      Set oven to 350 and heat for only one minute.  Turn off oven heat.
7.      Adding one half cup at a time, beat 2 ½ cups of flour into oats with mixer.
8.      Beat in yeast.
9.      With a wooden spoon, mix in 5 to 6 cups more flour.  You will have to knead the last cups in.
10.  Knead until smooth.  (The friend who taught me said that when it’s ready it should feel like a baby’s bottom.)
11.  Place the ball of dough in the greased mixing bowl and rotate it in order to grease all over.
12.  Cover with tea towel and place in slightly warm oven to rise until doubled.  (1 ½ hours)
13.  Grease 3 loaf pans.
14.  Punch down and shape into 3 loaves. 
15.  Cover with tea towel and return to warm oven to rise again until doubled.  (30 to 45 minutes)
16.  Take out of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
17.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. 

Remember not all ovens are the same.  My first oven was hot so I always reduced the requested temperature by 25 degrees.  My next oven was probably perfect so I only baked this bread 30 minutes in it.  My present oven seems to be on the cool side so I can keep the bread in for35 minutes.