Maple Oatmeal Bread
This is one of the recipes that I sought to make because of available ingredients. My in-laws just made another batch of maple syrup for this year (they do around March) and gave us some. I still had some from last year's, so I thought I'd look for a recipe to use up the opened jar sitting int he fridge. I found one at KAF, but I modified the recipe. Reading their blog about the recipe, I learned that they originally made use of 1/2 cup maple syrup. and while they made use of water, maple syrup and maple flavoring to brush the top to save on the expensive ingredient, I did not have to do that.
I had about 1/2 cup from a pint jar of maple syrup, and after pouring that off into a measuring cup, I had maple sugar sediment at the bottom, which I crushed with fork. This was what I used to brush the top of the loaf prior to baking. The blog author was right, the maple flavor was like creeping on you slowly...and toasting it (I do for 5 minutes) brings out the full flavor. Perfect for breakfast with my coffee, even plain or with jam.
And since I was using my bread machine, I changed the flours to bread flour and traditional whole wheat, both KAF brands, and the yeast to BM yeast. Of course, once these ingredients are changed, the method changes as well.
* 3/4 cup warm water (80-100 deg F)
* 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
* 1/2 cup real maple syrup
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 3/4 cup King Arthur 100% Traditional Whole Wheat Flour
* 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
* 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
Combine all wet ingredients and warm up to 80 to 100 deg F. Place in BM pan. (Don't forget the paddle!)
Combine all dry ingredients and place on top of dry. Start the dough cycle. Run a timer for 30 minutes (this will be the total time of kneading by the machine before it rests to rise for one hour), after which, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and flatten with your floured palm to a disk. Generously grease your loaf pan.
Roll the dough to a log and place seam side down in an 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 loaf pan (if you use a bigger one, your loaf will not have an overhang and will seem too small for the pan). Cover with cling wrap smeared with shortening on the side that will eventually touch the dough so that dough will not stick when you remove the plastic later. Let rise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours in a warm, draft-free, moist place or until the dough has doubled in size and has about 1 inch overhang.
Heat the oven to 350 deg F. Place rack at the middle.
Remove plastic and brush the top with maple sugar-syrup all over. (I placed the loaf pan on another shallow pan to catch syrup drippings.). Bake for 35-40 minutes or until it sounds hollow when top is tapped with finger.
Let cool down for about 5 minutes before turning onto a cooling wire rack. KAF advises to let it cool fully before slicing. I don't. I think the reason they advise that is that it is easy to compress and deform the loaf with the pressure of slicer. I have, in the past, even as a child, learned to angle the loaf in such a way that my slicer hits the bottom corner first. When done this way, versus hitting the loaf from the top or flat sides, the bread maintains its shape, especially if you are not hastening the slicing.