Hardy Peasant Bread
3/4 teaspoon sugar
2 2/3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 packages) active dry yeast
1/3 cup butter, melted, or vegetable oil
1/3 cup packed brown sugar or honey
2 teaspoons molasses
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/3 cups rolled oats, plus more for pans
6 to 7 cups whole wheat flour, or half whole wheat flour and half unbleached all-purpose flour
To check for doneness, tip one loaf carefully from the pan and tap the bottom of the loaf with your fingers; it should sound hollow.
Actual Prep time is 3-4 hours due to waiting for dough to rise.
Actual cook time is 20 min. on 400 and then reduce to 350 for an additional 10 to 15 min. Until done
Turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool, with a cloth over them to help keep the crust soft.
Let sit until bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes, then stir to mix well.
Add the remaining 1 2/3 cups water with the melted butter or oil, brown sugar, molasses, and salt; stir to mix.
Stir in the oats, followed by the flour, 1 cup at a time.
When the dough is firm, turn it onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and supple, about 10 minutes.
Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to evenly coat it in oil.
Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
TURN THE DOUGH OUT onto a lightly oiled surface and punch it down.
Grease two 5- by 9-inch loaf pans and sprinkle the insides sparingly with some oats.
Divide the dough in half and shape each into a cylinder that fits snugly in the pan.
Put the loaves in the pans, cover with a cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled and the loaf tops are rounded and smooth, about 1 hour.
PREHEAT THE OVEN to 400░F.
Bake the loaves for 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 350░F, and continue baking until the loaves are browned, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
Serving Size:áMakes 2 loaves of bread. Aprox 6 slices each