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When I first made this oatmeal molasses bread a year or two ago, Mom and my sisters Beth and Alex oohed and aahed about how wonderful it tasted. 🍞 One of our friends enjoyed it so much, that she wanted to learn how to make it herself! It’s a simple bread to make, and tastes delicious when sliced and spread with butter, or toasted the next day.
The secret to a lovely-shaped bloomer is to roll the dough tightly when you’re shaping the loaf. Also, make sure the seam is centered underneath the loaf, since the loaf will roll over some as it proves and bakes if the seam is off-centered. 🍞 Here’s a neat tip for decorating the loaf: spritz it lightly with water before rubbing flour all over it. The water helps the flour stick to the bread, which makes the slashes stand out even more!
Ready to get baking? I am! 😃Print
Oatmeal molasses bloomer is a delightful loaf that’s slightly sweet from the molasses. It tastes great just with butter, and makes wonderful toast!
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (40g)
- 3/4 cup boiling water (175 ml)
- 5 cups bread flour (500g)
- 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast (10g)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt (7g)
- 7 tablespoons molasses (153g)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (57g)
- 3/4 cup warm milk (175 ml)
- 1 large egg
Preparing the Porridge (2 minutes + 15 minutes cooling)
- Make a quick porridge by combining the oats and boiling water in a shallow bowl. Let it stand on the counter for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The oats should have absorbed all the water and have softened and cooled to 110-115 F.
Making the Dough (35 minutes + 1 1/2 hours proving)
- Warm the milk to 115 F.
- Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl. Stir in each one with your finger to combine.
- Add the cooled porridge, molasses, butter, egg, and half of the milk and stir with your hand to combine. Gradually add more milk as you stir and knead the dough in the bowl. A soft, somewhat sticky dough should have formed, and all the flour should be picked up from the bowl. You may not need all of the milk.
- Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth, elastic, and no longer so sticky. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
- Let the dough prove for about 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size. Placing a pan of boiling water in a cold oven and letting the dough prove inside is the best way to speed up the prove.
Shaping the Loaf (10 minutes + 45 minutes proving)
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knock it back by punching it down all over, forming it into a rectangle as you do so.
- With a short end of the rectangle facing you, roll up the dough tightly, starting with the short end facing away from you.
- Turn the loaf over so the seam is centered underneath it. Tuck the ends under to make a smooth, oblong loaf.
- Place the bloomer on a large baking stone or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap or place the tray inside a large, clean garbage bag to keep the air off of it.
- Let the dough prove for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until doubled in size. The dough should spring back quickly when lightly prodded with a fingertip.
- About 10-15 minutes before the dough is finished proving, preheat the oven to 400 F.
Baking the Loaf (5 minutes + 45 minutes baking + 1 hour cooling)
- Once the loaf has proved, lightly spritz it with water from a spray bottle. Gently rub the water all over the loaf. Sprinkle some flour on top of the loaf and gently massage it all over the wet loaf until it is covered.
- Score the loaf with a lame or very sharp serrated knife.
- Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes, then lower the oven to 350 F and bake for another 35-40 minutes. The loaf is done baking when it is well risen, browned on the bottom, and sounds somewhat hollow when the base is thumped.
- Place the loaf on a wire rack and let it cool completely before slicing and eating.
- If the bread is getting too dark while it’s baking, cover it with a sheet of aluminum foil.
- Baking the loaf on a stone is really best. A browned base is a good indication of a baked loaf when using a stone pan. If you’re using a metal cookie sheet, the base will brown much faster than on a stone, so make sure the loaf sounds hollow when thumped.