I sheepishly confess to you that I waste more food than I care to admit. I'm not just talking about bananas that sit on the countertop for a week and turn to mush. I'm talking about buying bulk oat flour (on a whim) and never using it, or a quart of buttermilk or heavy cream. I might buy cauliflower and let it sit in the fridge until composting is the only option.
In an effort to use up the assortment of grains and milks and flours that I have on hand, I decided to pull out the bread machine and make a loaf of Maple Oatmeal bread. I know, it's not the traditional hand-made kneaded bread that would impress even your own mother, but the bread machine puts out a fine little loaf, better than you could get off a grocery shelf.
When we bought our bread machine we were warned that we'd use it for a week and then store it for a decade before selling it off at a garage sale. This wasn't the case for us. We use the bread machine more than anyone else I know. We use it often enough to have justified the purchase of The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger (and no, I did not choose the book because the author's last name starts with Hen).
The Bread Machine Cookbook is my first choice for new bread recipes. I knew there had to be something that called for rolled oats, which I had a ton of and to my delight I found one that called for buttermilk and maple syrup as well, both of which I had on hand. I was skeptical because it didn't call for a single egg but I'll be damned, it was heaven even without it. This recipe is worth a trip to the market if you don't have everything you need. Without further ado, I give to you:
Maple Oatmeal Bread
from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook
*intructions are for a 1 1/2 - pound loaf
1 1/3 Cups buttermilk
1/3 Cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 Cups bread flour
3/4 Cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon gluten
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
1. Place all the ingredients in the pan according to the order in the manufacturer's instructions (mine happen to be in the order they are listed above - liquids first, then dry, yeast last).
2. Set crust to Dark and program for the Basic cycle; press Start (this recipe is not suitable for use with Delay Timer).
3. The dough ball will be firm but springy. If it seems too stiff, dribble with some water during kneading (I didn't find this necessary).
4. When the baking cycle ends, immediately remove the bread from the pan and place it on the rack. Let cool to room temperature before slicing (I was not able to wait that long).
5. Enjoy! I buttered up a slice and enjoyed it while warm.