In Lisa Fain’s The Homesick Texan, the blogger writes about the Texan comfort food she makes when she wants to be brought back to her home state.
One summer while I was visiting my grandma, she pulled out her recipe box and began sharing with me her cards. Every dish came with a story, but Grandma especially lit up when we came across the card for Great-Grandma Gibson’s oatmeal bread. “That’s my favorite,” said Grandma.
Great-Grandma Gibson’s oatmeal bread wasn’t an everyday thing—she only baked it about once a week. But when Grandma would wake up and see a loaf cooling in the kitchen, she knew it was going to be a great day. She recalled one time when she came home from college, and Great-Grandma Gibson had just pulled a loaf out of the oven. “I was so hungry, and it smelled so good, I probably ate most of the loaf with some butter,” she said.
While this is a yeast bread, kneading the dough isn’t necessary for success. And after you pull your first loaves out of the oven and take your first bite of this slightly sweet and nutty soft bread, you’ll understand why my grandma almost ate a whole loaf in one sitting as you’ll be inclined to do the same, too.
- Over medium heat, bring the milk to a boil in a large pot and then immediately remove from the heat. Stir in the oats and let stand for 2 hours until well moistened.
- Grease two 9 by 5-inch loaf pans or one baking sheet, depending on if you want the bread to be in a loaf shape or a ball shape.
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir the yeast mixture, salt, egg, honey, and shortening into the oats. Working 1 cup at a time, stir in the flour until the dough is stiff.
- Form the dough into two loaves and place in the loaf pans. Alternatively, you can form into two equal-sized balls and bake on a sheet. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. To make the wash, stir the milk with the water and brush evenly over the loaves. Sprinkle the oats on top.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until browned and hollow sounding when you tap the bottom of the bread. Serve warm. The bread can also be tightly wrapped and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerated for up to 1 week. It can also be frozen.
Reprinted with permission from The Homesick Texan's Family Table by Lisa Fain, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.