Mostly savory with a touch of sweetness from the raisins, this humble little loaf began its life in 1939.
Thumbing through an old cookbook from 1939 “The New England Yankee Cookbook” I came across an oatmeal bread recipe, simple in ingredients, and it made four loaves! Although I love my usual oatmeal bread (recipe here) I’m always on the lookout for other bread recipes and I thought I’d give this one a try.
Since it used whole oats, and since I had a fresh bag of wholegrain spelt flour sitting in the pantry, I thought I would modify the recipe a little, well really a lot, and eliminate the white flour. I also cut the recipe in half, substituted butter for the lard, and added raisins. The recipe also suggested using either water or milk, so I used plain water.
The result was a lovely loaf with great texture and flavor. It was delicious buttered, and also smeared with regular or dairy-free cream cheese!
Rum Raisin Oatmeal Bread
Makes two loaves
- 1 cup golden raisins
- ½ cup dark rum (Meyers)
- 2 cups boiling water (or milk)
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter or vegan butter
- 2 ¼ tsp. dry active yeast (1 pkt.)
- ¼ cup lukewarm water
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 cups oat flour
- 4 cups whole grain spelt flour, about
Put the raisins in a small bowl and add the rum. The rum should just about cover the raisins. Let sit for one hour so they plump.
Boil the water and pour over the oats and butter in a large bowl. Let this sit for an hour as well.
Combine the yeast with the lukewarm water and let stand 10 minutes.
Add the molasses and salt to the oats and mix well. Then add the yeast mixture, mix again, and start adding the flour a cup at a time, beating vigorously, and reserving a cup. The dough will be quite sticky.
Add the raisins and a couple of tablespoons of the rum. Turn onto a floured board and with floured hands and a bench scraper, knead the bread, adding a little of the last cup of flour at a time until combined.
Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise until double in bulk, about an hour and a half.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface, divide into two, and place in greased loaf pans. Cover again and let rise until doubled.
Bake at 350 degrees for around 45 minutes. The dough will not rise much more at this point.
When browned and sounds hollow when tapped, the bread is done. Remove pans and let cool on wire racks.
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