Sourdough Apple Oatmeal Spice Bread
- 1/3 cup steel cut oats
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups dried apples, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces (one package)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/4 cups sourdough starter (active and bubbly, consistency of thick batter)
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons powdered milk
- 1 (3/4 ounce) packet hot spiced cider mix (single serving size)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup rolled wheat flakes
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour (may need a bit more)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (I use white whole wheat)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Bring the 3/4 cup of water to boil in a saucepan.
- Stir in the oats, turn heat to low and cover pan.
- Cook for 8 minutes, then cool to lukewarm.
- Place dried apples into a bowl or glass measuring cup and pour 1/3 cup water over them.
- Cover the container with a plate or plastic wrap and microwave for 1 minute.
- Set aside, with cover intact, and let cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine starter, water, milk powder, cider mix, sugar and butter.
- Stir in the cooled oats and apples.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until it is a shaggy mass.
- Turn out onto a lightly oiled surface and fold the dough over onto itself repeatedly until it is supple and elastic.
- This dough should be quite soft and tacky, so don't add a lot of extra flour.
- Let the dough rest for 30 minutes, then fold it like a letter, turn 90 degrees and fold again.
- Wait another 30 minutes and repeat the foldings.
- Cover dough and let it rise until it is not quite doubled.
- Divide the dough into two portions and shape into loaves.
- Place in two loaf pans, about 4" x 8" that have been greased.
- Cover and proof until dough crests about 1" above rim of pans.
- Bake loaves at 375°F for about 45 minutes, rotating loaves halfway through the bake time for even browning.
- Turn bread out of pans onto a cooling rack immediately upon removing from oven.
- Cool at least 1 hour before slicing.
- Serve toasted or cold--I like to make a cream cheese spread by mixing some more of the spiced cider mix (to taste) into cream cheese.
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