This batch of bread was baked at 350 F. The loaf in the top of the picture was baked 40 minutes, the one on the bottom was baked 45 minutes. The 40 minute loaf is identified by the slash I made in the top before I put them into the oven.
It is visible in the photo toward the left end of the top loaf in the photo.
When you are testing the effect of variables it’s a good idea to only change one thing at a time. That way you can have an idea what the difference in your results was caused by. Here I changed two things. I should have known better, but I was out of the Gold Medal Brand bread flour that I used in parts 1 and 2 of the Oatmeal Bread posts, so I used flour from a 25 pound bag of Bakers & Chefs Bread Flour I bought at Sam’s Club. I also used my stand mixer to mix and knead the dough since I was making two loaves at once and the bread machine only makes enough dough in a batch for one loaf. Continue reading
Oops – when you take notes on your baking you should pay attention to them. In part 1 I baked the bread at 400 F for 45 minutes. It came out tasty, but the crust was to dark and too hard. Going back to check on things I noticed that I had baked a loaf 40 minutes at 350 F and had written that I should try 45 minutes to see if it would come out a bit better than the loaf at 40 minutes. So, the only thing to do is to repeat the exercise doing what I should have done the first time.
Here is a loaf made the same way as part 1, but baked at 350 F for 45 minutes, not 400 F like the loaf in part 1. One thing I did learn – you can mess up some baking bread and still end up with an edible product.
The final result baked at 350 F looks good (and tastes good) without the dark crust of the loaf baked at 400 F.
In the comparison pictures below the loaf baked at 350 F is on the left and the one baked at 400 F is on the right.
I have always liked bread, and fondly remember the oatmeal bread my Grandmother Lovely used to make when I was little. She used to bake it with two separate loaves end to end in one pan. My favorite slice was one of the ones where the two separate loaves had touched. It was like the heal, but soft and wonderful in my mouth. As a result, when my wife bought a bread machine after trying a few different recipes I decided to try to make oatmeal bread. I doubt I’ll ever duplicate the bread Grandma Lovely used to make, but my memories of it are probably not that accurate anyway as my memories of it go back at least 60 years to 1956 or so. Continue reading