Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gift in a jar: Oatmeal bread mix

Yeah. So when it rains it pours. Our car is dying, our dryer crapped out this weekend, the rain gutters are falling off our roof in a dangerous way, we just had to hire a plumber to unclog a floor drain in our basement, we got our ducts cleaned and we just went on vacation this month. Oh and yes, Christmas shopping...

As I often do in times like this I have myself on a strict no spending policy. I'm eating what I have in the freezer and cupboards and staying away from the stores. But... this is also the time of year I always make my jar mixes for people and I can't make all of them using what I already have here. Or can I?

This summer I purchased a case of extra large mason jars which are perfect for baking mixes. And we literally have about 50 pounds of oatmeal after a big sale at Costo (my oldest daughter LOVES oatmeal). So I thought what can I do with this?

Oatmeal bread mix

3 cups flour
3/4 cup quick oats
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

In a separate sachet, add 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast. It's much cheaper to buy in bulk this way. The baggies can be found in the craft section of the dollar store, the small size come 80 in a package for a dollar.

I like to layer my ingredients in a jar to make it pretty, then put the yeast sachet at the top before screwing on the lid.

What else you'll need

1 1/3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons oil

To make dissolve the yeast in warm water until it's frothy, then add in oil then the mix and stir. Once it's well mixed you can knead it. Then leave it in a large mixing bowl covered with a cloth in a warm place to rise. Because there is no 'warm' place in our house I left it in my oven with the light bulb on to warm it up a bit (the way I do when I dry food in there).

One the dough has risen (it's at least doubled in size), take it out, knead it again and put it into 2 greased loaf pans. Cover them and let them rise again.

Bake at 350 F until the bread starts to brown on the top and bottom.

I fed the test run bread to my daughter for her after school snack and put more in her lunch today. Both my kids couldn't get enough of it so I think I'll be whipping up some more mix for myself as well.