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Oatmeal Banana Nut Bread

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Oatmeal Banana Nut Bread has all the flavour of banana bread with the added goodness of oatmeal. This loaf makes beautiful French Toast dusted with powdered sugar. It has a rich honey flavour that is wonderful with morning coffee.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk (see below how to make sour milk)

2 tablespoons room temperature butter cut into small cubes

1/2 cup over ripe mashed bananas

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 egg

4 teaspoons honey

2 cup bread flour approximately

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

3/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

3/4 teaspoons salt

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup toasted quick cooking rolled oats (see below how to toast the oats)

Preparation:

Pre heat oven to 350 F

Toasting the oats:

Place the oatmeal on a baking sheet and spread it out in an eaven layer. Place the oats in the oven stirring occasionally. Bake until light brown. This should take 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Sour milk:

In a measuring cup place 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinager. Add enough milk to measure 2/3 cup total liquid. Stir and let stand for five minutes.

Bread:

In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, honey, and yeast. Let rest for 5 min. or until yeast is bubbly.  Stir in the egg and over ripe bananas.

In a large bowl mix together the salt, whole wheat flour, toasted oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bread flour. Mix the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients. Continue mixing until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl and form a ball. You may have to add more flour or water a little at a time. Dough should be soft but firm enough to knead.

Turn out the dough to a lightly greased surface. Lightly oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 min., or until it begins to become smooth and supple. During the last minute of kneading time add the chopped walnuts. Continue to knead the dough until all of the walnuts are fully incorporated.

Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a warm damp cloth. Allow the dough to rise about one hour. Dough should be close to double in size. I place bread dough on top of my stove where it will stay warm. This decreases the proofing time.

Punch down the dough and shape it into an 8" log. Place the dough into a lightly oiled 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan; cover the pan loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let the bread to rise for about 1 to 2 hours more.  It will be ready to bake when it is about 1" above the rim of the pan.

Place the bread into the oven. Bake the Oatmeal Banana Nut Bread for 30 to 35 minutes. The bread will golden brown when it is ready.

Remove the loaf of Oatmeal Banana Nut Bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a cooling rack or clean dry cloth. If you would like a softer crust rub the top of the loaf with unsalted butter while still hot.

Let cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy

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