Molasses Oatmeal Bread

Not only is this a rich, dark bread that makes terrific sandwiches and tasty toast, it’s also high in fiber and low in refined sugar.

4 1/2 cups boiling water
2 cups dry oatmeal (either quick-cooking or old-fashioned; I like to use the old-fashioned because it gives the bread more texture)
1/2 cup shortening (I have also used Canola oil)
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages dry yeast (or 4 teaspoons bulk yeast)
10 to 12 cups flour

Measure the oatmeal into a mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Let stand for a few minutes. Add shortening and stir to dissolve. Allow to cool to lukewarm. Stir in yeast. Add the molasses, brown sugar and salt. Stir in 2 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Add remaining flour. Knead until smooth. (Dough will be somewhat sticky.)

Put into a greased bowl and set in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes. Knead the dough for several minutes to remove air pockets. Shape into loaves. Makes 4 medium-sized loaves or 3 large loaves. You can also make round loaves and put them in pie plates. Let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes or until loaves are brown and sound hollow when tapped. Brush with shortening while the loaves still hot to help keep the crust soft. Let cool for a few minutes, and then remove the loaves from the pans.