Friday, October 24, 2014

Cinnamon-Oatmeal Bread

I may be training a new baker very soon, which means my daily teatime will be reduced to only a few times a week.  On the other hand, I'll be able to shift my time zones a couple of hours west.  Atlantic time is fine if you live there, not so much if you're in California.

I looked in quite a few places for cinnamon chips, even gourmet and restaurant shops.  You can order them online if you plan ahead.  It isn't cheap, especially when you add in shipping, so I would only do that for a party.  There are also a few DIY chip recipes out there, this one with some very helpful comments.  I decided that my DIY would be to take some yogurt chips I already had in the pantry and toss them in straight cinnamon to coat.  It looked like it worked, but the cinnamon washed off into the batter.  The chips melted into a nice creaminess in the bread, so it wasn't a total loss.  Toffee chips are probably an acceptable substitute if you love caramel.

I'm basing this on a recipe from Better Recipes.  Some of the amounts are awkward, and possibly scaled down from a restaurant or multi-loaf recipe.  I'm rounding them a little, since not everyone has a 1/4 tsp measuring spoon.  Or a 1/2 Tb spoon, for that matter.  I do, but I have a lot of cooking gadgets that don't get used often.  I'm also replacing some of the flour and sugar with rolled oats, since that much in the streusel was just going to fall off anyway.

1/3 C light brown sugar
*2 tsp cinnamon

1.  Stir together until well mixed.  Set aside until needed

1/2 C rolled oats
*1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tb brown sugar
1 Tb butter, melted

1.  Toss together the oats, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  Stir in butter until everything gets clumpy together.

2.  Store in refrigerator until needed.  This will harden up the butter and make the streusel granola-like.

Cake (um, because this is really a cake.  I don't know why it's called "bread")
2 C flour
1/2 C rolled oats
1 Tb baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 egg
*1 C milk
1/3 C vegetable oil
1/2 C cinnamon chips, chopped walnuts, or raisins, optional

1.  Grease a standard loaf pan with shortening and place it on a baking sheet to catch crumbs.  Preheat oven to 350º.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Separately, combine egg, milk, and oil.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet.  Stir only until combined, then let it sit a couple of minutes.  When you go back to stir it a few more strokes, it will be much more evenly moist.  Stir in any chips, nuts, or raisins.

3.  Pour half of batter in loaf pan.  Sprinkle with half of the brown sugar filling.  Top with remaining batter, followed by remaining filling.  To get a marbled loaf look, poke down in several places with a blunt knife.  Top with all of the streusel.
4.  Bake 40 minutes, then test with a toothpick.  If still too moist, put it back in and check regularly.  Mine was almost an hour, but I did use those yogurt chips, which probably added moisture.

5.  Allow to cool in the pan five minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.  You may need to run a knife along the edges first.  Once cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours.  This will make it easier to slice.  I sliced mine, put a bit of waxed paper between the slices, and wrapped the whole thing back up.  It went into the freezer, and I can pull out a slice any time I want and pop it directly into the toaster or warm it in the microwave.

Makes one loaf, about 8-10 real slices (where did he get 16?)

Difficulty rating :)

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