Oatmeal Potato Bread

I think I'm ready to start cooking again. Since I'm home all day now, and I spend a lot of my time sitting around nursing (No hands! Thank god for boppies!), I have finally started creating a box full of recipe cards like I planned several years ago. So I'm going through all my cookbooks and the stacks of printouts from epicurious.com and pages torn out of Gourmet and Cooking Light. I keep finding recipes I forgot about, or never even tried to start with. I'm getting excited about trying things again, even though I'm supposed to be working on losing all my baby weight. Oh well, I guess a very small piece of delicious lemon cheesecake with almond crust is better than a pint of cheap Bluebell, right?

Several months ago, I picked up a book at Half-Price called Bread for All Seasons. It was an impulse purchase, and I didn't even do more than flip through the pictures before buying it. It turns out that most of the recipes are for experienced bakers. They require many ingredients and special tools and more patience than I possess. However, I found one recipe that was introduced as being one of the first breads that the author had mastered. It seemed fairly easy and fairly interesting and didn't require any ingredients that I didn't have on hand, so I decided to try it.

The dough, mixed in a stand mixer, contains the normal ingredients plus a cup and a half of oatmeal, and a pureed russet potato. You knead the bread for only a few minutes and then set it to rise.

A few hours later, you shape two loaves and set them to rise again. No more kneading is necessary, which made me happy, since I was carrying a feverish, screaming infant in one arm. The loaves are baked for 10 minutes at a very high temperature, and then the heat is turned down and the bread continues baking for another half hour or so.

Oh. My. God. This was very possibly the best bread I have ever eaten. It was moist and dense and flavorful with a delightfully chewy crust. Even B, hater of non whole wheat bread products had several pieces, with and without butter. The only problem is that we ate two loaves in two days. I'm thinking about trying it again next weekend, just to see if I can do it again. Luckily, B's parents will be in town, so they can help us eat it.

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