The chill in the air and the snow on the ground had me craving foods that are hearty and sustaining. Hardly anything makes me feel more secure and cozy than the smell of fresh-baked bread dancing through the house so I set to baking. I first reached for one of my trusted recipes but then decided to play with an idea that I have carried around for a while.
Some time ago, at an Irish-style pub, I tasted a delicious Leek and Oatmeal Soup. I have since learned that it is a very old recipe called Brotchan Foltchep. I was struck with the thought that the flavors of oatmeal, leeks, and broth would work really well in a bread. While it might not make up for all of the cookies and candies that marched through my kitchen during the holidays, I decided to add the bonus of making it a vegan and fat-free loaf.
After a few tries, I came up with a delicious recipe which I hope you will try it and enjoy!
Oatmeal and Leek Bread
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth (low salt prefered)
3/4 cup leeks cut in half and into thin slices
1/4 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1 package rapid rise yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
Place oats in a food processor with steel blade and process until broken but still coarse-do not reduce to powder
Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, oats, and sugar in a mixer or bowl
Mix in broth
Add additional flour to make a soft dough
Knead by hand, adding more flour as needed until dough is smooth and not sticky (at least 5 minutes)
Set dough to rise in a bowl sprayed with non-stick spray
When dough has doubled in size, pat into a rectangle about 12″ x 9″
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Sprinkle the leeks over the dough leaving an inch of space on the far long end
Roll up the long end jelly roll fashion
Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray
Place rolled loaf in pan seam side down
Let rest for about 10 minutes
Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through