My eldest son Tynan has single-handedly eaten half a batch of this bread. I’m sure there are many ways to rate food – but the amount of time it takes a teenager to devour a loaf fresh from the oven is still my best measure of success.
Chewy Fruit & Müesli Bread
Uncooked oats not only add extra vitamins, minerals, and fiber when added to breads, they also add a wonderful chewy texture. Oats also contain a natural antioxidant that extends the shelf-life of the bread.
- 2 scant tablespoons (or 2 ¼-ounce packages) active dry yeast
- 2½ cups warm water about 110 degrees
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup müesli
- ½-1 cup chopped dried fruit
- 5½-6½ cups unbleached flour
In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Add shortening, sugar, salt, müesli, dried fruit, and 3 cups unbleached flour. Beat vigorously for two minutes.
Gradually add flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour a little at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide in half. Shape each half and place in well-greased loaf pans. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
About 10 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Just before baking cut slits about ½-inch deep across each loaf.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the loaf reaches 190 degrees.
Immediately remove bread from baking sheet and cool on a rack