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.
This recipe is based on my Mom’s Chewy Oatmeal Bread (Breads from Betsy’s Kitchen). I have replaced oatmeal with müesli and added about a cup of dried cranberry, apricot, raisins, and dates. You may wish to vary the amount and type of dried fruit. This batch came out sweet and chewy and delicious both plain and toasted with butter.
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