This is one of our favorite daily breads. Great for sandwiches, with soups or toasted for breakfast.
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp. sugar -- for yeast activation
2 tsp. yeast
2 tbsp. butter
2 cups milk
3 tbsp. sugar
1-1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
5 to 6 cups flour
Dissolve yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in lukewarm water in a small bowl. Set aside for later. Melt butter in saucepan, add milk and 3 tbsp. of sugar. Heat almost to boiling. Remove from heat and add oatmeal. Transfer mixture to large bowl and let cool until lukewarm.
Stir yeast mixture, egg and salt into contents of large bowl. Start adding flour one cup at a time until you can no longer mix by spoon. At this point, transfer dough to floured board or counter and knead for 10 minutes. You'll need to continue adding small amounts of flour to stop the dough from sticking to your hands.
Place kneaded dough into greased bowl. (Bowl should be at least twice the size of the dough.) Cover with clean dishtowel and let rise for 2 to 3 hours, or until double in size.
Punch dough sharply with closed fist to deflate. Return dough to floured board and knead again for 2 minutes. With a knife, cut dough into two equal pieces.
Flatten dough to 1-inch thickness. Try to achieve a rectangular shape at this point. Next, roll your dough into a loaf shape and place into greased loaf pan or on a baking sheet, keeping the outside seam of loaf down. Tuck under the ends of the loaf.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until done. To check for doneness, remove the loaf from the pan and tap the bottom with your knuckles. A cooked loaf will sound hollow when tapped.
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