Maple Oat Raisin Whole Wheat Bread

In stark contrast to the Jacksonville Jaguars, this bread is a real winner. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before. I purchased instant oatmeal packages on my last grocery run, and they only had flavored ones at Target. So I bought Maple Brown Sugar instant oatmeal. I was looking at a recipe for oatmeal wheat bread, and I thought, why not just use these little insta-packets with their yummy flavors? Oh, such a good choice.  Image

Maple Oat Raisin Whole Wheat Bread
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water (85°F to 95°F)
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup warm whole milk (105°F to 115°F)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup instant oatmeal (I used one with maple and brown sugar flavoring)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (KEY INGREDIENT)
3 1/2 cups (about) bread flour
1/2 cup raisins

Stir in warm milk, honey, and salt, then olive oil. Add 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour and stir vigorously with wood spoon until well incorporated.  Add sourdough starter Add instant oats and cocoa powder and stir until well blended. Add enough bread flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form moist and sticky dough, stirring vigorously with wood spoon until well incorporated. Fold in raisins. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour (do not punch down dough).
Grease 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan. Transfer dough to prepared pan, being careful not to deflate dough. Cover loaf pan loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm draft-free area until dough is puffed and almost reaches top of pan, about 45 minutes for refrigerated dough and 20 minutes for room-temperature dough.
Meanwhile, position rack in center of oven and preheat to 500°F. Generously spray inside of oven with water (about 8 sprays); immediately place bread in oven. Lower oven temperature to 400°F and bake bread until top is deep brown and crusty and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. (The rolls only need about 25-30 minutes.) Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes. Turn bread out onto rack and cool completely.  Image

There is some lovely intermingling between the cocoa powder and the maple flavoring and the raisins. With this batch of dough, I made both a loaf and several rolls with some extra dough.  Image

They are slightly sweet, like a dessert trying really hard to pass as health food. Or a football team trying really hard to win just one game this season 😉 Go Jags! Image

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