My Mummu, Hilja Raihala (nee Haapakoski), was 5 foot nothing and a little ball of energy. She was also an incredible baker. When I was about 16 I decided I’d spend the weekend with her and my Pappa and learn how to bake all my favourite breads. The day started at 5:00 am with this loud rolling sound (I was sleeping in the basement and it sounded like someone was bowling in the kitchen). I made my way up stairs to discover the two of them each hanging onto the top of a door and standing on a couple of old rolling pins and rolling back and forth. Needless to say I thought they’d gone nuts. However, when I asked what they were doing they informed me that it was good for their circulation. Apparently, along with the cup of soaked linseeds they took each morning (yuck), they had a morning exercise routine that included using my Mummu’s old rolling pins to perform what amounts to a wee bit of reflexology. Since they both lived well into their 90s who am I to argue. They also rarely ate store bought bread unless it was Russian Black Rye. This recipe is a my favourite from my childhood.
1 Tbsp salt
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 c hot water
2 c Quaker oats
1/3 c whole wheat flour
5 c. white flour plus extra for kneading the dough
2 Tbsp white sugar
2 heaping Tbsp yeast
1/2 c. warm water
- Mix salt, oil and 3 c. hot water in a large mixing bowl.
- Add 2 c. oats and whole wheat flour, stir well
- Make Yeast Mixture and let stand until foamy (about 5 minutes)
- Add Yeast Mixture to oat mixture along with an extra Tbsp water
- Add 5 c. white flour and stir to make a soft dough. It may be quite wet – that’s ok.
- Sprinkle with flour and cover with parchment paper and then a couple of clean, dry tea towels.
- Let rise until doubled (takes about an hour)
- Grease 4 pie plates (I used aluminum pie tins I’d saved from premade crusts…they work like a charm)
- Turn doubled dough onto a floured surface and knead while adding flour until you have a stiff dough (make sure you knead all the cracks out). This can take a while if the dough was wet.
- Cut dough into 4 equal pieces and shape into round loaves.
- Press each one into a greased pie tin, flatten to the edges and prick liberally with a fork.
- Cover with parchment and towels and let rise again until doubled (about 1 hour)
- Preheat oven to 350 F and bake 50 minutes or until lightly browned and the sound hollow when you tap the bottom.
Makes 4 round loaves. Wrap and store in the fridge. They keep pretty well and get better after a day or two.