1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 tablespoon dried yeast
flour (*see note) plus 1 teaspoon salt
seeds to sprinkle on top (**see note)
I've been baking this bread for over 25 years. It is a recipe outline. Infinitely variable. Wonderfully delicious. Experience has proved that bread is hugely forgiving.
In a large bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon of vegan brown sugar in 1 1/4 cups of boiling water. Add 1/2 cup of rolled oats and 3/4 cup cold water. Stir. Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of dried yeast over the surface, without stirring, and leave for 5-10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in enough flour (see note) plus 1 teaspoon salt to form a dough which resembles a scone (US biscuit) dough.
Well oil a 1kg (US 2 pound) bread pan and spoon dough in. Smooth the surface with an oiled spatula, pulling surface edges towards the center a little as you go. If desired, sprinkle the surface with some seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, linseed or poppy seed and press lightly onto the surface.
Place in a 50 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) oven (if using a fan oven, do not engage the fan at this stage, or switch the oven off once it has reached the desired temperature) to rise, until the dough has reached the top of the tin and formed a slightly domed surface above it. This takes approximately 35 minutes.
When risen, increase oven temperature to 190C (375 Fahrenheit) and bake for 50 minutes. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before loosening the sides with a knife and sitting the loaf crosswise on top of the tin to cool. If using a fan oven, the final cooking time may be reduced by approximately 10 minutes. Experiment (the ultimate key to successful bread making).
*Flour options: This bread may be baked with innumerable combinations of flours and grains. To start with, try 1/3 white and 2/3 wholemeal. Vary this combination and add other ingredients as you become more familiar with the process.
**Other possible additions: Try whole or ground linseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, ground millet, dried fruit and spice (makes great toast), kibbled grains. Let imagination be your guide.