Beer and Oat Bread

4 C large flake rolled oats
5 C flour
1-1/2 C warm water
2 tbsp. active dry yeast
1 341 ml bottle pale ale or brown ale
1/2 C skim milk powder
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. salt

Reserve 1/4 cup of the oats for topping. In food processor, grind 2 cups of the remaining oats until fine. Set aside.

Sprinkle remaining oats evenly over rimmed baking sheet; toast in 350F oven for 20 minutes, stirring once. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the flour, the warm water and yeast; let stand until frothy, about 15 minutes.

In large bowl, whisk together ale, skim milk powder, sugar and salt. Whisk in yeast mixture. Stir in 3 cups of the flour and ground and toasted oats. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make slightly sticky dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding any remaining flour if dough is sticking. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Punch down dough; cut in half. Pat each half into 11×8-inch rectangle. Starting at narrow end, roll up into cylinder; pinch along bottom to smooth and seal. Fit into 2 greased 8×4-inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Brush loaves lightly with water; sprinkle with reserved oats.

Bake in centre of 375F oven until golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom, about 40 minutes.

Yield: 2 loaves.

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