In celebration of my newest novel, A WEDDING INVITATION, I'll be posting some columns under the heading All Things Southern. These posts will be about topics related to my novel and to the South.
My first entry contains a recipe which can be found at the back of my novel.
Dovie’s Oatmeal Bread
Aunt Dovie is known by some family members to pick up boarders quicker than a dog picks up fleas. Dovie's old house in Winston- Salem, NC (home to Krispy Kreme donuts) is always open to those in need of some good nutrition and love. Women move in for as long as they need a place to stay, enjoying her company and care. Two of my favorite boarders are Beanie and Pearl. Beanie has a bottle of cure-all for aches and pains and Pearl makes strawberry-rhubarb pies, using a pinch of tapioca.
Along with raising butterflies and hens, Dovie bakes oatmeal bread. She serves it at meals with a mound of fresh butter. At each meal her prayers end with "Amen and Amen!" Then she's been known to dance around the kitchen with a tea towel. The fact that she can't dance to the music's beat never stops her. Dovie believes in being jovial. Her bread recipe is full of warmth, and will make your mouth and tummy smile.
Dovie’s Oatmeal Bread
1 cup of old fashioned oats (not instant)
1½ cups of boiling water
¾ cup of molasses
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of salt
2 cups of warm water
1 tablespoon of active dry yeast
4 cups of bread flour
4 cups of whole-wheat flour
Combine the oats and boiling in a large mixing bowl and let sit for at least thirty minutes. Add the molasses, oil and salt to the oatmeal mixture, combining well. In a separate bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add to the oatmeal mixture. Stir in the flour, one cup at a time. Once the dough starts to pull from the sides of the bowl, turn onto a floured surface and knead in the rest of the flour until smooth. Continue to knead for about eight minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning it so that all sides are coated. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Punch down and divide dough in half. Shape into two loaves and place dough in two greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place loaf pans in oven for five minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and bake for an additional 40 minutes. Loaves should brown and will be ready to take out of oven when they sound hollow when lightly tapped.