War Bread

READY IN: 4hrs 30mins
YIELD: 2 loaves




  • In a large mixing bowl combine the rolled oats, cornmeal, whole wheat flour, shortening, molasses and salt.
  • pour in the boiling water, stirring constantly, till the mixture is smooth.
  • Set aside to cool to 120-130 degrees.
  • Sprinkle the yeast on the batter and blend.
  • Stir in the white flour, 1/2 cup at a time, first with the spoon and then by hand, or with the flat beater of a mixer.
  • The dough will be somewhat heavy and dense and will not have the elasticity of white dough.
  • Nevertheless, the dough will form a shaggy mass that cleans the side of the bowl.
  • Sprinkle on flour to control stickiness if necessary.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead with a rhytmic motion of push-turn-fold, or with a mixer dough hook, for 8 minutes. the dough will become smooth.
  • Sprinkle on more flour if the dough sticks to the work surface or your fingers.
  • place the dough in a bowl and pat with butter or greased fingers to keep the surface from crusting.
  • cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and put aside for the dough to rise at room temp till twice its original size - about 1 hour (shorter if using rapid rise yeast).
  • punch down the dough and knead for 30 seconds to press out bubbles.
  • divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces. shape into balls and let them rest on the work surface for 3-4 minutes.
  • Form into loaves and place in 2 9-inch or 3 8-inch loaf pans. Cover with wax paper and leave till the center of the dough has risen to an inch above the edge of the pans, about 50 minutes.
  • preheat oven to 350 20 minutes before baking.
  • bake the loaves in the oven till they are nicely browned and test done, about 1 hour (I check at about 45 minutes). Turn one loaf out of its pan and tap the bottom crust with your finger - a hard, hollow sound means it is done.
  • if the loaves brown too quickly, cover with brown sack paper or foil.
  • midway through baking and again near the end, shift the pans so loaves are exposed equally exposed to the temperature variations in the oven.
  • remove bread from oven and turn out of pans. place on metal rack to cool.