Omar Khayyam, whose paradise required only a book of verses, a loaf of bread, and a jug of wine, might have suffered seriously from malnutrition (along with the mysterious Thou, who sang beside him) if the loaf were the bubble bread we are all familiar with. Although this flabby loaf contains niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and a rich assortment of mono- and diglycerides (ethoxylated and otherwise), it is not especially rich in protien and fiber, two pillars of contemporary sound diet. ======================================================= ================== 1. The night before, sprinkle yeast over warm water in a large (at least 4-quart) bowl and let stand for 5 minutes to soften. Then add granulated sugar and rye flour; beat to blend well. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature up to a day (at least 12 hours). Stir in 5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, and salt. 2. To Knead By Hand, scrape dough onto a board lightly coated with all-purpose flour. Knead, adding flour as required to prevent sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turn over to grease top, and cover with plastic wrap.
3. To Knead With A Dough Hook, beat until dough pulls cleanly from bowl. If dough still feels sticky, beat in flour, 1 tablespoon at a time; remove dough hook and cover bowl with plastic wrap.
4. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down and divide into 3 equal portions. Shape each portion into a loaf and set in a greasd 4x8" loaf pan. Cover loaves lightly and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. With a sharp knife or razor blade, slash top of each loaf in about 3 places, making cuts about 1/8" deep. Brush tops lightly with water.
5. Bake in a 350'F. oven; after 10 minutes, brush tops lightly with more water. Continue baking until loaves are well browned, about 40 minutes total. For a shiny finish, rub tops of hot loaves with soft butter. Invert onto racks. Serve warm or cool. If loaves are made ahead, cool and package airtight up to a day; freeze to store longer. Make 3 loaves, each about 1 1/2 pounds.
~ James Lee, San Mateo Ca