Christmas week, when things are almost as quiet as August: Fewer meetings, more folks at home, and a good time to offer something a little special. I found this recipe in a recent ad supplement, and adjusted it a little to reflect what I had on hand.
Stottie is not a word often heard in this part of the world. They're traditional breads from the north of England, and they're not usually made in this sweet-ish style. Rather they're bread-like, split and used for sandwiches like ham and pease pudding (I'm not making this up...) or sausage, bacon and egg. Sounds like just the thing on the way home from the pub after closing time, their answer to what we fill with White Castles.
This one, though, is dense and moist, slightly sweet, the sort of thing I can see Grandmum cutting slabs of for a winter afternoon pot of tea. I don't think butter or jam is necessary, although it's good toasted. Not a handsome loaf at all, to be sure, but very easy to put together, no kneading and just one rise. You could even call it relatively healthy with all the fruit and nuts and oats. And I think it would be fine to substitute whole wheat flour for part of the white flour.
1 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. butter
1 Tbs. salt
1 1/2 c. water
1 c. applesauce
5 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
2 envelopes Rapid-Rise Yeast
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
(or may substitute 2 tsp. “pumpkin pie spice”)
2 eggs, room temperature
1 6-oz. package dried cranberries (about 1 1/2 c.)
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Grease two 8- or 9-inch round pans. I used 8-inch springform pans, which have higher sides than my regular cake pans that diameter, and they worked well.
Place oats, honey, butter and salt in a large mixer bowl. Heat water and applesauce until boiling. Add to bowl and stir well. Cool mixture until it's just fairly warm (120 to 130 degrees). The length of time to cool will depend on your mixer bowl; my Kitchen Aid has a heavy base and doesn't cool off very quickly. A sink half-full of cold water helps cool such bowls down.
Add 2 cups flour, yeast, spices and eggs. Beat 30 seconds on low to combine, then raise speed to high and beat for 3 minutes.
Stir in cranberries. Add remaining flour and walnuts to make a stiff batter. Spoon batter into the pans. It will probably be too stiff to spread with a spatula, just dampen your hands and pat it down so it's all about the same height. These are supposed to look rustic. Cover the pans and let rise in a warm place until batter has about doubled in size, perhaps an hour depending on ambient temperature. While they're warming, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and make sure there's a rack in the middle of the oven.
Bake for 50-55 minutes. They should sound hollow when thumped. Remove from pans and cool on a rack.
Gives 2 loaves.