Mennonite Oatmeal Bread

2 cups rolled oats (preferably coarse)
2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 packets yeast (about 2 tablespoon)
Chopped nuts (optional)
Raisins (optional)
About 6 cups all-purpose flour

Pour boiling water over rolled oats; stir and add molasses, salt, brown sugar and shortening. Let stand until lukewarm, then add yeast dissolved in warm water with sugar. Mix in flour until it requires muscle. Then knead a few minutes on well floured surface. Put dough in bowl; cover. Let rise 1 to 2 hours in warm, draft-free place to double its size (rolls and buns take less time to rise and bake; can make various shapes). It is risen enough if the dent stays when you press your fingers deeply into it. Nuts or raisins may be added with flour or kneaded into individual loaves. Divide into 2 loaves; let rise again until smooth and round over tops of pans, about an hour or more. Bake at 400 degrees F for 35 minutes.

Rye Bread variation
Use half rye and half all-purpose flour and use 1/2 cup molasses as part of the liquid.

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