No one bakes like grandmothers do

  • Oatmeal bread is a Kinney family favorite. Sarah Kinney—Monitor staff

  • There isn’t a holiday that the Kinney family doesn’t have oatmeal bread. My aunt even baked dozens of loaves for my cousin’s wedding. It’s also great for sandwiches made from leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Sarah Kinney / Monitor staff

  • Oatmeal bread is a Kinney family favorite. Sarah Kinney—Monitor staff

  • Oatmeal bread is a Kinney family favorite. Keep it simple by just toasting and topping with butter. Sarah Kinney / Monitor staff

  • Oatmeal bread is a Kinney family favorite. Sarah Kinney—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 11/3/2016 4:28:34 PM

For a time, my grandparents lived with us as they renovated their home. I could also plan to come home from school to fresh baked something made by Gramie. Her specialties were seemingly endless – chicken pot pie, whoopie pies, oatmeal bread, chocolate chip cookies, pot roast and more.

Many of her recipes were passed down to her by her mother-in-law, my great-grandmother Margaret Kinney. Great Gram must have known some secret, not only are her recipes delicious, she lived to be 107 years old.

No family gathering would be complete without her oatmeal bread. No matter how many loaves Gramie makes, we always seem to run out.

When it comes to birthdays, there is only one kind of cake that is acceptable – chocolate. With homemade chocolate frosting, of course.

You’ll want to note the cooking times on these. The Kinney family likes their baked goods gooey in the middle, or as many might consider it, undercooked. If you prefer things well-done, you may want to add a few minutes to the baking time.

Oatmeal Bread

2 cups old-fashioned oats

2 cups boiling water

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup molasses

1 tablespoon yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ cup lukewarm water

4 cups King Arthur flour

In a large bowl, mix oats, boiling water, salt and molasses. You may want to measure and pour in the molasses first. Then, measure the boiling water in the same cup after to help unstick residual molasses.

Set the bowl aside and let it cool.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the lukewarm water, sugar and yeast. Let activate in a warm place. If the yeast mix doesn’t start to bubble after a few minutes, trash it and try again.

When the oat mixture is lukewarm and the yeast is ready, mix together. Then add in flour one cup at a time.

Let the dough rise, covered, in a warm place for about 1½ to 2 hours. Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface, then form four balls. Place two balls each in two greased bread pans. Let rest for about 15 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for a half hour.

Serve warm from oven or toast day-old bread.

Great Gram Kinney’s Chocolate Cake

4 oz. unsweetened Baker’s chocolate

6 tablespoons shortening

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

cup milk

2 cups King Arthur flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1½ baking soda

1 cup boiling water

Start by melting the chocolate in a large bowl. Then, mix in the shortening and water until smooth.

Mix in vanilla, sugar, salt eggs, and baking soda.

Then, add in flour and milk. Blend until smooth.

Bake at 350 degrees in a greased 13x9 pan for 35 minutes.

Once cooled, top with your favorite frosting and enjoy.

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