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Finnish Whole Wheat Bread

2 cups water
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 pkgs dry yeast
3 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 tsp salt

Heat water on stove until bubbles start to form on bottom of pan.

Pour buttermilk in large bowl and stir in oats. When water is hot,
pour and stir into buttermilk mixture gradually so you do not curdle
the buttermilk. When finished, feel the mixture to see if lukewarm.
When cool enough, add the yeast and stir until yeast is dissolved.
Stir in 3 cups whole wheat flour. Cover with dish cloth and let
sit in a warm place for 2 hours. Mixture should be a little bubbly
after this time.

Add salt and gradually add the white flour until mixed together.
This doesn't pull away from the bowl like white bread. It should
be fairly sticky and moist to retain its moistness after baking.
If you don't add enough, you can always add a little more later
when you make loaves. Knead for 10 minutes by hand or mixer.
Leave in same bowl and cover again with dish cloth. Let rise for
30 minutes.

Grease 2 cookie sheets. Sprinkle a table with all purpose flour.
A scraper works best to scrape the dough from the bowl onto the
table. Gather sides of dough and pull to center to form a round
shape. Turn over so that seam is down. Shape this dough into sort
of a french bread shape so you can cut it in 4 equal pieces. Take
each piece in your hands and throw it around for about a minute,
dropping back and forth on table while shaping into a round loaf.
When loaf is formed, place on greased cookie sheet. Do the same
to other 3 pieces of dough. You can bake 2 loaves at a time on
your cookie sheets. Take your thumb and immerse in flour and make
an indentation in the center of each loaf. When loaves are ready
to bake or have risen enough, the indentation will be almost gone.

Cover with cloth again and let rise for 30 minutes. Bake for 30
minutes at 400 degrees. (One pan of bread will have to rise for 1
hour, making it more susceptible to fall. If the loaves have really
gotten large and look like they might fall, you can reshape the
loaves again and let rise again for 30 minutes.)

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