1) Combine the 3/4 cup water and oats, and let rest for 20 minutes. This gives the oats a chance to absorb the water and soften up.
2) If you're using active or "highly active" dry yeast, dissolve it in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar. It should start to bubble as the oats and water rest.
3) Add the remaining ingredients to the oats (including the yeast/water/sugar mixture, if you're using active dry yeast), and mix and kneadby hand, electric mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycleuntil the dough feels springy; it will be quite stiff.
4) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and allow it to rise, covered, for 2 hours; it's a slow riser.
5) Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8" log. Place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. Cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap.
6) Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, till it's crowned about 1 1/2" over the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
7) Brush the top of the loaf with milk, and sprinkle with oats, if desired.
8) Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Tent it loosely with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes. When the bread is done, it'll be golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register 190°F.
9) Remove the bread from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Store well-wrapped at room temperature.
I'm sorry this one didn't work out! Letting the dough more than double on the first rise weakens the strength of the dough for the second one, and consequently, the oven spring. Give this one a try again, though! Laurie@KAF
In this particular case, there isn't a great way to substitute for the applesauce here. I would recommend trying one of our many other oatmeal breads (such as the Honey Oat Pain de Mie...yum!) which are designed to include similar ingredients but without the applesauce. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF