Pistachios in a Nutshell
Pistachio Oatmeal Bread is permeated with the distinctive flavor of pistachio nuts. Pistachios are a type of nut from the Middle East and Central Asia originally but now they are grown throughout much of the world. Today the major producers of pistachios are Iran, USA, Turkey, China and Syria.
Pistachios have wonderful health benefits. Pistachios contain antioxidants which fight free radical damage as well as B vitamins, Vitamin E, phosphorus, calcium, copper, manganese, protein and fiber. With no saturated fat, pistachios lower bad cholesterol levels.
Pistachios are members of the cashew family, liking desert conditions. Their shells are naturally beige, but were sometimes dyed red or green commercially to hide stains on the shells when they were picked by hand. Most pistachios are now picked by machines and the shells remain unstained, making dyeing unnecessary except to meet ingrained consumer expectations!
I remember years ago most pistachios available were dyed red. You could always tell when someone had been eating pistachios because their fingertips would be tinted red from opening the shells to get to the nuts!
To start Pistachio Oatmeal Bread, yeast and sugar is added to warm water, between 105-110°F. and set aside. I highly recommend using a thermometer to check the water temperature. If the water isn’t warm enough, the yeast won’t do its work, and if the water is too hot, the yeast will die!
Heat milk, honey and butter together in a pan until mixture reaches 105-110°F. Set aside momentarily. Add 2 1/2 cups bread flour, rolled oats and salt to the mixer bowl.
Add yeast mixture and milk mixture to the mixer. Turn on mixer and add enough of the remaining 2 1/2 cups bread flour to the mixer bowl until dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Allow dough to knead for 6-8 minutes.
Turn dough out onto oiled bread board and shape into loaves. Place dough into three greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pans and allow to rise until doubled in bulk.
Bake loaves at 350°F. for 30-35 minutes, until internal temperature of bread reaches 180°F. using a thermometer. Turn bread out on cooling racks. Yield: 3 loaves
By the way, Pistachio Oatmeal Bread makes excellent toast too!
Here’s the printable complete recipe:
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 6 ounces warm water (105-110 degrees F.)
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 5 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm milk (105-110 degrees F.)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2/3 cup chopped pistachio nuts
- Add yeast and sugar to warm water (105-110 degrees F.) and set aside.
- Heat milk with honey and butter to 105-110 degrees F. and set aside.
- Place 2 1/2 cups bread flour, rolled oats and salt into mixer bowl.
- Add yeast mixture and milk mixture and turn on mixer.
- Add enough of the remaining bread flour until dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl.
- Allow mixer to knead dough for 6-8 minutes.
- Turn dough into three greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans.
- Allow dough to rise until doubled in bulk.
- Bake Pistachio Oatmeal Bread at 350 degrees F. for 30-35 minutes, until internal temperature of the bread reaches 180 degrees F. using a thermometer.
- Turn bread out of pans onto cooling rack.
The Bread Machine Version
If you would like to bake one loaf of Pistachio Oatmeal Bread in a bread machine, place the ingredients listed in the bread pan of your bread machine in the order given below:
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts
Follow directions for your particular bread machine.
Pistachios also add a richness to any dish over which they are sprinkled, such as salads, desserts and ice cream sundaes. You’re probably familiar with a Pistachio Salad made with pistachio pudding, pineapple, whipped topping, miniature marshmallows and nuts that was also referred to as Watergate Salad, supposedly because President Richard Nixon liked it!
Try pistachios soon – especially since they are so “heart-healthy” and this is Heart Month. They taste good and they’re good for you too!
Remember to Savor the Flavor of pistachios!
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