Thursday, October 22, 2009

Honey Oatmeal Bread

Hey my foodies friends!

You like bread, right? Homemade bread of course. Cut really thick with some fresh butter on it? Maybe even a day old toasted with some peanut butter? Yeah, I do too.

I make bread a lot during the fall and winter. I'm not sure why I don't in the summer because the house is so warm that the bread would rise really fast...and homemade bread beats store bought bread any day. I have a variety of bread baking books and one on my wish list but I find that if I'm stuck I can always go over to the King Arthur website and find a fun recipe there. I even have a few giftcards kicking around and think I may buy some sour dough starter from KA. That will be a whole post itself, I'm sure.

This is honey oatmeal bread. Thick and hearty. Great warm from the oven but also for toast the next day. It comes together quite easily and I think everyone will enjoy it!

I thought this proofing yeast looked like a brain. :)

Honey Oatmeal Bread
Source: King Arthur Flour
Yield: one loaf

3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups "quick" rolled oats
2 packets "highly active" dry yeast; or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast; or 2 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons oats, to sprinkle on top, optional

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 knead—by hand, electric mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle—until 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.

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