Saturday, September 4, 2010

Honey Oatmeal Bread (aka Colonial Oatmeal Bread)

I like the One Hour Bread recipe that La Fuji Mama posted a while back.  It works so well for French toast and grilled cheese, but we've gotten used to hearty whole wheat bread for sandwiches and toast.  In my constant search for the "best ever" whole wheat bread, I'm always on the lookout for intriguing bread recipes.  This recipe for Honey Oatmeal Bread that Belle of the Kitchen added to the Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen Blog definitely fit the bill.  Honey, oatmeal and whole wheat.  It has some seriously healthy ingredients.  Seriously, how could I not try a recipe that had belonged to the blogger's father?  It had Daddy-cred, you know?

At first blush, the recipe looks complicated, right up until I read the part at the very end of the recipe that said you could use your bread maker.  At that point, I stopped worrying if I wasn't adding the ingredients into the bowl properly and just went for it.  (I can't do worse that a bread maker, right?)

Anyway, this bread was delicious.  It had a substantial crust that was oh so flakey.  It was hearty without being too dense.  The kids immediately thought of it as an accompaniment to a stew or the bread for a warm sandwich.  I'm going to make the recipe again, using it to make those sandwich thins.

Honey Oatmeal Bread
from Belle of the Kitchen

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cups honey
4 Tablespoons butter
2 1/4 cups water
1 Tablespoon salt
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 whole egg


In medium bowl (or in saucepan), heat the butter and honey until the butter is melted.

Add the water; the mixture should be warm (120-130 degrees).  Stir in the yeast and let sit until bubbly, about 10 minutes.  (Making the sponge.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine salt, sponge (the yeast mixture), 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cups of all-purpose flour.  With mixer on low, gradually blend liquid into dry ingredients until just blended.  Increase the speed to medium, mix for two minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.

Gradually beat in the egg and one cup of whole what flour to make a thick batter.  Continue beating for two minutes.  Stir in oats, 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour.  Knead til smooth and elastic.  (Use more flour if the dough is too sticky...I added 1/2 cup more of all purpose.)

Place in greased bowl and cover.   Let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.  Punch dough down.  Turn onto floured surface; cover with the bowl and let rise for 15 minutes.  Shape into loaves and let rise for 1 hour in greased 9 x 5 loaf pans.

Bake at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes. 

(You can make the dough in a bread machine, using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour.  Use the dough mode setting for the largest size loaf.  Follow the recipe's directions for the second rise and baking.)

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