Homemade bread. Its truly one of the most amazingly delicious foods that exists. I mean seriously, hot bread straight from the oven slathered with butter… its heaven. I’m sure I’m not the only impatient one when it comes to eating freshly baked bread (see photo below – can you see that steam?? haha.) I let the bread cool and took some more photos, but we’re keepin’ it real here. I have no patience to wait on delicious food. I was so ready to hurry and eat some fresh bread!
I first saw this recipe on Erin’s Food Files (p.s. – have you seen Erin’s blog? its great! go check it out). But as I frequently do, I went back to the original recipe from Gourmet and made some modifications of my own. This recipe will not disappoint. Its heavy and hearty and just all around delicious.The original recipe calls for a mix of wheat flour and all purpose. Like Erin, I’ve had great experiences using all wheat flour, so I also opted to use white wheat flour and omit the all purpose. If you’d like a lighter, airier bread. Go with the original recommendation of 3 cups wheat + 2 cups all purpose.
It will yield two loaves… don’t even think about cutting the recipe in half. You’ll eat them both! You can always freeze one loaf if you want, but since you’re putting in the effort to make bread anyway, you might as well get two loaves out of it! Definitely give this one a try!
Oatmeal Wheat Bread
Yields: 2 Loaves
2 cups milk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking) plus additional for topping if desired
1/2 cup warm water (105-115°F)
2 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup mild honey
1 Tbsp molasses
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional for buttering pans
5 cups white whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
Vegetable oil for oiling bowl
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water (optional)
Special equipment: 2 (8- by 4-inch) loaf pans
Heat milk in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling, then remove pan from heat and stir in oats. Let stand, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooled to warm.
Stir together water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon honey in a small bowl; let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.) Stir yeast mixture, melted butter, molasses and remaining honey into cooled oatmeal.
Combine ingredients in stand mixer with wooden spoon, then knead with bread hook 5-7 minutes.Form dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel; let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
Lightly butter loaf pans. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf, then place 1 loaf in each buttered pan, seam side down, tucking ends gently to fit. Cover loaf pans loosely with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. If desired, lightly brush tops of loaves with some of egg wash and sprinkle with oats. Bake until bread is golden, 35-40 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Remove bread from pans and transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.
Bread keeps, wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature, 4 days.
Source: Adapted from Gourmet, October 2005