Monday, February 10, 2014

Honey-Oatmeal Sandwich Bread


                 When I tell people that I bake on average,20 plus buns a week,3 loaves of bread, and various other bread based items they look at me like I have two heads. Well I sometimes image that's how they look at me since most of my conversations take place online. The usual response is something like, I can't imagine baking like that all the time,or how do you do it?, or I suck at bread baking. The truth of the matter is, it hardly takes any time at all to bake your own breads,buns, and rolls. If I'm at home then there is some kind of yeast product rising in my oven at any given time. I realize I don't have a normal 9-5 job, but even if I did you better believe I would be doing it all on my days off. You can get the dough rising while you do other things around the house or even run a few errands. You come back,shape it,do a second rise, and then bake. It doesn't matter if your bread comes out wonky looking or has cracks or some of your buns didn't come out perfectly round. Do you think anyone cares about that? What people care about is the taste and you know homemade bread tastes so much better than anything else you can buy in the store. You control what goes in and what stays hair. I know that sounds funny, but did you know they use certain products in bread that contains hair from a salon in china? yum,yum. I like fluffy bread, but not that kind of fluff thank you very much!

So bake some bread. Bake this bread! it has both all-purpose and whole wheat flour. It has yummy things like oats and honey, and even nuts if you want to put them in there. There are no funky ingredients like hair or feathers (yep they add those too), and you will just love how soft this bread is and how delicious it tastes when toasted and slathered in peanut butter.

Bread baking isn't hard and doesn't need to be a scary thing. It just takes practice. So get to practicing!!!!

Honey-Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

1-1/4 cups (10 ounces) Boiling Water
1 cup (3-1/2 ounces) Old-fashioned rolled oats
2 TBS (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter,cut into 3 pieces
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 cup (3 ounces) Honey
1 cup (4 ounces) Whole Wheat Flour
1-2/3 cups ( 7 ounces) All-purpose Flour
1/4 cup (1 ounce) Nonfat Dry Milk
1/2 cup (1-7/8 ounces) finely chopped Pecans or Walnuts;optional
2 tsp. Instant Yeast

In a medium bowl,place the boiling water,oats,butter,salt, and honey,stir, and let the mixture cool to lukewarm.

Mix the remaining dough ingredients with the oat mixture, and knead,by hand, or mixer until you've made a soft,smooth dough. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl,turning once to coat,cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise for 1 hours or until doubled in bulk.

Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and set aside. Gently deflate the dough, and because it will be slightly sticky,make sure you oil your hands a bit. Place the dough out onto a counter top and shape into a 9 inch log. Place into prepared loaf pan. Cover it gently with either a tea towel,lightly greased plastic wrap or shower cap, and allow to rise until it's crowned 1-1/2 inches over the rim of the pan,about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time preheat your oven.

Preheat to 350 or 180 celsius. Uncover the bread and bake for around 45 minutes,tenting with foil after 20 minutes to prevent the top from over-browning. Bake until golden brown,sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom or when a thermometer inserted in the center registers 190F. Allow the bread to sit in the pan for 1-2 minutes. Gently remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. If you want an extra soft crust,brush the top with melted butter. I didn't do this step and found the crust to be very soft on its own.

Yield: 1 Loaf about 12-16 slices
Source: King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking