Saturday, November 20, 2010
So Good & Honey Oatmeal Wheat Bread
When I sent pictures of this bread to my husband, he asked which I liked best, the Honey Oatmeal Wheat, or the Harvest Squash Bread I made a couple of months back. Without hesitation, I answered: "They're both so good, there's just no choosing."
The Honey Wheat for its soft, chewy, ever so slightly sweet, perfect for sandwiches and toasting ability. And the Harvest Squash Bread for its rustic, overnight developed, hearty, earthy, perfect alongside or dipped into soups quality. I haven't been working with yeast very long, but I can tell you if you haven't yet, it's addictive. There's something primitively satisfying about pulling a loaf or two of bread you nurtured, developed and worked with your own two hands out of the oven, and confirming with each bite thereafter. If I haven't convinced you already, don't deprive yourself of that magic any longer.
Honey Oatmeal Wheat Bread
Recipe courtesy and adapted from The Fresh Loaf And AllRecipes.com
2 Cup boiled water
1 Cup rolled oats
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 Cup honey or molasses
1/3 Cup warm water
2 packets active dry yeast
3 Cups white bread flour
2 Cups whole wheat flour
Plus Additional bread flour for kneading, up to 1 cup. If using all white flour, you may need more. If using whole wheat flour, you should need less.
2 tablespoons honey, warmed slightly. 2 tablespoons oats. (Optional)
1. In medium saucepan boil 2 cups water. Remove from heat (turn stove off), add oats, honey and butter. Allow to soak for 20 minutes. After the oats have soaked for 10 minutes, begin preparing remaining ingredients.
2. In large bowl, sprinkle yeast over 1/3 cup warm water. Let stand 5-10 minutes. While yeast is soaking, in separate bowl, measure out flour and stir salt into flour with fork. Once the oats have soaked 20 minutes and have cooled some, add soaked oats into bowl with yeast. Stir and let stand 5 minutes or until foamy.
3. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, into bowl with foamy yeast. With wooden spoon, stir ingredients to incorporate. (A lot of the flour will remain after mixing, this will be fully incorporated after kneading.) Turn ingredients out from bowl onto clean surface or countertop. Form into mound with hands. Incorporate ingredients and begin to knead. If dough is too sticky, add in additional flour 1 teaspoon at a time. (I needed an additional 2 teaspoons). Continue kneading dough for approximately 15 minutes, or until dough becomes smooth, soft and feels lighter.
4. Clean and thoroughly dry large bowl. Use canola or vegetable oil to lightly oil bowl. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat with oil. Use plastic wrap to cover bowl and allow dough to rise in warm place until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
5. Once dough has risen, punch dough down to remove air and turn out onto clean surface. Cut dough in half and form into 2 loaves, big enough to fit bread pans. Lightly oil two bread pans and add 1 formed loaf of dough to each pan. Cover and let double in size in warm place, for approximately 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once loaves have risen, use serrated knife to make slits if desired and baste each loaf of dough with melted butter or beaten egg.
6. Turn oven up to 375. Bake bread for 30 minutes or until tops have turned golden brown and, when tapped with fingertip, bottom of bread sounds hollow. Remove loaves from pans and transfer to cooling rack. Brush top of each loaf with slightly warmed honey and sprinkle with oats, if desired.
Just out of the oven, still warm and covered in honey, this bread glistens and begs to be eaten.
Toasted or plain, spread with Homemade Raspberry Jam, this bread really shone.