Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Smell of Fresh Baked Bread…

I love to bake. I love finding new recipes and testing them out and I love the look on my friends or family's faces when I hit the mark.
 I have always wanted to bake my own bread. I have had some attempts, some good, some not so good. I have a recipe for white bread that I have been making off and on for the last few months. I know what you are thinking white bread is bad for you, right? Well, I say that if it's made by me and I know exactly what is in it (how much sugar is in it) then it's not all bad. The white bread recipe is a good one.

I also have a recipe for cinnamon swirl bread that is to die for. So good, that I can't make it every week or I will eat it every week, and then I will have to run that many more miles every week. On a side note, this bread is AWESOME as part of an egg white, fake sausage and cheese sandwich. Sweet + savory = yum. It also works well for French toast…Anyway…
I found a recipe for Honey Oat Bread on http://www.bakingdom.blogspot.com/. I had it in my recipe binder for a few weeks and finally decided to try it out on Sunday. Can I just say, WOW! It's a little sweet and very soft which seems to be lacking in the homemade breads I have made so far.

Here's the recipe:
Honey Oat Bread
Makes 1 9×5-inch loaf
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups oats
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk (almond or soy milk for vegan/dairy free)
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons honey warmed
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons oats
n a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, oats, yeast, and salt.

In a small bowl, or two cup measuring cup, warm the milk so that it's hot enough to melt the butter, but not boiling. Add the butter, stirring until melted, stir in the water and honey.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, mixing until it just comes together to form a dough. Knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. If the dough is still very wet and sticky after 5 minutes of kneading, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is barely tacky. If the dough is too dry, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to soften it up.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Once doubled, place the dough on a clean, dry work surface. If the dough is too sticky, lightly flour the surface before continuing. With your fingers, flatten the dough into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Tightly roll the dough, tucking the ends as needed, into a loaf. Place the shaped dough into a 9×5-inch loaf pan, cover with a clean dry towel, and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Place an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven and bring 2 cups of water to a boil.

When the loaf is doubled again, brush the top with the warmed honey and sprinkle with the oats.

Place the bread in the oven and pour the boiling water into the empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and the internal temperature is about 190 degrees.

Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely before serving.

I could go on and on about how delicious this bread is. I used almond milk in mine, and I threw the oats into the chopper before I added them to the flour, just to grind them up a little. I also omitted the oats on the top and just did the warmed honey because I would love for my kiddos to eat this bread and oats on top would definitely deter them.
Give it a try; I don't think you will be disappointed.

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