Thursday, February 17, 2011

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread

I've been so busy at work that I have had no time to make bread! We completely depleted our massive supply in the freezer.
I made myself leave at decent hour last night so I could do a little cooking and baking. I knew I needed to make something simple and versatile because I'm not sure when I'm going to get 4 hrs of awake time at home next. This is a great all-around bread. It slices well, has a nice soft texture, and is made with healthy whole grains. It works great for everything from pb&j to tuna. I've made it before, so I felt comfortable making a few substitutions. Here is the original recipe.
I divided the recipe in half, but this bread making me consider investing in a second loaf pan. When I've made it before, I've pre-sliced and frozen it. Then, I pull out slices for toast or sandwiches as needed. (I hate when food goes bad, so I freeze everything.)

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread
The version of the recipe I made last night.

1 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, plus additional for topping
1/4 cup warm water (105-115°F)
1 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 T honey
2 T maple syrup (ran out of honey, note to self: buy more)
2 T unsalted butter
2 cups white whole-wheat flour (King Arthur Brand. Its lighter than typical whole wheat so I felt comfortable upping the proportion of wheat to all-purpose.)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil for oiling bowl
Milk for sticking oats to the top (I did this instead of a whole egg because I wouldn't have used it all.)

Heat milk in a saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling, then remove pan from heat and stir in oats. Add 2 T of butter so it can melt. (I did this to save myself from dirtying another bowl when melting it separately.) 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.

Mine got super foamy, probably because I forgot to halve the amount of
honey in this part. But it came out great and had no trouble rising!

Stir yeast mixture and remaining honey into cooled oatmeal mix.
Stir white whole-wheat flour and salt in a large bowl. Add oat mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead with floured hands, adding just enough of the unbleached flour to keep from sticking, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes (dough will be slightly sticky). 

Form dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled 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 to 1 1/2 hours. (Mine was doubled in about 45 min!)

I like using this little bowl for the rising process with single loaves of bread.
I can tell when it has doubled because when it reaches the top edge,
you can just begin to see the shape of the bread under the towel.

Lightly butter loaf pan. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Shape into a loaf, then place loaf in the 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. Lightly brush tops of loaves with milk and sprinkle with oats, then bake until bread is golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 35 to 40 minutes. 
Remove bread from pans and transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. (I skipped this last step, sliced some up, and enjoyed it with some peach rosemary jam.)  Delish. So excited we have bread in the house again!

1 comment:

  1. this looks so yummy. you must post more. lol. would love if you could stop by today and check out my new outfit post.

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