Sunday, April 3, 2011

Honey Oatmeal Bread

I’m going to be very, very, very honest with you. This was my first attempt at real bread. And I was terrified. What if it was doughy? What if it didn’t rise? What if it was TOUGH???!! And I was pleasantly surprised with how easy this recipe is!! I will offer a few tips (from my mama).

When letting your bread rise, mom always turns the oven on, 200 degrees for about 15 minutes, then turns it off. When you place your bread in here to rise, it’s nice and toasty to help the yeast activate; but remember, too hot – and you’ve killed your yeast, AND IT WON’T RISE. Also try not to over knead or over work the bread, that also contributes to tough bread….. I try think loving thoughts into my fingers as my kneading, really begging the bread gods to help me out.

Ok, give it a shot, worst case scenario, you’ve wasted less than $5 in ingredients and you never have to make bread again. If it does work however, mmmmmm girl, you’ve got fresh cinnamon toast coming in the morning. OR, could you imagine french toast with homemade bread??? YUMMMYYY.

One last note – it makes two loaves. Give one to a neighbor, share the gift of food. Or, freeze for a rainy day.

~Peace, Love, and Breaking Bread Ya’ll!

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Honey Oatmeal Bread

Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients:

4-½ teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
½ cups Honey
4 Tablespoons Butter
2-¼ cups Water
1 Tablespoon Salt
2-¾ cups All-purpose Flour
4 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Quick Cooking Oats
1 whole Egg

Directions:

In a medium bowl, melt your butter and honey in the microwave. Add your water, and test with a meat thermometer - the mixture should be between 110-120 degrees. Remember, too hot = dead yeast, too cold = inactive yeast. Both equal bread that won't rise people! Stir in your yeast and let it sit until it's happy and forming happy yeast bubbles, approximately ten minutes.

Take out your favorite wedding present, your red kitchen-aid stand mixer, and get out the DOUGH HOOK! How exciting! Combine yeast mixture, salt, 2 cups of whole wheat flour, and 1 cup all purpose flour. Keep the mixture on low. Blend until just blended. Increase speed to medium (when using the dough hook, my mixer instructions said don't go over speed #2.), mix for two minutes, and occasionally scrape your bowl. Slowly add the egg, and one cup whole wheat flour. Mix for two more minutes. Then mix in oats, 1 cup whole wheat flour, and 1 cup all purpose flour, mix until the dough forms a ball. You may need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky - I added about 2/3 cup more flour.

Grease one large bowl, place your warm dough ball in it, and cover. Let the baby rise in a warm place (this is where the slightly warm oven comes in) until doubled, usually about one hour. I'll be honest, mine didn't exactly double, and I was worried, but it all turned out fine in the end.

This is where it gets fun. Now, punch the dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; cover with the bowl again and let rise for 15 minutes. Shape into two loaves (this means kinda working it in a circular motion/kneading it a little to have a smooth appearance) and let rise for 1 hour in greased 9 x 5 loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 35 to 40 minutes.

 

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