Saturday, November 17, 2012

Honey Oat Bread

It has been a very long time since I have posted anything on my little blog. There is one big reason for that: I'm pregnant! This'll be baby #1 for us and I must confess that 99% of the past 3 months' dinners have consisted of a welcoming bowl of Cheerios. I have done little to no baking, cooking or meal prep in general and my poor husband has been living off perogies and hot dogs. Today I had a bit of energy and inspiration though (the latter from my brother in law who sent us up some very yummy looking wild pear & wild grape jams!) and decided to whip up a loaf of this delicious honey oat bread from the lovely Darla at Bakingdom. A tip that she suggests is lining the loaf pan with parchment to make the bread easier to remove (a bit will hang over the edges and you just lift it out... brilliant!). I hope that you will enjoy it too! (makes enough for 1 9×5-inch loaf). Bon appétit!
ps - the oats on top will make you feel pro star :)

3 cups (381 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cups oats (I have used instant and old fashioned, both work great)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (250 ml) milk (almond or soy milk for vegan/dairy free)
1/4 cup (62 ml) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter or margarine
1/4 cup honey (agave for vegan)

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons honey (or agave), warmed
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons oats

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, oats, yeast, and salt.

In a small bowl, or two cup (450 ml) measuring cup, warm the milk so that it’s hot enough to melt the butter, but not boiling. Add the butter, stirring until melted, then 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 (5 ml) 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 towl, and allow to 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 allow to cool completely before serving.