A few weeks ago I replaced my bread pan (I left the old one in Ohio because it had seen better days). You might remember that I used my new bread pan to make a really yummy vegetable lasagna. Vegetable lasagna is really delicious, but I bought the pan because I really want to start making my own bread. It’s not difficult and most of the time spent making it is hands off. I also see it as a major bonus that I know exactly what is going into my bread.
I’ve been keeping my eye out online for a good recipe that would work for my morning toast (my #1 use for bread) and the occasional sandwich I make for lunch. I saw this beautiful bread on Pennies on a Platter and it sounded like it would be a good fit. It turned out to be just what I was looking for. A flavorful bread that can stand on it’s own with a little butter but is also complimented by a little cinnamon sugar or honey. I ate so much toast this week that I didn’t try it as a sandwich bread but it feels and tastes like it would hold up well. My parents are visiting this weekend and my dad found it and has had probably 5 slices in two days. Big hit!
Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread
(Adapted from Pennies on a Platter)
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons molasses
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1 cup rolled oats
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tablespoon salt
Additional oats for topping the loaf (optional)
Prepare a 9×5 loaf pan by lightly buttering or spraying with non-stick spray.
In a microwave safe measuring cup, heat the milk and water till lukewarm, about 115˚F. Combine the water, milk, honey and molasses in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let proof for 5 minutes, should look foamy if the yeast is good.
When the yeast has proofed, add the flours, oats, melted butter and salt to the bowl. Mix for 6 minutes on medium speed. The dough should climb the dough hook and slap around the sides of the bowl without sticking. If the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl add a more flour a tablespoon at a time, if it seems like the dough isn’t coming together (too dry) do the same thing with a tablespoon of water.
Cover the mixing bowl with a clean towel and place in a warm, dry place (an oven with the light turned on is a great place) and let rise for 2 hours, or until doubled in size. If you poke the dough and the poke stays then you know it’s ready.
To shape the loaf, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 1 or 2 minutes and then let it relax for a minute. Shape the dough into a flat square. Fold one side of the dough into middle, then fold the other side to meet it in the middle. Pinch the seam then roll the dough back and forth a little to form a log. Transfer the dough to the bread pan, seam side down.
Cover the loaf with a towel and let rise for another hour. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. After the dough has risen lightly mist with water and sprinkle additional oats on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the crust is brown and when you tap on the loaf it sounds hollow. Allow the loaf to cool on a wire rack . Remove from pan when completely cool.