Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Honey Oatmeal Bread


So last week I had a disaster of soup making. Although I must admit I enjoyed laughing at myself. Soup Disaster

That being said, I decided to redeem myself by baking. Because if there's one thing I know how to do it's bake. And that being said, I love to make homemade bread. And, might I add, no bread machine here..... I love mixing the dough, kneading it, shaping it, and molding it to my wishes all by hand. It's one of the most gratifying things to make in my opinion.

(Well MORE gratifying if you have a KitchenAid admittedly with a Dough Hook!)

And don't get me wrong, I went YEARS without a KitchenAid and made homemade bread
by hand.....and I remember mixing sticky thick dough until my arms hurts..... And both arms would hurt because I'd wear out my right arm and have to switch to my left.... I decided eventually, that if it's painful to "make the food" and/or painful to "eat" the food, I don't want it.

Until the day I bought the.....Kitchen Bad Boy.

Anyway, I realized, I hadn't made any bread in quite a while.....

SO, I decided some Honey Oatmeal Bread was in order.... (If you're an absolute newbie to homemade bread, check out my post for beginning bread makers.... here.)

The source of this recipe is King Arthur Flour.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups hot water
1 cup oats
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
approx. 3 cups of flour
2 tablespoons honey
oats for topping (tablespoon or so)

Preparation:

In a large mixing bowl, combine boiling water, oats, 1/2 cup honey, butter and salt. Let stand for 1 hour.

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. (If the yeast foams up, it is "proofed", if not discard and start over with yeast and water)

Pour the yeast mixture in the oat/honey mixture. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time (it may take 2 1/2 to 3 cups more flour) You know you've
added enough flour when the entire dough is in a ball and not sticking to the sides.

Scrape out onto a well floured surface and sprinkle 1/2 cup flour over the top of the dough so your hands don't stick. Knead the bread for about 5 minutes until smooth. Don't hesitate to sprinkle more flour over the top or on the board if it's sticking. You won't incorporate too much
flour.

Oil a bowl, plop the kneaded dough into it and turn over so both sides are oiled.

Heat your oven to 300 for 3 - 5 minutes and turn off. (I've found this little bit of heat in the oven is perfect for bread.) Cover the bowl with saran wrap or a warm moist towel and let rise until doubled.

Remove from oven, remove towel, and punch dough down thoroughly. Pull back out of bowl onto floured surface....sprinkle a little flour over the top and briefly knead again 4 - 6 times. Turn over. Now, this should be enough for two loaves so cut in half, shape into loaves and place in slightly greased bread pans. (for the ragged ends or underside, just tuck under the loaf, they'll disappear as it rises and bakes.

I chose to make one loaf and some rolls as I was having company for dinner. Just take half the loaf and shape into a loaf and place in bread pan. For the rolls, just tear out ball shapes of dough from the remainder (you might want to flour your fingers) and roll into balls and place adjacent to each other in a greased 9 x 9 baking dish or round baking tin, or even muffin cups; they all work.

Place dough in oven, covered again, and let rise for 45 minutes. Remove from oven.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. When at temperature, place loaves or baking dishes into oven and bake for 45 minutes. It's been my experience that bread often "looks" done way before it truly is done. If you use glass baking dishes it's easier to tell, because you let it bake until the bottom and sides are lightly browned, then it is done. In the absence of that, tap or "thump" the top of the loaf firmly, and if it sounds hollow, after 45 minutes of baking, you'll be ok.


Remove. Slightly heat a tablespoon or two of honey, and brush over tops of breads and sprinkle with a few oats for decoration.




Enjoy! (Isn't that purty stuff to make? huh?)

And if that doesn't look good enough? Toast it, butter it, and put some jam/jelly on it...... The best ever....seriously.... There's nothing like hot homemade bread.

5 comments:

Maggie said...

This looks like it would be great french toast bread. I've done the old fashioned hand kneading too but have much love for my Kitchen-aid. I just need to spring for a second bowl because I'm always working on two projects at a time and having to wash it constantly.

Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks great. I'll admit that I didn't start trying to make bread myself until we got the stand mixer...

bakers said...

We at King Arthur Flour are pleased you enjoyed our recipe. We are all scratch bakers and to produce something so wonerful with simple ingredients is rewarding. I haope you will try some of the other recipes posted on our web site. Joan @ bakershotline

bakers said...

We at King Arthur Flour are pleased you enjoyed our recipe. We are all scratch bakers and to produce something so wonerful with simple ingredients is rewarding. I haope you will try some of the other recipes posted on our web site. Joan @ bakershotline

Chef Tess said...

I think we are baking kindred spirits! Bread is one of my passions! It looks like a great recipe! Gorgeous pictures!!