Friday, May 14, 2010

Honey Oatmeal Bread

This is a soft, supple, mild bread due to the high oat content and the use of potato-flakes in the dough. I will admit that it does take a long time to make because it is a slow rising bread, but it is good. The hands on time is only the amount of time that it takes you to put the dough together, but unlike other yeast breads that only require about 2 hours of total rise time, this one takes double that. From what I understand that is also due to the high oat content. Either way though, it creates a loaf that sticks together well and cuts nicely. The look of it is rustic, with a crust that has some crags and valleys, which I think is nice.

Honey Oatmeal Bread
Recipe from King Arthur Flour
Picture by Caroline

Hands-on time: 20 mins.
Baking time: 45 mins. to 50 mins.
Total time: 5 hrs 25 mins.
Yield: one 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf

3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups "quick" rolled oats
2 packets "highly active" dry yeast; or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast; or 2 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons oats, to sprinkle on top, optional

  1. Combine the 3/4 cup water and oats, and let rest for 20 minutes. This gives the oats a chance to absorb the water and soften up.
  2. If you're using active or "highly active" dry yeast, dissolve it in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar. It should start to bubble as the oats and water rest.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the oats (including the yeast/water/sugar mixture, if you're using active dry yeast), and mix and knead—by hand, electric mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle—until the dough feels springy; it will be quite stiff.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and allow it to rise, covered, for 2 hours; it's a slow riser.
  5. Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8" log. Place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. Cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap.
  6. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, till it's crowned about 1 1/2" over the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  7. Brush the top of the loaf with milk, and sprinkle with oats, if desired.
  8. Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Tent it loosely with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes. When the bread is done, it'll be golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register 190°F.
  9. Remove the bread from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Store well-wrapped at room temperature.
TIP (from When making yeast bread, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., "Let the dough rise till it's doubled in bulk."Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking (how you kneaded the dough; what kind of yeast you used) that it's impossible to say that bread dough will ALWAYS double in bulk in a specific amount of time.

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