Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Honey Oatmeal Bread
I made homemade bread to go with our chicken noodle soup the other night. I posted pictures on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NansNappies) and had some requests for the recipe so here it is.
The recipe is in my cookbook that came with my Kitchenaid Mixer almost 20 years ago.
In a small sauce pan combine :
1 1/2 cups water,
1/2 cup honey ( I used Agave Nectar)
1/3 cup butter
I like to use Agave Nectar because it has a lower glycemic index and is lower in calories.
Place the sauce pan over low heat until the liquids are very warm ( 120-130 degrees F)
As you can see from my thermometer, I got the liquids too hot. It is important to let them cool before adding your yeast or you will kill the yeast! I was in a hurry, as usual, and didn't want to wait for it to cool so I filled a bowl with some ice cubes and placed the pan on top. I kept stirring the liquids and in under two minutes they were the correct temperature.
Set the liquids aside.
In your mixing bowl place 5 cups all purpose flour. Again I changed the recipe. I used 3 cups bread flour , not all purpose, and 2 cups whole wheat flour. I sometimes subsitute 1/2 cup ground flaxseed for 1/2 cup of the white flour.
To the flour add 1 cup quick cooking oats. I do not like quick cooking oats and always use Old Fashioned Oats.
Add 2 tsp salt and 2 packages of dry active yeast. I always use the jar of Bread Machine Yeast which says 2 1/4 tsp equals 1 package of yeast .
Attach the bowl with the dry ingredients to your mixer with dough hook attached. Mix on speed 2 for about 15 seconds.
Gradually add your saucepan of warm liquid to the flour mixture and mix about 1 minute. Add 2 eggs and mix an additional minute.
Continue mixing on Speed 2 and add up to 1 1/2 additional cups of bread flour 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead on Speed 2 for 2 minutes longer.
Place in a greased bowl ( I spray mine with Pam or equivalent but you can also use Crisco or butter in the bowl) When placing it in the bowl, try to form a ball with the dough. Then you can either turn it over to get the top greased or spray more Pam on the top of the dough. Cover with a cloth or piece of wax paper and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk about 1 hour. If you want it to rise faster, turn your oven on to 200 degrees. Once oven is warm, turn it off and place your bowl of dough in the oven. You will know when the bread has doubled if you press it with your finger and it tried to bounce back.
Punch dough down. That is exactly what you do! Use your fist and punch it straight down in the center.
Spray or grease two loaf pans. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place into greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise again until doubled in bulk for about 1 hour.
There are various methods for shaping. I sometimes place the ball of cough on a flour covered board and roll it out to a rectangle about the width of my bread pan. Then , beginning on the wide end of the dough I roll it up like a jelly roll, tuck the ends in and place it in the pan. This does give the bread a good consistency. If I am too hurried, I just kind of mold it into a loaf and put in the loaf pan.
Turn your oven on to 375 degrees. While it is heating, take a small bowl and combine 1 egg white with 1 Tbsp water. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of each loaf. Then sprinkle with some more oatmeal.
Now it's ready to go in the oven for around 40 min. or until the tops are golden brown.
This bread is great fresh from the oven. The next day it's best when heated a little in the microwave or lightly toasted. That is my favorite way to eat it!