So what happens when you’ve been working hard to keep up your own blog (my other one, because this one makes me hungry…) and you spend so much time writing, you fall behind on visiting others’ blogs, drooling over their recipes, learning from their cooking efforts….
You also miss events. Like yesterday. I totally didn’t know that it was World Bread Day…But guess what? I just happen to have something ready to post. Am I a food nerd or what? Okay, so a parting gift to the one in the audience who called out "cooking fool…" Whatever.
Back when the Daring Bakers were making "Honest to Goodness Bagels," I purchased some Vital Wheat Gluten flour. It’s a little bag that caught my eye and when I picked it up to read about it, I saw a recipe for "Honey-Oatmeal Bread" on the back I thought I’d try. Of course, with summer not being too far in the distant past, the idea of baking bread wasn’t high on my list. But last weekend, I finally got around to it.
I haven’t made a basic loaf of bread in years. Sad, but true. I was just too busy. I know those of you who work hard every day are thinking, "What a lazy slacker!" and I’d agree with you at this point knowing that you are busy and still manage to bake AND have a blog, and little kids at home. Unbelievable. Well, actually, that would be incredible! I am completely in awe of you.
So how’d my bread turn out? Hmmmm…not bad. A little gnarled-looking and rustic, but not bad. I didn’t exactly expect that these would be glamour loaves anyway. It’s dense, and not as sweet as I thought it would be with the honey the recipe calls for, but I love the way the Scottish oats add to the texture. It’s lovely toasted with butter and honey. (Yes, more butter and honey) We have a couple of end pieces left that I’m going to put in the food processor to make crumbs and freeze for something…
Honey -Oatmeal Bread
4-1/2 to 4-3/4 c. Whole Wheat Flour
2 T Bob’s Vital Wheat Gluten
3 pkg. Active Dry Yeast2 c. milk
1/3 c. honey
1/4 c. cooking oil
1 T salt
1/2 c. Scottish oats
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In large mixer bowl, combine 2 c. of the flour* and the yeast.
- In saucepan, heat milk, honey, oil, and salt just until warm (115-120 degrees).
- Add to dry mixture in mixer bowl.
- Beat at low speed with electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly.
- Beat 3 minutes at high speed.
- By hand, stir in oats and enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough.
- Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 min.)
- Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 45 min.)
- Punch dough down and turn out on a lightly floured surface.
- Divide in half and cover to let rest for 10 min.
- Shape into two loaves and place in two greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2-inch loaf pans.
- Cover and let rise again in a warm place until doubled in size (about 30 min.)
- Bake for 35-40 min and remove from pans to cool on a wire rack.
Makes two loaves.
Notes: *I’m on a rag about the way directions are carelessly written — hence the first bullet.
- Add the wheat gluten with the flour on step #1. It doesn’t say on the back of the bag when to do this, so I made an executive decision.
- I used the entire quantity of flour (King Arthur Whole Wheat) to get my dough to the elastic place described in the directions.
- I used my oven proofer again, but this time the dough didn’t escape the bowl to try and take over California was was fellow Daring Bakers’ concerns in the Cinnamon-Sticky Bun Challenge last month. A truly great relief. In fact, the dough was left in longer because I didn’t believe it had doubled.
- I used Rapid Rise yeast as well. So go figure.
- I kept an eye on the loaves during baking because it seemed they were getting really brown. Because I was using a convection setting, I did turn down the heat after 7 min. to 365 degrees. A small consolation, right?
- The aroma was intoxicating, but I did consider that it was coming from the spill over from the sticky buns that still hasn’t been cleaned up. I’m a bit cheap when it comes to cleaning my oven because I have to run the cleaning cycle which takes about four hours at extremely high temperatures. I only do it once a year. See? Cheap. Or energy savvy?
- I removed the loaves with 4 min. left to go because they were pretty brown, and did have a somewhat hollow sound when I tapped the top. I think my Home Ec teacher taught me that in 1902. Or something.
The nice thing about baking this bread is that it’s got me wanting more bread. See how that works? And maybe a plain ol’ loaf of white would be a good place to start. Or I have been salivating over brioche and just happen to have purchased two more brioche tins so I can experiment with a trio of the beauties, enjoy the silky texture of the loaves, and then make some decadent French Toast with leftovers.
If there are any…