Ahoy, friendly readers. We ran out of bread again recently, which meant it was time to bake some loaves. This time I took an allrecipes recipe I’ve made a number of times and doctored it up to be my own. It’s a very delicious, very moist, slightly sweet loaf that makes fantastic toast.
2 c boiling water
1 c oats
2 T butter
scant 2 t salt
1/4 c honey
1/4 c brown sugar (you can cut this down if you like your bread less sweet)
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1/2 c warm water
3-4 c bread flour
1 c wheat flour
Start with your oats, sugar, honey, butter, and salt in your mixing bowl. Add boiling water, stir, and let sit an hour to soften up the oats.
In a small bowl, add yeast, and pour water over. Allow to sit 10 minutes until frothy.
Add yeast mixture to oats, and begin adding flour. You can stir in the first 2 or 3 cups of it, including the wheat flour. After that, you need either more elbow grease or a stand mixer. I opt for the mixer. Add flour by the half-cup and allow the mixer to knead the dough (or do it by hand) for several minutes, until dough begins to clear the sides of the bowl and/or is smooth and elastic. The original recipe called for only 4 total cups of flour, which left me with a really sticky dough. I prefer at least five, and occasionally more for a little hand kneading at the end. Making bread, you see, eventually becomes a really intuitive process, and it can be kind of hard to articulate the details of it 🙂
Anyway, put dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, 60-90 minutes. I put mine on top of the dishwasher while it ran. Nice and toasty. Then, punch dough down, divide in half, and shape into loaves. Place loaves in greased loaf pans (8.5 x 4 or 9 x 5 are good), and dust with flour. Cover with plastic wrap. The flour allows the dough to rise and not stick to the plastic; I’ve lost too many pretty tops of loaves when they stuck. Allow to rise 40-60 minutes, until again doubled in bulk. Preheat oven to 375, and bake for 30 minutes. Once you make your own bread, you’ll have a hard time ever going back to store-bought. It’s far more tasty to do it yourself, and cheaper, to boot.