April 21, 2021
There is nothing like the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven. Since I am not a sourdough bread lover, I’m always looking for other types of bread to make that will fill my kitchen with the delicious scent of yeast proofing, and bread baking. This loaf of oaty, sweet honey bread is just what I was looking for today.
It’s just what everyone in my house was looking for today too. Mia ate it with sweet, salted butter and a touch of jam. Eli used it for a sandwich. And Randy just wanted the end, his favorite, eating it plain with nothing on it. The rest of the loaf I wrapped up in a clean kitchen towel so the inside crumb would stay moist and the outside crust wold remain crispy.
Fresh bread is such a miracle, especially when I can start it making it when I wake up and it can be done by lunchtime. There is nothing better than knowing I created a loaf, with such simple ingredients from my pantry that was truly enjoyed by everyone. Originally I was afraid the oats would give the bread a nutty taste that I wouldn’t like, but the perfect balance of flour and oats ensured a soft sturdy bread with the perfect balance of flavor.
Oats and Honey Bread
Adapted from King Arthur Baking Company
For the Bread
3 cups (361 grams) Unbleached Bread Flour
1 cup (89 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons (63 grams ) honey
2 teaspoons instant rapid rise yeast
1 1/4 cups (310 ml) room temperature milk (I used whole milk)
For the Topping
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon cold water
1-2 tablespoons old fashioned rolled oats
To Make the Bread
In a large mixing bowl. or in the bowl of a standing mixer, mix together all of the ingredients to form a a rough, shaggy dough.
Knead the dough by hand (on a lightly greased surface), or with the kneading hook of your mixer, about 5-7 minutes. The dough will will be springy but somewhat soft. The dough will also feel very sticky, but don’t add more flour because additional flour will make your loaf dry.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 hour. It may not double in size, but it will get very puffy.
To Shape the Dough
Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled countertop. Flatten the dough into a 6 x 8 inch rectangle. Fold the top down to the center, as if you were closing a letter, pressing it firmly with the heal of your hand to seal it. Pull the upper left and right corners into the center, and press to seal. Repeat the first step (folding the top to the center and sealing) three or four more times until you’ve created a 9 to 10 inch log. Turn the the log over so the seam is on the bottom. Place the log in the prepared loaf pan, tucking the ends under slightly so the log fits, as it is now longer than the pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise for 1-1 1/2 hours until it reaches at least 1 inch over the rim of the pan.
Towards the end of the rising time preheat the oven to 350ºF with the rack in the center of your oven.
To Add the Topping
Uncover the risen loaf. In a small bowl beat the egg white with the water and brush the mixture all over the top crust. You will not use all the egg mixture. Sprinkle the loaf with the rolled oats.
To Bake the Bread
Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, until its golden brown. If it looks like it is getting too brown too quickly, cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil for the final 10 minutes of baking.
When the bread is done it will read 190ºF on a digital or instant read thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, slide the bread out of its pan and tap the bottom crust with your fingers. It should sound hollow.
When the bread is done, remove it from the oven and turn it out of the pan and onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.