Oatmeal Wheat Bread

March 7, 2008

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I guess you could say I’ve been rolling in the dough this week. Between the pitas I made last weekend and this gorgeous loaf, I seem to be on yet another bread baking bender. I’ve been proofing, kneading and, um, carb loading. And, meanwhile, the no-knead recipe on my to do list still languishes. Soon, soon. I swear.

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It was (finally) Kevin’s pick for this week’s Family Dinner menu. He requested BLTs, which, of course, don’t involve all that much cooking. Given the chance that I’m busy studying for an ethics exam right now, one might guess that I’d relish the thought of a night with so little cooking. And, one would be wrong. What did I go and do? First, because the tomatoes are oh-so-woeful right now, I decided to roast roma tomatoes in balsamic vinegar and olive oil, rendering what could’ve been bland, mealy rounds of tomatoes into savory, soft, slightly charred wedges. Then, I decided we should have homemade bread too.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

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Sure, it was a little unreasonable. And Kevin might have rolled his eyes just a little bit when I announced my plans to bake the bread. But I didn’t hear anyone complaining when this loaf emerged from the oven. And it’s a very good thing that this bread and the resulting BLTs were a success, because the side dish—homemade baked potato chips—was a complete disaster. Let’s just say that I’m very glad there is no photographic proof of the sad, limp Russet strips that I reluctantly heaped next to the BLTs.

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But, let’s focus on the positive, shall we? The bread was not just a looker. It was also delicious—nutty, slightly sweet and dense. My only slight complaint is that it became a little crumbly when we toasted it, but the flavor was still delicious.

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Oatmeal Wheat Bread
Gourmet

2 cups whole milk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking) plus additional for topping
1/2 cup warm water (105-115°F)
2 tablespoons active dry yeast (from 3 packages)
1/2 cup mild honey
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional for buttering pans
3 cups stone-ground whole-wheat flour
About 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
Vegetable oil for oiling bowl
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Heat milk in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling, then remove pan from heat and stir in oats. Let stand, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooled to warm.

Stir together water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon honey in a small bowl; let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.) Stir yeast mixture, melted butter, and remaining honey into cooled oatmeal.

Stir together whole-wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add oat mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead with floured hands, adding just enough of remaining unbleached flour to keep from sticking, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes (dough will be slightly sticky). Form dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel; let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Lightly butter loaf pans. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf, then place 1 loaf in each buttered pan, seam side down, tucking ends gently to fit. Cover loaf pans loosely with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly brush tops of loaves with some of egg wash and sprinkle with oats, then bake until bread is golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 35 to 40 minutes. (Remove 1 loaf from pan to test for doneness. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen.)

Remove bread from pans and transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

18 Responses to “Oatmeal Wheat Bread”

  1. Emily Says:

    What a beautiful loaf of bread! And the BLTs sound amazing.

  2. Karina Says:

    There’s nothing better than sandwich night with homemade bread! That looks like an especially delicious loaf of bread. I tried a recipe for oatmeal wheat bread recently that used very different proportions and didn’t work out so well (although it was still homemade bread, so it was still good!) so I’ll have to try your recipe and see if it’s more successful.

  3. bevsedgehills Says:

    that really is gorgeous looking bread!


  4. This looks so delicious! I love baking bread and cannot wait to try this!


  5. This looks fantastic, everything I#d want in a loaf of bread

  6. JEP Says:

    Looks like the perfect loaf of bread!


  7. This bread looks so good – I’ve bookmarked it for my next free weekend!

  8. RecipeGirl Says:

    Looks like a terrific sandwich bread…and your pics turned out great!

  9. ourkitchensink Says:

    Thanks everyone! I should also note that the bread held up really well and seemed to get less crumbly when toasted after the first day.

  10. Suzy Says:

    This looks soooo good! I really want to try it, but I don’t have any loaf pans. Do you think this would work if I just baked two round loaves on a cookie sheet?


  11. Suzy: I’m not sure, but I think this would work. If you give it a try, let us know. Good luck!

  12. Cindy Says:

    I baked this twice today. First time it was not ready to bake from its rise and I had to leave, came home and baked it anyway and it was a brick. Second, it looked great as dough, as it raised in the pan it began to stretch and break as it rose and as it baked it fell and let a very rough top. Any ideas?

  13. tyler k Says:

    Fantastic recipe. Thanks. It tasted great even with worthless yeast…didn’t have extra and was in a hurry. Thanks!


  14. tyler k: Great to hear it!


  15. I tried it but also added steel cut oats about 1/2 cup an used local honey it turned out beautafull looks great and is very light cant wait to try some tomarrow

  16. Giovanna Says:

    I loved your directions, they are so clear, even though this recipe takes aroun 5 hours to get ready, I can´t wait for trying it, honey, oatmeal, wheat,sound delicious.

    Thanks


  17. Giovanna: I hope you give it a try! Much of that five hours is inactive (e.g. rising time), so don’t let that put you off!

  18. bunnymama Says:

    thanks for this lovely recipe… I can’t wait to try it!


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