Tag Archives: Bread

Oatmeal Wheat Bread

Oatmeal Wheat Bread 009

As far as I’m concerned, bread baking is one of the best smells there is.  I love the warm, yeasty smell of bread rising, and the nice crust you get when it’s done, along with that sense of accomplishment.  So, since I was out of bread, I’m trying to empty out my pantry before I move out next week (and failing miserably), and my dad’s going to be in town this weekend and loves whole-wheat bread, I made wheat bread.  There was logic in that decision somewhere, I’m sure.  If you find it, let me know!

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Ok, so this isn’t exactly whole wheat bread like my dad prefers, but I think it’s a pretty good compromise between our two preferences.  This bread came together really easily, and rose quickly.  I only had two small problems with it.  The most universal one was that the bread was a little bit over-browned, so I probably should have tented it with aluminum foil partway through baking.  The other problem is probably only mine, and that’s that this recipe uses oatmeal, which meant I had to make oatmeal.  I get that it’s incredibly healthy, but oatmeal gives me the heebie-jeebies.  As with most foods I’m not fond of (like scallops or flan), the texture just freaks me out.  But I sucked it up, and I wouldn’t even know it was there if I hadn’t made it myself!  This bread was a little bit sweet from the honey, and will be great for sandwiches, or maybe even french toast!  It was a great use for my SMS preserves!

Oatmeal Wheat Bread

Adapted from Epicurious and Gourmet magazine

  • 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 I used 1/2 Tbsp. melted butter

1. Heat milk and 1/2 stick butter 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.

2. 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.) Look out, this foams a LOT! Stir yeast mixture, melted butter it’s already there, and remaining honey into cooled oatmeal.

3. 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.

4. Lightly butter two 8×4 inch loaf pans I used 9×5. 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.

5. 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 (or just with melted butter), 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.)

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

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Also, since my dad will be here tomorrow, I thought I’d share some important things I’ve leard from him.

1. Always carry dog bones in your pocket.  Even if you don’t have a dog.

2. Never throw the first punch.  However, if you do throw the first punch, make sure you give fair warning.

3. If a boy doesn’t respect you enough to pick you up at the door, he’s not worth dating (although this one was usually phrased more along the lines of “I swear to god, if he sits in the driveway and honks the horn, you’re not leaving this house!”).

4. Everyone should have a nice, heavy pen.

5. You don’t have to like everyone.

6. It’s ok to skip a homework assignment every now and then, but it’s not ok to skip a big project.  Pick and choose.

7. Algebra.  Also, that math is a four-letter word.

8. Being a little weird is a good thing sometimes.  It makes you stand out from the crowd.

9. Asparagus tastes way better warm than it does cold.

10. It is possible to penny someone’s door shut so far that it is impossible to get it back open.

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Sweet Melissa Sundays: Guiness Gingerbread

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This week, Katie of Katiecakes chose our recipe, Guiness Gingerbread.  I thought it was a bit odd, gingerbread in May, when most of our recipes have been heavy on the fresh fruit, but then remembered that she’s from Newcastle, England, where the weather isn’t quite as spring-y as it is here.  Although Urbana could probably give England a run for its money in the rain department this past week!  You should definitely check out Katie’s site, she has some wonderful recipes and beautiful pictures!

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This week’s recipe was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed it- and I’m not usually a gingerbread person!  I think it’s that whole “molasses” issue I’m working on overcoming.  That, and there are so many wonderful alternatives, especially at my Grandma’s at Christmas, that I’ve mostly avoided it.  I halved this recipe, anyway, and baked it in a 9×5 loaf pan for 30 minutes (I probably should have checked it at 25 minutes, the edges were very crisp).

This recipe was very spicy, which I enjoyed.  I left out the cocoa powder, because I left mine at my parent’s/home a while ago, and since I’m heading back this week, I didn’t see the use in buying another container.  I think the white pepper added a nice kick, which I hadn’t expected!  To be honest, I really didn’t taste the Guiness.

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I think I would make this recipe again, but would definitely wait until the winter.  I procrastinated big time with this one, and just baked it this afternoon, and it was so nice and sunny that it just seemed out of place.  It had a really nice, dense crumb, was a little bit moist, and pleasantly spicy.  I would also make this again because now I can- I just turned 21 about a week and a half ago, so it was exciting to be able to buy my own Guiness for this recipe, rather than asking someone else.  Mike has learned to accept that I sometimes ask for strange types of alcohol for cooking, but it’s still nice to not have to ask someone to go out of their way to find some odd liquor.  And if you don’t believe me, above is the bracelet I got at the bar on my birthday saying that I’m 21 (in Champaign, you can get into bars at 19, but they give you a bracelet once you turn 21 so they know you’re old enough to buy alcohol).  Oh, and the bracelet Mike gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago.

In any event, I’m still having a ton of fun with the Sweet Melissa Sundays group, and you should check out the blogroll to see what everyone else thought of this sweet, spicy bread.  Also, the membership is going to be capped at 50 people, so if you’ve been on the fence, drop over there and join the group ASAP!

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