I broke one of my baking rules yesterday, which is that baking yeast breads should be done in cool weather only. It should be noted that though my house has central air, something about knowing the weather outside is hot make me not want to complete all the steps required.
However, yesterday I felt inspired to make some oatmeal bread for three reasons. One, I had bought a great aged cheddar that I wanted to use for an open face melt for dinner. Two, I needed to use bread as the base and thought oatmeal bread would be perfect. Three, my husband recently mentioned that he was craving oatmeal bread, so why not surprise him with it after a week away on business travel? (Yes, he is a little bit spoiled. . .)
I found a few different oatmeal bread recipes and took pieces of each to create my own. I decided to add extra egg white to make the bread a little lighter. I also took the bread out of the oven five minutes before it was done baking and spread a tablespoon of honey over the top, which gave it a shiny finish and some extra sweetness.
As it turns out, this bread was an excellent base for our melts. My husband enjoyed it so much that after enjoying his melts he had to sample an extra piece. It also was the perfect accompaniment for a breakfast of eggs today. It seems that breaking a baking rule may have its benefits.
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tb. honey
- 2½ Tb. butter, unsalted
- 2¾ – 3¼ cups flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2¼ tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- Combine water, 1/3 cup honey, and butter in a small pot. Place over low heat, and warm until it reaches 120°.
- Combine 2½ cups flour, oatmeal, salt, and yeast in stand mixer bowl. Using dough hook, mix for 15 seconds on speed 2. While hook is operating, slowly add liquid mixture, and mix for 1 minute. Add egg and egg white, and mix for an additional minute.
- Add flour, 1/4 cup at a time, and mix for 2 minutes or until dough clings to the hook and cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead on speed 2 for another 2 minutes.
- Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top.
- Cover with a towel, and place in a warm area to rise for about 1 hour. (Heating your oven to 400° for 1 minute and then turning it off creates a suitable location.)
- Punch down dough, and shape into a loaf. Place in a greased 9×5 loaf pan. Cover with a towel, and place in a warm area to rise for about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Bake bread for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and spread tablespoon of honey over the top of the loaf.
- Bake for 5 minutes. (You may need to cover the bread loosely with foil to prevent burning.) Remove from pan, and place on baking rack to cool.