Homemade honey oat bread is pictured on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by James Brosher)

Honey Oat Bread

The rolled oats in this bread give it a perfect, chewy texture, while the honey makes it taste slightly sweet. The result is a tasty and versatile loaf that’s the perfect base for toast and sandwiches. 

Homemade honey oat bread is pictured on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by James Brosher)There’s something about the dropping temperatures that makes me want to bake bread. It’s something my dad used to do often during the winter and his loaves of honey oat were always my favorite. He stopped making bread years ago after drastically changing his diet, but I found myself craving a slice when I woke up to a frost-covered yard this weekend.

I don’t have a ton of experience baking bread. Like many people, the process intimidates me a bit. With the yeast and the rising process it feels like there’s so much that can go wrong. But, this bread is so easy to throw together. It just takes a little of time and a few ingredients you probably already have on hand. Did I mention it makes your house smell amazing, too?

My favorite way to enjoy this bread is topped with a little bit of butter and jam, but it also makes a mean French toast. It’s the perfect baking project for a cool Fall day.

Homemade honey oat bread is pictured on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by James Brosher)

Honey Oat Bread

Ingredients

Bread:

  • 1/2 cup warm water (between 105 and 115 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 cups warm milk (between 105 and 115 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 5 1/2 cups high-quality unbleached all-purpose flour

Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats

Directions

  1. Pour water into a small bowl and sprinkle yeast and sugar on top. Stir until dissolved and let sit for about ten minutes, until fragrant and foamy.
  2. In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the milk, honey, melted butter, salt, rolled oats, and 1-1/2 cups of the unbleached flour. Mix on high until creamy. Stir in the yeast mixture until combined.
  3. Add the remaining 4 cups of flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. The dough should be shaggy and moist but clear the sides of the bowl.
  4. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly-floured work surface and knead until soft and springy, about five minutes. Dust lightly with flour as needed to prevent it from sticking.
  5. Lightly grease a large, ceramic bowl and place the dough inside. Turn the dough once so both sides are greased. Cover with a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for two hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and use a sharp knife or pastry cutter to turn it into two, equal portions. Roll each piece of dough into a rectangle.
  7. Grease two loaf pans with melted butter and sprinkle with rolled oats. Place the loaves seam-side down. Cover the pans with a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour, until they’ve doubled in size. About 20 minutes before the loaves are done rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  8. Brush the tops of the loaves with the remaining butter and use a serrated knife to cut three small X’s into the top, not cutting deeper than 1/4 inch into the loaf. Bake the loaves for 40 to 45 minutes, until they’re golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
  9. Remove the loaves from the pans immediately once they come out of the oven and place on a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

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