Honey Oat Bread

    The good part about knowing (but not yet mastering) the art of baking is that nothing is out of reach. The not-so-good part about knowing the art of baking is that nothing is out of reach. You want to move on from the cupcakes to cakes, from puddings to pies and from quick breads to gorgeous, crusty breads. I made the transition today! My experiences with bread haven’t been too successful (think:  Frankenstein like lab experiment) barring those I learnt at School and I had just about given up attempting but I chanced upon this foolproof recipe from Bakingdom.

    Its unbelievably easy, especially if you have a stand mixer. You must, however, keep a close eye on the dough – it may need more water or perhaps some flour to dry it out while its kneading. I used a little bit of excessive water by mistake so I used whole wheat flour to ‘dry’ out the dough because its tougher. I also used it to flour my surface while proofing it for the first time and it was much easier to handle the dough. The combination of honey and oats works well and you can taste the honey on the crust so don’t skip out on the honey wash before putting it in the oven.
    A word on the yeast – I could have sworn I bought active dry yeast but I picked up instant yeast instead. A little research told me that you can certainly sub active dry for instant yeast but instant yeast requires some pre-soaking and the proofing must occur twice.
    Honey Oat Bread
    Yields: 9×3″ loaf
    Source: Bakingdom
    For bread:
    3 cups (360g) all purpose flour
    5 – 7 tbs whole wheat flour
    1/4 cup lukewarm water
    2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast or instant yeast
    1 cup (240ml) milk, lukewarm
    2 tbs butter
    1/4 cup honey
    3/4 cup oats (I used instant)
    1/4 tsp salt
    For glaze:
    1 1/2 tbs oats
    1 1/2 tbs honey, warmed for about 10 seconds in the microwave
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add flour, oats and salt. Mix to combine on medium speed.
  2. In a bowl filled with lukewarm water, add yeast and set aside.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, heat the milk on low flame till its warm but not boiling and warm enough to comfortably dip your finger in. Add honey and butter and stir it in. Pour into measuring jug and add water and yeast mixture.
  4. Set the speed on medium low and slowly pour in the milk and yeast mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer till its combined. Now, turn the speed on medium high and let it continue to knead for 10 minutes or till dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl. If your dough is too dry, add water, tablespoon by tablespoon till its pillowy soft. If the dough is too wet and isn’t pulling away from the sides of the bowl, add tablespoons of flour (I used whole wheat) till you’ve achieved the right consistency. Turn out the dough into a well oiled bowl and cover with a wet muslin cloth for at least an hour and a half.
  5. After your dough is well risen (it should be almost double in size by now), turn it out onto a floured countertop (I used whole wheat again) and punch it down, knocking out all the air. Flatten it into a rectangle and start rolling it from the end closest to you into a log shape and pinch down the ends to form a loaf. Using a dough scraper, if needed, fit into a loaf tin and cover with a wet muslin cloth for 20 minutes.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C (350 F). After 20 minutes, place bread in the oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, monitoring it closely after 30 minutes.
  7. For step by step photos, see here

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