Monday, February 1, 2010

Oatmeal Buttermilk Wheat Bread

I love homemade bread. I've been making it a lot ever since my amazing husband got me a Bosch for Christmas a few years ago. In fact, I very rarely buy bread anymore. It's healthier, cheaper, and tastier to make it myself. Of course it takes a little longer, but I'm home a lot so it works out. Anyway, I often make a whole wheat bread recipe that I got from my mom, but lately I've been itching to try some new bread recipes. This one from "Annie's Eats" caught my eye. Jeremy loves oats and keeps saying we should make oat flour, so even though this doesn't call for oat flour, it does have oats in it. It is so tasty. It's actually really fluffy and it has a great taste and texture. I think this would be a great bread for sandwiches because it's not nearly as heavy as a lot of wheat breads. I've included my edits in italics. Try it out!

Oatmeal Buttermilk Wheat Bread
1 1/2 cups rolled oats, divided
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup room temperature water
2 T. + 1 tsp. agave nectar or honey, divided (I used honey)
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt

Set aside 1/4 cup of the rolled oats. Place the remaining oats in a bowl. Cover with the boiling water, mix well, and let sit uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (I used the whisk attachment on my Bosch, but I'm sure the dough hook would have worked), combine the soaked oats, room temperature water, 2 T. agave (or honey), yeast, buttermilk, olive oil, 2 cups of each flour, and salt. Mix briefly on low speed until ingredients are combined. Mix in the remaining 1/2 c. of each flour. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 10 minutes. The dough will be wet, cling to the hook, and have a satiny finish.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled.

Now here's where I changed it. She baked it as one loaf, but I thought it would be way too big, so I divided the dough and did 2 loaves and it worked great. So if you'd like 2 normal-size loaves, go ahead and divide the dough here and follow these instructions for each loaf.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, flattening it with your hands to release the excess air bubbles. Form the dough in to a 12" x 6" rectangle and position it so the long side is facing you. Fold the 2 shorter ends onto the top so that they meet in the middle. Starting with the closest end, roll the dough away from you tightly into a log. Pinch the seam closed. Transfer the loaf to an oiled loaf pan, pressing it so it reaches all the corners. Mix the remaining agave nectar (or honey) with 1/2 tsp. of very hot water. Brush over the top of the loaf and sprinkle with the reserved oats. Let rise for about 3o minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the loaf for 1 hour. If baking 2 loaves, bake for about 45-50 min. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Now honestly, who could wait for a fresh-baked loaf to cool? I know I didn't. I let it cool for about 10-15 minutes and then I had to try it. :) I let the other loaf cool completely and then I stuck it in a ziploc freezer bag and popped it in the freezer for later.

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