Sunday, October 19, 2008

Honey Oatmeal Bread (Step-by-Step or Should I Say, Photo-By-Photo?)

Does the thought of baking your own bread make you break out in hives and run screaming for the hills? Or want to hide under the covers or eat obscene amounts of ice cream from the tub while watching old Full House re-runs (wasn't Uncle Jesse the cutest...)?

If you answered yes, you're not alone. Baking bread can be tricky, and it takes awhile, but you can do it, and you'll wow the socks off anyone - even yourself. Oh, and then you get to eat it, of course. And eating delicious, homemade bread is the greatest reward.
So, let's get started. To make things easier, I've included the recipe at the end of this post, but have changed things up a bit by adding photographs of each step so you know what to look for. This bread is absolutely smack-tacular - it's soft and fluffy, slighly sweet (as a result of the honey), has a crisp and slightly crunchy topping, is healthy for you, and works well for sandwiches, toast, stuffing or even bread pudding!

The only caveat? You need to have a very good stand mixer, like a KitchenAid mixer, to perform this recipe. Why? Because the mixing bread dough takes a lot out of your mixer, and if you use one that doesn't have enough power, it will burn your motor out. And then you'll need a new one. And then you'll curse my name and my unborn children.

So - use the proper equipment. Bread can be kneaded by hand, but this isn't the best recipe for that purpose. There are millions of good bread recipes available online, so check them out if you still want to proceed, but don't have the proper tool.

OK - have mixer? Add ingredients. Make sure you follow the recipe. EXACTLY. I can't emphasise that enough. And make sure you have a few hours around the house to allow the bread to rise. Go fold laundry. Have a bath. Read a magazine... anything. Just give yourself the time to make it and you're set!!!

Here we go!

The ingredients:
Step 1: The flour, oats, salt and yeast in the mixer bowl:
Step 2: Mixing the flour mixer, using the dough hook, on Speed 2:
Step 3: Heating the butter, honey and water until all melty:
Step 4: Adding the warm liquid to the mixing flour mixture:
Step 5: Adding the eggs:
Greasing the bowl for the dough:
Step 6: Adding the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time:
Step 8: The dough in a warmed, greased bowl...:
And turned once, to completely grease all sides:
Step 9: The dough, covered and rising on the stovetop (turn your oven to 350F to give it a warm place to "grow"):
Step 10: The dough, after it's been punched down...
And then divided in half:Step 11: Rolling out the dough...:
Rolling the dough into a log...:
Pinching the ends shut to create a seal:
Step 12: The loaf goes into it's greased pan:
Step 13: The loaves are covered and allowed to rise for another hour...:
Until doubled in size:
Step 15: Brushing the loaves with the egg wash...:
And sprinkling with oats:
Ready to go into the oven:
Baked and smelling delicious:
Sliced and splendid!

Honey Oatmeal Bread (adapted from KitchenAid Stand Mixer Cookbook)

5 - 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tsps. when measuring from the jar)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs

Egg Wash:
1 tablespoon water
1 egg white
2 - 4 tbsps. oats
1. Place oats, salt, yeast and 5 cups of the flour in the mixer bowl.
2. Using the dough hook attachment, mix the flour mixture for 30 seconds on Speed 2.
3. In a small saucepan, combine water, honey, and butter, and heat until butter is melted (approximately 120 - 130F).
4. While still mixing the flour on Speed 2, slowly add the warm liquid to flour mixture, mixing for about 1 minute.
5. Add the eggs and mix for 1 minute.
6. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 3 minutes.
7. Knead on Speed 2 for 7-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
8. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.
9. Cover the dough and allow it to rise in warm place, until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
10. Punch the dough down and divide it in half.
11. Shape each half into a loaf by rolling it out into a large rectangle, rolling it up and pinching the ends to form a seal.
12. Place each loaf, seal side down, into a greased 8 1/2x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch bread or loaf pan.
13. Cover the loaves and let them rise in warm place till doubled in size, about an hour.
14. Combine the tbsp.of water with the egg white and mix well.
15. Brush the top of each loaf with the egg wash mixture, and sprinkle with a few tbsps. of oats.
16. Bake at 375 F for 40 - 45 minutes.
17. Remove the loaves from pans and cool on wire racks.


My Sweet & Saucy said...

This looks sooo good! I absolutely love homemade bread!

Lord of the Wing said...

Holy Photos batman!!!

I'm liking the fully step-by-step methods. Makes me almost want to attempt making bread myself.

And I never took you for a closet Full House fan!