Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Honey oatmeal bread makes superb bread pudding

In honor of January being Wheat Bread Month (who invents these things anyhow?), we’re including a recipe for a special bread made with oatmeal, honey, and whole wheat flour. Not that we need a reason to post this recipe, which we made into a glorious bread last week. We’ve been enjoying it toasted and topped with butter, sliced thin for sandwiches, and in the Morning Glory Muffin bread pudding, which was the topic of yesterday’s article.

The King Arthur Whole Grain Baking cookbook, the source of the recipe, describes the loaf as “moist and relatively close-textured, perfect for sandwiches.” The recipe also suggests a cinnamon-swirl filling, but we think it’s great just as is. No frills or fancy stuff. I didn’t add the chopped nuts either.

And, in the interests of buying local - for the honey I used 100 percent pure honey that’s gathered and bottled and sold right here in our little seashore island town. In fact, it comes from my neighbor across the street. Now you can’t get more local than that! They call it ‘The Perfect Swarm’ and it’s lovely. Wish they could bottle the aroma also.


1-1/4 cups (10 ounces) boiling water
1 cup (3-1/2 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup (3 ounces) honey
1 cup (4 ounces) traditional whole wheat flour
1-2/3 cups (7 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1 ounce) nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup (1-7/8 ounces) finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
2 teaspoons instant yeast

Place boiling water, oats, butter, salt and honey into medium bowl, stir, and let mixture cool to lukewarm.
Mix remaining dough ingredients with oat mixture, and knead – by hand, mixer, or bread machine – until you’ve made a soft smooth dough. Place dough in lightly-greased bowl, cover it, and let rise for 1 hour; the dough should be doubled in bulk.
Lightly grease 9x5-inch loaf pan. Gently deflate dough – it will be sticky, so oil your hands – and shape into 9-inch log. Place in prepared pan. Cover gently with lightly greased plastic wrap or a proof cover, and allow to rise till it’s crowned 1-1/2-inches over rim of pan, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Near end of bread’s rising time, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Uncover and bake bread for about 45 minutes, tenting it with foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. Bread is done when golden brown and instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190 degrees F. Remove from oven, and after a minute or so turn out onto rack. Brush with melted butter, if desired; this will keep crust soft. Cool bread completely before cutting.
(Recipe from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking, (c) 2006, Countryman Press)

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