Once a month our church does a potluck dinner. I love it because I usually get a chance to make something that I haven’t made before or that I haven’t made in awhile. Today though, I decided to do something that I have made many, many times. And I have to say (not to brag or anything) but it was a HUGE hit.
I love making bread. There isn’t really anything that compares to the smell and taste of home made bread. My husband loves it, I love, my kids love it. I used to just follow the recipe in Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book: Food Gifts from Your Kitchen (Better Homes & Gardens Plaid) for basic white bread, but after awhile I decided I should venture out. I tried different things experimented in different ways, and have come up with a recipe that I absolutely love. I call it Honey and Oat Bread (catchy, right?) Here are the ingredients you need:
The first step is to mix 2 1/2 cups of flour and your yeast together in a large bowl. The next thing you do is heat the honey, milk, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan.
The original recipe says to heat it until its 120 degrees, I just heat it until it all mixes together good and the butter is melted. It should be super hot, just warmish.
So the next thing you do is pour the milk mixture into the other bowl. Now you mix it with an electric beater. As you can see in the picture, I cheat.
I have a Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen MachineI have to admit that if I didn’t have this, I probably wouldn’t make bread. This thing is amazing. I one time quadrupled this recipe (made 8 loaves at once) and the mixer handled it like a champ. Anyway, if you don’t have a bosch, beat it with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds. If you do have one, I put the bread dough hook in and beat it for the same amount of time.
The next step is to add your oats. Just put them in and mix it up.
The next step is to add the rest of your flour in (3 1/4 to 3 3/4 cup more). I have noticed that if I double recipes, I often need more flour than double. Just add flour until it doesn’t feel super sticky. It can be a little sticky, but not very.
This next step is where the mixer comes in handy. If you have one, just turn the speed up to 3 or so and let it kneed for about 8 minutes. If you don’t, take it out of the bowl and kneed it by hand for that same amount of time. After you are done kneeding, lightly grease a bowl and put the dough in it.
Cover and let it rise for 45-60 minutes (the dough should about double in size).
After your 45-60 minutes is up, punch the dough down. This pretty much means exactly what it sounds like. Stick your fist in the middle of the dough and push down. It will feel like you are “letting the air out.” Then pull the dough out of the bowl and divide into two parts. Set it on your counter and cover for another 10 minutes.
After that 10 minutes is up, grease your bread pans.
Your next job is to shape the dough into loaveish (yes, that’s a word, I just made it one) shapes. The cookbook has detailed instructions on how to do this, I just kind of make it into a long bread looking thing and stick it in the pan. Then, cover them yet again and let them sit for another 30 minutes or so, preferably in a warm place. (note the fire)
While they are rising, preheat your oven to 375. When they have finished rising that last time, place the loaves in the over for 35 minutes. As soon as they come out, brush some butter on the top of them. Sometimes I put some herbs on top of them too, but not usually. Sit back and enjoy your master piece.
Side Note: This bread freezes really good. I have frozen loaves for 2 months at a time. I just put it in a grocery bag and stick it in the freezer. The night before we want to eat it, I pull it out and let it thaw.
This one has a face 🙂 –>