Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

Whole Wheat Honey BreadKnead to Know

Over the weekend, my sister was wonderful enough to take care of the kids while my husband and I went into the city to have dinner with old friends. It was really nice to be out on the town like adults. (We need to do it more often.)

My daughter loves hanging out with her aunt for a number of reasons. Mostly because it means there will usually be a project she can help out with, and this time was no different. The boys are content to lie on the sofa like slugs playing video games with their cousins. It’s kind of a guy thing….

It has been well documented that I cannot manage to bake a decent loaf of bread. I have a weird, mental block when it comes to yeast. If this were the Middle Ages I would perish. My sister, however, is the Queen of Bread Baking. And, the two of them baked some really great loaves of Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread from a recipe on the King Arthur Flour website.

Freshly baked bread is a wonderful thing. The smell of it in the air is the worst torture, but you know that you are going to have a superlatively awesome sammich—like we have been having for the last few days. Now, though I have been rationing each slice, the loaf is all gone. I am going to have to risk life and limb to try to make it myself. Even more humbling, I will need to look to my 7 year old to show me how to get it right. Sigh.

Try this recipe for Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread, and see if you have better luck that me. If not, I’m sure my first grader would be more than willing to help.

Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

This is a lovely, soft, mildly sweet loaf, perfect for both sandwiches and toast.

2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats, traditional or quick (not instant)
1/2 cup maple sugar or brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter (we recommned Kerrygold)
1 tablespoon kosher salt or 2 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, oats, maple syrup (or brown sugar), honey, butter, salt, and cinnamon. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm (about 10 to 15 minutes).

Next, add the yeast and flours, stirring to form a rough dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and satiny (about 10 minutes by hand, 5 to 7 minutes by machine) .

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, and cover it with a  lightly-greased plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour. Since the dough is warm to begin with (from the boiling water), it should become quite puffy. I like to put my dough in the oven with the light on and a bowl of warm water (for humidity.)

Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a loaf. Place the loaves in two greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bread pans.

Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow the loaves to rise on the counter until they’ve crowned about 1″ over the rim of the pan, about 60 to 90 minutes.

Bake the loaves in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Cover them with an aluminum foil tent after about 25 minutes to prevent over-browning. Remove the loaves from the oven when they’re golden brown, and the interior registers 190°F on a digital thermometer.

Turn the loaves out onto a rack to cool. Store at room temperature, well-wrapped, for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Yield: 2 sandwich loaves.

Read the original King Arthur’s Flour blog postit has great photos.

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