Hey there! I hope everyone in the northeast made out okay in Nemo! We got hit pretty hard, with around 30 inches of snow, but thankfully our power was on, so we could entertain ourselves with daytime television, and of course, lots and lots of baking! After doing quickbreads and muffins and cookies since July 2011 (it’s really been that long?), I officially decided that it was time for me to try something new. So get prepared for an entire world of yeast!
I have to admit, I was scared of yeast. I was afraid of kneading too long, kneading for not long enough, killing the yeast, have the yeast not bloom, and a variety of other issues that could go on when you’re dealing with yeast. But, after gaining some experience and learning a lot when my mom was learning about it in culinary school, I finally used the dreaded yeast. And guess what? It was fantastic- both the taste of the bread and the satisfaction that I got from making such a fantastic loaf (well, 2 loaves). This bread was a wonderfully hearty whole wheat bread, with just a smidgen of sweetness from the honey. It’s a wonderful sandwich bread, and I practically died of happiness when I got to use this bread to make my beloved almond butter sandwich for lunch. So don’t be like me and be terrified of this glorious little creature, because this recipe is simple enough to just get your toes wet in the vast world of breads and yeasts.
Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup maple sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Saigon-type cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast*
- 1 1/2 cups King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
- 4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, oats, maple sugar, honey, butter, salt and cinnamon. Let cool to lukewarm.
- Add the yeast and flours, stirring to form a rough dough. Knead (about 10 minutes by hand, 5 to 7 minutes by machine) until the dough is smooth and satiny. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.
- 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-inch bread pans. Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow the loaves to rise till they’ve crowned about 1 inch over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.
- Bake the loaves in a preheated 360°F oven for 33 minutes.** Remove them from the oven when they’re golden brown, and the interior registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Yield: 2 sandwich loaves.
*You can use active dry yeast interchangeably with instant yeast. I used that, and it worked out perfectly.
***If your oven can’t be set at 360°F, set it at 350°F and bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes.
Source: King Arthur Flour