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Can you almost smell the comforting, homey, immediately recognizable, fresh from the oven warm bread? Boy oh boy. Bread speaks to me (as do other things but right now I’m drooling over the warm slice with honey.) As I’ve mentioned on many occasions I’m a frequent reader and contributor on Tasty Kitchen. This recipe has been one of the most popular and highly rated for a long time. After enjoying Lion House Rolls for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I thought we should try for a more complex, healthier, lower fat variety. I dare say that all the positive reviews were right; this bread is easy, hearty and delicious. And … it goes a long way. One slice with a little almond butter for breakfast, and I’m good to go for hours. I can’t wait to try this again adding a little flax seed, and maybe sunflower seeds too.
You’ll need 2 package of Active Dry Yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons), honey, butter, water, salt, unbleached bread flour (or all purpose flour), whole wheat flour, oats and one egg.
In a medium saucepan combine 4 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup honey.
Heat on medium low until the butter is melted. Remove from the burner and add 2 1/4 cups warm (not hot) water. You want the mixture to reach 110-120 degrees. If it’s too hot it will kill the yeast, not hot enough and the yeast won’t bloom. I use a thermometer to double check the temperature.
Sprinkle both packages of yeast into the water / honey mixture. Set aside until the yeast blooms, about 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl combine the salt, 2 cups whole wheat flour, and 1 cup bread flour.
The saucepan with the yeast should be about ready when it looks bubbly or blooming.
Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture.
Fit the mixer with the dough hook and turn on low. Mix until all dry ingredients are wet then increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
Lightly beat one egg and add it to the large mixing bowl. Gradually beat in the egg and one cup of whole wheat flour until blended. Beat on medium speed for 2 more minutes.
Add the oats, 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup bread flour. Knead on low until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Add up to one more cup of bread flour if the dough is sticky. I added about 2/3 cup to get the dough to the proper consistency.
Turn the dough out into a well oiled bowl. Cover and place the bowl in a warm location free from drafts.
After about an hour the dough should double in size. Punch down the dough.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and cover with the mixing bowl. Let the dough rise again for about 15 minutes.
Cut the dough in half and shape into loaves.
Place the loaves in greased 9×5 loaf pans. Sprinkle additional oats on top if desired. Allow the bread to rise one more time – about 1 hour.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
Allow the bread to cool before slicing …- just kidding! Trying to see if you’re still with me! These directions seem like a lot to do but it’s really not. If you’re home on the weekend doing laundry, making a pot of soup, cleaning house, etc. this would be a perfect little distraction. Besides you might be hungry by the time you get it done.
Warm honey bread can always use more honey.
Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread
(adapted from a recipe on Tasty Kitchen by Barefootbelle)
2 packages Active Dry Yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup good quality honey
4 tablespoons butter
2 1/4 cups warm water (110-120 degrees)
1 tablespoon salt
2 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
In a medium saucepan combine the butter and honey and heat on low until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and add the warm water. You want the mixture to be about 110-120 degrees. It is best to use a thermometer to prevent killing the yeast. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water honey mixture and set aside until the yeast blooms: about 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl combine the salt, 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup of bread flour. Fit the mixer with a dough hook then add the yeast mixture and blend on low until all the liquid is absorbed. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Add the egg and one cup of whole wheat flour. Blend on low until the egg is incorporated then beat on medium for 2 more minutes. Add the oats, 1 cup whole wheat flour, and 1 cup bread flour. Mix on low with the dough hook until it’s smooth and elastic. Use up to one more cup of flour if needed to prevent the dough from being sticky. I used an additional 2/3 cup bread flour.
Add the dough to a large bowl greased with vegetable oil. Cover and let the dough rise in a warm location free from drafts for about 1 hour or until double in size. Punch the dough down and turn onto a floured surface. Cover the dough with the bowl and let it rise for 15 minutes. Cut the dough in half and shape each into a loaf. Place the loaves in greased 9×5 inch loaf pans and let rise for another hour. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you have a happy Friday. I’ve got 20-25 people coming over tomorrow for a baby shower. Doesn’t that just strike fear in your heart?! I have lots to do and something to clean I’m sure. I’ll share the good recipes with you next week – that is if they turn out good! What do you think … cupcakes or a whole cake? (I’m ordering from a bakery) Punch or Almond Ice Tea? I’m running outta time!
Enjoy your non-holiday weekend. Please check back Monday for a delicious homemade dessert!