Monday, August 18, 2014

Honey Oat Whole Grain Bread with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Compound Butter

Is there anything more comforting and downright jovial in this world than the smell of freshly baked bread? If my metabolism wasn't slow as molasses I would probably definitely have bread with every meal. There's something so satisfying about that warm, soft, chewy texture and when you spread some brown sugar cinnamon butter on a warm piece of toast? Forget about it.

Unfortunately I think the art of bread baking as gone by the wayside in America but it's so easy and affordable to make I'm aiming to bring baking back *cue new version of Justin Timberlake song
I think people are always intimidated at the thought of baking breads, when in reality they're probably one of the easiest things to make, don't get me wrong, baking is always an exact science and you do have to dedicate the time to proof, knead, etc. BUT as long as you have the time baking bread is probably one of the easiest (and dare I say most rewarding) achievements in the baking world.

Honey Oat Whole Grain Bread

makes 1 loaf

recipe adapted from The Comfort of Cooking

1 cup water
1 cup milk (I used skim)
2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
2 TBS honey
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread or all-purpose flour* (I used only bread flour)
1 cup quick cooking oats, plus more for topping loaf (or you could just grind rolled oats)
4 TBS (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 TBS salt

Directions:

1.Combine water and milk in a microwave-safe bowl; heat 30-45 seconds until warm (about 115 degrees F). Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add yeast and honey. Let sit 10 minutes until yeast is foamy.

2.Stir in flours, oats, butter and salt. Using a dough hook, knead on medium speed 6 minutes until dough is smooth, elastic and only slightly sticky (alternatively, knead by hand 10 to 15 minutes on a lightly floured surface). Keep dough in bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise in a warm place* 1 hour until doubled.

3.When dough is doubled, punch down and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Press into an 8-by-8-inch square, tuck in sides slightly and roll up into a log. Transfer to a lightly greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, seam-side down. Cover with a tea towel and let rise 30 to 40 minutes until dough reaches the edges of the pan.

4.Heat oven to 400 degrees F (375 degrees F if loaf pan is dark or nonstick). Sprinkle oats on top of risen loaf. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until loaf is deep brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from loaf pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Compound Butter

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temp.
2 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 TBS honey

1.Beat butter until smooth, add ingredients and taste. You can either put the butter in a bowl or take some tin foil/plastic wrap and roll the butter in a tube for freezing.

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