This might be the most beautiful sandwich loaf I’ve ever made. I tend to make better free form loaves, for some reason whenever I try to put something in a loaf pan things go wrong. But not this time! I love this bread because it’s obvious that it is wheaty and decently healthy, but it’s not dense like other healthier breads.
This bread calls for bread flour, and for good reason. Wheat flour and oat flour tend to create flatter, denser breads (qualities in breads I just now bashed), this is because they are low in protein – AKA gluten.
Whole wheat flour contains around 10% protein, and oats often contain 0% protein. But bread flour has 12-14% protein, which makes it perfect for forming those elastic networks of gluteny goodness. Using bread flour is not always necessary, but it yields a beautiful, full, rounded loaf that will make the biggest, most delicious sandwich you could dream up.
Honey Oat Wheat Loaf
Makes 2 standard size loaves
4 1/2 tsp yeast (2 packets)
1/2 cup honey (vegan? sub maple syrup!)
6 tbsp butter or margarine
2 1/4 cup warm water (around 110 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, dip your finger in the water and ask yourself, “would I like to take a bath in this?” if the answer is yes, it’s perfect.)
1 tsp salt
2 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour (I used Gold Medal’s Better for Bread flour)
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
just a little melted butter or margarine for brushing
First, whisk together the flours, oats and salt, set aside.
Then melt the butter and honey together in the microwave or on the stove top. Pour the melted mixture into your stand mixer bowl and allow it to cool a bit, then add the warm water and stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and allow it to “bloom,” a fancy word for super bubbly.
Using your dough hook on your mixer (or a big spoon if you’re kneading by hand) slowly begin to incorporate the flour mixture and the egg into the yeast mixture. Continue adding flour until the dough is elastic and has completely detached from the sides of the mixing bowl. Feel free to add more flour if needed, but do not add wheat flour, if extra is needed always add bread flour or AP.
Now grease a large bowl, and cover your dough ball to rise for about an hour until doubled in size.
Tick, tick, tick… boom!
Then punch down the dough balloon and allow it to rise again for about 20 minutes.
Once 20 minutes are up, cut the ball in half, form each of the halves into loaf-like shapes and leave them in greased standard loaf pans for another hour, until the dough has risen above the top of the pan. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Bake the loaves for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown. When you take them out you can either leave them as is, or brush them with some melted butter. Let them rest in the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
There’s nothing like a fresh baked loaf of bread to induce a cuddly cat nap…