>Hold onto your hats my friends, because I’m giving away one of my secrets.
Ready for the recipe to my famous bread? (Shh…it’s not my recipe! Get the recipe here.) As this recipe came from the cookbook that came with my
baby KitchenAid Stand Mixer, I’m sad to say you will have to go right out and buy one of these marvelous contraptions in order to make this bread.
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup butter
5 1/2 – 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
2 tsp salt
2 packages active dry yeast
1 egg white
1 tbsp water
Place water, honey, and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until mixture is very warm (120 to 130 degrees).
Place 5 cups flour, oats, salt, and yeast in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 15 seconds. Continuing on Speed 2, gradually add warm mixture to flour mixture and mix about 1 minute. Add eggs and mix about 1 minute longer.
Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix about 2 minutes, or until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.
Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf by rolling the dough out into a rectangle with a rolling pin, and then rolling up the dough, makin gsure to pinch the ends together.
Place in greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch baking pans. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until double in bulk.
Beat egg white and water together with a fork. Brush tops of loaves with mixture. Sprinkle with oatmeal. Bake a 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.
Tricks of the Trade:
- Temperature is very, very important when heating the water/honey/butter mixture. If the mixture gets too hot, it will kill the yeast, which leaves you with some very flat bread. Not pretty.
- Making bread dough does take a special touch, but you figure out your rhythm after a few tries. You can always add a little extra flour or a little extra milk if your dough isn’t coming out quite right. You want your dough to be sticky, but not so much that it stays on your finger when you test it.
- My dough always takes longer than an hour to rise. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while.
- If you live in a space without a sunny window, you can always heat your oven to the lowest temperature and then turn it off, creating a warm space. Just make sure it’s not too hot.
- I always cover my dough with a damp cloth which I sometimes spray with cooking spray – this keeps your dough from drying out while it’s rising.
It takes several hours to do when you include the time it takes for the dough to rise, but the smell that fills your house during the entire process makes the entire ordeal just a smidge more worth it.
And by a smidge, I mean it’s about equivalent to the joy from a hot fudge brownie sundae. With rainbow sprinkles.