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Sunday
Jan262014

Honey Oat Bread

Honey Oat Bread

The wind is blowing outside my window with a fierceness only Mother Nature herself could bring. Another blizzard has descended, matching the winds of last Wednesday and the snow of last weekend. If the nine foot snow drift that appeared outside of my bedroom window this morning is any indication, it was only proper to spend the day wrapped up in sweaters and hiding under blankets. This winter, in particular, has been one of hot cocoa and warm ovens.

How could you have it any other way?

Honey Oat Bread
Honey Oat Bread

One of the dearest ways to spend a Sunday morning for me is baking bread. After the coffee has been brewed, I slowly pull the flour out of the cupboard and the yeast off the shelf, moving at the speed of the weekend. The morning may be filled with yawns (and flour may pepper the sides of my pajama pants), but bread is an act of patience and a practice in meditation. There can be no rush, for bread grows at its own pace, feeling out the air around it and reacting accordingly. It is this nature of bread, this uncontrollable spirit, that keeps me coming back time and again.

The scent of yeast and the feel of dough beneath my fingers is irreplaceable.

Honey Oat Bread

Honey and oatmeal are a classic comfort food combination, perfect for giving warmth to a wintery day. When approaching this bread, I wanted to find a way to make the oats a significant portion of the bread, lending a pronounced flavor to the final loaf. To do so, I ground up the oatmeal flakes in a food processor until they resembled flour, which working surprisingly well. The bread has a hint of honey, providing a pure sweetness which complements a spread of jam and acts as a spoon for potatoes and gravy.

It may be cold outside, but it is warm in my kitchen.

Honey Oat Bread

Honey Oat Bread is a standard dinner table bread. The subtlety of oats and honey allow the bread to be served with both sweet and savory foods. Before baking, the bread is brushed with warm honey and sprinkled with oats. When it emerges from the oven, the top takes on a golden color. If golden were a flavor, this bread would certainly match it. The honey soaked bites and toasted oats become the icing on the cake, so to speak. The bread keeps well for several days, bringing an element of joy to your favorite dishes.

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Honey Oat Bread

Yields 1 loaf

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup (235 ml) warm milk
1/3 cup (80 ml) warm water
1/4 cup ( grams) honey
1/4 cup (60 ml) melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups (180 grams) oat flour*
2 cups (255 grams) bread flour

In a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), sprinkle the yeast over the barely warm milk and water and allow to sit about 5-10 minutes until activated (looks frothy). Mix in the honey, melted butter, and salt. Gradually add oat and bread flour, mixing until the dough comes together. If the dough is too dry and will not come together, add small amounts of water until it does. Conversely, if the dough is too sticky, add flour until it becomes workable; however, do not add too much flour or the bread will become dense.

Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 7-10 minutes, or until elastic. Alternatively, using the dough hook on a stand mixer, knead the dough for 7-10 minutes, or until elastic. Cover dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in a warm place, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down the dough before turning out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into an even log and place in a lightly greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 40-60 minutes until doubled.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

If desired, brush the top of the loaf with warm honey and sprinkle on oat flakes. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from baking pan and allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

* To make oat flour, place either quick or old fashioned oats into a food processor and process for 2-3 minutes, or until it resembles whole wheat flour.

Reader Comments (18)

This looks completely delicious. Love it.
01.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
The Cinnamon Bread came out so good so I cannot wait to make this. And tonight, making your brownies for a friend's birthday! It's a Pastry Affair week in this house. :)
01.27.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJudi
This bread looks heavenly! I am so making this as soon as I can get my hands on some bread flower.
Pinning for now!
01.27.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAbbie
I love bread!
This bread sounds so perfect for a relaxing afternoon tea break--especially with copious apricot jam. :) Yay!
01.27.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEileen
That looks like heaven! I have a question, Did you make that delicious looking jam? is it blueberry, raspberry? Do you have a recipe for that as well? I should have said multiple questions.
01.29.2014 | Unregistered CommenterGina
Gorgeous photos (as usual). And I love the quote by M.F.K. Fisher! And I think the same thing about making bread- but I have yet to master the practice. I will have to try this recipe; looks amazing.
01.30.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
I have the dough rising slowly in the fridge - I made it earlier this morning before church, and because Sunday is a busy, family visiting and dining time, we won't be back home until early evening....I'm hoping that the slow rise will work, and still taste good! I'll let you know :)
02.2.2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoanne
The winter has been particularly brutal here this year and I've been finding refuge in my kitchen. It's become a habit that I whip up some bread and a week's worth of vegetable stock every Saturday morning.. it's going to be weird when summer comes and I'm forced to go outside instead of retreating into my comforting kitchen. Cheers to bread making!
Wool sweaters, baggy sweatpants, and cable knit slippers has been my outfit of choice lately. I have no desire to go out in the world, because jeans just aren't warm enough. This post reminded me that I'm lacking homemade bread in my life. That needs to change. Love this recipe.
Hi Kristin, I love bread and when I saw this recipe with oats I thought it must be special, so last weekend I made not 1 but 2 loafs. Loved the smell, the consistency, the flavour. What a great recipe, I will be doing it more.
02.7.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmarghidan
We're on the same page with this kind of warm cozy bread, just perfect for a February weekend!
I haven't made bread in a long time. I'd love to try this recipe. Looks amazing.
Just wanted you to know that I made this bread today. It was delicious and can't wait till tomorrow morning to toast it!
02.27.2014 | Unregistered CommenterShirley Casciola
Thank you so much for the visual feast and those delicious recipes :) Every single recipe I have tried on your blog, including this honey oat bread, was a successsful delight! Thank you, thank you!! :)
03.2.2014 | Unregistered CommenterClaudine
Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it today after refrigerating it overnight and it tasted fantastic! I ran out of oats for the oat flour so used a combination of ground almonds and all purpose in replacement of half the oat flour. The only thing I would've done differently was bake it longer (I only did 40 minutes), especially since mine was cold to begin with. Anyways I can't wait to give it another go! I will be posting the recipe on my blog soon and will link it back to you.
Just baked this bread after viewing the post this morning and it is absolutely divine. Half the loaf is already gone (thank goodness I doubled the recipe for my family of 5). Thank you so much for sharing and I look forward to making the almond cake tomorrow!
Would have loved to share my pics too!
03.15.2014 | Unregistered CommenterShantal
Can I subtitute the wheat flour with almond meal? Pls reply. Thanks!
04.3.2014 | Unregistered CommenterYen. C

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