Honey Oat Bread

Honey Oat Bread (from Bakingdom)


3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups instant or old-fashioned oats
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 Tb unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey

a few Tb honey
a few Tb oats

Combine the flour, oats, yeast, and salt in a large bowl (or in mixer).

In a small glass bowl or measuring cup, warm the milk till it is hot enough to melt the butter, but not boiling. A minute and a half in the microwave did it for me. Add the butter and stir till melted. Stir in the water. 
Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix with a dough hook or wooden spoon until it just comes together in a sticky dough. Knead by hand or in mixer for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. (It will be VERY sticky at first. Be patient, spray your hand with cooking spray if kneading by hand, and try not to add more than a pinch or two of flour. It should start coming together and getting more tack and less sticky after about 5 minutes (it will start clearing the sides of the bowl if you're using a mixer. If it is still too soft, add flour a Tb at a time. Wait a while between each.)

Put dough in lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until doubled. 

Once doubled, dump the dough out on a clean, dry work surface. Sprinkle a bit of flour if you need to. Flatten the dough into about a 9x12 inch rectangle with your hands. No need to use a rolling pin. Starting from the short side, tightly roll the dough, tucking in the ends as needed, into a loaf. Place the rolled dough into a loaf pan, cover with a clean towel, let rise until doubled, another 1-2 hours. 

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven and bring 2 cups of water to a boil on the stovetop.

Brush the top of the bread with honey (it helps to warm it up a bit) and sprinkle with extra oats. 

Place the bread in the oven (middle rack) and pour the boiling water into the empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the crust.

Let cool slightly in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. 
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