Adapted from The Slow Roasted Italian
4 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast (2 envelopes)
1/2 cup honey
4 tablespoons butter plus 1 tablespoon to grease the bowl
2 1/4 cups warm water (110º...hotter than 120º will kill the yeast)
1 tablespoon salt
2 3/4 cups bread flour
3-4 cups whole wheat flour (I used 3 cups)
1 cup quick oats
Melt butter and add it plus the honey to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add warm water. You want the mixture to be about 110-120º. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water honey mixture and mix to combine. Set aside for about 5-10 minutes, till yeast blooms.
In a large
mixing bowl combine the salt, 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup of
bread flour. Using the dough hook, add the flour
mixture to the yeast mixture and blend until all the liquid is absorbed. Increase the
speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, making sure to scrape sides with spatula.
Add the egg and one cup of whole wheat flour. Blend on low until the egg is incorporated then beat on medium for 2 more minutes. Add the oats, 1 cup whole wheat flour, and 1 cup bread flour. Continue mixing for a few minutes until it's smooth and elastic.
Up to one more cup of bread flour can be added to avoid a sticky dough...I did not find this necessary. Place 1 tablespoon of butter in a large bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Add the dough to the warm bowl, roll around to grease the bottom of the dough, then flip over and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Cover and let rise in a warm spot till doubled in size, about one hour.
Punch the dough down and turn onto a floured surface. Cover with bowl and let rest for 15 minutes. Cut dough in half and shape into two loaves. Place each loaf in a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan, sprinkle tops with oats if desired, cover with plastic wrap, then a towel and let rise for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350º and bake for 35-40 minutes. Bread should sound hollow when tapped or check for internal temperature of 190º. Remove bread from pans to cooling rack to cool completely.