There is such goodness in homemade bread. Yes, it takes a bit of effort and planning, but it mostly takes time to rise all by itself. When it bakes, it fills the house with fabulous smells, and you can't beat the goodness of freshly baked bread! Since we moved from Europe, we have lost the good breads available daily in our local bakery. In their place, we have supermarket bread. In the words of Mimi, "Yuck! Ick! Pooey! We spit on that!" It just isn't the same! No flavor, no richness, no texture! We just can't handle it, so I'm going to have to buckle down and bake my own for the first time since Qatar (where we also had icky supermarket bread). My returning foray into homemade bread couldn't have gone any better! The recipe I tried was "Apple Oatmeal Bread" from the King Arthur's Flour website. They have an impressive list of bread recipes, by the way. Take some time to peruse if you are interested in bread-making. The Apple Oatmeal Bread smelled heavenly while baking, and ooooooo the goodness when it's done!
Apple Oatmeal Bread
2 packages (a scant 2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups warm milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups oat flakes or old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 cups (approximately) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (I used whole wheat)
2 cups coarsely chopped tart apples (Granny Smith)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water, for glaze
additional oat flakes or rolled oats, for topping
In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften.
Add remaining ingredients through walnuts. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.
Gradually add remaining flour, a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface.
Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
Put the dough into an oiled bowl, turning once to coat the entire ball of dough with oil, and cover with a towel.
Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Grease two 9 x 5-inch or 10 x 5-inch loaf pans, and sprinkle with rolled oats.
Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface.
Divide dough in half.
Shape dough into loaves and place in prepared pans.
Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
Just before baking, brush tops of loaves with egg/water mixture. Sprinkle with additional rolled oats.
Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes, or until internal temperature of loaves reaches 190°F.
Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on a rack, to prevent crust from becoming soggy.
This morning, we discovered this bread makes the MOST DELICIOUS FRENCH TOAST!
I grew up with (dreaded supermarket) white bread French toast, which I always hated for the soggy, eggy nothingness it was. Now, I have a whole new understanding of why people eat French toast! Yum yum yummers!
slices of Apple Oatmeal Bread
1 cup milk (or less if you prefer an eggy toast)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
butter or oil to grease skillet/griddle/pan/what-have-you
Mix ingredients from eggs through salt.
Heat pan/griddle/what-have-you until water drops dance on the surface.
Melt butter or spray/spread oil.
Dip bread in mixture until both sides moist. (you can soak the bread rather than dip if that's your pleasure)
Place in skillet and cook (flipping when first side is done) until both sides are nicely browned.
We spread jam on ours and were over the moon. Enjoy!