Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vermont Oatmeal Maple-Honey Bread

King Arthur Flour has a seemingly endless supply of bread recipes - online and in the company's various baking books and newsletters. The recipe selection is both broad and deep, with many varieties of breads and often several different recipes for a particular type of bread. Case in point: oatmeal bread. There are 22 recipes for oatmeal bread on the King Arthur website alone. And although there is a "Vermont Maple Oatmeal Bread" on the site, it is not the same as the "Vermont Oatmeal Maple-Honey Bread" that I baked (which is in the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion cookbook.)

The ingredients in this bread - maple, oats, honey, and whole grain flour - promise a warm, autumnal experience all wrapped up in a one pound loaf. I love oats in any form, especially in bread where they lend a texture that is both tender and substantial, and the prospect of maple and honey flavors made the recipe irresistible.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- scroll down for the recipe as I baked it.

- I played around with the original recipe, increasing the whole wheat content a bit more by using two kinds of whole wheat flour: white whole wheat and some hard red wheat.

- I do have maple sugar, so I used that, but omitted the "maple flavor".

- Per my usual practice, I mixed the ingredients in a food processor then finished kneading the dough on an oiled counter. It got nice and satiny.

- There was enough dough for 2 good-sized loaves.

- I sprinkled a few oats on top before baking.

the verdict:

We found this bread to be fairly sweet, with a subtle hint of cinnamon. The oatmeal makes it soft and moist, and I really enjoyed the mix of whole grains that I used. The bread makes lovely toast, which is what we ask of loaf bread in our house (we rarely eat sandwiches).

the recipe:

Vermont Oatmeal Maple Honey Bread
adapted from King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion

2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup thick oat flakes (old fashioned rolled oats)
1/2 cup maple sugar (can use brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon maple flavor (I omitted)
1 tablespoon honey
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon instant yeast
3 c all purpose flour
1.5 cups white whole wheat
.5 cup bread flour
.5 cup hard red whole wheat flour

In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, oats, maple sugar, maple flavor, honey, butter, salt and cinnamon. Let cool to lukewarm.

Add the yeast and flours, stirring to form a rough dough. Knead (about 10 minutes by hand, 5 to 7 minutes by machine) until the dough is smooth and satiny. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let the dough rise for 1 hour; it should double in bulk.

Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a loaf. Place the loaves in two greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 bread pans. Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap (or a proof cover) and allow the loaves to rise until they’ve crowned about 1 inch over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350. Bake the loaves for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove them from the oven when they’re golden brown and the interior registers 190 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

I'm submitting this bread to Yeastspotting, a weekly roundup of extraordinary bread baked in home ovens throughout the world. Stop by on Fridays to check out the bounty of yeasty goodness.


Anonymous said...

This is the kind of bread I like (although I rarely eat toast, I use it for sandwiches :P ).

It's beautiful!

Audrey said...

Beautiful loaves! The crumb looks perfect. {I've noticed that about KAF-they have reruns, but then it turns out not to be the same after all!)

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

The perfect breakfast toasting bread! Looks wonderful!

natalia said...

Ciao ! Your loaf's flavours are just what can make my day start better !!

Mimi said...

If it has maple in any form, count me in! That is a gorgous loaf!

Jessica said...

That is a lovely loaf of bread. I really enjoyed it, and I was thinking that I need to make some more soon. I really want to try the milk loaf, though. I think I'm the only person left who hasn't made it!

Leslie said...

Beautiful bread, Nancy! This sounds like just the loaf I've been looking for.

Laura said...

I love this bread. I think I made this bread or something similar from a recipe on the bag of KA flour.

Kayte said...

Yours looks so much nicer than mine did...I wasn't all that fond of mine, but yours looks really really good. Why is that???