I love bread. I really do. I think I would probably be able to survive on it if I had to. Add some soup and I am one happy girl! I'm not talking the bread that you buy from the grocery store though, I am talking home baked bread. When I was younger my mom made homemade oatmeal bread. I remember the smell from the kitchen, and how good it was with butter on it. Yum! I have never been able to replicate what my mom used to make, but I have been able to come up with my own basic bread recipe. It is super easy as far as bread goes, and pretty forgiving considering I don't use measurements really. I tried to really work at getting the recipe down so I could share it with you today. So here it is!
For 1 9x5 loaf
1/3 c honey
1 c warm water
1/2 Tbs instant yeast
3-3 1/2 c flour (i use unbleached white)
1 tsp salt
oil to coat
Mix honey and water in a large bowl until the honey is mostly dissolved.
Add instant yeast and stir to combine.
Add 1 cup of flour and mix until mostly smooth.
Add 1 cup of flour and 1 tsp salt, mix to combine.
Add enough flour to make a ball, and then knead in enough flour to make it a moderately stiff dough that doesn't collapse when you stop kneading it. It should still be stretchy, but not too sticky.
Grease a 9x5 loaf pan.
Drizzle a little oil over the dough and turn to coat.
Form into a loaf and put in bread pan to rise until the dough is about 1 inch above pan.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until it smells done and sounds hollow when you tap on the middle.
You can use instant or active dry yeast for this recipe. I have used both. I just happen to have instant yeast (bread machine yeast) right now, which means I only let it rise one time. If you have active dry yeast the only changes I would make are to let the honey/water/yeast/first cup of flour proof for 5 or 10 minutes until bubbly. And then I would also let it rise until doubled in a greased bowl, punch down, form into a loaf and then rise in the pan the second time.
This recipe is very easy to modify. If you want to add oatmeal, or grains, do it after you add the second cup of flour. If you don't have honey, use brown sugar. This bread is slightly sweet, and would be good with cinnamon and raisins as well. Have fun with it! And if you do make it, please come back and tell me how it turned out for you!
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