Honey Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

Another week, another bread recipe. This is my current bread star, because after wrapping my head around artisanal loaves I wanted to make “regular” bread for the sandwich lover in the house. Joel goes through about one loaf a week for toast and sandwiches. This recipe, adapted from King Arthur Flour fits the bill; it’s soft, fluffy and makes great toast. It’s also hella easy and makes two loaves: one to eat and one to freeze. I’ve made it several times to adjust the flavors and to make sure my metric conversions were accurate. It’s considerably less sweet than the original recipe, which in my opinion makes it a bit more all-purpose. The instructions are also slightly different because I don’t use a bread machine/Kitchen Aid nor do I have much patience for kneading. The stretch and fold (envelope) method works just fine.

Ingredients:

  • 450 ml boiling water (or 410 boiling + 40 ml tepid water to dissolve fresh yeast)
  • 100 g rolled oats
  • 30 g brown sugar
  • 10 g honey
  • 45 g sunflower oil or 56 g melted butter
  • 15 g salt
  • 180 g whole wheat flour
  • 470 g white flour
  • 1 cake fresh yeast or 9.5 g instant yeast

Instructions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the boiling water, oats, maple, brown sugar, honey, oil or butter, and salt. Let cool to lukewarm, about 10 to 15 minutes.

If using fresh yeast, dissolve in tepid water and then mix in with the oatmeal (or sift instant yeast with the flours). Add the flours to the oatmeal mix, stir until a rough dough forms and there’s no loose flour, then pat into a ball. Cover with cling film and let rest for 20 minutes. Tip the dough out onto an oiled surface and give it 8 envelope folds, form it into a ball and drop it seam side down into the bowl. Cover and let rise 30 minutes, tip out the dough give it 8 more folds. Return the dough ball to the bowl and allow to rise 30 more minutes. The dough should become quite puffy since it’s warm.

Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a loaf. Place the loaves in two 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ (900 g) bread pans. Cover the pans with cling film and allow the loaves to rise until they’ve crowned about 2 cm over the rim of the pan, about 60 to 90 minutes.

Bake the loaves on the middle rack in a preheated 177ºC/350°F oven (bottom element only) for about 40 minutes. Remove them from the oven when they’re golden brown. Turn the loaves out onto a rack to cool. Store at room temperature, well-wrapped, for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Yield:  2 sandwich loaves, 32 slices total, 104 calories per slice.

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Broa – Portuguese Corn Bread

Alas, it’s been so long between posts, between life/school/family/work I don’t have as much time as I’d like to be witty. I still cook every day but I rarely get around to documenting my recipes. So for the time being you’ll have to do without banter, just ingredients + instructions. My old flatmate used to bring this dense, flavorful bread back from Portugal, and I’ve made this a few times now – if you can’t finish the whole loaf, grind it up for breadcrumbs and use it to top macaroni and cheese, you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredients:

  • 225 ml boiling water
  • 175 g corn meal
  • 1. 5 tsp (8 g) sea salt
  • 10 g brown sugar
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 7 g instant yeast or 1/2 cake fresh yeast dissolved in 65 ml tepid water
  • 200 g white flour
  • 50 g rye flour

Instructions:

Mix cornmeal, salt, sugar and 1 TB oil in a large bowl, stir in boiling water and allow to cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally. Dissolve the yeast in the tepid water and stir into cornmeal mix. Gradually add flours, stirring until well mixed. Form the dough into a ball, cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

Tip the dough ball out onto an oiled counter top and fold 8 times (see this video for the stretch and fold method), form back into a ball and return to the bowl. Cover and let rise for an hour. After the bulk rise, tip the dough onto an oiled counter top and stretch and fold 4 times, then shape into a boule, and leave on the counter covered with cling film or a towel. Leave it to rise while the oven heats.

Heat the oven (bottom element only) for 30 minutes to 225ºC/450ºF with a cast iron pot inside. Remove the pot’s cover, carefully place the boule inside and bake for 25 minutes with the cover on. Remove the cover, rotate the pot and bake for 20 more minutes until the bread is dark golden.

Carefully remove and let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing and eating. Bread is easier to slice when it’s cool.

Side note: If you are new to baking I recommend http://www.thefreshloaf.com for tips and videos on how to prepare, shape and bake bread.