Today let’s bake some bread! In my ideal world, I would make all of our bread from scratch. Of course, in this ideal world I would also always make homemade granola bars, Greek yogurt, graham crackers, granola, hummus, pita, and, well you get the idea. In the real world there is such a thing as limited time, so I have to make choices about what I will make in each particular week. For the past few weeks, I have been baking this oatmeal-honey sandwich bread, and it’s my new addiction. It makes great sandwiches and amazing toast. I also can’t resist a fresh slice spread with a little butter, right after it cools from the oven. So. so. good.
In my testing of this recipe, I’ve found that I can stretch this dough into two loaves of bread. If you make the recipe as listed below, it will make one quite hearty, large loaf. Or, you can divide the dough in two before shaping and make it into two loaves. Each loaf won’t be quite as large, but I actually prefer the lighter texture. Plus, two loaves will last my family for a week, while one loaf will not. You may need to allow for a longer rise time in the loaf pans if you decide to make two loaves from a single recipe.
Oatmeal-Honey Sandwich Bread
Makes one large, hearty 9-inch loaf, or two smaller, lighter 9-inch loaves
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 ¾ cups (9 2/3 oz.) whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ -2 cups (8 ¼ to 11 oz.) bread flour
- ¼ cup wheat germ
- 1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup warm whole milk (110 degrees)
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 tbsp. plus ½ tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, divided
- Vegetable oil spray
- Stir together the 1 cup oats and 1 cup water in a medium bowl. Cover with a clean dish towel and let stand, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is just warm (about 110 degrees), 20 to 30 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the whole wheat flour, 1 ½ cups bread flour, wheat germ, yeast, and salt. Mix briefly to combine.
- Combine the warm milk, honey, and 3 tablespoons melted butter in a liquid measuring cup; whisk to combine. Add the oatmeal mixture to the mixer and then, with the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. If after 4 minutes more flour is needed, add the remaining ½ cup bread flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
- Spray a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Press the dough into a 9-inch square, roll it into a tight cylinder, and pinch the seam closed. Place the dough, seam-side down, into the greased loaf pan. Spray the loaf lightly with vegetable oil spray, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until the loaf has nearly doubled in size, 45 to 75 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brush the loaf with the ½ tablespoon melted butter. Sprinkle with oats. Bake until the crust is golden and the center of the bread registers 200 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 40 to 50 minutes, rotating the loaf halfway through baking.
- Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature before slicing.
- Storage: You can store the bread at room temperature, and it also freezes well. After cooling, slice and store in a zip-top bag in the freezer.