Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Honey Oatmeal Bread

I feel like an inadequate blogger - my 3 year blogaversary has come and gone and I didn't even stop to acknowledge it.

I'm not surprised that it slipped past me without so much as a second look - it happens at one of the busiest times of the year. (July 20th)

In honor of my blogaversary, I went back and reread some of my very first blog posts.  It was so much fun to see some of my first writings and pictures.  (The pictures of the kids from three years ago really made me cry though.)  When I first started blogging, I really had no idea, exactly what I had stumbled upon or what I was getting myself into.  I never dreamed that this blog would become a multi-year journey of the recipes and stories of my life. 

I remember how uncomfortable and awkward I was when I first started to photograph food in restaurants and grocery stores.  (Three years later, I don't even think twice about pulling my camera out and asking fellow restaurant patrons if I can a snap picture of the meal of their plate too.) I love my job as a food blogger.  It's super fun and strangely addictive.  It's also a great excuse to cook things that I normally wouldn't make just for myself. 

Since becoming a food blogger, my camera has become a permanent addiction to my kitchen and I've learned to accept the fact that it will always be covered in flour.  My family has been conditioned not to eat anything until given the "all-clear" which indicates that all the pictures have been taken.  I also can't resist the urge to tear new recipes out of magazines so I can share them with all of you.  (I think I'll always be a food blogger at heart.)

Like most food bloggers, I spend countless hours looking through recipes that I find on the internet.  I ran across one for Honey Oat Bread on that seemed like the perfect way to commemorate my three year blogaversary.  (Just because I love bread - and oats - and honey.)  I think you're going to like this one too. 

Honey Oat Bread
Makes 1 9×5-inch loaf
3 cups (381 grams) whole wheat white flour
3/4 cup oats (I have used instant or old fashioned)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1/4 cup (62 ml) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter or margarine
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons honey, warmed
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons oats

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, oats, yeast, and salt.

In a small bowl, or two cup (450 ml) measuring cup, warm the milk so that it’s hot enough to melt the butter, but not boiling.

Add the butter, stirring until melted, then stir in the water and honey.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, mixing with a dough hook until it just comes together to form a dough. Knead in the mixer, with the dough hook attachment, for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1/2 to 1 hour.

Once doubled, place the dough on a clean, dry work surface. With your fingers, flatten the dough into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Tightly roll the dough, tucking the ends as needed, into a loaf. Place the shaped dough into a 9×5-inch loaf pan, cover with a clean dry towl, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1/2 to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Place an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven and bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
When the loaf is doubled again, brush the top with the warmed honey and sprinkle with the oats.

Place the bread in the oven and pour the boiling water into the empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and the internal temperature is about 190 degrees.

Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.

Slice and eat.

 Spread butter over warm bread or drizzle with honey.

Well, even though it's a month late, Happy 3 year Blogaversary to me!  There's always hope that next year, maybe I'll remember it ON July 20th. 


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