I am a carb monster. Bread, bagels, pasta, croissants, muffins, sandwiches—this is the stuff that I would live off of if my love handles would quit telling me that I couldn’t. I don’t bake bread often because I will eat the entire loaf straight out of the oven. Give me a stick of butter and a knife and you’ll see a plump 5′ 4″ woman instantly morph into a gaunt, hobbit-sized creature. “The breadses.We wants it. We needs it. My precioussss!”
But when I stumbled across this recipe for a light oatmeal bread, I couldn’t resist. It reminded me of a dense oatmeal loaf that my pops had made a few months back, except this version promised to be lighter and better for sandwiches and toast.
I always think it’s funny that people are afraid of making bread (you know who you are—just admit it). As soon as you say the words yeast and knead, folks assume that it’s some impossible task that they’ll only screw up. But here’s the thing: bread is easy. And if you have a stand mixer, you don’t even have to knead the dough at all. Yes, you have to let it rise. But you don’t have to stand there and watch it. You can go watch Real Housewives and I won’t even tell anyone.
If you’ve got some basic ingredients, a bread pan, and an oven, you can have a freshly baked loaf (and a house that smells like a bakery) in two hours or less.
Ready? I sure as heck am.
Here’s what you’ll need. Easy, eh? The only thing that you’ll need to be mindful of is that your yeast is still good. If you don’t bake a lot, check the date on that packet of yeast that’s been sitting in your pantry for two years. If it’s past it’s expiration date, it likely won’t work and your bread won’t rise properly. Or at all.
Combine the butter, oats (reserving a few tablespoons for sprinkling over the top of the bread) and brown sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and add some hot water. Give it a good stir and let it sit until the mixture is lukewarm.
Sprinkle on the yeast…
…and let sit until it gets foamy. This is where you can tell if your yeast is good or not: if it doesn’t foam up after 5-10 minutes, get a fresh packet and start over.
Combine the flour and salt and add most of the mixture to the dough. Stir it a bit by hand before fitting your mixer with the dough hook to prevent any flour explosions all over your kitchen.
Begin on low speed, and then increase to medium-low once the dough has formed a cohesive mass. Add the remaining flour in small increments if necessary until most of the dough sticks to itself and not the sides of the bowl.
Let the mixer work it’s magic for about 15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Did you know that pretty much any dough that requires kneading you can stick in a stand mixer? I didn’t discover this until recently. Just mix on low to medium-low for the required kneading time plus a half. No floured surface, no tired hands. Just awesome bread.
Lightly oil a loaf pan and press the dough into the bottom. Beat the egg, brush on about 1/3 of it…
…and finish by sprinkling with the remaining oats.
Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
I usually check yeast doughs about halfway through rising, just to make sure that I’ve got it in a warm enough place. If all else fails, you can always stick it in your dryer filled with warm towels or an oven that’s been turned off but still warm.
Once it’s risen, bake in a 375F oven for about 45 minutes.
Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.
I love the oats sprinkled across the top of the loaf—so pretty and adds a nice crunch when you bite into it.
This bread is a looker! Plus, now your house smells like Macrina.
Perfect texture: soft, moist, and not overly dense.
It’s wonderful plain, spread with butter or jam…
…or made into one heck of a grilled cheese.
I mean, seriously. It should have been illegal how good this sandwich is.
“We wants it. We needs it. The grilled cheeses on oatmeal breadses! My preciousssss!”
Oatmeal Bread, adapted from the Trapp Family Lodge recipe
- 1/4 stick (1/8 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/4 cups hot water
- one 1/4-ounce package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten lightly, for brushing dough
In bowl of stand mixer combine butter, sugar, and oats (reserving two tablespoons of the oats for later). Stir in hot water and let mixture stand until lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast over mixture and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 1/2 cups flour and salt and fit mixer with dough hook attachment. Mix on low to medium-low for 15 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
Lightly oil one loaf pan and press dough into bottom of pan. Brush surface of with egg and sprinkle with remaining oats. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Bake bread in middle of oven 35 to 45 minutes, or until browned and bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Turn bread out onto rack to cool completely.