Baking Bread and Bathing the Baby

10 Feb

Worth the Kneading

I don’t bake bread often.  While I am not opposed to getting my hands dirty, I dislike getting dough stuck all over them.  That inevitably happens when I bake bread.  It happened today, in fact.  Does that mean my dough is too sticky?  I have no idea.  This recipe I was following said “if dough is too sticky, add more flour.”  Bread recipes always say that, and I always add more flour, and I allllllways end up with dough stuck to my fingers anyway.  And to my kitchen counters.

Sigh.

The bread is good, though.  Wheaty and with good texture, plus a bit of sweetness.  I’m hoping it will replace the $3.89 a loaf bread in my husband’s heart.  If it does, I’ll be willing to make bread once a week.  For the foreseeable future, that is.  Well, I’ll commit to the beginning of summer at least.

This bread has honey.  It has oats – the quick-cooking kind, not the old-fashioned kind.  It’s made with more whole wheat flour than all-purpose flour.  That’s a point in its favor, if you ask me.

You may have noticed I haven’t written much on here lately.  That’s because after my last post, where I confessed that we only bathe Little Guy a couple times a week, I started to feel badly about that.  So I’ve been bathing him every couple of days instead.  And apparently that’s been eating into my writing time.  Or maybe Pinterest has been eating into my writing time.  Pinterest is like quicksand.  If you think you can just put one foot in, you are wrong.  You are so wrong.

Afterthought:  To be completely honest, maybe I am slightly opposed to getting my hands dirty.  I also hate the way dry dirt feels on them.  Thus, I garden with gloves.  Maybe someone will invent kneading gloves.

Honey Oatmeal Bread

– by Belle of the Southern Kitchen (she calls it Colonial Bread on her blog, which I think is a fun name!)

Ingredients

  • 4-½ teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
  • ½ cups Honey
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2-¼ cups Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 2-¾ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 4 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 whole Egg

In a medium bowl (or in a saucepan), heat the butter and honey until the butter is melted.  Remove from heat and add the water; the mixture should be warm (110-120 degrees). Stir in the yeast and let sit until bubbly, about 10 minutes (this is called making a sponge).

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine salt, yeast mixture, 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour. With mixer on low, gradually blend liquid into dry ingredients until just blended. Increase the speed to medium, beat for two minutes, occasionally scraping bowl. Gradually beat in the egg and one cup of whole wheat flour to make a thick batter. Continue beating for two minutes. Stir in oats, 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all purpose flour. Knead till smooth and elastic. Use more flour if dough is too sticky (I usually add about 2/3 cup more).

Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; cover with the bowl and let rise for 15 minutes. Shape into two loaves and let rise for 1 hour in greased 9 x 5 loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 35 to 40 minutes.

(You can make the dough in a bread machine, using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. Use the dough mode setting for the largest size loaf. Follow the recipe’s directions for the second rise and baking.)

Note from me:  I don’t have a stand mixer, so I used my regular old hand mixer when the instructions called for the stand mixer.  Worked just fine!

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