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Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

Posted Aug 27 2012 6:17am

I want to get back to bread.

I want to get back to baking bread.

I want to sink my hands in dough, get flour everywhere and spend half a day making one loaf, only to rip it open warm and smear it in peanut butter.

This oatmeal sandwich bread is perfect for just that—-sandwiches! It has a crunchy, golden crust and a soft, fluffy interior. It makes the best peanut butter and jelly sandwiches around, if I may say so myself! Seriously, this bread was MADE for pb&j. I developed it in a similar fashion to the oatmeal bread we used to make at the bakery I worked at, only a little sturdier {cause it’ll be tossed in lunchboxes, you know!}. It’s the perfect everyday bread and makes delicious french toast to boot! Don’t think about it—just make it NOW!

But first, I must admit that I almost didn’t hit publish on this post. Really!

I meant this bread to be purely an experimental loaf. I stayed up late the night before, trying to re-learn baker’s percentages, ratio of flour to water and wild yeast starters. I wasn’t sure if this loaf would even turn out….but the real reason I wasn’t going to post this was because I wasn’t sure anyone would actually make it if it did!

You see, you need a scale.

There’s no getting around it really. To get serious about baking bread, you just can’t measure in measuring cups. Measuring cups are meant for liquids—dry ingredients should really be measured by weight and to do that, you need a scale. Because of this, I am going to list the ingredients for this bread in grams. I apologize in advance if this causes inconvenience, but hopefully it drives my point that good bread is a result of properly measuring the weight of your ingredients.

Here’s the exact scale that I have and love. I got it in school but it’s only $24. I highly recommend it! If it has lasted four years in my house, that means it will last about fifty years in yours considering how hard I am on all my electronics and what a total clutz I tend to be daily.

So, while you do need a scale you don’t need a fancy mixer for this! I actually prefer to mix bread dough by hand. You gotta work those arm muscles so you can enjoy warm bread with butter later!

After the initial rise, the dough is rolled in {more} oats and placed in a loaf pan for its final proof. “Proof” is just a fancy name for rise! As the bread bakes, the oats on the outside get all toasty. You don’t want to skip this step!

The only thing left, then, is to bake and dig in. Who can resist a loaf of warm bread from the oven?

I like my warm bread with raspberry jam! And butter! And peanut butter! And almond butter! And cheese! And! And! And! {you get the point}

Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

370 grams unbleached all-purpose flour

48 grams old fashioned oats

14 grams granulated sugar

1 packet (1/4th oz) active dry yeast (not instant)

15 grams very soft butter (1 tbsp)

10 grams salt

1 1/3 cups warm water

additional old fashioned oats for rolling

Directions:

Sprinkle the yeast in the warm water and add a pinch of sugar. Set aside to let the yeast activate.

Mix together the flour, oats, salt and sugar in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer). Add the soft butter and slowly pour in the liquid.

Mix with either your hands or using a mixer with a dough hook attachment until dough is smooth. It will be sticky. By hand, this will take approximately eight minutes of kneading. If you are using a mixer, it will take about four minutes on high speed.

Cover bowl with a dishcloth and set in a warm place to rise for 60-90 minutes—until the dough has just about doubled in size.

When the dough has doubled,  turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and punch down to release any air bubbles caused by the yeast. Cover punched down dough with the dish cloth and let rest for 20 minutes on the counter. This is called the “bench rest”.

Form your dough into a small log and roll in oats. Place dough in a greased loaf pan, cover with cloth and let rise again for 45 minutes in a warm spot. While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 475.

When you are ready to bake, reduce oven temperature to 375 and place bread in oven. Do not open the oven door! It will release steam. Set a timer for 45 minutes . When done, the loaf should be golden brown. If you’re not sure if it’s done, keep it in for five minutes longer. You want a rich dark crust on this loaf.

When done, remove from oven and flip the loaf upright so it stands in the loaf pan (or transfer loaf to a cooling rack). You don’t want the loaf to cool in the loaf pan because it will cause the bottom to get a bit soggy.

Let bread cool for about 30 minutes before slicing…if you can! If you can’t wait, I totally understand.

Time:

active time—20 minutes

total time—about 4 hours

**I do not recommend substituting whole wheat flour for the all purpose here. Using whole wheat flour will make for a dense and heavy loaf, whereas this loaf is light and fluffy.

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