new bread...

high on my to-do list as of late was to get back into making bread. it's quite expensive at the farmer's markets--usually running around $5/loaf. organic varieties in-store are often pretty limited, even at whole foods market. plus, freshly-baked bread is such a comfort. must be the warm carbs.

i put myself on the library waiting list for the highly recommended "artisan bread in five minutes a day" and "healthy bread in five minutes a day." seems i am not the only one around here with the idea--i'm 10th in line for one and 14th in line for the other. or something like that. so i set about googling a new recipe and came across one that seemed worth a shot. and it turned out really well! here it is (originally posted on chowhound.com):

Honey Oatmeal Bread

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup unsalted butter
5 1/2-6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 teaspoons salt
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2 eggs
For top of crust:
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water


1. Place water, honey, and margarine in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until mixture is very warm (120-130°F).
2. Place 5 cups flour, oats, salt and yeast in mixer bowl. Mix with dough hook on speed 2 (low) about 15 seconds.
3. Continue mixing, gradually adding warm water mixture and mix for 1 minute. Add eggs and mix 1 minute longer.
4. Still on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix about 2 minutes, or until dough clings to hook and cleans side of bowl. Knead on speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.
5. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with damp towel or plastic wrap.
6. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled.
7. Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll each half with rolling pan on floured board into a rectangle and roll up from the short end like a jelly roll. Tuck in the ends.
8. Place each loaf seam side down into greased loaf pans. Beat egg white and water together with a fork. Brush top of loaves with mixture, and sprinkle with oatmeal. Let rise 20-30 minutes.
9. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes.
Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.

we used extra oats--lucy was having so much fun adding them by spoonfuls into the mixer that i just couldn't say no. the bread was sweet and not too dense, as homemade bread can often be, at least in my experience. i'm going to try this one again--as is, and maybe again with some raisins added, and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on before rolling it up. yum!