Way back in the winter months when I did not post much, I got very domestic. It got a little out of control. I even went so far as to make Kevin a pair of pajama pants with the sewing machine he got me for Christmas. Let’s just say that you won’t be seeing those on the blog. He never has to worry about whether or not they are inside out – one leg always is. He loves them, though…or he wears them just to pity me. Not totally sure on that one.
Other, more successful domestic adventures took place in the kitchen. I am a lot better at reading a recipe than I am a pattern, it turns out. Kevin’s parents gave us the amazing gift of a stand mixer for our wedding (best gift ever). I use it all the time; I feel like I am just beginning to grasp its true potential. Case in point: I had not even used the dough hook before making this bread.
I got the recipe for Honey Oat Bread over at bakingdom.com. The full recipe is there, as well as pictures that will make your mouth water far more than mine will.
You can see in the picture above that I used standard grocery store honey. I admit feeling some shame over that. We had wonderful, delicious local honey that I had purchased through our local coffee shop, but ran out right before I made this bread. Local honey supposedly helps with allergies and since mine are so brutal in the spring and fall, I try to keep some on hand. Totally failing at that goal right now.
Now, before this adventure, I had never made bread by myself in my life. Sure, we buy those baguettes that you bake yourself all the time, but those definitely do not count. I had never had to let anything rise in my kitchen before. Turns out that the natural temperature of an Ohio kitchen in January is not conducive to bread rising. After nearly an hour with no action, I ended up putting my covered dough on the warming zone of our stovetop.
That trick worked like a charm. Although, I have learned in subsequent bread-making endeavors that you have to be careful with this trick. Sometimes a few bits near the bottom of the bowl get semi-baked and this makes getting the dough rolled out and into loaf form a lot more difficult.
This particular bread recipe has the dough finish the rising process in the pan. You can see that I am still a beginner at making pretty loaves. Mine still tend to have a crack in them, which only gets pronounced after the bread finishing rising.
One of the (many) things which makes this bread so delicious is that, once ready to bake, you brush the top with warm honey and sprinkle with oats. Here’s mine ready to go:
It only needs to bake for 40-50 minutes, all of which you will spend waiting impatiently to enjoy the source of the lovely, sweet aroma in your kitchen. And when it’s done, you are, of course, supposed to let it cool completely before slicing. Good luck with that.
(Forgive the lighting in these last few pictures. By the time I finished my first bread baking adventure, it was already dark out. After all, it gets dark before dinner in January here. Stupid winter.)
The bread is moist and dense. You can definitely taste the honey in the dough, but it is not overpowering. Kevin liked to eat it plain, but I put additional honey and a little butter on mine because, well, because I could.
We highly recommend this bread. Kevin keeps asking me to make it again and I definitely want to. I have made a few other homemade breads since this one; they have been good, but none as good as the Honey Oat Bread.
Have you tried making homemade bread? Do you have any tips for a beginner? I am still learning how to manage the whole yeast thing. I have had successes and failures with that. Any suggestions on how to help bread rise in a cold, dry kitchen?