Monday, November 9, 2009

Oatmeal Wheat Bread

As most food-people are, I too am saddened by Gourmet Magazine's scheduled closure. However, the publication of this big green cookbook called Gourmet Today makes me feel a little better, knowing that Gourmet's recipes will be living on through this book. This bread is the first recipe I have made from the book and it lived up to exceeded my expectations. I would go so far as to say I will look no further than this for a sandwich bread recipe.

Gourmet's publicity manager said, “This book is really being viewed as Gourmet magazine’s legacy, even as a collector’s item. Perhaps there’s a sentimental factor in the new book’s popularity. People are holding onto and archiving past issues of Gourmet, downloading recipes from the Gourmet website, and the book is another extension of that—a way for the legendary brand to live on.” (from Publisher's Weekly). It's a great book, but I wonder how it compares to Gourmet's 2006 publication: The Gourmet Cookbook - the yellow one. I'm such a cookbook whore that it almost causes me anxiety when new editions of books are released because then I'm faced with the dilemma: do I buy it or just stick to the older edition I have? I know rationally that I don't need so many cookbooks but I keep on buying them anyway. Well, I guess I could be addicted to worse things, right?

I was extremely impressed with how this loaf turned out and the amazing smell that filled my kitchen while it was baking. The loaves were light and airy with great texture. I was amazed at how much flour and the recipe called for (5 cups plus 1 cup oats!) especially since the end result wasn't heavy at all. I love how the honey and oats added texture and subtle flavor. The dough was soft and moist and slightly sticky. Not the easiest to work with but not difficult either and SO worth it. Oh my, I could go on and on about this bread's ethereal texture...

Oatmeal Wheat Bread
Makes 2 loaves | Gourmet Today Cookbook

2 cups whole milk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats plus additional for topping
1/2 cup warm water (105-115°F)
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup mild honey
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1. Heat milk in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling, then remove pan from heat and stir in oats. Let stand, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooled to warm.

2. Stir together water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon honey in a small bowl; let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.) Stir yeast mixture, melted butter, and remaining honey into cooled oatmeal.

3. Stir together whole-wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add oat mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead with floured hands, adding just enough of remaining unbleached flour to keep from sticking, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes (dough will be slightly sticky). Form dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel; let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

4. Lightly butter loaf pans. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf, then place 1 loaf in each buttered pan, seam side down, tucking ends gently to fit. Cover loaf pans loosely with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

5. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly brush tops of loaves with some of egg wash and sprinkle with oats, then bake until bread is golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove bread from pans and transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.


MollyCookie said...

That bread looks delicious. I'm baking bread right now but I wish I had seen that recipe before I started! I can almost smell it..

MollyCookie said...

That bread looks delicious. I'm baking bread right now but I wish I had seen that recipe before I started! I can almost smell it..

Amanda said...

That looks so wonderful, warm and inviting! I will definitely be trying it :)


Yes, you definitely should try it. You will not be sorry. It's truly an excellent loaf!

creampuff said...

Tia, This bread is gorgeous! I haven't ever made bread with oatmeal but since I have the Gourmet book I'm going to have to give this one a try for sure!

Dwayne Duke said...

I just ate three slices with butter and clover honey. It was outstanding, with a super moist texture. Thanx, dwayne