Homemade bread is one of my very favorite things to make. There is just something about it that makes me really happy and well, the taste just blows anything you can buy right out of the water. While this cranberry walnut bread still reigns supreme in my eyes, I decided I should really give some other variations a shot. Although I did feel like I was cheating on my favorite bread – is that weird? I guess so, but I can be a little strange sometimes when it comes to food : ) Or really just in general as my husband likes to point out. But I’m cool with it, so it’s all good.
Anyway, let’s get back to this maple oatmeal sandwich bread. It is a pretty simple dough and like most bread, the majority of time is spent just hanging out waiting for it to rise. So what can you do during that down time? Might I suggest getting in a quick workout or doing something productive? But, if you’re like me, you’ll either bake cookies (or some other dessert) or decide that you absolutely must catch up on DVR’d episodes of Psych. I do love me some Shawn and Guster. And the blueberry. Yes yes. Anyone else watch?
And then when you are done watching Psych, you can enjoy a nice slice of toasted homemade bread. This is a hearty loaf with just a hint of that wonderful maple flavor. I really like that there are both oats and whole wheat flour inside, giving it a little more nutritional value. It works great for breakfast with some jam or a little peanut butter, or for sandwiches. Or for mindlessly consuming while getting sucked into your favorite TV shows.
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 package) instant yeast
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¾ teaspoon maple extract
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the warm water. Sprinkle in the yeast then mix for a few seconds to combine. Add in the egg, butter, maple syrup, maple extract, honey, cinnamon, salt, both kinds of flour and oats. Turn the mixer on low and beat until the dough is smooth and starts to climb the dough hook, about 5 to 8 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add in additional flour a little bit at a time (about ¼ cup or so).
- Form the dough into a ball and then place in a large oiled bowl. Flip once to coat then cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 ½ hours.
- Grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Next, grease one side of a piece of plastic wrap. Gently deflate the dough and then place on a lightly floured surface. Knead by hand for about 2 minutes, until smooth. Form the dough into a 8 by 3 inch log and then place in the prepared pan. Cover loosely with the prepared plastic wrap, greased side down. Let the dough rise again for about 45 minutes, until the center of the log is about 1 ½ inches higher than the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Gently remove the plastic wrap from the dough. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown and the center of the bread is about 180 degrees using an instant-read thermometer. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Adapted from Bon Appetit via Epicurious.