Happy 2013 everyone! I'm not one for New Year's resolutions - who is, I always wonder. Smokers who make the same resolutions year after year? But after the excesses of the holidays (let's just say a lot of mince pies and sticky toffee pudding were had in London), a reminder to eat simpler and lighter is always nice. Upon our return home I've already made three kinds of soup, and I have several more on my list.
As much as we enjoy Algerian flatbreads, it's nice to have a proper sandwich bread around the house too. Something to make toast with - in my opinion "things on toast" is a whole category of perfect meals for one. Also for the eponymous sandwiches and grilled cheese of course. What are you making this new year?
Oatmeal Sandwich Bread
The dough will appear almost too much for your loaf pan - just pile it on in there. This is inspired by a recipe from Good to The Grain, if you don't have graham flour just use 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat.
1 package yeast, or 1 teaspoon instant yeast
3 tablespoons molasses
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup graham flour
2 cups bread flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 cups warm water
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1. Place the yeast, molasses, and warm water in a large bowl. If using regular yeast, let the mixture stand until the yeast blooms, about 5 minutes. If using instant yeast you can proceed immediately.
2. Slowly add the whole wheat, graham, and bread flour, stirring with a wood spoon. Add the butter, salt, and oats and stir vigorously with the spoon. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes covered with a damp towel.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough until smooth and cohesive. Grease a bowl with butter or oil, then place the dough in the bowl, cover with a damp towel and let rise for one hour.
4. Grease a loaf pan with butter and pre-heat the oven to 400 F. Punch down the dough, pushing the bubble out, then scrape up the dough and transfer it, as neatly as possible, into the brepared loaf pan. Cover again with a damp towel and let rise until dough is puffed above the edge of the pan, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
5. Bake the dough for about 40 minutes, until the top of the loaf is very dark brown, like the color of molasses. The dough should sound hollow when tapped on top. Gently remove the bread from the pan and let cool on a rack at least 2 hours before slicing (this allows the crumb to firm up and the flavor to develop).