From the Musical Group,’The Lemonheads’, their one song,titled “it’s about time”,boast a line all to familiar to me. ” Patience is like bread I say, I ran out of that yesterday.” Well, i ran out of both! Yet the quandary of it is that baking bread is a Zen experience.Relaxing. So after a recent break-up, I turned to making bread. To bolster my patience back. Firstly, there is nothing as soothing as the smell of baking bread. Secondly, making it is probably the calmest food to make. You make the dough…let it rest and rise. Cut it, reform it to fit your baking tins. Rest it let it rise again. All of these in-between moments gave me time to reflect. With something so simple to make, why wouldn’t you put in the little effort to make it come out right. I’ve found my peace in a piece of bread.
1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
5 1/2-6 cups of AP flour
1 cup of quick cooking oats
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
2 pkgs of dry active yeast
1 egg white
1 tablespoon of water
oats to sprinkle
Place honey,water, and butter in a small saucepan.Heat this over low heat, until mixture is warm. (I actually let it simmer a minute to help break down the honey a bit more than just warming it.)
Place 5 cups of flour,oats,salt,and yeast in your mixing bowl.Mix that for a about a minute to incorporate all the ingredients. As you stir, mix in the honey,butter,and water. Mix again for about a minute.Then toss in your eggs. Now you want to gradually incorporate more flour, 1/2 cup at a time.Once the dough pick up all the four from the side of the mixing bowl,you’re set. At this time i usually add a tablespoon flour to the top.The dough is pretty sticky and this aids in pulling it out and handling it.If your dough seems a little to sticky still,work in a little more flour as you knead it.You really only need to knead it for a couple of minutes.
Place your dough is a greased bow. Make sure you flip it around to coat the dough to prevent drying out. Let this puppy rest for an hour( or until it has doubled in size), in a warm spot (stove top),free from drafts. Also, don’t forget to cover it with a tea towel!
So, an hour has passed. At this point the dough should look like its been jacked up on yeasty steroids! ( I lift things up ,and put them down!) Now punch that dough down! Don’t beat the crap out of it,( as tempting as it is) just a punch will suffice,LOL. Now I used 6x2x2 3/4 baking aluminum tins. I was able to cut the dough into 5 equal sizes. You can always just cut in half then shape them to put into a 8 1/2×4 1/2 x 2 1/2 baking pans. Now make sure you grease those tins! I simply used softened butter to grease them. So with my 5 dough balls, roll them into uniform balls and stretch them a little so they can nestle in their new homes. Once more,let those bad boys set covered in a warm, draft free place and let them rise again, for about an hour. Isn’t this relaxing? LOL! All these in between times help you relax and reflect…..for a while at least.But now I’m impatient cause I want bread!!!!
In a small dish, mix one egg white with a tablespoon of water. Brush the tops of your loaves.Sprinkle with some oats and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. I have a little Barbie stove, so mine only took about 30 minutes. After they are finished baking,promptly remove them from their tins and set on a cooling rack,covered with a tea towel. This will help keep some moisture in the bread as it cools. (so it wont get dry).
I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe. It’s sooo good!