Makes 1 loaf (12 slices)
Fragrant, slightly dense, and pleasantly sweet, this loaf is great for toast—and snacking.
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant), divided
- 3 ½ cups unbleached bread flour or all-purpose flour, plus more as necessary, divided
- 1 ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. rapid-rising, instant, or bread machine yeast
- 6 Tbs. honey
- ¼ cup vegetable oil, plus more for brushing dough and oiling pan
1. Spread 3/4 cup oats on microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high power 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (stop to stir every 30 seconds), or until oats are fragrant and lightly toasted. Cool.
2. Mix 1 1/2 cups water with 1 cup ice cubes in bowl. Combine 3 1/4 cups flour, salt, yeast, and toasted oats in separate bowl. Measure 1 1/2 cups ice water, and combine with honey and oil in third bowl. Vigorously stir honey mixture into flour mixture. (Dough should be slightly stiff; stir in just enough additional flour to stiffen dough slightly, if necessary.) Brush top of dough with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature 8 to 12 hours (first rise).
3. Vigorously stir dough, scraping down bowl sides. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup flour. Stir in more flour if dough is at all soft, to have stiff but still stirrable dough. Oil 9- x 5-inch loaf pan, transfer dough to pan, and smooth surface with spatula or well-oiled fingertips. Press remaining 1/4 cup oats on top of loaf. Cover with plastic wrap oiled on side facing dough.
4. Let dough rise 1 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours at room temperature (second rise). Second rise alternatives: let dough stand in turned-off microwave with 1 cup boiling water 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours for accelerated rise; for extended rise, refrigerate up to 48 hours, then set out at room temperature.
5. Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove plastic wrap, and bake loaf 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is well browned. Cover with foil, and bake 25 to 30 minutes more, or until skewer inserted in thickest part of loaf comes out with just a few particles. Bake 5 minutes more to ensure doneness. Cool on wire rack.
February 2010 p.46