Vermont Oatmeal Maple-Honey Bread

Growing up, grocery store bread was a banned product in my house. My mom baked wonderful bread every week. At the time I thought that was terribly unfair and I wanted my sandwich bread to look the same as everyone else’s at lunch time. There’s no accounting for taste in children! When I moved out on my own, I bought bread from the grocery store because I had never bothered to learn how to make it myself. But after a year or so of that, I’m trying to eliminate our need to buy grocery store bread. It all started after I found half a loaf of bread that had gotten lost on top of the fridge for at least a month. When I found it, it hadn’t molded one little bit. Gross! Food should go bad. So my occasional loaf of Cook’s Illustrated American Sandwich Bread has turned into weekly bread baking.

In all reality, I actually have to bake more bread than I ever bought, because homemade bread gets eaten much more quickly. But I’ve also discovered that I absolutely love bread baking. It’s so relaxing and fun, and the final product is so delicious, that I really look forward to it. It took me a few tries, but I’ve finally found a recipe for oatmeal bread (my favorite) that I love enough to share. No surprise, it’s from the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion, and it’s fantastic.

This bread is slightly sweet, from both maple sugar and honey, and I think it makes a great sandwich. John disagrees a little, because he finds it too sweet, but we can both agree that it is wonderful toasted with a bit of butter or jam. It was also lots of fun to make. There was a little more dough than my mixer could handle, so I had to knead it by hand. It took me a few minutes to get into the swing of things, but once I did I remembered that kneading bread is really kind of fun. This recipe makes two loaves of bread, so I froze one before baking it, and was able to have a nice fresh loaf of bread with dinner one night this week. I just thawed it in the fridge during the day and set it out to rise when I got home. It didn’t rise quite as well as the other one did, but it was still delicious.

Vermont Oatmeal Maple-Honey Bread

The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion

I think that oatmeal bread with oats on top is pretty, so I brushed the top of the loaf with an egg wash and sprinkled oats on top. Totally your call.

Ingredients

2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup thick oat flakes (rolled oats)
1/2 cup maple sugar or brown sugar (Not sure if this is what they meant, but I made maple sugar the same way you would make brown sugar, by adding 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to a cup of sugar.)
1/2 teaspoon maple flavor (optional)
1 tablespoon honey
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Preparation

In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, oats, maple sugar, maple flavor, honey, butter, salt and cinnamon. Let cool to lukewarm.

Add the yeast and flours, stirring to form a rough dough. Knead (about 10 minutes by hand, 5 to 7 minutes by machine) until the dough is smooth and satiny. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let the dough rise for 1 hour; it should double in bulk.

Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a loaf. Place the loaves in two greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 bread pans. Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap (or a proof cover) and allow the loaves to rise until they’ve crowned about 1 inch over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350. Bake the loaves for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove them from the oven when they’re golden brown and the interior registers 190 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

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10 Comments »

  1. Caitlin said

    When I started making bread for myself in college, I was amazed at how all of my friends began asking for it to make sandwiches! My loaves that should have kept me going for a couple weeks would be gone in a couple days! But nothing is nearly as comforting as having a loaf of bread mixing, rising, or baking in my kitchen.

  2. This looks great. I wish I had extra maple syrup to try it. Especially the Vermont kind. Mmm…

  3. PJ Hamel said

    Karina, thanks for sharing the recipe, plus the lovely pictures. Glad you like the bread; I make that recipe a lot, too. And thanks for the nice mention/link for king Arthur Flour. We (all 168 employee-owners) appreciate it! – PJ Hamel, King Arthur Flour

  4. smellslikehome said

    how lovely this bread looks! thanks for sharing the recipe!

  5. Donna said

    Glad to see another New Englander!

    I was looking for your Lemon Cream Tart and found this instead! What a great looking loaf of bread! We lived in Vermont for 10 years and just came home from Vermont after visiting the kids fr 10 days. We had a bakery for years and that’s the only flour we ever used. I think it makes the absolute best bread!

    And I second Gretchen’s wish for the Vermont Maple Syrup…..yum!

    Nice that King Arthur Flour noticed and gave you a thumbs up too!

    Donna

  6. Erin said

    This looks so good! Thank you for posting it! I love making bread and will definitely try this soon!

  7. Susan said

    This bread is AWESOME!!! My kids love it toasted and we even made french toase with it YUMMMM!! Thank You SOOO much for sharing with us…

    Susan

  8. Cindy H said

    These pictures were great, and it’s a wonderful reminder how good homemade bread is. I just got a breadmaker, and I know it’s the lazy way to knead, but I take the dough out and bake it in the oven. There is nothing like that smell!
    Your story of wishing you had ‘normal’ bread when you were young reminds me of when I always ‘had’ to take homemade cookies to school instead of ‘store bought’. I was so envious of everyone who could afford store bought cookies. Now I know better! :o)

    Cindy H

    http://www.jbkpottery.com

  9. alan W said

    This bread is so delicious, tender, and easy to make. I am bread novice–have had trouble getting challah and cinnamon raisin bread to come out right. But this one was right the first time; the crust was formed but soft, and the bread is tasty. I put chocolate spread on it; put butter on it; put PB on it. All of it is great. Thanks for publishing it.

  10. Chris Flynn said

    That’s not what they mean by maple sugar. It’s not like brown sugar, instead they continue to boil more of the water away from the maple syrup until they are left with a granular sugar. It can be a little hard to find but I found some at our local Whole Foods. It was a little expensive so I just might try your method and compare it. This is a very good bread though.

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