Hunni In The Kitchen: Basic Bread

“There is nothing that is not beautiful about bread. The way it grows, from tiny grains, from bowls on the counter, from yeast blooming in a measuring cup like swampy islands. The way it fills a room, a house, a building, with its inimitable smells, submits to a firmly applied fist and contracts, swells again; the way it stretches and expands upon kneading, the warm, supple feel of it against skin. The sight of a warm roll on a table, the taste-sweet, sour, yeasty on the tongue.” Eleanor Brown

I’m a bread girl.

Warm, crusty, golden, buttery, pillowy, seeded, flaky, hearty – all forms of it.

My favourite part about baking bread is how it makes the place smell. If you ask me, I think it’s worth the effort just to make your home smell like freshly baked bread.

However, it can be intimidating to bake bread.

I used to think you need a fancy oven, a swanky loaf pan and freshly milled flour.

I used to also think you need a bread maker.

Turns out: NONE OF THIS IS TRUE.

I mean, those things are nice to have but you don’t need it.

You just have to start somewhere. I have burned (numerous) bread bottoms till I didn’t anymore. These things have a way of working out.

So, if you’re ready to bake your first loaf, here’s a foolproof bread recipe.

 

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset Turns out all you need for a good loaf of bread is time. It just can’t be rushed.

 

Image 2.JPG The oats and whole-wheat flour make it hearty and the honey gives it a touch of sweetness.

 

Collage.jpg Take your time. Watch the loaf puff up ever so lightly.

 

Image 3.JPG Here’s the hard part: let the bread cool completely before slicing.

 

Image 4.JPG There she is. Beautiful and perhaps the most down-to-earth, uncomplicated thing we can put in our bodies.

 

Image 5.JPGIt’s perfect for slicing and topping with softened butter, ripe avocado or fruity jam.

 

Image 6.JPGThis summer has been cooler than most. So we’ve had more soup than normal and this bread goes beautifully with a bowl of soup.

 

Take a lazy weekend afternoon and give this bread a try.

 

Honey Oat Bread

 

Prep time: 2 hours

Cook time: 50 minutes

Total time: 3 hours

Serves: 5-8 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup rolled oats, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup honey, plus extra, warmed honey for drizzling

How-to:

 

  1. Add the flours, oats, yeast, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl.

 

  1. Warm the milk and the water in the microwave until

comfortably warm–about 30-45 seconds. Add the milk/water mixture, butter, and honey to the bowl.

 

  1. Turn the mixer on low speed and knead until a rough ball forms. Then turn the mixer to medium speed and knead for 7-10 minutes, or until dough is smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky. {If mixing by hand, mix in the bowl until rough dough forms. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead until the dough is no longer sticky, but smooth and slightly tacky.}

 

  1. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let rest in a warm place for 30-60 minutes, or until doubled in size.

 

  1. Turn out on to the counter and stretch into a 9×13″ rectangle. Roll up and place into a greased or parchment lined loaf pan, tucking the ends of the roll under itself to fit in the pan.

 

  1. Cover and let rest for 45 minutes.

 

  1. Once rested, slather warmed honey over the top and sprinkle with oats.

 

  1. Add a second, empty loaf pan to bottom rack of the oven and preheat oven to 350º F. Once preheated, add 1/4 cup of water to the empty loaf pan, then place the bread in the oven on the upper rack. This will create steam in the oven–essential for a perfect crust.

 

  1. Bake the bread for 40-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

 

  1. Remove to a rack to cool.

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