Fluffy, Light Honey Oatmeal Bread
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- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup + 3 tb. oatmeal
- 2 packets red star quick rise yeast (instant)
- 2 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup lukewarm water
- 3 tb. butter, softened
- 1/3 cup honey (a natural preservative which will keep your bread fresh and moist.)
2Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Mix with dough hook until incorporated, scraping sides of bowl if necessary. On setting 2 of a KitchenAid mixer, knead for 5 minutes. If dough climbs the dough hook excessively, add flour 1 TB. at a time until dough cleans sides and bottom of bowl. You want it to be slightly sticky, not gooey. It's ok if it climbs the hook, as long as the dough cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl. (You want it to be a little sticky to the touch because the dough will pick up more flour later when you shape your loaves.)
4When doubled, dust counter lightly with flour, 2-3 TB. should do. Punch your beautiful, fluffy dough down, then fold in half 2-3 times, pressing out the air bubbles. Divide dough in half and form loaves. (If your new to bread making, take a minute to learn "how to shape bread loaves" online. There are some great YouTube videos as well that give great tips. It's a really important step for beautiful looking loaves.) Place in two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 buttered or sprayed loaf pans.
5Lightly grease top of loaves with a little very soft butter and cover loosely with sprayed saran wrap. Let rise until loaf is 1-1 1/2 " above pan. Rising too much will produce a very airy bread that won't slice well. Rising too little, will produce a dense, heavy loaf. Again, somewhere around 45-60 minutes, depending on the temp of your kitchen.
6When 1-1 1/2" above pan, bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Watch closely since every oven is different. To know if it's done, I remove one of the loaves from the oven and tilt it into my hot pad covered hand. Just tilt it, don't remove it from the pan. Look at the bottom. If it's a nice golden brown, it's ready. If it's still pale-looking, return it to the oven for a few minutes and repeat. (If you take it out when it's not golden, it will not be sturdy enough to hold the bread up when you cool on wire racks.)