This is probably my favorite bread in my collection. An adaptation from my grandmother's recipe to better fit our busy life-styles using instant or quick-acting yeast and letting my stand mixer and dough hook do all of the work. Light, fluffy, moist and flavorful, I think it will become one of your favorites, too. I love it's fluffy texture and yet it's sturdy enough to hold even heavy sandwich fillings. Lightly speckled with wholesome oatmeal and lightly sweetened with healthful honey, your family is sure to love this bread.
1In bowl of a stand mixer, combine oats, flour, yeast and salt. In a 2 cup measuring cup, warm milk in microwave until hot, but NOT boiling. Add butter. Stir to melt. Stir in lukewarm water and honey. ( I slightly warmed my honey to make it easier to pour.)
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.)
3Place dough in buttered bowl, turning once to coat. Cover loosely with sprayed saran wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size. (About an hour... depends on temp.) I like to turn my oven on to 200 degrees and place the covered bowl on a hot pad on top of the stove.
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.)
7When the bottom is a golden brown, remove immediately from pans and cool completely on wire racks. Don't cut for a few hours, or you won't get nice slices. (Sometimes, I even wait until the next day.) Brush tops of loaves with a little melted butter. Enjoy!