Even though I don't do it every week, I love making homemade bread for sandwiches for lunches and quick dinners, not to mention toast for breakfast. Caroline especially loves having toast, and she even has a "toast dance" that she does whenever I make it for her.
I'm not loyal to any particular recipe; rather I like trying different ones and mixing things up. I've had this one bookmarked for quite some time, and I'm so glad I finally got around to trying it. The oatmeal and the whole wheat flour keep it a little healthier than a standard white bread, and the buttermilk and honey give it a great depth of flavor. The most noteworthy thing about this bread however, is its size. I usually bake bread in my 9x5 inch loaf pan, but I used the 10-inch one. And it still rose insanely high! As I ate my first sandwich made from it (a pimento cheese BLT, in case you're wondering), I was full after eating only half. And then I realized that the slices of bread are so big, I had already eaten almost a full normal-sized sandwich!
As far as the recipe goes, this is a really standard sandwich bread. The only "weird" step is that the oatmeal needs to be soaked in boiling water for about 10 minutes before you start the dough - though this is a standard practice for oatmeal breads. Other than that, it's just mix, knead, rise, shape, rise, bake. And then you are left with a wonderful sandwich bread - and speaking from experience, it makes not only great BLTs, but also peanut butter and jelly, cheese toast, grilled cheese, peanut butter toast, pimento cheese... and I wouldn't have turned down French toast either :-)
Oatmeal Buttermilk Bread
barely adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride, originally from Macrina Bakery and Cafe Cookbook
makes 1 10-inch loaf
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 tsp + 2 Tbs honey
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
Whisk 2 teaspoons of the honey into the warm water in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir in the yeast, then add the soaked oats, buttermilk, and olive oil. Stir to combine. With the mixer on low speed, add the flours, 1 cup at a time, until a soft and shaggy dough forms. Add the salt, mix to combine, and switch to the dough hook attachment.
Increase the speed to medium, and knead for about 10 minutes. Add more flour or water as necessary, but I don't think I added any extra of either.
Transfer the dough to a large, lightly-oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place 60-90 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, flatten it with your hands, and press into a 12x6 inch rectangle, positioned so the long side is facing you. Fold the 2 short halves to meet in the center. Starting with the end closest to you, roll the dough into a tight log, and allow it to sit on its seam for about 5 minutes.
Transfer the log to a well-oiled 10-inch loaf pan, and press the dough into all the corners. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey with 1/2 teaspoon of very hot water. Brush the top of the dough with the mixture, then sprinkle the top with the remaining oatmeal. cover lightly with plastic wrap or a lint-free kitchen towel, and allow to rise 35-45 minutes, or until it clears the top of the loaf pan.
Bake at 385 degrees for 1 hour, or until the top is well-browned and the center is cooked through. Allow to cool completely before slicing.