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Easy Little Bread

January 24, 2012

I subscribe to a number of cooking blogs via my google reader and when they have a link at the bottom that you need to click in order to read the rest of post, I never click on it.  It’s annoying and I’m lazy and hate opening tons of pages.  This recipe comes from 101 Cookbooks, where you need to click to get the recipe.  Usually I just look at the pretty pictures and just move on to the next blog.  But when I saw this bread I was intrigued.  A yeasted bread with no kneading involved that you can make on a weeknight in less than an hour?  Hmmmm….

This was one strangishly good loaf of bread.  For one thing, it didn’t really have to rise.  Also, when it came out of the oven it still looked unbaked on top (it turns out this is because I didn’t fully read the recipe).  But then I couldn’t stop eating it, and it’s awesome toasted with homemade preserves on top.  I think Nate was mortified by how quickly the loaf disappeared.

I’ve made this bread a couple of times now, although the photos are from the first time I made it.  Since then, I’ve made loaves that have risen better (what can I say, it’s hard in the winter in a drafty house with the temperature set at 63 degrees) and loaves that browned on top (put it closer to the heating element).  It’s a cinch to make, the oats give it a nice texture, and it goes with everything.  This little loaf is kind of awesome.

Easy Little Bread
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

The original recipe was too salty, so this recipe has a decreased amount.  Don’t forget the part below about putting the almost-done loaf under the broiler for a minute or two– it’ll look kind of strange if you don’t. I also don’t have whole wheat flour, so I just double the amount of white flour.

1 1/4 cups warm water (105-115F)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup / 4.5 oz  unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup / 5 oz  whole wheat flour
1 cup / 3.5 oz rolled oats (not instant oats)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

In a medium bowl, sprinkle the yeast onto the warm water and stir until the yeast dissolves. Stir in the honey and set aside for a few minutes, until the yeast blooms and swells a bit – 5 – 10 minutes.

In the meantime, mix the flours, oats, and salt in a large bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir very well.

Brush a 8-cup loaf pan generously with some of the melted butter. Turn the dough into the tin, cover with a clean, slightly damp cloth, and set in a warm place for 30 minutes, to rise.

Preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack in the middle. When ready, bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, until golden and pulling away from the sides of the pan. I finish things up by leaving the bread under the broiler for just a heartbeat – to give the top a bit deeper color. Remove from oven, and turn the bread out of the pan quickly. Let it cool on a rack so it doesn’t steam in the pan. Serve warm, slathered with butter.

Makes 1 loaf.

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