I was really lucky to find this fantastic recipe over on one of my favorite food blogs, 101 Cookbooks, since I literally woke up thinking about bread and Heidi had just posted it! It was fate.
The original recipe calls for 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of whole wheat, but since I ran out of whole wheat flour, I opted to use 2 cups of all-purpose instead. The finished product was delicious, but I'd love to try it with the wheat next time.
The not-so-secret ingredient of this bread that really makes it POP is the honey! It adds just enough sweetness to counteract the yeast, but not enough to make it a dessert bread.
The smell that filled the house while it was in the oven was heavenly! I kept walking into the kitchen just to sniff it. Is that weird?
The hardest part is letting it rise. I really really really wanted to just plop it into the oven so it'd be done sooner, but I'm glad I was patient. It turned out so much better than if I hadn't waited... Doesn't everything, though?
After the bread's done baking, turn on the broiler for about 20-30 seconds and the top darkens just enough to cause a little crunch when you bite into it. Perfection!
When all is said and done, you can't skip out on the butter. It makes the world go 'round. I also topped it with jam the next morning for breakfast. I don't regret it.
It'd also be super easy to make this recipe vegan! Just use agave nectar instead of honey and replace the butter with Earth Balance margarine. Eat. Repeat.
Easy Homemade Bread
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
1 1/4 C warm water
2 tsp active dry yeast (2 packets)
1 Tbs honey (or agave nectar)
2 C all-purpose flour
1 C rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs butter, melted, for brushing
1. In a medium bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and stir until it dissolves. Add the honey, stir, and set aside for a few minutes.
2. Meanwhile, mix flour, oats, and salt in a large bowl. Mix the wet mixture into the dry and stir until completely combined.
3. Brush a loaf pan generously with the melted butter before transferring the dough into the pan. Cover with a slightly damp towel and set in a warm place for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 350F with a rack in the middle. Once the bread has risen, bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until golden and pulling away from the sides.
5. Turn on the broiler for 20-30 seconds and watch closely, removing the bread once the top reaches a slightly darker cooler. Turn the bread out of the pan almost immediately, allowing to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with butter.