I started trying yeast bread-making about a year ago but did not have any success (hint: liquid temperature and proper yeast storage). I didn't try again. I felt like I was wasting cups of flour when i could have used it for making pastries that does yield results. I only just got back on the bread making train when my dad requested that I make pan de sal (translation: bread of salt). And I couldn't stop. I realized that kneading bread dough is kinda therapeutic and seeing that the dough rises after crossing my fingers for an hour isa wave of satisfaction and relief.
With this recipe, i reduced everything by a 3rd of each measure only because my teeny tiny oven won't fit the 9x15 inch yield of this recipes. Plus I only have one loaf pan. I also used bread and wheat flours and low fat milk for this recipe to up the health factor of this recipe. And it IS soft. And because I used bread flour, the bread is chewy (which i love).
1 cup bread flour(all purpose flour also works)
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup instant/quick oats
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup milk
3 tbps lukewarm water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
3 tbsp honey
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons honey, warmed
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons oats
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, oats, yeast, and salt.
In a small bowl, or two cup (450 ml) measuring cup, warm the milk so that it’s hot enough to melt the butter, but not boiling. Add the butter, stirring until melted, then stir in the water and honey.
Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, mixing with a dough hook until it just comes together to form a dough. Knead in the mixer, with the dough hook attachment, for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic (if you’re making this recipe by hand, the dough will be very sticky at first; flour your hands and work surface generously and be patient). If the dough is still very wet and sticky after 5 minutes of kneading, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is barely tacky. If the dough is too dry, add water, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) at a time, to soften it up.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1/2 to 1 hour.
Once doubled, place the dough on a clean, dry work surface. If the dough is too sticky, lightly flour the surface before continuing. With your fingers, flatten the dough into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Tightly roll the dough, tucking the ends as needed, into a loaf. Place the shaped dough into a 9×5-inch loaf pan, cover with a clean dry towel, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1/2 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Place an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven and bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
When the loaf is doubled again, brush the top with the warmed honey and sprinkle with the oats.
Place the bread in the oven and pour the boiling water into the empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and the internal temperature is about 190 degrees.
Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.
Note: Recipe adapted from Bakingdom