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Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

April 09, 2012

I absolutely love bread in general, but this by far is the best bread recipe ever.  My opinion, of course.  It's light, but not too light, moist and just plain delicious.  I usually double the recipe and make one loaf for eating now and one for the freezer for future eating.  I hope you find it as enjoyable as I do!

Oatmeal Sandwich Bread
Source:  America's Test Kitchen

1 c. water
1 c. old-fashioned rolled or quick oats
1 c. warm milk (105 degrees - 115 degrees Fahrenheit)
3 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 T. honey
3 - 4c. bread flour
1 envelope (2 1/4 t.) instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 t. salt

Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the oats and cook until softened, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and let cool until just warm.

Whisk the milk, butter and honey together in a large liquid measuring cup or a small bowl.  Combine 3 cups flour, yeast, and salt in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Add the cooled oatmeal and mix lightly.  With the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.

Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  if after 4 minutes more flour is needed, add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough clears the side of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball.  Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1-1 1/2 hours.

Spray a 9x5" loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and gently press it into a 9" square (like you're making cinnamon rolls).  Roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch the seams closed (again, like cinnamon rolls).  Place the loaf, seam side down, in the prepared pan.  Mist the loaf lightly with cooking spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, 45-75 minutes.

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Bake until golden and the center of the bread registers 200 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 40-50 minutes.

Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

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