So “Life as We Knew It” is a great post apocalyptic young adult novel and you should read it if you like that sort of thing. Review is forthcoming.
Also this bread is very tasty, and you should make it too.
1 cup bread flour; 2 cups all purpose flour (or just 3 cups all purpose)
Three quarters (3/4) of a cup of oats
2 and one quarter (2 1/4) teaspoons of yeast
1 and a half (1 1/2) teaspoons of salt
1 cup warm milk
One quarter (1/4) cup of lukewarm water
2 tablespoons butter
One quarter cup (1/4) of honey
I wrote out the fractions because sometimes 1 1/2 can be misread or confusing. Hope that helps.
Cook it! (about 15 minutes of active prep time, 2 hours of waiting, 1 hour of baking)
Mix flour, oats, yeast, and salt together. If you want to do it properly, mix the milk, butter, water and honey in a separate bowl, then add to flour mixture. If you want to do it the fewer dishes method, just add the wet ingredients directly to the flour mix without worrying about the separate bowl thing.
Pro tip: honey comes out of measuring cups better if you put just a tiny bit of cooking oil in the cup before you measure the honey. This greases the cup and the honey should just slide right out! This works for lots of solid or semi solid ‘wet’ things, like butter or peanut butter (or you can use the water displacement method, but that’s more work)
If you have a stand mixer the machine can knead it for you. If not, you’re going to have to flour up a surface and knead! The dough will be super sticky at first… Just add flour a tiny bit at a time. The end result should be tacky, but not sticky.
Another pro tip: Get one of those cutting boards that are really just plastic sheets and knead dough on that instead of your countertop… Much easier to clean up!
Let the dough sit, covered with a slightly damp clean cloth or paper towel, for 30 minutes to an hour. The hotter your room temperature, the quicker it will be.
Don’t worry about it doubling in size or whatever. Instead, you can test rise (also called ‘proof’) doneness by poking your finger into the dough. If it makes a little dent that slowly puffs back up halfway, it’s ready. If it makes a dent and doesn’t puff up again, it’s a little over proofed (but don’t worry, you can still use it, it just might be a little less fluffy. Test it sooner next time). If the dent springs right back up, it’s not ready yet.
Next step. Pick the dough ball up, and gently fold it under itself on both sides. This should stretch the top of the loaf and also make it longer and more loaf shaped and less ball shaped. This is hard to explain but if you look up shaping loaves for a loaf pan there are videos. Or just make it into a long loafy looking shape and plop it in the pan.
You don’t have to grease the pan, but you can if you want. I usually do. At this point I also preheat my oven to 350 F because my oven takes a long time to heat up. If you want it to be a little taller loaf with a crustier crust, put a pan with about an inch of water on the bottom rack of the oven. This makes steam which is good for bread. If you use a metal pan you can just put the pan in the oven, and then add water when you put in the bread. If you use a glass pan, DON’ T DO THIS. Glass shatters when exposed to rapid changes in temperature. Adding cold water to a hot glass pan WILL break your pan, and if you are lucky it will only break into a few big pieces instead of a million. For this reason, also, never put hot glass pots or pans in the sink… Wait till it has cooled down first.
After you put the dough in the pan, let it sit again for 30 minutes to an hour. You can use the poke test again to test doneness. If your house is warm or your dough was over proofed at the last rise, lean towards the 30 minute side or that time frame.
Finally it is ready and you can bake. Oven at 350F, bake for 40-50 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack or cutting board, and wait until mostly cool before eating.