I originally found this recipe over at Amanda's Cookin', where I believe she pulled it from Prudence Pennywise, but when I typed the name of this bread into google I found yet another food blog that had used and credited Prudence Pennywise. What I'm trying to say is, I'm definitely not the first person to zero in on this bread recipe and then decide to write a blog post about it.
The reason I'm posting about this bread in particular is because it took a bit for me to track down a whole wheat bread recipe that does not contain any dry milk powder. You see, I'm fine if a recipe calls for milk (like a lot of recipes do) because I can just sub it out for a non-dairy alternative. It's when dry milk powder is required that I find I have a problem and have to pass on the recipe. Now I'm sure there is a way around it, but my laziness led me to this recipe so I can't really complain.
As far as the milk goes, I'm sure dairy milk would work just fine. I ended up using 1 C. Coconut Milk & 1 C. Original Almond Milk because that was what I could find, after my original plan to use soy milk fell through due to lack of supply in our fridge. The combo of milks worked just fine, even after the small milk volcano that exploded in the microwave while heating the milk, and the smallish spillage that occurred while adding the milk to the bowl. In the end, it all worked out. I just have to try and remember that with this new microwave, things don't take as long to heat. You'd think I would have learned my lesson now, after all I've even had raspberries exploding on me in this new microwave, and I mean there were sparks and everything. Not good.
Now back to this recipe. I have to say that the bread does taste quite similar to an oats and honey bread I've made before and really enjoyed. The only problem with that recipe was that it only called for All Purpose Flour, and I wanted something a bit more nutritious than that. I guess that's a good thing though, that this healthy recipe tastes the same as the white bread one.
It seems that when this recipe was made at Amanda's Cookin', she complained that it was cooked to much on the top and was hard and quite dark. Now, I found the same thing occurred as well, or was about to occur I should say. Because I had read that comment, instead of setting the timer for 1 hr like the original recipe called for, I set it for only 20 minutes because usually bread only takes about 35 minutes in the convection oven. Well, when the timer went off after 20, I could not believe it. The loaves looked like they were more than done. After checking the internal temperature (did you know you can check if the bread is done simply with a meat thermometer? You want it to be around 190-200 degrees F internally), they unfortunately were not done. So I took the temperature down from 350 F to 300 and baked for another 10 minutes. Then I took it down to 275 F for the last 5 minutes. Luckily the top did not brown any more while the centre of the bread finished baking. All in all, just as I had originally thought, it took 35 minutes to cook. Even with the first 5 or so minutes being the oven just getting up to temperature (gosh, I love convection ovens...no preheating required. The only problem, I really burn stuff if I have to for some reason switch on the regular oven. I forget about the whole preheating burst of heat thingie...oops.) My recommendation, and what I'm going to try next time is baking the loaves at 325 F and see where that takes me.
Makes 2 Loaves2 C. Milk
1 C. Old Fashioned Oats
2/3 C. Brown Sugar
5 Tbsp Butter
2 Tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. active dry yeast (I used the same amount of Instant Yeast and it worked fine)
1/2 C. Wheat Germ (can substitute whole wheat flour-I used the wheat germ though)
3 C. Whole Wheat Flour
3 C. All Purpose Flour (+ more if needed)
~Heat milk in microwave until just boiling.
~Pour milk, oatmeal, sugar, butter & salt into mixing bowl & mix well.
~Allow mixture to cool to luke warm (about 15 minutes)
~Add wheat germ, whole wheat flour, yeast and eggs and mix on low speed, adding in the all purpose flour as you go.
~Knead on medium speed (or speed 2 of my KA stand mixer) for 6 minutes. But if dough is still sticky, add extra flour 1 Tbsp. at a time until it pulls away from the edge of the bowl.
~When done kneading, shape dough into a ball and rub the outside of the dough with butter.
~Place dough ball back into bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours). (To get this warm place, I boil a pot of water and then place a cooling rack over top the pot, then place the bowl on top of the rack and cover it all with a dish towel. It's perfect)
~Punch down dough, roll out with rolling pin and roll dough into a log and place in greased bread pans.
~Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise again until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
~(Now here's where I'm going to change it from 350 F and 1 hour to...) Preheat the oven to 325 F and bake for 35 minutes or until internal bread temperature reads 190 F.