This is a traditional Indian recipe for Navratri and it...Read More
Honey Oat Loaf
This bread is a great center piece on the dining table. Fits well for celebrations and a massive crowd pleaser. With few pantry ingredients this bread is light as a feather with the fluffiest texture suitable for any accompaniment.
Every year during November and December when family starts gathering even more than usual with the festive season lurching, this is a recipe that is made without fail. It can be served for brunch with Salmon, lunch with roast chicken, dinner with a vegetable stew and the next day for breakfast with eggs or turned into French toast. The best past of this bread is if you have leftovers you can make the best bread and butter pudding fit for angels on sitting on clouds. Don’t get me wrong it is perfect with a little slather of salted butter as is. But with such versatility of the recipe it has been known to be made at least 5 times in two months and there is no one to blame for this.
The trick to making bread or a good loaf is knowing your ingredients and understanding how they feel in your hands. Yes that might sound odd but once you know what you are looking for it makes the entire process a lot easier as you can tweak and adjust it to your liking. In saying this there are a few main ingredients you can not leave out to achieve that outrageously large loaf. I will walk you through a few pressure points so that when you make this recipe is it a huge hit. This recipe doesn’t have a traditional historical lineage but I do blame Jennifer Garner and Ina Garten for this. I was scrolling through my phone in bed and came across a video of Jennifer making this recipe by Ina. I couldn’t get sleep after I watched it, the bread looked so inviting that I could almost smell it in my bed. So with no doubt, I got out of bed (it was a little past midnight) went into the kitchen and started to make this beauty. Almost 2 hours later I had freshly baked bread out of the oven and my house smelled like heaven. It was 2 am and I cut myself a warm slice and enjoyed it with some jam and butter.
That recipe inspired me to make turn my loaf bread (which we make most often than not during the winter season) into something more spectacular and alas came about this recipe. Which is a version of my loaf recipe and the evergreen Ina’s recipe. Some important points to keep in mind are as follows:
Flour: You need All purpose flour or Bread flour. I use Oat flour as well into this recipe as it adds an earthy flavor. The amount you will need is dependent on the dough. I have given an estimated amount based on the quantity I normally need however, brands differ in absorption/flavor and overall texture. Hence it is important to understand the texture of the dough.
Warm milk: The recipe starts with this step. If your milk is too hot it will kill the yeast, on the other hand if it is cold it will not activate the yeast. I would recommend your milk being body temperature , dip your finger into the milk and it shouldn’t be hot or cold. You could use water all the way to make the bread as well. I have made this recipe with a mixture of yogurt and water which gives a tangy flavor but very delicious.
Yeast: The reason we put the yeast in the warm milk with some flour is to test the yeast, is it active or not. If it doesn’t get frothy/rise in the initial resting period then the yeast has expired or isn’t a good batch. I’ve made this recipe using instant dry yeast and active dry yeast.
Butter: It should be melted but not piping hot. Further more you could use half butter and oil in the dough.
Egg: If you would like to make this recipe eggless, use the 30gm more of liquid (milk/water) in the initial step and you are good to go.
Rising: Allowing your dough to proof is essential. You need to let the yeast work and develop slowly. This happens at room temperature (26-30℃). There are 3 times the yeast is worked in this recipe; i) The 1st step where warm milk, yeast, sugar, honey and a little flour is mixed together and set aside to activate. ii) Once all the ingredients are mixed into the dough it is set aside to rest until risen. iii) After the dough is shaped and transferred to the baking tin it is left to rise before baking.
The above points will help you achieve the prefect loaf of bread. In saying this you could make small dinner rolls/braids etc. This dough is great to try out new shapes and get creative. Enjoy this recipe and Happy Baking!
Honey Oat Loaf
- Large mixing bowl
- Baking tin
- 1/2 cup Water warm
- 1 tbsp Yeast
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 1/2 cup Milk warm
- 8 tbsp Butter melted
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 cup Oat flour
- 5 1/2 cups Flour
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 tsp Nigella seeds
- 1 tsp Sesame seeds
- 1/4 tsp Sea salt
- 1 tbsp Cream brushing
- In a large bowl add the warm water, yeast, sugar, 1/2 cup of flour. Stir and set aside. After 10 mins or so it should’ve gotten frothy and risen. If not, your yeast should be thrown out.
- Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl, keeping 1/2 cup flour aside. Stir together and if you are using a planetary mixer let the dough be kneading with a dough hook for 8 mins. If you are doing this by hand, knead the dough together for 15 mins.
- The dough shouldn’t be very sticky, hence if you need more flour add from the 1/2 cup you have reserved. Ideally you won’t need more flour if you have measured everything appropriately however if the mixture is too sticky to handle then add as required.
- Roll into a ball and leave to rise in the same mixing bowl. Cover with a tea towel. This should take 30 mins depending on how hot or cold your kitchen is. I place my bowl on top of my fridge as it is slightly warm.
- Line a 9x5 inch loaf tin with a little oil and set aside, remove the risen dough from the fridge and knock back, basically punch down and release all the air from the dough. Portion into 3 pieces and roll each piece into an oval egg shape. Transfer the lined baking tin and cover. Leave to rise for 20 mins.
- Once doubled in size, brush with cream and sprinkle with nigella seeds, sesame seeds and sea salt. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 for 18-20 mins, until dry, risen, golden and when you tap the bread it should have a hollow sound.
- Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, remove from the tin and let it cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before slicing and eating.