For the past 6 months or so I’ve been fascinated with making homemade bread and seeing other chefs make it. From the crunchy outside browned crust to the fluffy pillowy inside, it is science in its finest forms. It’s the combination of time, fire and air incorporated into a recipe and it’s so awesome! This Homemade Whole Wheat Honey Oat Bread Recipe did not disappoint during the entire life cycle of the recipe. I can honestly say I’m not sure if I enjoyed making it more or eating it more, I’m that intrigued by the process. However, once you take a slice of this Homemade Whole Wheat Honey Oat Bread Recipe when it’s fresh out of the even with a little cinnamon butter spread on it I’m pretty sure you’ll know which step in the process is your favorite.
When it comes to making any bread you have to start with a quality flour, and there is zero doubt in my mind that it’s always Bob’s Red Mill. Their flours are never bleached and stone ground here in the US making them superb to cover every area of cooking where flour is a necessity. This Homemade Whole Wheat Honey Oat Bread Recipe calls for a great trio of Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose, Whole Wheat and Rolled oats. The combination is necessary for flavor, leavening and texture. If you wanted to, and yes it’s totally fine, you could do away with the oats and go all AP and whole wheat flour. Just to warn you though it will change the flavor profile a bit. Don’t say I didn’t want you J. Let’s get to baking!
Like any homemade bread you need a leavening agent to help it rise. The traditional way to do this, which has been done for hundreds of years, is by making your own sour dough starter and using it to help the bread rise. Well I’m working on making a site dedicate to cooking like this, but for now I’m going to use yeast. I have zero preference whether it rises 50% faster or normal, but I do tend to favor the packet yeast over the jar yeast. You can ask my mom; She’ll tell you why J. So now that you’ve got your yeast, heat up equal parts water and milk until it reaches 120°. Now you’re probably thinking to yourself, “what kind of chef are you taking liquid that high of temperature for yeast?” Yes, I know it should be between 110° to 115° but once that warm liquid hits that cold bowl in the standing mixer the temp will drop to that optimal temperature. From there, whisk in the yeast and honey, which the yeast eats in this Homemade Whole Wheat Honey Oat Bread Recipe
Once the yeast forms a raft for this Whole Wheat Honey Oat Bread and rises considerably it is now time to add in everything else. If there is no movement at all, no raft, no bubbles, no nothing your yeast is either dead or the liquid was too cold and it could not get activated. This segment of the process is the most important part because it will determine whether or not your bread is light, fluffy and risen. If you don’t eat will be flat and rock hard, which is not good and you’ll be mad because this takes a few hours to make. Gently fold in the salt, both flours and oats into the yeast-liquid mixture on low speed with the hook attachment on your standing mixture and then kick it up to high for 4 to 5 minutes. If you are a purist and enjoy manual labor, then add everything together in the bowl and knead it to death for 6 to 10 minutes.
Once the honey oat bread dough is kneaded cover it up with a towel and let it double in size. When you get to that point you get to do your best Manny Pacquiao impersonation and punch down the dough and form it into 2 separate balls on a clean surface dusted with flour. Use both hands to continue to turn and fold the dough under so that the top of the dough ball is somewhat tight. Place a towel over the dough balls and let it sit for 20 minutes so that it rises again.
While the honey oat bread dough is rising place a sheet pan or a pizza stone into your oven along with a cast iron skillet and blast the heat to 450°. Once the dough is done, score it with a knife and dust on some flour and oats and transfer it with a sheet pan or pizza peel/flipper and put it right on the hot stone in the oven, and then pour some water into the cast iron skillet. The water in the skillet will boil immediately and provide moisture in the air so that the dough has a great crust and a moist center.
I know a lot going on in this recipe and it’s a bit of a labor of love but oh my gosh the flavor at the end is just so dang good you will love it!!!
Homemade Whole Wheat Honey Oat Bread Recipe
- 1 ½ cups of water
- 1 ½ cups of whole milk
- ¼ cup of honey
- 2 tablespoons of active yeast
- 2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour
- 3 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 ½ cups of Bob’s Red Mill This Rolled Oats
- 1 cup of softened unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
Preheat a pizza stone, iron skillet and the oven to 450°.
Heat the water and milk in a microwave safe bowl or in a pot until it reaches 120°. Transfer the mixture to a large standing mixer bowl and make sure it is at 110° to 115° before whisking in the honey and yeast. Let stand for 8 to 10 minutes.
Once a raft is created on top of the mixture add in the flours, salt and oats and gently mix it on low speed with the hook attachment and then knead on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes.
Cover with a towel until it doubles in size, about 45 minutes.
Punch down the dough and form it into 2 balls on a clean flour dusted surface. Cover with a towel and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Next, score the dough on top and dust with flour and oats and transfer the dough using a pizza flipper or flat sheet tray and place them on the hot pizza stone in the oven.
Pour some water into the hot cast iron skillet and close the dough and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a dark crust has formed on the outside.
Remove the bread and let it sit.
For the butter, whip the butter, cinnamon and sugar in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 to 6 minutes,
Spread the butter on slices of the warn Whole Wheat Honey Oat Bread.