Oat and Whole Wheat Bread

Due to a broken arm and subsequent installation of a plate in my right elbow, I don't have the right arm strength to mix bread doughs, so I use a bread maker on the dough setting to do the various doughs that I use. I used to make the entire bread process in it, but I don't like the hard crust that results, so I just use the dough setting and then let it rise again and bake it in a pan in the oven. This is my favorite recipe, I use it once a week to make a loaf of bread, since it is close to impossible to find bread in the store that doesn't have preservatives and high fructose corn syrup in it unless you are willing to spend around $5 a loaf. This recipe is based on one from the All New Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook by Tom Lacalamita, although I have changed it up a bit. This will make one large loaf.

2/3 cup warm water
1 cup lukewarm milk
3 Tbls unsalted butter, room temperature
1.5 tsp sea salt
3 Tbls raw honey
1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick oats!)
4 cups whole wheat flour
2.5 tsp yeast

Add ingredients to the breadmaker in the order specified. Put it on the dough setting and turn it on. When it is finished (mine takes 1.5 hours), take the dough out and knead it for a few minutes. Form it into a loaf shape and put into a bread pan sprayed with olive oil. Cover the loaf and pan with a non-linty towel (like a flour sack kitchen towel) and let it rise for 30 minutes in a warm spot (I put a glass of water in the microwave for 3 minutes or so, then let the bread rise in the warm microwave). After 30 minutes, put the loaf in a 375 oven for 20-25 minutes, depending on how dark you want the crust. After removing it from the oven, LET THE BREAD COOL COMPLETELY, no matter how much you want to tear into it. It is extremely difficult to cut when it is even slightly warm and will make the center of your bread all doughy. It needs to be completely cool before you slice it.

I have talked to many people that say they love the taste of homemade bread, but don't have the time to make it. I completely understand, but let me say that having this machine makes it quite a lot easier, and the hands on time to make fresh bread once a week is never more than 10 minutes total for me. I would highly recommend investing in one if you have been debating about making your own bread. My mom picked this up for me at a garage sale for just a few dollars and my cost to make a loaf of bread is literally pennies, so it has saved me quite a lot of money over the last year.

Rating 5/5 - when I contain my impatience and wait to slice it
Why? There is just a hint of sweetness with the honey (and I have actually cut the amount down slightly from the original recipe) and the oats make it hearty and filling. Toast made from this bread is so good that I eat it plain on a regular basis. It has a lot of fiber too, because of the whole wheat flour and the oats, so that makes it more healthy than the original recipe.

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