Maple and Brown Sugar Oat Bread

As you know, one of my favorite things to do is bake bread.  I love the way a properly kneaded dough feels in my hands.  I love the aroma that permeates the house as the loaf is baking.  Most of all, I love the taste of the bread, still warm from the oven, slathered with butter.  Really, is there anything better?

The inspiration for this recipe came from the Tasty Kitchen website.  A gal posted a recipe for Honey Oatmeal Bread.  Sounds great, right?  It was!  I put my own spin on it by replacing the honey with maple syrup and a bit of brown sugar.  Plus, it’s a whole grain bread.   Yep, you heard me.  High in fiber and everything.  This bread is perfect for sandwiches or toasting.  I’ve been eating a slice every night with butter and raspberry chipotle sauce. 

A note about whole wheat flour– I knew even before watching America’s Test Kitchen that King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour was the best one to use for making bread.  The way they mill their whole wheat flour protects the gluten in the dough from being shredded by the tough shards of the outer wheat kernels.  Pretty cool, huh?

To help the dough along, I also added 2 Tbsp of dough conditioner.  This addition isn’t absolutely necessary, but I’ve noticed that I get a better rise out of my whole grain breads when I use it. 

Maple Brown Sugar Oat Bread

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4-1/2 tsp active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 2-1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp dough conditioner (optional)
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2-3/4 cups (approximately) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 whole egg, beaten

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  1. Preheat oven to 200°F.  Once it comes to temperature, turn it off.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium low heat, warm the butter, maple syrup, and brown sugar until the butter is melted.  Remove from the heat and stir in the water.  The temperature should be about 110°F, which is warm to the touch, but not hot.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the yeast and the warm butter mixture.  Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  4. Fit the mixer with a dough hook.  Add salt, dough conditioner, 2 cups whole wheat flour, and 1 cup all purpose flour.  Beat on low until combined, scraping the bowl as necessary.  Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 2 minutes. 
  5. Add the egg and 1 cup of whole wheat flour.  Beat well– the dough will look like a thick batter.  Continue beating on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Stir in oats, 1 cup whole wheat flour, and 1 cup all purpose flour.  Mix on low and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary until a firm dough forms.  Set speed to medium and beat for 5 to 8 minutes, adding all purpose flour as needed, until dough is smooth and elastic (I added about another cup of all purpose flour).
  6. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover.  Let rise in a warm place (the pre-warmed oven is a good place) for about an hour.
  7. Punch the dough down and turn out onto a floured surface.  Cover the dough ball with the bowl and let rest for 15 minutes.  Divide dough into two equal pieces, and shape into loaves.  Place each loaf into a greased 9×5 loaf pan.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about an hour.  I use a small room with a portable electric heater for this step.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Once risen, slash the top of the loaf about 1/4 inch deep with a sharp knife.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.  Let cool about 5 minutes, then turn the loaves out onto a cooling rack.  Cool at least another 20 minutes before slicing.

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