Monday, October 26, 2015

Back to Balanced: Oatmeal Whole Wheat Bread

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It has been months since my last post on this blog. I have no idea if anyone really noticed, but figured I should address it before sharing my latest recipe just in case! Honestly, life has been a bit overwhelming over the past few months. Nothing necessarily bad, just a lot going on and challenges in balancing work, volunteer obligations and family. I stepped away from writing for awhile to get a better handle on balancing my life.

I'm far from perfectly balanced (I know you're laughing out there Mom!), but have put daily practices into habit that have brought my life and priorities better into balance. I had allowed myself to say "yes" to too many things, even fantastic opportunities, and in taking too much on I heaped expectations on my own head that ended up making me feel burnt out and exhausted.

After 30 days of focusing on overall "wellness" by practicing yoga (almost) daily, making sure to get the water and nutrients my body needs, spending quality time with my husband and daughter and focusing on making time with God a priority every day I feel like I am finally ready to take on projects this little food blog I love so much.

Fall is upon us (finally!) here on the East Coast and I am thrilled. Its one of my favorite times of year, full of warming spices, hearty produce and delicious flavors. For some reason when the weather turns chili I always want to bake bread. My daughter (now 3 years old) loves to dump and stir and help me back, so bread is the perfect recipe to bake with her.

This bread recipe is seriously yummy and pretty customizable. The original recipe called for whole oats but I was out so I used steel cut. When I went in the pantry for honey I realized we had used it all so I used organic maple syrup instead. Guess what? It worked! This bread is perfect as-is or lightly toasted with a little butter and jam for breakfast or a snack with tea.

Check out the recipe below and share in the comments your favorite seasonal dishes! I'm glad to be back and excited about cooking and sharing recipes again with you.

Oatmeal Whole Wheat Maple Bread

1 cup water
1 cup milk (I used whole)
1 packet active dry yeast
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup...leave Mrs. Butterworth on the shelf for this one)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups AP flour
1 cup steel-cut oats
4 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
1 tbsp, kosher salt


1. Pour water and milk into a microwave-safe bowl or large glass measuring cup and heat 45-60 seconds until the mixture is about 115 degrees. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle in the yeast. Gently stir in the syrup and let it sit for about 10 minutes until the mixture is foamy.

2. Add in both flours, the oats, butter and salt then stir using a dough hook on medium speed for about 6-7 minutes. You want the texture of the dough to be smooth and elastic with just a little stickiness to it.

3. Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray and transfer the dough to that bowl, covering lightly with a clean tea towel. Set in a warm area to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.

4. Once the dough is doubled, punch it down and press it out into about an 8x8 square. Tuck in the sides (like you're rolling a burrito) and roll it into a log shape. Place into a lightly greased loaf pan.

5. Cover with the tea towel again and let it rest for about 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 40-50 minutes until the loaf is browned on top and sounds hollow when you tap it.

6. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the bread cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling to room temperature (if you can wait that long to taste it!) before serving.

Original recipe adapted from Girl Versus Dough

Printable Recipe

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