Let me start off by saying that I'm a self-proclaimed carb addict. I cannot resist (nor do I even try to resist) a piece of warm crusty bread. It's just not in my DNA make-up to pass up fresh bread (I equally love it's cousins doughnut, bun, roll, biscuit and the flaky french cousin, croissant).
That said, I've usually shied away from baking yeast breads. Partly because of the time it takes to make yeast breads but mainly because there are a few steps you have to do which means you're stuck around home to ensure your bread rises. There's also the added fear of 'what if it doesn't rise and I've just spent 4 hours making a brick for dinner".
I made this yeast bread waaaay back when Brad and I were first married. Back when he was my one and only guinea pig for my kitchen creations. This recipe comes from one of my first recipe books that my Aunt Nancy gave me when I got married called "Betty Crockers New Cookbook: Everything You Need To Know To Cook ". Since then they've had at least one new installment of this cookbook published which just shows how long I've been married.
The bread turned out really well when I made it the first time and it turned out well again. In fact, when Brad saw the bread cooling on my wire rack he tentatively approached me and said "I don't want to insult you ...." (note to men, not a good way to start a conversation with a woman wielding a bread knife) ".... in case you spent hours making it but did you buy that bread?" I took it as a compliment! He could picture my loaf in a bakery? Yay! Yup, I made it for you dearest (and to feed the carb monster who dwells within me).
This yeast bread doesn't get much easier. You just need to take the time to let it rise, knead it and have it rise again. My first rise didn't fare so well so this loaf was actually a little smaller than the first time I made it but it still tasted good (it was a little heavier than it need be but still great for eating).
If you're a newbie at yeast breads give this one a try. Served alongside potato ham soup would be wonderful!
3-3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp butter or margarine, softened
1 package regular or quick active dry yeast
1 cup very warm water (120 to 130 degrees)
1 large egg
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1 tbsp water
garnish quick-cooking oats
Mix 1 1/2 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup oats, salt, honey, mustard, butter and yeast in a large bowl. Add 1 cup warm water. Beat with an electric mixter on low speed for 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat in egg. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to make dough easy to handle.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl and turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched. TIP: To make a warm spot in my kitchen for the dough to rise, I turned on my oven to 250F while I was mixing the dough. I turned off the oven put the bowl inside and left the oven open a little.
Grease bottom and side of a pie plate, 9x1-1/4 inches, with shortening.
Punch down dough (show that dough whose boss!). Shape dough into a ball. Place in pie plate; flatten slightly. Mix egg white and 1 tbsp water; brush on loaf. Sprinkle with oats. Cover and let rise in warm place for 45-60 minutes or until double.
Heat oven to 375F. Bake for 35 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped and is deep golden brown. Remove from pan to wire rack; cool.