According to Emily, one of our friends, Lauren Lotinsky, requested suggestions on good bread recipes. The reason is one of the best kinds of requests I've ever heard. Her brother, Ian, another friend of ours, requested homemade bread for his birthday. So this post is for Ian--
Honey Oat Bread
makes 2 loaves
4 3/4- 5 cups whole wheat flour
2 T wheat gluten
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
3 packages yeast
4 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup oil
Mix together 2 cups flour with yeast and wheat gluten in the mixer bowl (use a KitchenAid).
Bring milk, honey, oil and salt to 110-120 degrees on the stove in a small saucepan. Do not boil.
Pour liquid mixture into flour and blend on low speed until combined, and then on high speed for 3 minutes. Then add the remaining flour until dough forms a ball but is still slightly sticky. Add oats. Knead for 10 minutes or mix on medium speed for 5 minutes with the dough hook attachment.
Cover bowl and let rise at room temperature for about an hour. Dough will not double. Divide into two; form two loaves by patting dough into rectangles and then rolling up tightly to form a log. Pinch seams together and place in a greased (use Pam) loaf pan. Cover again with plastic wrap and let rise about 2 hours until puffy.
Preheat oven to 375 and place rack in middle of oven. Once hot, mix together 4 icecubes with 1/4 cup water. Place bread in oven (remove plastic wrap) and toss water/ice in the bottom of the oven. Quickly close the oven door and bake bread for approximately 35-45 minutes. If top of bread becomes too brown too quickly, cover "tent" bread with aluminum foil. Bread will be done when internal temperature reaches 165 F or bottom of loaf sounds hollow when tapped.