As a child, I would have hated this bread.  Back in those days I thought perfect white, fluffy Wonder Bread (which my family never bought) was the absolute best.  Instead, my family usually had some sort of wheat bread.  I wasn’t crazy about it – it tasted too healthy!  And the loaves of wheat bread that have little pieces of nut or seeds mixed in?  Forget it.  I’d spend an hour picking out every single nut or seed so my bread looked like Swiss cheese.

But now, I love wheat breads, and I love trying new variations.  I have another recipe that is still my favorite, but this version was wonderful and different from the usual.  The addition of the oatmeal gave it a really great flavor, and it had a gorgeous tender texture, perfect for sandwiches.  Not to mention, this loaf is a monster!  Seriously, I have never seen bread rise quite this high.  Now that’s partly my fault because I took a mini nap while it was rising, and it went a bit over the recommended time.  But I really started out with a lot of dough to begin with before the rise.  Ben was, of course, thrilled by the giant loaf of bread.  Next time I think I may try increasing the amount of dough by just 50% and then baking it into two loaves.  It’s always nice to end up with two loaves and then you can have one frozen for later.  And good news – even Andrew likes this bread.  Maybe he won’t be quite as picky a child as I :)

 

  • Yield 1 9-inch loaf

Ingredients

1½ cups rolled oats, divided
1 cup boiling water
¼ cup room temperature water
2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. agave nectar (or honey), divided
2 tsp. instant yeast
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2½ cups whole wheat flour
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt

Directions

  • 01

    Set aside ¼ cup of the rolled oats.  Place the remaining oats in a medium bowl.  Cover with the boiling water, mix well, and let sit uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • 02

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the soaked oats, room temperature water, 2 tablespoons of agave, yeast, buttermilk, olive oil, 2 cups of each flour, and salt.  Mix briefly on low speed until ingredients are combined.  Mix in the remaining ½ cup of each flour.  Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 10 minutes.  The dough will be wet, cling to the hook, and have a satiny finish.

  • 03

    Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

  • 04

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, flattening it with your hands to release the excess air bubbles.  Form the dough into a 12 x 6-inch rectangle and position it so the long side is facing you.  Fold the two shorter ends onto the top so that they meet in the middle.  Starting with the closest end, roll the dough away from you tightly into a log.  Pinch the seam closed.  Transfer the loaf to an oiled loaf pan, pressing it so that it reaches all the corners.  Mix the remaining agave nectar with ½ a teaspoon of very hot water.  Brush over the top of the loaf, and sprinkle with the reserved oats.  Let rise for about 30 minutes, just until the loaf rises over the top of the pan.

  • 05

    Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Bake the loaf for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Source