I have a love/hate relationship with yeast. I have great aspirations of making bread, bagels, pretzels, and other yeast-y goods, but I hesitate to do so when the realization of my past failures with yeast come back to haunt me. There's nothing more disappointing than putting in time and effort into making a dough and then setting it aside to rise...only to come back an hour later and see that it hasn't made any progress at all. I've read many good reviews about this recipe on Allrecipes.com, so I had to give it a try. The recipe was originally meant to be used with a bread machine, but since I don't own one, I had to come up with my own set of directions to make dough by hand and bake it in the oven.
Honey of an Oatmeal Bread - From Allrecipes.com
Yields: One 1-lb loaf (I doubled the recipe to make one large loaf)
1 cup warm water - I added 1/2 tsp sugar to the water for the yeast
1 tsp active dry yeast
2 1/3 cups bread flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil - I substituted applesauce instead
1/4 cup honey
All-purpose flour for dusting work surface
Mix yeast into warm water with 1/2 tsp sugar. Set aside until nice and foamy. In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup of the bread flour, rolled oats, and salt until combined. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast/water mixture. Stir briefly with a wooden spoon. Add in the vegetable oil and honey. Mix in the rest of the bread flour. Dough will be moist and sticky (or at least mine was). On a floured surface with floured hands, knead the dough and add in more flour (I used AP flour) until dough becomes less sticky. Form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn to coat surface of dough with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1.5 hours in a warm, draft-free place. (I preheated my oven to 200 degrees F, then turned it off and placed my dough inside the warmed oven to rise).
Gently deflate the dough and turn out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed. Press out into a rectangle and roll the dough length-wise until it resembles a cylindrical shape. Tuck the ends underneath and place in a lightly greased large loaf pan (I sprayed mine with Pam). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Once dough has finished its second rise, bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.