Honey Oat Bread
My family's favorite bread. Lofty, whole-grain, and dairy-free. The brand of flour makes a huge difference; do use Giusto's if you can find it.
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
3/4 c warm water
1 c Giusto's whole wheat flour
1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c boiling water
1 1/2 c warm water
4 1/2 to 5 1/2 c Giusto's whole wheat flour
1/2 c wheat gluten
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 c honey
1 tbsp sea salt, or 2 1/2 tsp table salt
Combine yeast and water in the work bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until bubbly. Work in flour, cover and let sit 1 hour.
While the sponge is rising, place the oats in a small bowl; pour the boiling water over it, cover and let stand 20 to 30 minutes, or until softened.
Add water to sponge; process briefly to break up sponge. Combine flours and work about half this mixture into the sponge. When flour is moistened, add soaked oats, honey, oil and salt. Stir until ingredients are well-incorporated, then switch to the dough hook. Add flour to touch (until dough is just barely tacky; the amount of flour you use will depend upon your climate and the amount of moisture in the flour). Knead for 10 to 15 minutes to form a smooth, firm dough. Let rise at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Generously oil two Pyrex loaf pans. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, punch it down, divide it in half and shape it into 2 loaves. Place the loaves in the oiled pans, turning to coat. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If desired, brush top of loaves with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water) and sprinkle on some rolled oats for a crispier top crust and a bakery-perfect finish. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when removed from pans and tapped on bottom. Remove from baking pans and transfer to a rack to cool. Makes 2 loaves.