How to: Outrageously Oaty Honey Bread

This bread is bloomin’ lovely, packed with lovely oats and with a gorgeous honey flavour. So far, it’s stayed really nice for three days, with a moist and smooth texture. I’ve been having it just with butter for lunch and it’s making me very happy indeed.

This recipe makes 2 9×5″ loaves.

Sliced loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1.5 cups oats (think I’ll increase to 2 cups next time I make this)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1(7g) sachet of dry active yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4-6 cups strong flour (I used white but will experiment with wholemeal next time)
  • 1 cup mixed seeds (optional)

Method

  1. Mix the water, oats, honey, butter and salt and leave to soak for an hour.
  2. Put the yeast in the warm water and let stand for 10 minutesOat mix and yeast
  3. Pour the yeast mixture into the oat mixture. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.                                                         Mixture
  4. Once the dough comes together and isn’t too sticky, turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 20 minutes, until smooth and elastic. If the dough is still too sticky after about 6-7 cups of flour, just knead for the full amount of time while the dough is still in the bowl and it’ll still come out fine. Use a dough hook or bread machine if you’re lucky enough to have one.
  5. Near the end of the kneading process, add the seeds if desired.
  6. Put into a lightly oiled bowl. Turn so the dough is coated with oil and cover with a damp cloth. Leave in a warm place to prove for about 1.5 hours…                                                                               Before first prove
  7. …until doubled in size.                                                   After first prove
  8. If you haven’t already, add your seeds (I forgot) and work the dough lightly so they are fairly evenly distributed. Shape into loaves (or whatever shape you like), ensuring that your tins are buttered. I froze half of my dough at this stage, putting it in an oiled freezer bag inside a plastic container. I’ll update you soon on whether this works!Before second prove
  9. Cover and leave to prove again, until doubled in size. Around an hour. Preheat oven to 180C (fan 160)After second prove
  10. Bake for 25-35mins, until the top has browned and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If desired, brush the top with a little warm honey and add a sprinkling of oats. I didn’t bother.Baked loaf

UPDATE: The dough freezes very well. Leave it in the fridge overnight to defrost, then shape into a loaf and leave for the second prove. Leave it for about double the time you normally would, i.e. about two hours and then bake as above. I remembered the seeds this time and they add to the texture really nicely. I’ve been eating this for lunch with just butter. It stays lovely for about three days, then is better toasted after that.Loaf with seeds

 

How to: Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Have you ever had a Cinnabon? If not, you haven’t lived. It’s the perfect combination of fluffy bread, cinnamon sugar and gooey, nutty sauce. A heart-attack on a plate and totally worth it. My version is no healthier, but at least you know what’s in them. These would make an incredibly decadent breakfast with a tall glass of milk and MUST be eaten warm.

Served

Yum. This recipe serves 6-10 people, and you can leave the unbaked rolls in the fridge overnight so that they can be popped in the oven in the morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Half a sachet (3.5g) active dry yeast
  • 2 and 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the filling

  • 4-6 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar (brown is better)
  • 1-2tbsp cinnamon

For the ooey gooey pecan sauce

  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Scald (i.e. heat to just below boiling point) milk, butter and sugar in a saucepan.Butter and milk warming
  2. Leave to cool until lukewarm/blood temperature. Sprinkle over your yeast and leave to stand for a minute.Yeast
  3. Add 2 cups of flour and stir until just combined. Cover with a damp tea-towel or clingfilm and leave somewhere warm for an hour to prove…                                                                               Dough before proofing
  4. …until roughly doubled in size.
  5. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Butter a 23cm round (or square) baking tin.
  6. In a saucepan, heat the butter, sugar and golden syrup until the sugar has dissolved. Topping cooking
  7. Pour into the prepared tin and sprinkle over the chopped pecans.Topping with pecans on top
  8. Back to the dough.                                                          Proofed with flour on top
  9. Add the remaining flour, salt, baking powder and soda. You’ll probably need to knead it in by hand as the dough becomes pretty firm.Proofed and with additional flour
  10. At this stage, you can leave to prove again in the fridge, punching down before rolling. Or you can just flour your surface and roll straight away. Into a large rectangle, about 40-50cm long.  Rolled out and pouring butter
  11. Pour or spread over your melted or softened butter. Sprinkle on the sugar, then sprinkle liberally with the cinnamon.Rolled out and sprinkled
  12. Roll tightly from the long edge. Tuck the start of the roll as tight as possible and ensure that the roll stays tight all the way across.Half-rolled
  13. Seal the edge.                                                                   Log
  14. Cut into rounds about an inch long. The best way is to use a length of cotton or dental floss. Lay the end of the roll on top of the thread and then pull the two ends towards each other. It will cut perfect rounds like this.Log cross-section
  15. Lay your discs on top of the pecan goodness. Pack them in tightly. At this stage, you can cover with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight. Otherwise, bake now. Either way, let them stand while your oven preheats to 180C (160C fan).Ready to bake
  16. Bake until the buns are golden, for about 30-40 mins.Baked
  17. Flip immediately (but very carefully, that sauce is hot!) onto a plate and serve warm.