We had a cold and rainy day this past Sunday, so I decided to bake a loaf of bread to warm up the house. My go-to recipe is a farmhouse bread that contains both white flour and wheat flour, but my wheat flour was smelling a little old, so I decided not to make it until I bought fresh wheat flour.
I was thumbing through the book that came with the bread machine and came across an Oatmeal Bread Recipe that sounded good. Plus I have a lot of Quick Oats that I need to use, so that seemed like the way to go. This bread would be great for kids because it is very soft and white like Wonder Bread, but a little denser. You can’t tell there is oatmeal in it at all.
I almost always use my bread machine to make the dough, but I rarely use it to bake the loaf. I just prefer it baked in the oven, in the loaf shape of my choosing…LOL.
Usually, I bake my bread in an insulated aluminum loaf pan because it is a large pan and the recipe for the farmhouse loaf is best in a larger pan. Also, I prefer a softer loaf with a crispy crust and this pan always seemed to do that for me, but the bread was never incredibly moist, especially the second day after being cut.
As much as I love my Pyrex, I’ve always been a little leery when it comes to baking breads and cakes in Pyrex. I think it comes from my inexperience from when I was a twenty-something out on my own, overcooking baked goods frequently when using glass. But I’ve come a long way since then. I’m an amazing baker now, if I do say so myself, and I know that glass needs a lower temperature and less cooking time, so I decided to take the plunge and bake a loaf of bread in my vintage Pyrex Spring Blossom Green loaf pan. Boy am I glad I did!
Not only was the bread soft and moist, but it remained soft, even into the next day, although how it lasted that long, I will never know. There must have been some serious willpower going on Sunday night! I know that you are supposed to wait until the loaf has cooled before cutting it so that it remains moist, but we ended up cutting this loaf after only 20 minutes or so of cooling and it was still very soft and moist the next day.
Here is the recipe I used. (Put these ingredients into your bread machine in the order that they appear on the list below).
Oatmeal Bread Recipe
- 8 oz. water (warmed to about 80° F)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 tablespoon of butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 2-1/2 cups white bread flour
- 1-3/4 teaspoons yeast
Set your bread machine to the dough setting, and let it run through the cycle until the dough is finished. My machine takes about an hour and a half (90 minutes).
After the machine has mixed the ingredients for a five minutes, check the dough and see if you need to add more water or more flour. You want a dough that does not stick to the sides of the pan, but not so stiff that it is hard for the machine to knead the dough. If you need to add any water or flour, do it in 1/2 teaspoon increments as it might not take that much to make the dough the right consistency. Wait another five minutes while the machine gets all the ingredients incorporated. Things like air temperature and humidity can affect the dough which is why you might have to make a slight adjustment with flour or water.
Tip: When measuring flour for bread, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level off with a knife. Just scooping the flour into the measuring cup can actually give you more flour than what is needed.
After the dough has finished, remove it from the bread machine and place it on a clean, dry work surface that has been dusted with flour (I use a cutting board very similar to this one – affiliate link). Dust a little flour on top of the dough and gently shape the dough into a loaf shape that is about the size of your loaf pan. Prepare the loaf pan by spraying it with non-stick baking spray and then place the dough into the pan.
Cover the pan with a clean, dry towel and place in a warm place (like next to the oven, on the counter) and then preheat the oven to 325°F. By the time the oven has preheated (about 15-20 minutes), the dough should be ready to go in the oven. You don’t need the dough to rise a lot, just enough to see a small mound underneath the towel. Over rising can cause dry bread with large holes. Here is what my dough looked like after it had risen for about 15 minutes.
Bake the bread for 30 minutes, until it is a light golden brown. Below is a photo of the first loaf I made on Sunday.
Remove the pan from the oven, and place on a hot pad for 5-10 minutes. Then remove the bread from the pan and allow the bread to cool on a rack before slicing.
Tip: Never place a hot Pyrex pan on a cold surface as it might cause the glass to crack due to a quick change in temperature. Always use a hot pad or oven mitt to sit the pan on; never sit directly on the counter or stove top.
This bread was so good that we made another loaf on Monday night to use for sandwiches for our lunches all week. Here is a photo of that loaf (it rose even more than the first loaf).
This bread remained as soft as the day it was baked until the last slice was eaten this morning.
If you have trouble slicing bread evenly for sandwiches, like I do, you might want to get a bread slicing guide. I actually own this bamboo one that I purchased from Amazon almost three years ago. You can buy one here (contains an affiliate link).
It has three thicknesses for slicing, but I generally use the largest thickness about 75% of the time and the middle thickness the remaining 25% of the time. It folds up flat and can fit in a drawer or slide into a space in the cabinet, which is where I store mine. I love it and use it every time I make homemade bread or buy an unsliced loaf from a bakery.
Don’t have a Pyrex loaf pan? Get one here (contains affiliate link).