Here’s another creation from Matt, the master of hand-formed loaves at our house. The bread machine version is a snap to make, but the braided loaf looks ten times better. Wholesome and slightly sweet, this mild bread is great for showcasing preserves or sandwich toppings.
Vital wheat gluten aids with the rising process, so adding it helps when baking breads with whole wheat flour or oats, which don’t contain as much gluten as bread flour. It’s usually available near the flour in the baking section of grocery stores.
Country Oat Bread
Makes one 2-pound loaf
1 1/4 cups nonfat milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups bread flour
1 cup rolled oats, not instant
1/2 cup wheat flour
2 teaspoons instant or rapid yeast
Dough to Oven Version
- Add all ingredients to bread machine in the manufacturer’s recommended order and run the dough cycle.
- When the dough is ready, cover a large baking sheet with a light mist of cooking spray or a Silpat mat.
- Working over the baking sheet or mat, use lightly floured hands to divide dough into three equal pieces.
- Roll and stretch each piece until it’s about 24 inches long.
- When all three pieces are ready, pinch them together at one end and then braid them, pinching the final edges together at the end.
- Form the braid into a circle, tucking one end under the other and pinching them together as neatly as possible. (Matt said this is a bit tricky, so just do the best you can.)
- Cover and allow dough to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bread sounds hollow when tapped.
- Once baked, gently move loaf onto a wire rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
Bread Machine Only
- Add all ingredients to bread machine in the manufacturer’s recommended order. Use the “basic” setting for a 2-pound loaf.
- Once baked, remove loaf from pan to wire rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
© Liesl K. Bohan | SavvyBaker.com