Maple Oat Breakfast Bread

This bread should really just be called "Vermont Bread". Because, when I think of maple syrup I think of my friend Meghan and her family's house in Vermont. I also think of this picture I once saw of her dad eating a hot dog that he boiled in the maple syrup he was making from his own trees.

So, essentially this bread is really wholesome. I imagine making it when you are having like a whole bunch of guests over. You toss it in the oven when you wake up in the morning and then when all your guests wake up and come down to the kitchen to the smell of fresh coffee... they just cut off a slice. Also, the bread is resting on a gorgeously thick butcher block and all the coffee mugs are at least 10 years old. Doesn't that sound like a romantic weekend? It's a dream. I mean that's pretty much like what happened for me this morning - except that it was just Eleanor and I. Also, no butcher block... but that's fine.

I was out of town for most of this week on an awesome but exhausting work trip. I did get to see Donny Osmond and Grumpy Cat ... so it was obviously a very rewarding few days in Atlanta (which by no means lived up to the name HOTlanta). I pretty much ate terribly while I was away and should probably just eat kale all weekend... but I rarely do what I should. 

You'll be shocked by how amazingly easy this bread is to put together. You probably have everything in your house for this already. Here's how it goes.

(Step 1) Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine into a tacky, messy dough. My dough appeared dried than I thought it should be so I just drizzled a bit of extra olive oil on top. Just use your judgement.
(Step 2) Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature overnight ... so about 8 hours.
(Step 3) Gently dump the dough onto a well floured surface and shape into a round loaf. My tip is to cover your counter in overlapping wax paper. Crazy easy cleanup. Then, let the loaf rest covered in a towel for an hour. 

(Step 4) In the meantime preheat your oven to 450F with a 10-inch (about 8-quart) Dutch oven or enameled dish. I don't have a Dutch oven so I just make do... and it really worked out just fine. When the dough is ready and the oven is hot, turn the dough off of the towel into your heated dish that you've lined with parchment. Bake for about 45 minutes until the crust is a deep brown. If you use a Dutch oven, bake covered for 30 minutes and then remove the lid continuing to bake until the crust is done (15-30 minutes).

(Step 5) Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool before slicing. I was only able to wait 10 minutes.

Shopping List (based on this recipe from Food52)

5 cups all-purpose flour (I used bread flour... but no stress)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup maple syrup 
1/4 cup melted butter or olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
2 1/4 cups room temperature water

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