Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The problem is that I'm not much of a morning person. I don't want a meal. If something is easy - cold pizza for instance - I might be tempted. But I don't like typical breakfast foods in the morning, and even more than that, I don't have any interest in cooking anything resembling a meal in the morning.
Around the holidays I get even busier than usual, and my non-breakfast sometimes turns into non-lunch. So when I think about improving my eating habits, I start considering ways to eat something simple in the mornings.
Of course, there's always some kind of bread around. But not every bread inspires me to make toast. And not every bread I make fits my criteria for reasonably healthy breakfast. This one does. White whole wheat and oatmeal add enough fiber and flavor. If I want a little protein, peanut butter isn't far away.
Another benefit to this bread is that making it is designed to work around your schedule. There are plenty of times when the dough rests, and you can stretch that time to fit your schedule.
1/2 cup (1 3/4 ounces) quick oats
1 1/2 cups water, divided
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups (9 ounces) bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
The night before you want to bake, put the white whole wheat flour and the oats into a bowl (use the bowl of your stand mixer if you will be kneading by machine, or use any medium sized bowl if you will knead by hand. Add 1 cup of very warm tap water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter overnight.
In the morning, put mix the remaining 1/2 cup of water (lukewarm this time) with the sugar and yeast in a small bowl, and let it sit until it is foamy, about ten minutes.
Add the yeast mixture and the bread flour to the bowl with the white whole wheat and oats, and mix until combined. Then knead (with the dough hook, or by hand on your counter) until it begins to become elastic. Add the salt and oil and continue kneading until completely incorporated.
Drizzle a little olive oil into a plastic bag and transfer the dough to the bag. Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator.
Prepare an 8-inch loaf pan - spray with baking spray if you want extra insurance that it will release easily, and sprinkle cornmeal on the bottom of the pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly flour your work surface and turn out the dough. Knead briefly, then shape the dough to fit the pan, and place it, seam-side down in the pan. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled - about an hour.
Remove the plastic wrap and bake the loaf at 350 degrees until nicely browned, about 40 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove it and let it cool completely before slicing.
This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.