Oatmeal Pecan Bread

June 28th, 2012  |  Breads, Carbs, Sweets  |  0 Comments

It's one week 'til our annual 4th of July party, which means its time to start schmoozing the neighbors!

There's a {perhaps cranky} little old lady next door to us who I've only been able to get to wave or make eye contact with me ONCE in the last year and half since we moved into our new house {and I'm a friendly gal}.  She's spoken briefly to my husband twice.  She's the kind of old lady with signs up in her driveway warning folks not to block it.  Without a doubt one of our friends will be blocking it next Wednesday, so hubby requested that I make her something delicious this week so she doesn't call the cops when the fireworks start blasting on the 4th.

Homemade apricot marmalade and freshly baked bread ought to do the trick for a little old lady, right?

I thought so.  I really hope she likes this bread... it only took me three times to get it right.  From a timing standpoint, I could've made 8 batches of cookies!!!!  I guess yeast is not really my thing....just yet.

Ingredients:

3 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons fresh active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted old-fashioned oats
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/4 cup milk
3/4 pecans, chopped and toasted

Directions:

In the bowl of your mixer with the dough hook attachment, add flour, yeast, salt, oats and pecans {yep--ALL of it!}.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter and add milk and honey.  Stir constantly until mixture is slightly warm, about 110-115 degrees.

Pour milk mixture into the bowl with flour and yeast and turn mixer on to lowest speed {Speed 1 on Universal Plus mixer} and allow dough to come together.

Allow machine to knead the dough on Speed 1 for about 4-5 minutes.  Dough should all come together and be slightly elastic.

Transfer dough to a large bowl lightly coated in vegetable oil.  Turn dough over so that there is a layer of oil all around.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and place in the oven on Proof setting {100 degrees} for one hour.

When dough has almost doubled in size.....

remove it from oven and punch it down once.  For whatever reason, this is my favorite part.

Grease a 9 X 5-inch bread pan with vegetable oil and transfer dough to pan, evenly distributing the dough.

Cover, once again, with plastic wrap and place back into the oven for the second rise for about 40-45 minutes, so that dough rises about one inch above the top of the pan.

Remove plastic wrap and bake bread for about 35 minutes in a 350 degree oven on Convection Bake setting.  If bread appears to be browning too rapidly, cover it with aluminum foil during the last part of cooking.

Remove bread from oven and allow to cool on a rack.  Remove from pan, slice and serve or package up to schmooze somebody on your list!  I sent mine with some homemade marmalade, but there are a number of high-quality preserves and jams in the supermarket these days, so adding a jar to your package would be a nice touch!

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