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Here’s the thing, though. I’m actually quite a morning person. Once I’m awake, that’s it…I’m up for the day. And I’m mostly okay with that.
Except that I love to sleep.
I love it like I love cake. I love it slightly more than cake, actually, but a little less than the Hubster. I love the Hubster most of all, but sleep gives him a run for his money.
I’m usually very angry when my sleep is disturbed unnecessarily. I would imagine that, when someone disturbs my sleep for a stupid reason, I look something like Donald Duck when he’s hopping mad.
Over the years, I’ve learned that others shouldn’t wake me in the morning, unless they do so gently. Hubs used to think kicking my ankle was a sufficient wake up call (when he wasn’t also getting up). I’m thinking that’d enrage even the most docile of sleepers.
Even after I broke him of that, he went through a cycle of unpleasant wake up calls before finally learning that the only way to wake this sleeping dragon is to do so gently.
Definitely not by tickling (after all, Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus).
Actually, when we were first married, he used to be all kinds of romantic when waking me up. He’d turn on some romantic song, telling me how beautiful I am or something (thanks, Steve Holy), and then smile at me as I stirred. It sounds all romantic, but I hate to imagine how terrible I looked, and I hope he never caught a whiff of my morning breath…it’d totally ruin the romance of it all.
Then the newness wore off, and we went through a period of kicking, shaking, elbowing, and nudging me awake.
These were dark years in our marriage. I swear, the only thing that kept him around was how wonderful he was the rest of the time. He had to be, to make up for the ways he jerked and pushed me out of my happy state of sleeping.
It’s been a good three or four years now, since he finally settled into the appropriate way to wake me up.
My own alarm clock.
Ha. Yeah, right. Snooze is my drug.
No, Hubster has established that hugs and kisses are the best way to wake me. And why not? He’s worth uprooting and moving our home around the country every two to four years (totally worth it), I’m worth hugs and kisses for wake up calls. Fair trade.
Oh. And donuts. I’ll always wake up happy if there’s donuts.
Or bread. Fresh, homemade bread. Which brings me to my point…
Honey oat bread. Delicious, soft, sweet, irresistible honey oat bread.
It always amazes me how few ingredients you need for delicious bread.This one has more than most, and it still only needs oats, flour, milk (soy or almond can be used for vegan/dairy free), water, honey (agave is great for vegan), butter or margarine, instant yeast, and salt.
I like to place the milk in a small bowl, or large measuring cup, and warm it up so that it’s hot enough to melt the butter, but not boiling. Then, I add the butter, stirring until to melt it, and stir in the water and honey. This gets the liquid ingredients warm enough to activate the yeast, while combining them before adding them to the flour.
Once the dough is ready, it needs to rise in a lightly oiled bowl (covered), until doubled, which usually takes about a half-hour to one hour.
Whenever I bake bread, I like to line the loaf pan with parchment to make the bread easier to remove. You can usually reuse the parchment several times, but this bread usually gets it a little sticky, so you’ll probably have to toss it when you’re done.
Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.
I love how golden and lovely this bread is. The crust is sweet and very slightly chewy. The oats add just a little nuttiness, while the inside of the bread is soft and delicious. I was inspired to make this after trying a version of it from the farmers’ market where my sister lives. Thank goodness for farmers’ markets and for inspiration.
This is, without a doubt, my new favorite bread. It’s fast (considering it’s yeast bread), and very easy to make. It’s totally worth the wait of rising and baking it, and it’s still incredibly yummy after three days (I don’t know about longer than that, because it got eaten too fast).
- 3 cups (381 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup oats (I have used instant and old fashioned, both work great)
- 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 cup (250 ml) milk (almond or soy milk for vegan/dairy free)
- ¼ cup (62 ml) lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter or margarine
- ¼ cup honey (agave for vegan)
- 1½ to 2 tablespoons honey (or agave), warmed
- 1½ to 2 tablespoons oats
- In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, oats, yeast, and salt.
- In a small bowl, or two cup (450 ml) measuring cup, warm the milk so that it's hot enough to melt the butter, but not boiling. Add the butter, stirring until melted, then stir in the water and honey.
- Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, mixing with a dough hook until it just comes together to form a dough. Knead in the mixer, with the dough hook attachment, for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic (if you're making this recipe by hand, the dough will be very sticky at first; flour your hands and work surface generously and be patient). If the dough is still very wet and sticky after 5 minutes of kneading, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is barely tacky. If the dough is too dry, add water, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) at a time, to soften it up.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about ½ to 1 hour.
- Once doubled, place the dough on a clean, dry work surface. If the dough is too sticky, lightly flour the surface before continuing. With your fingers, flatten the dough into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Tightly roll the dough, tucking the ends as needed, into a loaf. Place the shaped dough into a 9x5-inch loaf pan, cover with a clean dry towl, and allow to rise until doubled, about ½ to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C).
- When the loaf is doubled again, place an *extra*, empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven and bring 2 cups of water to a boil (this will be used to create steam in the oven).
- Brush the top of the dough with the warmed honey and sprinkle with the oats.
- Place the bread in the oven and pour the prepared boiling water into the *Extra*, empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven (this is to create steam within the oven as the bread bakes). Close the oven door and bake bread for 40 to 50 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and the internal temperature is about 190 degrees.
- Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.
- Recipe by Darla