My husband is the bread baker in our home. On a good week, he makes two to three loaves (we do feed a teenage boy, after all) that become breakfast toast, lunch sandwiches, afternoon snacks, dinner sides, and even, on occasion, dessert. (As in, “I’m still hungry. Is there anything else to eat?” “Oh yes, bottomless pit, have a piece of bread.”) We make pita and sourdough, white bread and cornbread. We had fallen off the wheat bread wagon because, honestly, wheat bread is hard. And the kids kind of whine when that’s what we’re serving.
Enter, Gracious Day Grains. Tom Maxey, owner of this Floyd, Va., grain mill, recently reached out to me and dropped off a few samples of the local corn, buckwheat and wheat flour he mills. You cannot believe how silky smooth his Red Winter Wheat Flour is and how fresh it smells. Finding a recipe that would allow me to eat this indulgence became a top priority. We are now on our fourth loaf. This bread is so flavorful, with a lovely crumb and airy rise. Gracious Day’s flour was a gift, not only of a top-shelf ingredient, but also of inspiration.
Of course, you can make this recipe with any whole wheat flour. But I encourage you, if you have access to locally grown, locally milled grains, give them a go. You might be truly surprised at how they elevate whatever you’re baking.
Recipe inspired by King Arthur Flour
Makes 2 loaves
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup organic rolled oats (traditional or quick, not instant)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. honey, local if you can get it
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 2 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups locally milled Red Winter Wheat Flour (or other wheat flour)
- 4 cups organic, unbleached all-purpose flour
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, oats, sugar, honey, butter, salt and cinnamon. Let cool to lukewarm (100 F to 110 F). This should take 10-15 minutes.
- Add the yeast and flours, stirring to form a rough dough. Knead about 10 minutes by hand (5 to 7 minutes by machine) until the dough is smooth.
- Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let it rise for 1 hour.
- Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a loaf. Place each loaf in a loaf pan.
- Cover the pans and allow the bread to rise until it’s about 1 inch higher than the pan rim. This should take about an hour or an hour-and-a-half.
- Bake the loaves in a pre-heated 350 F oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven when the loaves are golden brown.
- Turn the loaves out onto a rack to cool. Store at room temperature for several days or freeze to store longer.