Italian Herb Oat Bread

Italian Herb Oat Bread

My mom was a baker for several years, so I grew up eating delicious homemade breads. I loved coming home from school to the smell of fresh baked sourdough or banana bread. Since I  inherited most of my cooking skills from her, I am giving baking a shot too. I found a recipe from Alicia Silverstone’s website  The Kind Life for Rustic Bread and Eggplant Lasagna (which I will be making tonight and will post later) and thought it would be a good opportunity to make the bread for it. Her recipe calls for sourdough, which is beyond my skill level at the moment so I decided to make something using the ingredients I have on hand.  I made up this recipe based on my current knowledge and some web research.  Since it is for a lasagna, I thought an Italian bread would be lovely. I also love the texture of oat bread so I decided to attempt a Italian-ish, oat-ish bread.  I drew inspiration from two recipies, both from Veg Web. The first is for Outrageously Easy BIG Bread, which I have made before, and is exactly what the title promises.  The second is for Garlic & Basil Bread, which I thought would fulfill the Italian part of desired outcome. I consulted my mom on the oats. I have instant oatmeal and old fashion oats in the cupboard, she told me that instant oats were a bad choice so I went with the old fashioned. I live in sunny and humid Hawaii, so my dough rises pretty quick and usually has the perfect texture without adding extra water or flour. You will need to adjust according to your climate. My mom told me that baking is done best by feel, so do what you feel is right.

Italian Herb Oat Bread
1 packet active yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tps brown sugar
3 cups white flour
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tbs dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tps garlic salt
1/2 cup old fashion oats

Proof the yeast by add the packet of yeast to the warm water. I usually do this all in a measuring cup. The water should be warm to touch but not hot (about 105 degrees F if you want to measure it). My mom told me the water should be a bit cooler than you think it should be. Once it is fairly dissolved, add the sugar. It’s ready when it gets all bubbly and frothy. If nothing happens, your water was either too hot (my problem when I first started making dough) or too cold. Or, your yeast could be bad too. You will have to throw it out and try again.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, basil, and garlic salt then add the oil on the top. Once your yeast is ready, add it to the dry mixture and carefully mix. Work until it all comes together into a doughy ball. The dough should be moist and pliable. If it’s too gooey, add a bit more flour until it reaches the right consistency.

Cover the bowl with a moist towel and set aside to rise for about 45 minutes.

Risen twice and kneaded

Once the dough has puffed up, put it on to a well-floured countertop and knead gently.  Try not to overwork the dough, otherwise it gets tough and chewy. Just work it until it’s smooth and soft, but not overly wet. Add additional flour as needed.

Shape into a loaf or whatever shape you desire, cover with a cloth and let it rise again for another 30 to 45 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

I checked mine after 45 minutes since my oven isn’t the greatest.
After it’s done rising the second time, place on a baking sheet or baking pan. Cut a few shallow slits in the top. Brush on a little olive oil or an egg substitute so it gets golden and crunchy. Sprinkle some oats on top for decoration if you desire.

Bake for about 45 minutes, adjusting the time for your oven (I have a crappy dorm room oven so mine takes 5-10 minutes longer some times). It should have a nice golden crust on the top.

Let it cool for an hour before slicing.

 

It smells soooo good. It’s hard to resist, but let it cool a bit, it’s easier to cut.
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