Whole Wheat Oat Bran Bread

Look for more of my bread recipes over the next several weeks as I gear up to sell some at our local farmers’ market next month! There’s just nothing like a fresh, home-baked loaf of bread, ya know?

This is a moist and chewy bread with lots of body. The whole grains give it a lot of flavor and texture, but they are light enough to not weigh the bread down too much. The fine texture of the grains makes it a perfect sandwich bread – or perhaps a piece of toast with butter and jam?

Whole Wheat Oat Bran Bread
Inspired by the Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking

2 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 cups oat bran
2 eggs
2-3 cups bread flour

Combine the whole wheat flour, yeast, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, milk, water, molasses, and honey until warm – the butter should partially melt. Pour into the whole wheat mixture and stir well. Stir in the oats and the eggs. Beat the mixture for 10 minutes, gradually adding bread flour until the bread dough begins to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, until it feels smooth and elastic. Add flour as necessary to prevent stickiness.

Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in it, turning to coat. Cover and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 1/2 hours, until it is doubled in bulk.

Gently punch down the dough with your fist, divide the dough into thirds, and shape into the desired forms on greased baking sheets or shape and place into greased loaf pans. Cover with a tea towel and let the dough rise a second time until doubled in bulk – it should take about 45 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and bake the loaves for 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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