I came across this recipe on one of my favourite food sites Food 52, and had to try it. It has rapidly become our family favourite to the point where I have stopped buying bread and just make this. I usually only have to bake it once or twice a week as I double the recipe and as soon as the bread has cooled, I slice it and pop it in the freezer. That way we can just take out as many pieces as we need, when we need them. It slices lovely and thin for sandwiches and also freezes really well. It makes the most luscious french toast, regular toast and AMAZING toasted sandwiches. Sometimes I throw in some soaked dry fruit and spices and make fruit loaf too.
I know alot of people think that baking your own bread is time consuming, hard work and an all out hassle, but honestly this is so quick and easy, especially if you have a bench top mixer with a bread hook. There is very little that you actually have to do, as most of the recipe is sitting time when you can be doing something else. I usually get the mixing part underway in the morning while I am making school lunches and controlling the feeding frenzy that is breakfast and have the bread rising by the time the girls are on the school bus.
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1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons dried yeast
45ml warm water
220ml buttermilk (I use whey which is left over from my ricotta, but you could also use regular full fat, low fat or no fat milk. I prefer whey as it is slightly tangy and gives the bread an almost sourdough like taste.)
1/2 cup oats (rolled or quick)
30g softened butter
1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
3 cups bread flour (I like Laucke)
Combine the sugar, yeast and water in a small bowl.
Cover with a tea towel and leave until foamy. The time will depend on the temperature of your room. If it is a really cold day, I like to put a bowl of boiling water next to it under the tea towel.
In the bowl of your bench top mixer (I looooooove my Kenwood Chef!) combine the remaining ingredients with the yeast mixture. Mix on low with the dough hook attachment for 10 - 15 minutes. If you are lucky like me and your machine has a timer, you can just set it and walk away. Just be sure to make sure that you don't have a "walking" mixer. If you do, put a piece of non-slip matting covered with a tea towel under your mixer and it should hold it in place.
After 15 minutes, remove the bowl from the mixer stand and cover with a tea towel. Leave the dough to rise until it has doubled in size. Again, this depends on the temperature of your room. On a hot day, it can take as little as 30 minutes. In winter, I usually sit it about 1 foot in front of the fireplace. If you don't have a fire and it is cold, place it in a cold oven next to a bowl of boiling water.
After the dough has doubled, punch it down and turn it out onto the bench. Shape it how you like. Sometimes I make a round free form loaf, but for school sandwiches, I use a loaf pan. Cover it with a tea towel and let it rise again until doubled in size.
Preheat your oven to 180C (or 160C if it is fan forced). I like to slash the top of the loaf as it helps it to expand and rise in the oven (and it makes it look pretty!).
Bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it.
Once it has cooled completely, you can slice it up however you like.