With the tang of buttermilk and the sweetness of honey, slices of this homemade oatmeal walnut bread make very special sandwiches and toast.
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 envelope dry active yeast
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 4 cups bread flour plus more for work surface
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats plus more for topping loaf
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- In a large bowl, combine the water, honey and yeast and let stand for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the buttermilk. Stir the buttermilk into the yeast mixture followed by 2 cups bread flour, oats, whole-wheat flour, oil and salt. Stir in the remaining flour creating a shaggy dough. (You may not need to use all the flour.) Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Knead in the walnuts. Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 50 minutes.
- Punch down the dough. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times before dividing into 3 equal pieces. Roll each into a rope about 16 inches long. Braid the dough and tuck under the ends. Place on a prepared sheet pan and cover. Let rise until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment.
- Whisk together the egg and milk. Brush the loaf with the egg wash and top with oats. Bake the loaf for 50 minutes until it is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
- Wrap loaf before storing at room temperature.
Adapted from Bon Appetit February 1995