Written by Simple Bites contributor Allison Ruth of Some the Wiser.
There is nothing more comforting to me than a loaf of homemade bread fresh from the oven. Just the smell of hot bread baking takes me back to my childhood, to Grandma in her faded apron, to after school snacks and my brother’s “famous sandwiches.”
I hope someday my own kids will catch a whiff of hot bread and think of home and happiness, which is why I carry on the labor of love and make bread from scratch.
With Autumn at our doorstep and cooler days just around the corner, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Somehow the seasonal business of canning applesauce coincided with a sudden shortage of sandwich bread and I decided to get creative.
Oatmeal Applesauce Bread was the fruit of my labor and a family favorite was born. This delicious bread is now the most requested bread at our house.
The addition of applesauce keeps the bread soft and moist making it a perfect choice for sandwiches, though it is delightful on its own with a bit of honey or jam. Using freshly ground spelt and old fashioned oatmeal keeps it healthy and provides a good dose of whole grains. This Oatmeal Applesauce Bread is a perfect autumn comfort food and the delicious smell alone is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
5 Tips for Great Homemade Bread
1. Use freshly ground grains. It not only enhances flavor, but also makes the bread healthier. Spelt is a perfect grain for bread making because it is lighter than whole wheat, but offers the same health benefits. See this article for more information on grinding grains at home
2. Check the dough. Rising times are only guidelines. Make sure the dough has actually doubled in size before moving on to the next step.
3. Don’t scoop your flour. Instead, spoon it into your measuring cups and then level with a knife. Remember to gauge how much flour you actually need by how the dough feels. The dough should stay moist and slightly sticky.
4. Keep the dough moist. When setting the dough to rise, make sure dough is placed in a greased bowl and covered with a damp towel. This keeps the dough from drying out and makes it easier to knead later on.
5. Store it right. Homemade bread doesn’t have preservatives so it is important to store it appropriately. Keep it airtight and if you won’t be using the loaf within 2 days, store it in the fridge or freezer. Slightly stale bread can be freshened by reheating it in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
|Oatmeal Applesauce Bread||
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1 Tablespoon active yeast
- 3 Tablespoons honey or molasses
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup freshly ground spelt flour
- 1 cup unbleached white flour, plus more as needed
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water and stir to dissolve. Stir in sweetener.
- Stir in applesauce and spelt flour and beat well to form a thick batter. Cover bowl and allow batter to rise for 45 minutes.
- Sprinkle salt and oil over batter and gently fold in, being careful not to cut through the dough.
- Fold in oatmeal and additional unbleached flour (about 1 cup, or more as needed) until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- Keeping dough slightly sticky, knead on a lightly floured surface until dough is smooth, about 10 minutes.
- Place dough in a large greased bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled in size, about 50 minutes.
- Punch dough down and let rise until doubled again, about 40 minutes more.
- Shape loaf and place in greased pan. Let rise 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Sprinkle loaf lightly with rolled oats, if desired, and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped lightly. Remove from pans right away and cool on wire rack.
Editor’s Note: Want to adapt this bread for October Unprocessed? Replace the canola oil with coconut oil or olive oil and be sure to use organic, unbleached white flour (as specified) or whole wheat bread flour.
Is there anything better than fresh baked bread in Autumn?