Whole Grain Maple Oatmeal Bread

This is my first bread from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  While I see the concept, I’m not sure I’m a fan of this method.  To me, it too much MORE time to make bread than it would have had I just made a loaf from one of my other bread books.  Good thing I saved the receipt, I’m thinking I’m gonna take this book back.

Whole Grain Maple Oatmeal Bread
Adapted from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day

2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 tbsp. granulated yeast
2 tsp. kosher salt (or to taste)
1/8 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/8 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup vegetable oil
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water) for brushing the top crust
Raw sugar for sprinkling on top

Mixing and storing the dough:

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a 2 1/2 quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container. Add the liquid ingredients and mix with a spoon, without kneading. You might want to finish mixing with your hands to incorporate all of the flour.

Cover (not airtight) at room temperature for about 2 hours, until the dough rises and collapses (flattens on top). The dough can be used immediately after it rises, but it’s easier to handle when refrigerated. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use within 7 days.

On the day of baking:

Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch nonstick loaf pan. Dust the refrigerated dough with flour and pull it out of the container. Dust with more flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching the dough around the bottom on each side, rotating as you go.

Pull the dough into an oval shape and put it into the loaf pan, it should fill about 3/4 of the pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour 45 minutes (or 60 minutes if it was not refrigerated).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Just before baking, use a pastry brush to paint on the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Put the loaf pan on the middle rack and bake for 45-50 minutes, until deep brown and firm. Remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

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