Makes 1 9x5-inch loaf
3 cups (381 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cups oats (I have used instant and old fashioned, both work great)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (250 ml) milk (almond or soy milk for vegan/dairy free)
1/4 cup (62 ml) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter or margarine
1/4 cup honey (agave for vegan)
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons honey (or agave), warmed
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons oats
In a small bowl, or two cup (450 ml) measuring cup, warm the milk so that it's hot enough to melt the butter, but not boiling. Add the butter, stirring until melted, then stir in the water and honey.
Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, mixing until it just comes together to form a dough. Knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. If the dough is still very wet and sticky after 5 minutes of kneading, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is barely tacky. If the dough is too dry, add water, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) at a time, to soften it up.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Once doubled, place the dough on a clean, dry work surface. If the dough is too sticky, lightly flour the surface before continuing. With your fingers, flatten the dough into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Tightly roll the dough, tucking the ends as needed, into a loaf. Place the shaped dough into a 9x5-inch loaf pan, cover with a clean dry towl, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Place an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven and bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
When the loaf is doubled again, brush the top with the warmed honey and sprinkle with the oats.
Place the bread in the oven and pour the boiling water into the empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and the internal temperature is about 190 degrees.
Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.