Baking bread is one of those things that you basically assume is impossible. You think it’s for people who have way too much time on their hands (or geniuses) and you hear horror stories about how your friend once tried to bake bread and it was basically a gluten-filled brick. I used to think that too, until I found this recipe inspired by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. This recipe is basically foolproof, and you don’t even have to knead; it’s just that easy. Don’t believe me? Give it a go! You probably already have the majority of the ingredients lying around. While a bit time consuming, the great part about making your own bread is that it’s way cheaper than buying a store-bought loaf, you can add whatever you’d like, and it’s far tastier.
1 cup of oats (anything but instant oats will work)
2 cups of whole wheat flour
2 tbsp of sunflower seeds (feel free to throw in your favourites; chia, hemp or pumpkin seeds work well)
2 tbsp of butter or margarine
1½ Tsp of salt
2 Tsp of active dry yeast
1 Tbsp of sugar
1¼ cups of water
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Stir yeast into water until dissolved. Stir in sugar and wait until the yeast blooms (it will get bubbly and smell like beer); this should take 5–10 minutes. If it doesn’t bloom, the yeast is dead, and you’ll need to try again. While waiting, mix your flour, seeds, salt, and oats together. Add the yeast and mix thoroughly. Next, coat a small loaf pan in butter and place the dough inside. Let the loaf sit and rise for 30 minutes on a warm surface with a damp and warm dish cloth on top. (Hint: the top of your warming oven is a great surface.) While you wait, you can make a delicious soup to go along with it, cram in some study time, relax, or stand around impatiently; it’s up to you. When the bread is ready to bake, you should be able to push the dough down without it bouncing back up. Once it’s ready, slather the top with some melted butter or margarine and stick it in the oven for 35–40 minutes and wait while your house fills with the delicious smell of baking bread and all your roommates suddenly appear from their rooms. Once ready, the bread should pull back from the pan and be nice and brown on top. Dump the bread immediately onto a rack to cool, and enjoy a warm slice.