My husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Well, my husband is a meat and potatoes and BREAD kind of guy. And my husband loves nothing more than those special occasions to we get to head to a steakhouse and he can attempt to eat his body weight in meat… and bread. Oh, bread.
This recipe is a nice hearty bread; good enough to stand next to a nice steak dinner, or eat alone smeared with butter. Multiple flours make it slightly dense and a little chewy, the honey and coffee contrast each other nicely, and the dark color from the cocoa makes a lovely loaf you’ll be happy to serve at your table—if it lasts that long. The loaves I made were gobbled up before we ever made it to dinnertime!
Step by Step Instructions With Photos
Stir together coffee, water and honey until dissolved. Gently stir in yeast, then set aside for about 5 mins (or until yeast proofs; becomes bubbly and frothy).
Place 2 cups of wheat flour, 1 cup of bread flour, 1 cup of ground oats, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the dough hook and turn it on the lowest setting.
Slowly pour in the proofed yeast/coffee mixture, until it is mixed. It will be a pretty wet dough at this point. With the mixer still on, add the rest of the flour a little at a time until your wet dough becomes and shaggy dough, then turn the mixer to a med speed and knead for 8-10 mins.
Your dough should be a little firm and smooth; slightly sticky, but not tacky; it should clean the sides of the bowl as it kneads. (Add flour only until you get to the right consistency—you may not use all, you may need a little more)
Remove the dough hook, form dough into a ball, then place back in the bowl. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm, undisturbed location to rise.
After about an hour it should have doubled in size.
Dump dough onto a floured board, and cut into pieces. This recipe will make 2 regular size loaves if you are using loaf pans, or 6 mini loaves. I chose not to use loaf pans, but still have not perfected my free-form loaf skills so you’ll have to forgive the non-uniform size.
Also, you can just form some nice balls for little round loaves of bread. The little loaves remind me of the ones they bring you at a steakhouse, so that’s why I was drawn to them. Place loaves on a parchment lined baking sheet. Whisk your egg white with a tbslp water to make a wash and brush over the tops of the loaves. Sprinkle the tops of the loaves with your remaining ground oats. Cover the loaves to rise again for 30 mins.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake mini loaves for 25-30 mins (45 minutes for a regular size loaf). Remove from oven and let cool before cutting—it will be hard to wait, I know, but cooling is actually part of the baking process, cutting into a loaf of bread too soon will yield a gummy, dense piece of bread.