Bread Alone

  1. Stir 1/4 cup warm water and yeast in large bowl. Let stand 10 minutes to dissolve yeast. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups water, 3/4 cup oats, honey, butter, 1 egg, and salt. Stir in enough flour to form soft dough. Transfer dough to the cast-iron skillet you used to brown the butter, turn over until buttered. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  2. Butter a loaf pan. Place half the dough in the loaf pan, leave the other half in the skillet for variety. Cover and let rise in warm area until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush tops of loaves with other egg, sprinkle one with poppy seeds if you feel like it. Bake until brown on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Anyone who says you have to let homemade bread cool completely before eating it has your best interests at heart but clearly has never been in a home with the deafening smell of baking bread permeating its entire atmosphere.

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