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This bread is simple and comforting. It is great for sandwiches.
In a medium bowl (or in a saucepan), heat the butter and honey until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and add the water; the mixture should be warm (110-120 degrees). Stir in the yeast and let sit until bubbly, about 10 minutes (this is called making a sponge).
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine salt, yeast mixture, 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour. With mixer on low, gradually blend liquid into dry ingredients until just blended. Increase the speed to medium, beat for two minutes, occasionally scraping bowl. Gradually beat in the egg and one cup of whole wheat flour to make a thick batter. Continue beating for two minutes. Stir in oats, 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all purpose flour. Knead till smooth and elastic. Use more flour if dough is too sticky (I usually add about 2/3 cup more).
Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch the dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; cover with the bowl and let rise for 15 minutes. Shape into two loaves and let rise for 1 hour in greased 9 x 5 loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 35 to 40 minutes.
(You can make the dough in a bread machine, using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. Use the dough mode setting for the largest size loaf. Follow the recipe’s directions for the second rise and baking.)