"Miriam reminds Paul that he is supposed to be watching the bread. He has burned one of the loaves, ....... he walks her home. When he returns, his mother and sister are waiting for him and they have found the burnt loaf of bread."

In India, where cakes and bread is viewed as  a western delicacy that can be accomplished perfectly only by professionals or Christians, the above line from the famous English Novel 'Sons and Lovers' enlightened me that breads can be baked even by a young boy when mother goes out for shopping.

However, I never thought that one day I will break a bread at home in India. I have a fully equipped kitchen with all kinds of gadgets and ingredients for Kerala, Tamilian, Punjabi and Chinese Dishes. And of course I got a small old-fashioned electric oven which is used once in a year to bake Christmas Cakes.

Since I do not trust any processed or packed meals,  I do all the cooking at home from the Scratch.  'Ancy's kitchen' is always active dishing out breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Bread was strictly prohibited in the house as it is made of refined flour. Of late, due to time constrain,  I included brown bread for breakfasts and snacks and began researching for substituting bread with a homemade dish. After doing some google search I found recipe for a simple bread, using which I baked a bread without sweating or spending much time, and the kids also approved with the new dish.

Being encouraged by the positive outcome of the first experiment, I decided to try out a healthier version using some other cereals and that is when I chanced upon Maria's eggless honey oat bread. Believe me the recipe has come out really beautiful, it was tasty, soft, nutritious, and presentable.  I verbatim followed Marias instruction which is as follows:

honey oat bread

[plain] Recipe by: Maria Jose Martin   Serves: 4-5   Ingredients

All-purpose flour (maida) - 3 cups (381 grams)
Oats - ¾ cups (I have used instant and old fashioned, both work great)
Instant yeast - 2¼ tspn
Salt - 1½ tspn
Milk - 1 cup (250 ml) (almond or soy milk for vegan/dairy free)
Lukewarm water - ¼ cup (62 ml)
Unsalted butter or margarine - 2 tablespoons (28 grams)
Honey (agave for vegan) - ¼ cup
Honey (or agave), warmed - 1½ to 2 tbspn
Oats - 1½ to 2 tbspn

Instructions

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, oats, yeast, and salt.
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 with a dough hook until it just comes together to form a dough. Knead in the mixer, with the dough hook attachment, for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic (if you're making this recipe by hand, the dough will be very sticky at first; flour your hands and work surface generously and be patient). 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 ½ to 1 hour.
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 9×5-inch loaf pan, cover with a clean dry towel, and allow to rise until doubled, about ½ to 1 hour.
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.