Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tess' Oat Bread

The main complaint I hear about using whole oats in bread is that the bread ends up really dry or hard as a rock. I think the term "oven produced bolder" pretty much sums it up. Thanks Lisa. Most oat bread recipes end up this way because the whole grains are not given enough exposure to moisture to produce a tender loaf. Another common mistake when making oat bread is using cooked oats. While a small ratio of the moisture can be replaced with cooked cereal, an over abundance of cooked cereal will give your bread a gummy nasty denture cream. Mmmm. Thanks Granny. So the last few weeks I have been working on an oat bread recipe with a very high ratio of the whole grain oats in the bread. The resulting recipe is my favorite by far. We have used it to help with blood sugar levels, as oats are a much lower glycemic index. Hopefully you will find the same joy. Please follow the directions, as I am certain this is how we have had success.

Tess' Oat Bread


3 cups rolled oat

2 1/2 cups water or milk no hotter than 110 degrees

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp yeast

Allow oats to absorb the water and the yeast to get hyper active. This usually takes about 30 minutes. On the plus side, this softens the oats without cooking the starch. The main difference between using cooked oat and uncooked oats. Starch will still cook, but not be gummy. Tender loaf. Oats...soft...good.

Add 3 cups whole wheat bread flour, 1T salt. You may need more or less flour depending on the storing conditions of the flour. I usually opt for less flour whenever possible.

It makes a pretty stiff dough. Case in point, this stinky cheap wooden spoon didn't stand a chance. I'm not happy with it for snapping like a toothpick. Sassy chick with attitudes also snap. I usually use bamboo since it's pretty strong, but today I found this wooden spoon and thought I'd use it. Yikes. Totally sticking with my trusty bamboo. Random...remember that song from Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang? " Ol' bamboo, ol' bamboo" I used to babysit for the Durfee's and their kids watched that movie every time I was there...I digress.

I knead by hand in the bowl and avoid using too much flour. 300 turns if you can do.
You can use a mixer. 3-4 minutes medium speed.

Wooden spoon looked like this:

Form into a ball and allow to raise until doubled. For the ripe test and other information of the dough raising processes please see : overnight started bread. I have a lot of pictures.
If I am busy I will put the bread in a covered bowl in the fridge at this point and let it raise there. That gives me a couple more hours to get running around done. Crazy headless baking chicken. Now...that's a very weird visual. A chicken baking...with a little bamboo spoon in one of it's talons. "Do your chickens have large talons?" that movie.

So. Allow the dough to raise then use the loaf molding technique. In the case of this bread I have found steaming the loaf in a covered clay crock to be by far, my favorite application. Lightly oiled and then free standing large double loaf using all the dough.

This is my fancy covered loaf crock. It's two Pampered Chef pans. One on top of the other. Very fancy-schmancy. Allow bread to raise until twice it's size and very fluffy. Bake in oven pre-heated to 425 degrees 40-45 minutes (or until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit).

Allow bread to cool before slicing. This bread you will find to be very moist and have a shelf life of 3-4 days if it lasts that long. My dear friends, enjoy.

End note:
To make this bread an Italian Sourdough use 1 cup sourdough starter in place of 1 cup of the water and add 1/4 cup more water if necessary. I also use basil infused oil in place of the oil and 1 T minced garlic, 1T minced fresh rosemary, and 1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley. Mix all the herbs into the dough in the beginning.

There you go.

1 comment:

Ana said...

Hey steph...
that oat bread looks really yummy ...i haven't had lunch...and your blog always makes me hungry...luv ya!!! time for LUNCH =)