bees on comb.

Steel Cut Oat Bread

It all started with a jar of buckwheat honey I impulsively grabbed from the supermarket shelf which brought back memories of warm whole wheat toast with salty butter, and creamy satiny honey.

And the Internet.

These days my idea of a good whole wheat is nothing like the breads of my childhood when 100% whole wheat on the shelf was seen as exotic. In my quest I skipped over many until I found this whole wheat bread recipe that had a little extra (millet and oat flakes) and would be ready in a few hours. Perfect for the impulsive itch I wanted to scratch.

The first loaf was good, but I thought it was a bit flat, and didn’t like the crunch of the millet. Maybe it’s because I’ve spoilt myself with sourdough fresh from the oven that the shorter rising times from this recipe didn’t give the flours enough time to develop some flavour.

For the second loaf I doubled the salt to 1 tsp. Added 1 tsp blackstrap molasses, soaked some kamut flakes in water and added some oat bran to boot.

By the third or forth alliteration, I ran out of whole wheat flour, but I had some stone ground on hand … by now the recipe has been completely adulterated by all changes I’ve made I think I’ve created a whole new recipe. The assembly is a bit clunky, but the whole wheat flour I used needed a time to autolyze.

Steel Cut Oat Bread.

2 C Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
1 C All Purpose Flour
1/2 C Steel Cut Oats
1 3/4 C Water, divided.
2 tsp Yeast
1 1/2 tsp Blackstrap Molasses
2 – 4 TBSP Raw Sunflower Seeds
2 TBSP Raw Sesame Seeds
2 TBSP Raw Flax Seeds

1. Soak the steel cut oats in 1/2 cups boiling. Cover the bowl to help keep the heat in, and set aside for one to two hours.
2. At the same time put the whole wheat flour into a bowl with 1 cup of the water and mix it together to form a ball. Cover and let it rest alongside the oats.
3. After the 1 to 2 hours have passed add the remaining 1/4 cup of water, molasses and yeast. Mix it up until it’s a rough shaggy mass.
4. Next, add the 1 cup of all purpose flour and salt, mixing until almost all of the flour is incorporated.
5. Add the soaked oats and the liquid they were soaking in next. Kneading it in the bowl until the flour has been fully incorporated.
6. Add the seeds.
7. Let it rise until nearly double in bulk.
8. Gently deflate the dough, and shape into a batard. Cover and rise. I set mine on parchment that’s been dusted with wheat germ.
9. Preheat oven to 450 F.
10. Bake for 30 minutes.

The stone ground whole wheat I’ve been using is like coarse sand rather than a more traditional whole wheat flour flecked with wheat germ.

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