Whole grain sandwich bread made with soaked wheat flour

from Instagram: Soaked wheat bread experiment -> successful 😁 The long soak softened the bran in the flour and made the gluten in the flour develop like crazy. The final texture is soft, and chewier than my typical recipe. I’m wishing I hadn’t filled up on that giant bagel at lunch! http://ift.tt/2wHZIXo
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Testing my Angel Biscuit recipe for my upcoming baking book

from Instagram: I’m on the fence about this recipe… it’s a biscuit that’s a cross between a buttermilk biscuit and a dinner roll. What I’d love to achieve is a texture like refrigerator biscuits, but from scratch rather than the tube. http://ift.tt/2iSTA6s

I’m writing a whole grain baking book!

Basically it’s the guide I wish I’d had when I bought my Komo Classic grain mill. My hope for this book is to take you from being a baker with big questions and hesitation about your freshly-milled whole wheat flour to an enthusiastic, confident baker who can’t wait for an opportunity to bake fresh, nutritious, delicious goodies. It will include yeasted recipes like breads + sweet recipes like quick breads, cookies, and cakes.

Sign up below to receive a FREE RECIPE from the book, along with updates on when it’s available and where to buy:

Variation on my whole wheat sandwich bread

I haven’t been very exploratory with different breads lately, but I have continued to make minor adjustments to my go-to whole wheat sandwich bread. My goal was to make a soft and tender bread (i.e. avoid a dry texture), so I used canola oil and honey (instead of butter and sugar) with a combination of milk and water for hydration.

Another thing I’d like to try is soaking my flour in an acidic mixture as instructed here. It has me curious about the impact on health, digestion, and texture of the baked goods.

Whole Grain Sandwich Bread

Basic whole wheat sandwich bread that's soft and tender.


The inclusion of honey, oil, and milk help this bread stay soft and fluffy instead of dry and crumbly.

Ingredients

  • 1 c whole milk
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 450 gm freshly-milled hard white wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp instant yeast

Directions

  1. Stir together the milk and water and heat until warmed. Add the canola oil and honey and stir until combined.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and yeast (keeping the yeast and salt from directly touching each other).
  3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Cover with a towel and rest for 15 min. to hydrate the flour.
  4. Knead for 20 min., coating hands in water to keep dough from sticking and to keep it more supple.
  5. Place in bowl and tightly cover. Rise until doubled (this took 2 hr. 20 min. for me on a cool day).
  6. Flatten out the dough gently and reshape into a ball. Cover and rise again until doubled (about half as much time as first rise).
  7. Coat the inside of a loaf pan with non-stick spray, and spray a layer onto the counter and lay dough on top. Flatten the dough out with your palms and then fold two edges toward the center like a letter. Turn and roll up tightly, avoiding any air pockets. Place in prepared pan and cover with plastic and let rise until it comes about an inch above the rim.
  8. After it’s been rising for about 10 min., turn the oven to 425° to preheat.
  9. Bake 10 min. at 425°. Then reduce heat to 325° for remaining time, about 20 min. The bread is done when it’s between 190-200° inside.

Slices of whole grain tomato herb focaccia

Tomato herb focaccia

Whole grain tomato herb focaccia

Potlucks are a good opportunity to make something that I don’t normally make. For a recent holiday potluck with friends, I wanted to make something that would work at room temperature, and would contribute to the main meal rather than after-dinner sweets.

I’d made a tomato-topped focaccia a couple of years ago that turned out very well, so I decided to make that again with a couple of adjustments:

  • hard white wheat flour instead of hard red wheat flour
  • measured the amount of extra water so I’d have a benchmark

Recipe

Rustic Bread, Pain a l’Ancienne Method from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Bread Making course on Craftsy.com

Process notes

Formula

  • 567 gm freshly-milled hard white wheat flour
  • 11 gm sea salt
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 454 gm filtered water + 140 gm more (to compensate for using whole grain flour)

Day 1:

  • Mix flour, salt, yeast, and water in stand mixer with paddle on slow speed for 2 min. Increase to medium for 2 min. Rest 15 min.
  • Line half pan with parchment and coat with 3 tbsp olive oil.
  • 4 stretch and folds with 5 min. intervals.
  • Spread dough into pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Day 2:

  • Take out of refrigerator 3 hrs. before baking. Make herb oil.
  • After 2 hr., slice tomatoes and marinate in herb oil.
  • 2:40 after taking out of refrigerator, the dough was still chilly — placed in oven with Proof setting on for 20 min.
  • Take out of oven and top with tomatoes and oil, lightly dimpling the oil into the dough without pressing it all flat.
  • Rise 30 min. uncovered.
  • Preheat oven to 450° convection bake (dough is still rising).
  • Let oven preheat an additional 15 min. after it reached 450°.
  • Baked 25 min., let cool in pan for about 15 min., then removed and sliced into squares.

Results

Slices of whole grain tomato herb focaccia

The smell of this bread baking was incredible! I couldn’t wait until the potluck to eat a slice. And I’m glad I did because I learned that it’s much tastier fresh out of the oven, rather than a few hours later. It’s still good later, but not as impressive as oven-crisp.

The dough was very wet, and I think I used too much water. The bread has irregular wholes which was cool to see.

The texture right out of the oven was moist, but worked. The next day, the texture suffered a little bit — it got a little chewy and the flavors dulled some. To add more flavor, I’ll top with some shredded mozzarella and warm under the broiler.

medium irregular holes in whole grain tomato herb focaccia

Next time, I’d pull back on the water, and instead of adding 140 gm extra, start with 50 gm and see if more is needed. And this is a lot of focaccia — which was OK for a potluck, but for just two of us I’d cut the recipe in half and bake in a small pan.

Whole wheat oat bread with yogurt and milk

When you’re in the mood for a substantial, enriched whole grain sandwich bread, this is a great one to try. It has more sugar and oil than my standard basic wheat bread — which is probably why I love it so much!

Whole Wheat Oat Bread with Yogurt and Milk

  • Servings: 2 sandwich loaves
  • Print

An enriched whole grain sandwich bread that's substantial and versatile.


The oats help give this bread a nice hearty texture, and the yogurt helps tenderize the whole grain wheat flour.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 c boiling water
  • 3/4 c yogurt (I use homemade)
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 750 gm freshly-milled hard white wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp fine sea salt

Directions

  1. To start, soak the oats in the boiling water while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  2. After the oats have soaked for about 15 min., combine flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir together.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the soaked oats, yogurt, milk, and canola oil.
  4. Add wet ingredients to mixing bowl with flour mixture, and mix with dough hook for 3 min.
  5. Rest 20 min. to let the flour absorb the liquids.
  6. Add salt and mix for 10 min on low speed. (Keep an eye on your mixer — mine started to smoke a little by the end of the 10 min.)
  7. Perform 2 sets of “stretch & fold”: on a lightly oiled counter, turn the dough out and pull the side farthest away from you down toward the center of the dough pile, then the side closest to you up to the center. Repeat with sides. Cover with the mixer bowl, and rest for 10 min. After 10 min., repeat the stretch and fold. Then fold into a ball, place in a large container that will hold the dough when doubled, and cover.
  8. Let rise until doubled (mine took 1 hr. 15 min.). Flatten the dough down, and rise until doubled again, for about half the time of the first rise.
  9. Coat the insides of two loaf pans with nonstick spray. Split the dough into two equal portions, shape for loaf pans, and place into the pans. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 15 min.
  10. After the dough has rested for 15 min., preheat the oven to 375° and let the dough finish rising until it’s about an inch above the rim of the pans.
  11. Bake for 40 min., or until the inside of the loaves reaches 190–200°.
  12. When the bread is done baking, turn the loaves onto a rack to cool. Once cool, cut each loaf into 16 slices. This bread freezes well if you’re not going to use it in the next few days.

Double loaf version of Margaret’s Favorite Bread

I’ve started making two loaves of sandwich bread at a time instead of just one. As long as I’m putting in the effort to make one, adding another isn’t much more work, and it’ll last longer, too.

For this batch, I doubled Margaret’s Favorite Bread and increased the milk since I’ve been getting such good results with higher hydration for the wheat I grind in my grain mill. I also changed up the kneading process and did an overnight fermentation in the refrigerator.

I love the result of these modifications! The loaves are soft and tender, but hold together well. And the flavor is great, too. It’s simple and versatile, but not bland or boring.

Favorite Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread, double recipe

  • Servings: 2 loaves
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

A traditional whole wheat sandwich bread made with hard white wheat flour ground in a countertop grain mill.

Ingredients

  • 800 gm freshly-milled hard white wheat flour + 100 gm extra as needed
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 3 c whole milk, warm
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Directions

  1. Mix 800 gm of flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add milk and oil, and stir.
  2. Knead with dough hook for 5 min.
  3. Rest 20 min.
  4. Knead with dough hook 10 min., adding in a little bit of the extra flour if needed (I added about 50 gm).
  5. Place dough in a large dough bucket, cover tightly, and place in refrigerator overnight.
  6. The next morning, flatten the dough and divide into two equal portions. Pat out into a rectangle, then fold the sides in like folding a letter. Pat out again until it’s as wide as the loaf pans. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
  7. Coat the insides of two loaf pans with nonstick spray and place rolled dough in each. Cover with plastic wrap and rise for 1 hr. 30 min.
  8. After about 1 hr. 30 min., preheat oven at 400°.
  9. Once oven is heated and dough is about an inch above the top of the pans, bake for 10 min. Then turn heat down to 375° and finish baking for about 20 min., or until the inside temperature of the loaves is between 190° and 200°.
  10. Turn finished loaves onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Cut each loaf into 16 slices and bag. The loaves freeze well.

ink and wash drawing of homemade buttermilk oatmeal bread

Buttermilk oatmeal bread made with old milk

I loved the Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread I made awhile back so much that I wanted to try it again, but with an extra rise and extra hydration.

Formula

  • 1 1/2 c old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 c water, boiled (up from 1 1/3 c)
  • 1 3/4 c oldish milk (up from 1 1/2 c)
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 750 gm freshly milled hard white wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp salt (regular, non-iodized Mortons)

Process notes

  • added about 3 tbsp extra water during mixing stage
  • after initial mixing, rested for 20 min., kneaded for 5 min. with dough hook, then moved to counter and did 4 stretch and folds with 10 min. intervals in place of kneading
  • first rise 55 min.
  • flatten and rise again for 45 min.
  • split, shape (envelope style folding and rolling), rise while oven preheated to 375°
  • baked 40 min., to 195° inside
ink and wash drawing of homemade buttermilk oatmeal bread

Since I forgot to take a photo, my daily drawing practice is doing double duty

Results

Love! One loaf had a hole through the center — I must not have rolled it up tight enough. But the bread is fantastic.

Doing the stretch and fold in place of 20 min. of kneading was great. I didn’t experience any ill effects of letting time do the work in place of the long knead. Might have been due to the increased hydration.

whole grain angel biscuits

Whole grain angel biscuit dough for biscuits and monkey bread

whole grain angel biscuits

Somehow I have a memory of biscuits that are tender, buttery, a little chewy…I think my memory is based on the Pillsbury refrigerator biscuits. So I set out to research how I might recreate that type of biscuit, but with whole grain flour (and no preservatives).

My research led me to the possibility that a biscuit made with yeast might get me close.

whole grain angel biscuits

Recipe

Adapted for whole grain flour from Angel Biscuits using oil, not shortening

Process notes

Formula

  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 c + 1 1/2 tbsp warm water and a sprinkle of sugar
  • 1/4 c oil
  • 3/4 c homemade yogurt
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 250 g freshly-milled hard white wheat flour + 86 g more while mixing
  • 63 g freshly-milled soft white wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 + 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Dough mixing steps

  • dissolve yeast in water and sugar mixture
  • combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar in stand mixer bowl
  • make a well for wet ingredients and add
  • mix with paddle until it’s well mixed and soft — at this point it was too wet so I added the extra 86 g of flour, mixing on medium speed for 2 min
  • moved dough to large dough bucket, covered, and refrigerated

Baking the biscuits

  • heat oven to 435°, rack in middle, and spray baking sheet with oil
  • pat piece of dough (enough for 4 biscuits) out onto floured surface 1″ thick
  • cut 4 squarish shapes, smooshed into rounds
  • let sit 10 min.
  • brush with melted salted butter
  • bake 12 min.

Baking the monkey bread

  • heat oven to 360°
  • melt together 1/4 c brown sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 c butter in a small saucepan, mixing until dissolved
  • with remaining angel biscuit dough (17 oz) make little balls of dough and put in a small Corningware casserole dish
  • pour sugar mixture over dough pieces and bake for 28 min.
  • rest 8 min. in pan, then turn out onto plate

Results

I really like how these biscuits turned out, both the flavor and texture. They’re slightly more bread-like than I had intended, so next time I may adjust the formula a little to change the crumb.

soft dinner-roll-like texture of the whole grain angel biscuits

For the Monkey Bread, I wish I had used way less dough. While baking, they puffed up to fill the baking dish and there wasn’t enough sugar mixture for my taste. The ratio was off, but they did taste yummy. Next time, I’d use about 8 oz of dough with this amount of buttery sugar topping, and bake a little less so they’re more ooey gooey.

Artisan Bread Every Day 100 percent whole wheat sandwich bread

Overnight whole grain sandwich bread from ABED

Artisan Bread Every Day 100 percent whole wheat sandwich bread

I’ve been experimenting with different bread recipes lately that include cold, slow fermentation (overnight in the refrigerator) and increased hydration.  I use Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day for direction — the All Purpose Sweet Dough was fantastic, and the texture of the Whole Wheat Oatmeal Sandwich Bread was wonderful though the flavor wasn’t my favorite.

The thing I like most about this technique is that I don’t have to knead for so long. With the whole grain wheat flour I mill at home, it needs either about 20 minutes of kneading by hand, or this long fermentation to really let the grain soak up the liquids and develop the gluten.

With the Whole Wheat Oatmeal Sandwich Bread, the flavor tasted a little off to me as I had adapted it. So this time I used Reinhart’s Everyday 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread recipe as written, except I increased the hydration to accommodate the whole grain flour.

Artisan Bread Every Day 100 percent whole wheat sandwich bread

RECIPE

Everyday 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread from Artisan Breads Every Day by Peter Reinhart

Process notes

Formula

  • 794 g freshly-milled hard white wheat flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 c lukewarm milk
  • 1 1/2 c lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp instant yeast

Steps

  • mixed as directed, using stand mixer
  • performed 4 stretch and folds
  • put dough in large dough bucket, cover with lid, and refrigerate overnight
  • pull out of refrigerator at 9am next morning and divide into two equal portions
  • shaped dough by flattening, folding like a letter, and rolling up
  • placed in loaf pans sprayed with oil
  • covered with plastic and placed in oven with proofing function on
  • after 1 hour, the dough was bursting out the top, so moved to refrigerator and preheated oven to 360°
  • punched down dough and shaped again, rising for 30 min
  • bake 20 min., rotate, bake another 20 min.

Results

These loaves are huge! I thought for awhile that there was too much yeast, and that the oven proofing was too much. They rose so high above the pans during baking that I was just certain they were going have a weak crumb and be full of air space inside.

So when I cut into them and found they were just fine, I was really happy! The crumb is soft and tender, and not crumbly. It’s just like the texture of a store bought loaf.

Each loaf weighs 1 lb 10 oz, and I think this recipe would work better divided into thirds if using a loaf pan like I did, so the pieces aren’t so tall.

I wasn’t wild about the flavor — I think I’m tasting all of the yeast. The recipe called for more than I typically use, and I think it affected the flavor.

Next time, I’d use half as much yeast and divide into three pieces.

Whole wheat oatmeal sandwich bread

I was so happy with how the Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread I made a little while back turned out, but I thought I could make some improvements to the crumb with a few tweaks. I was re-reading one of my favorite bread books, Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day, and really wanted to try the slow, cold fermentation since I’m using whole grain wheat flour. I also wanted to increase the hydration based on Reinhart’s substitution guide:

“As a general rule, you need to increase the liquid by about 1 tablespoon (.5 oz / 14 g) for every 2 ounces (56.5 g) of whole grain flour you substitute in place of white flour.”

My formula

  • 1 1/2 c old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 3/4 c water, boiled
  • 1/3 c warm water
  • 1 c yogurt (homemade, not Greek)
  • 1/2 c whole milk
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 750 g freshly-milled hard white wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp salt

Process notes

Day 1

  1. Soak oats in 1 3/4 c boiled water while preparing other ingredients.
  2. Whisk flour, salt, sugar in a bowl.
  3. Dissolve yeast in 1/3 c warm water.
  4. Whisk together oil, yogurt, and milk.
  5. Add soaked oats, yeast mixture, and oil mixture to dry ingredients to bowl of stand mixer. Using paddle, mix on low 1 min. Rest 5 min.
  6. Switch to dough hook and mix on medium low for 2 min. Dough is supple and slightly sticky. Continue mixing 4 more min. Increase to medium-high speed last 20 sec.
  7. Transfer to oiled surface and knead for a few seconds. Perform 4 stretch and folds, with 10 min. intervals.
  8. Place in large, lightly oiled bucket with lid, cover, and refrigerate.

Day 2

  1. Take dough out of refrigerator 3 hours before baking. Divide into two pieces, and shape by flattening, folding like a letter, and rolling up. Let rise about 2 hours.
  2.  Baked at 375° for 54 min., until internal temp 200°.

Results

These loaves are very soft and light, and the crumb is a lot like that of a store bought loaf. I’m amazed at the fact that they’re made with whole grain wheat flour!

The flavor is very good, but not quite as awesome as the Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread. My guess is that it’s either because of the inclusion of yogurt, or the overnight fermentation.

Next time, I’d like to try using all milk instead of yogurt + milk, keeping the overnight fermentation.

Peter Reinhart Artisan Breads Every Day whole grain Cinnamon Buns made with All Purpose Sweet Dough

Adapting Peter Reinhart’s All Purpose Sweet Dough

I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of my library’s Kindle version of Artisan Breads Every Day. Whenever I check it out (I really ought to just buy it already) I uncover new things to try.

This week I had my eye on the Cinnamon Buns and Coffee Crumb Cake, using the All Purpose Sweet Dough. But of course I had to adapt the recipe for my whole grain wheat flour that I mill at home. Reinhart’s suggests increasing the liquid by 1 tbsp for every 56.5 gm of whole grain flour used in place of white flour.

Peter Reinhart Artisan Breads Every Day whole grain Cinnamon Buns made with All Purpose Sweet Dough

I cut the recipe in half, so for me that would mean an additional (scant) 1/2 c of milk. But I did the math wrong (shocker!) and actually added 3/4 c extra milk.

Recipes

Cinnamon Buns and Coffee Crumb Cake, using All Purpose Sweet Dough from Artisan Breads Every Day by Peter Reinhart

Process notes

All Purpose Sweet Dough

Cut original recipe in half; made 6 cinnamon buns and a small crumb cake

Formula

  • 397 gm freshly milled hard white wheat flour in place of all purpose
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 c + 1 tbsp whole milk, warmed to 95° + 3/4 c more
  • 1/4 c canola oil

Day 1: Began mixing as directed (flour, salt, and sugar mixed together; whisked yeast into original portion of milk until dissolved; then combine everything) with paddle in stand mixer for 1 min. Switched to dough hook, mixed 3 min., adding some of the extra milk, rested 6 min. to let the whole grain flour absorb the liquids. Added a bit more milk, and mix 3 more min. Added the rest of the milk, mixed, then moved to counter to bring the dough together with stretch and folds since it was very wet. Did 4 stretch and folds, with 5 min. intervals.

Placed in oiled container and refrigerated. (Within two hours, the dough had more than doubled and overnight it was pressing against the lid.)

Day 2, Cinnamon Buns: Removed 1/2 of dough, covered, and rested 20 min. Rolled out into 6 x 15 rectangle. Sprinkled with 1/4 c brown sugar mixed with 3/4 tbsp ground cinnamon. Rolled up, cut into 6 slices, and set in parchment-lined and sprayed bread loaf pans. Let rise for a couple of hours, then baked at 350° for 10 min., rotated pans, baked an additional 15 min.

whole grain cinnamon buns rising in pans

The whole grain cinnamon buns rising in pans

whole grain cinnamon buns after baking

The whole grain cinnamon buns after baking

whole grain cinnamon buns drizzled with glaze

The whole grain cinnamon buns drizzled with glaze

Cooled for 5 min., then drizzled the white fondant glaze on top. I basically used the glaze recommended in the book: 85 gm powdered sugar, 1/2 tbsp light corn syrup, 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp cream + 1 tbsp milk).

Day 4, Coffee Crumb Cake: Sprayed a medium baking dish (slightly less than 8×8) with non-stick spray and lined with parchment. Dimpled the dough out to fill the bottom of the dish with oily fingers and let rise for a couple of hours.

Made crumb topping from the book, using soft white wheat flour in place of all purpose, and using a dash of cloves and nutmeg for additional spices.

Topped the dough with the crumble topping and baked 23 min.

Results

This was such a fun baking experience for a few reasons. One, I pushed the hydration farther than I normally dough, and really liked the outcome. Two, I got to make two different things from one batch of dough. I love the way the recipes in this book help whole grain flours really settle in and absorb the liquids by taking advantage of slow, cold fermentation. And three, the results were delicious.

The cinnamon buns were best right out of the oven, although I think I overdid the cinnamon. If I try them again, I’d try white sugar and less cinnamon. The cinnamon got too slimy and overpowering between the soft, tender spirals of dough. Speaking of the dough, my accidental overcompensation of liquids actually resulted in a really dreamy texture — for whole grain flour, anyway. It almost had the texture of regular cinnamon rolls, where the dough sort of peels off in big delicious flakes.

The next day, I preferred the leftovers with a little salted butter to add oomph since they no longer had that just-baked freshness. And I didn’t care for this glaze, but I think that has more to do with my dislike of powdered sugar.

I was really happy with the crumb cake! The long, cold fermentation gave the dough an almost sourdough-like flavor, and I love how each piece is soft and moist, not like a crumbly cake. My only complaint, not enough crumb topping ;) I like reheating the leftovers under a low broiler for a few minutes to warm them back up a bit. This also caramelizes the topping a little.

I’d like to use what I learned here and do more with cold fermented doughs and higher hydration levels to compensate for the whole grain flours.

oatmeal buttermilk bread

Buttermilk oatmeal bread

The milk in the refrigerator was starting to smell…iffy. Not so bad that it warranted tossing, but not good enough for pouring into my oats. And from what I found online, this is a fine state for baking recipes. I wasn’t able to find anything conclusive about whether it’s close to sour milk, or buttermilk, but historically people found things to do with milk that’s starting to go downhill, and so I made that my mission.

This recipe for Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread sounded fantastic, and I loved that it was adapted from a Macrina recipe. When we visited Seattle several years ago, we had a couple of wonderful breakfasts at neighborhood bakery within walking distance from our hotel. It was such a happy memory that I developed a fondness for Macrina recipes.

Recipe

Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread from orwhateveryoudo.com

Process notes

Formula

  • 1 1/2 c old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/3 c water, boiled
  • 1 1/2 c buttermilk (I used the past-its-prime milk from the refrigerator)
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 750 gm freshly milled hard white wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp salt (regular, non-iodized Mortons)

Steps

  1. Soak oats in boiled water while prepping rest of ingredients and grinding flour (about 10 min).
  2. Sift flour, yeast, brown sugar together in bowl of stand mixer. In a separate bowl, stir soaked oats, oil, and milk.
  3. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and knead with dough hook for 3 min. Rest 20 min.
  4. After rest, add salt and knead with dough hook 1 min. At this point, it was rather thick so I moved to kneading by hand, adding bits of water to make sure the dough stayed soft.
  5. I kneaded for 20 min., as my go-to whole wheat bread baking book recommends.
  6. Turn into large metal bowl that’s been lightly coated with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and proof in oven for 1 hr 15 min (proofing function turned on).
  7. Press dough flat and cut in half. Press into rectangles, fold in thirds like a letter, roll up, and pinch seams closed. Place in loaf pans that have been sprayed with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and proof in oven 15 min.
  8. Remove from oven and preheat to 375°. Let dough rise for another 25 min.
  9. Bake 40 min.

Results

Apart from the fact that I let these rise for too long, resulting in a very delicate crumb in the middle, this bread is fantastic. It was exactly what I was craving — thick, dense, chewy sandwich bread that’s not too sweet but has plenty of character. I think the oats have a lot to do with this.

oatmeal buttermilk bread

So far I’ve only had it with butter, and toasted with peanut butter. It was awesome both ways. I haven’t worked out how the other slices will be used…they had to be sliced rather thickly because they were so delicate in places. But in any case, I look forward to pulling a nice big slice out of the freezer from time to time.

In addition to catching the dough before it had risen too much, I think this dough would also benefit from an additional rise time. Normally that’s what I do (per my whole wheat bread book) but since this was my first time making this particular recipe I wanted to follow it on that point. I’ve read that the additional rise time before shaping helps develop the gluten structure.

Update: While I still think an additional rise will help with gluten structure, the flavor of this bread (especially toasted) is so incredible! Every once in awhile I remember that I have it in the freezer and get excited all over again because it’s such a wonderful bread.