Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bread Baking Day #9 - Oats

Whilst I can't bring myself to eat a bowl of porridge for breakfast, I can definitely sit down to some hot buttered toast, and this bread, Sesame and Honey Oatmeal Bread is going to be one of my favourite breakfast treats from now on.

This dough uses a slow rise method, so you can prepare it one day, and bake it the next, which definitely fits into my busy schedule of late. But as I had time on my hands yesterday, being a Saturday, I only let this bread "slow rise" for about 4 hours in the fridge. For once my impatience didn't cause any anguish, as the bread was rising rapidly, even in the cooler conditions.

The dough is quite dense, and I thought my KitchenAid was going to have a convulsion at one stage, so I finished the kneading by hand.

The health benefits of oats include lowering cholesterol levels, decreasing the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Oats are high in fibre and antioxidants. We should all eat more oats!!

Overnight Sesame-Honey Oatmeal Bread
from "The Pleasure of Whole-Grain Breads" by Beth Hensperger

makes 2 9-by-5-inch loaves

2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup warm water (105 - 115F)
1-1/2 tbsp (scant 2 pkgs) active dry yeast
1/2 cup honey
6 to 6-1/2 cups bread flour
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2-1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp canola oil, for brushing
1 tbsp honey mixed with 1 tbsp hot water, for brushing

1. In a large bowl using a wooden spoon or in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the boiling water, oats, and butter. Stir to melt the butter and let stand until warm, about 30 minutes.

2. Pour the warm water into a small bowl or 1-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast and drop a bit of the honey over water. Stir to dissolve and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the remaining honey, 1 cup of the bread flour, the sesame seeds, and the salt to the warm oat mixture. Beat for 1 minute, or until smooth. Add the yeast mixture; beat for 1 minute longer. Add the remaining bread flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating on low speed until a soft, shaggy dough that just clears the sides of the bowl forms, switching to a wooden spoon when necessary if making my hand.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, soft, and springy, 1 to 2 minutes for machine-mixed dough and 3 to 5 minutes for a hand-mixed dough, dusting with flour only 1 tablespoon at a time, just enough as needed to prevent sticking. Do not add too much flour or the dough will stiffen up. Cover with a clean towel and let rest on the work surface for 30 minutes.

5. Generously grease the bottom and sides of two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Pat each into a flat, fat oval and fold over to make a loaf with a thick folded seam down the center. Place in the prepared pans, seam side up. Generously brush the tops with canola oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, allowing for expansion, and refrigerate until the dough rises above the rims of the pans, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

6. Remove the loaves from the refrigerator, uncover, and let stand at room temperature for 1-1/2 hours. About 20 minutes before baking, preheat an over to 375 and position a rack in the center of the oven.

7. Brush the tops of the loaves with the honey mixture. (I sprinkled extra rolled oats on the honey, which helps them stick). Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the tops are light brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped with your finger. Cover loosely with aluminum foil halfway through baking if the loaves brown too much. Remove from the pans to cool on a rack.

Also, from the same book, I made Minnesota Oatmeal Egg Bread. I can't comment on the taste of this loaf (shown on the left), because my nextdoor neighbour, who has a serious butter fetish, left last night with this loaf under his arm. I only hope the oats have a good effect on his raised cholesterol levels.

Astrid from Food Paulchen is this months host of Bread Baking Day #9, a monthly event founded by Zorra of 1x umr├╝hren bitte aka kochtopf (you can read more about bread baking day here)


Sukkimi said...

You've got a very nice bread!
Er just curious, as you leave the dough overnight in fridge ( to proof) does it turn sour in the end?


Pam said...

Hi Sukkime, thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. With a slow overnight proof, the dough develops more flavour, it doesn't actually turn into sour dough in the true sense.

Susan said...

Beautiful loaf -- it looks like it would make great toast for breakfast!

Sunshinemom said...

Great looking bread! Hope your neighbour had a good breakfast. I wouldn't mind swapping places with him if I were to get homemade breads from you :)

Hippolyra said...

I made this for Taste & Create! A lovely bread thanks for cooking it first - I do not think I would have picked this unless we had been paired, but I now will be making it again.