Friday, March 14, 2008

100% Whole Grain Oatmeal Bread

Another bread I taught for the OSU Extension Service. This is a great use for leftover oatmeal.

Cook as you would for oatmeal porridge:
1 1/8 cups regular rolled oats
2 cups water
¼ teaspoon salt (I use sea salt)
I do this in a crockpot overnight. Allow to cool to room temperature. If you are using leftover oatmeal, you need about 2 – 2 ¼ cups.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, combine:
cooked and cooled oatmeal (above)
¾ cup cold water
6 tablespoons sugar, (white, brown, or sucanat)
1/3 cup canola oil (you could substitute softened butter, if you prefer)
2 ½ teaspoons salt

In a medium bowl, stir together:
5 cups freshly ground whole hard white wheat flour (you will need additional flour while kneading)
2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast (Red Star Quick Rise or Bread Machine Yeast)

Add the flour/yeast mixture to the wet ingredients by the cupful, mixing to combine and then kneading until the gluten is fully developed and the dough passes the window pane (or membrane) test. You should be able to pull a small piece of dough into a thin sheet that is almost transparent without it tearing. This tells you the gluten is fully developed and strong enough to hold the gas bubbles in when the dough rises. This is how you get really light whole grain bread! In a heavy duty stand mixer this will take about 8 to 9 minutes on low speed. By hand it could take 15 to 20 minutes for a two-loaf recipe. Add an additional 1-1 ½ cups whole wheat flour as necessary while you knead. Don't add too much too soon. It takes a few minutes of kneading for the flour to absorb water from the oatmeal.

Place the dough in a large greased bowl. Cover with a damp towel or spray with oil spray to coat the top. Let rise at room temperature 1 to 1½ hours or until doubled in bulk. Turn out onto a lightly-floured surface. Fold the top down, the bottom up and the sides in over each other one at a time. Turn the whole thing over and place it back in the bowl to rise a second time for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, spraying the top again lightly with oil. Divide into 2 loaves. Round, cover and let rest for 15 -20 minutes, then shape into loaves and place in 8 x 4 ½ pans. Cover and proof for about 30-45 minutes until the bread comes up to the edges of the pan and arches over the top. Slash top down the center if you like. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35-45 minutes until the bottom sounds hollow when thumped or an instant-read thermometer says 180 degrees in the center of the loaf.


Anonymous said...

This looks so good! it's also the answer to leftover oatmeal from breakfast. =)

Pink Posts said...

Do you cook the oatmeal in the crockpot on high or low? And do you know how many cups that makes? (or is called for in the bread) case a person wanted to make extra oatmeal for breakfast... =)

Jennifer--flavorsoftheumpqua said...

I spray the crock with oil and cook it on low overnight. It really doesn't take the whole night to cook. Sometimes I plug the crockpot into a timer and set it to cook for about 5 hours and then turn off so it is cool by the time I get up.

You need 2 to 2 1/4 cups of cooked oatmeal if you are cooking extra.

Pink Posts said...

Thank you! That sounds great!

Bill said...

Two Questions:
1. Is this recipe, as printed, usable in bread machines? I have a 2# Zojrushi.

2. Also, is it suitable for processes such as the artisan no knead breads baked on a stone, inside a cloche?

Thanks, Bill

Jennifer--flavorsoftheumpqua said...

Bill, I have never made it in a bread machine, but I believe you would need to cut the recipe in half so you're only making one loaf.

I suppose it could be baked on a stone or in a cloche, but because the dough contains both sugar and oil, it will not make a crusty loaf either way. Also, the sugar might casue the bread to brown (burn?) more quickly, so I would lower the heat to 375 or 400 degrees for the entire bake time.

Jeremy said...

Thanks for a great recipe taking advantage of the health available from whole grain oatmeal!


Health specialist for Whole Grain Oatmeal

Anonymous said...

Excellent bread and your instructions were perfect! Question: Have you ever made it with only two rises (one in the bowl and one in the pans)? I've never made whole wheat bread with this method before...I grind my wheat and mix the dough in my Bosch mixer. Every recipe I've used goes from mixer to bread pans--so only one rise. I must say, the texture of this recipe was fantastic--the "stretchiest" results yet--very much like white bread! I'm looking forward to making it again. Thanks...

Jennifer--flavorsoftheumpqua said...

Glad you liked it. This is one of my favorites. Yes, you could skip the second rising in the bowl if you are pressed for time, but it does help to fully ferment the flour and improve the texture.

Another tip, when shaping the loaves, I like to roll out the dough with a rolling pin, degassing is completely. I roll it out to a circle, then fold the top down and the bottom up overlapping slightly. Turn the whole thing 90 degrees an unfolded edge is at the bottom and roll up tightly. Seal the ends well and pinch the seam. This gives an even lighter, very fine-grained texture to the finished loaf. I know we are taught now, with artisan breads, to handle the dough gently to avoid deflating and to preserve that wonderful open crumb with irregular holes, but, frankly, for this bread, I don't want big holes for the peanut butter and jam to drip through!

It drives me nuts that the recipes that come with the Bosch mixers (I own two!) don't tell you to let it rise at least once before shaping. Great bread takes time. Yes, it will rise, but in my experience doesn't have great flavor, has little keeping quality, and crumbles after freezing. This bread freezes beautifully. I always double the recipe and make four loaves.