Oat & Honey

Can’t remember the origins of this bread. I think someone posted a yeasted version on the Bread Bakers Guild of America forum in response to a request from another baker. I know it took some serious input to adapt it to natural leavening and adjusting the proportions so it worked for me. It was well worth the effort.

This has oats three ways: toasted; in the form of a porridge; as a coating on the crust.

*% of Porridge weight

Make the porridge well in advance because it takes a long time to cool. Bring the water and oats to the boil stirring constantly until it thickens. I usually add the honey to the porridge because it’s the easiest way to distribute it through the dough. Cool completely.

Also in advance, toast the oats in the oven – 10-15 minutes at 180C should do it being careful it doesn’t burn. Don’t forget the oats will lose moisture (and therefore weight) so start with more than the amount given in the formula. Cool.

Mix all the ingredients and knead using your normal method. If you’re new to baking check out the Sourdough pdf under the Library Menu.

Form into a rough ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover. Allow to ferment for about four hours stretching each hour for the first three hours. This is not essential but will improve the dough structure.

Alternatively ferment overnight in the fridge.

I’ve always shaped this as a bâtard and proved the dough in couche:

After the dough has been shaped it needs to be coated in additional oats. Place two trays side by side. Cover one tray with a wet tea towel and the other with a generous layer of oats. Roll the shaped dough on the tea towel and then in the oats so that it is completely covered. Place it in the couche seam side up. Cover and leave for 3½-4 hours checking with the finger tip test after 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to about 210C.

Gently turn out the dough onto a baking sheet floured with wholemeal rye. To create an “ear” the length of the baked loaf, make a slash just off centre holding the blade at an angle of 90 degrees.

Bake for about 50 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack