January 30, 2009

Oatmeal, Flax and Walnut Bread

It's been about 3 weeks (?) since my roommates and I got back from winter break and though we've all made trips to the grocery store (maybe even multiple times), somehow we have not yet had a loaf of bread grace our countertop.  None of us are on diets, least of all the Atkins diet, so this seems to be a rather odd occurrence.  And I need my bread! 

I need more surfaces for my peanut butter (because apples, bananas and oatmeal just aren't enough), more items to be toasted (perhaps, french toasted) and more sandwiches to be made.

I think this is one of my favorite yeast breads I've made.  It combines a lot of ingredients I enjoy, has a moist crumb, a hearty flavor and is really healthy.  Although the flavor is hearty, the bread is not as heavy or dense as an 100% whole wheat version would be because of its ratio of white to whole wheat flour.  Furthermore, the taste of the yeast comes out really nicely in this bread lending it a fresh out of the oven quality even days after baking.

My final product came out pretty light in color compared to the picture that accompanies Matt's post.  I'm not quite sure why this happened because I baked it for nearly the full time and the bread was not underdone at all so, I think  it might just be my oven.  One way to get around this problem, if you're worried about it happening to you, would be to brush an egg wash or thin layer of oil over the top of the bread before it goes into the oven.  Either of these washes would work to brown top of the bread as it cooked.

One difficulty I had with this bread was that the pre-ferment was very solid; it was basically the consistency of bread dough.  This made it hard for me to incorporate it well with the rest of the ingredients because it was like mixing two completely different doughs together.  I think this was further complicated by the fact that I don't have an electric mixer.  Anyway, in the end it worked out, with some vigorous hand kneading, and I was glad I had put in the extra effort because this bread it definitely worth it.

Oatmeal, Flax and Walnut Bread 
from KathEats. com, courtesy of Kath's husband, Matt

Ingredients
Pre-Ferment

  • 125g bread flour (1 C)
  • 125g water (.5C)
  • 1g instant yeast (.25t)

Mix all ingredients together, loosely cover, and place in a 70* area to ripen for 12-16 hours.

Final Dough

  • 251g pre-ferment (all of it)
  • 200g whole wheat flour (1.5C)
  • 175g bread flour (1.25C)
  • 100g rolled oats (1C)
  • 50g ground flaxseeds (3T)
  • 50g honey (2.5T)
  • 330g water (1.5C)
  • 2g instant yeast (.5t)
  • 13g kosher salt (1T)
  • 50g walnut pieces (.3C)

Warm water to body temperature. Pour in oats and flax and let soak for 5-10 minutes. Then mix all ingredients EXCEPT walnuts until mixture comes together. Mix on first speed for 3 minutes. Mix on second speed for 4 minutes, adding walnuts. If dough creeps up hook, push down with a spatula. I ended up having to take it out and finish kneading by hand because towards the end it just grabbed onto the dough hook and spun around. It should be fairly sticky but not runny, and have good strength when tugged.

Let dough ferment for 2 hours, folding after the first hour. After the second hour, shape into a compact ball and allow to rest for 10-20 minutes.

Shape dough ball into a oval loaf and place in a 9×5 loaf pan. Spray pan with cooking oil and lightly dust with flour.

Allow to rise for 1.5 hours. After 1 hour preheat oven to 400*. Slash loaf. Right before loading oven, splash 1 oz water in the oven for steam, then bake for 30-35 mins until very dark in color and interior hits 190* [I don't have a bread thermometer and baked mine for 34 minutes + it came out perfectly]

Cool and serve!  (70 cals/oz, 1.5g fiber/oz)

1 comment:

pvtalley said...

SO GOOD! favorite bread yet