Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Easy-As WholeMeal Oat Loaf

With all the goings on lately – finishing off work, prepping the house and Rant-a-Baby arrival (yay!!!), I have neglected my starter and it has died on me.
 
But not to panic, I always have a jar of mother starter sitting in the fridge, so not all is lost. However, that starter would take a few days to come alive and become the lovely bubbly bread making mess and I am out of bread. Can you believe it? No starter, no bread and not much time to spare – the only thing to do is to make a yeasted bread.
 
I always wanted to find an easy fool-proof recipe, something that takes very little effort and works every time. Well, I think I have cracked it – o far I’ve made it three times and it turned out great every time – good volume, great texture and it toasts really well.
 
Easy-As WholeMeal Oat Loaf
320ml water, luke-warm
2 tsp dried active yeast (I use Allison or Hovis)
1 Tbsp honey
320g white flour
150g wholemeal flour
30g oats
1 tsp salt
40g butter, room temperature
 
Place water, honey and yeast in a standing mixer – leave for a couple of minutes, giving the honey time to dissolve and for the yeast to activate a bit. Technically you don’t need to do it with active or fast acting yeast, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt, right?
Add flours, oats and salt to the liquids and mix of slow speed – speed 2 on KitchenAid – for 6 minutes.
Add soft butter and mix for another 2 minutes on medium speed – speed 4 on KitchenAid.
You are looking for soft dough, slightly on the wet side.
 
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm(or showercap in my case) and leave at room temperature for 2-3 hours. You want the dough to double in volume, so judge yourself how long it would take, depending on how warm your house is. In summer I would wait for about an hour and a half, but as it is coming into autumn now, I leave it for a bit longer.
 
This bread has the right texture to spring up high, so I find a bread tin makes the best loaf rather than a free-form loaf, but feel free to experiment.
 
Prepare loaf tin – if you are using a non-stick one, you won’t need to do anything to prep it. I always line my loaf tins with parchment paper, just to be on the safe side and to ensure that the bread comes out nice and easy.
Shape the dough into a loaf shape and place it in the prepared tin. Cover the loaf loosely with a clingfilm (or even better, a showercap) and leave for an hour at room temperature, until the dough has increased in volume by about 2/3.
 
Preheat the oven to 180C and bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown on top and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
Take the bread out of the tin and leave to cool for about an hour or so before cutting.
 
Unfortunately I don’t have any photos today, but trust me, this recipe makes a one good looking loaf, and I sure am will be making it again, so will add some photos later.
Hope you enjoy the recipe, it really is easy to make and it has the most delicious flavour

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