Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunny Oatmeal Bread

Yeast must be very conflicted. It eats sugar, but it thrives in an acidic environment. Sort of like me, loving the Colorado environment, but wanting to eat Chicago pizza.

I can't have both, but it's a lot easier for the yeast. In this case, buttermilk adds that extra acidity that makes the yeast giddy and bubbly.

As far as sugar for the yeast's dinner, this recipe includes some rich brown sugar along with the starch in the flour and oats. It's a happy yeast that makes lovely bubbles.

This dough is a little drier than most bread doughs that I make, but the yeast can handle it.

It's also a smaller loaf than I usually make. But that's fine. With all the seeds, it's a pretty rich bread, so it will last a while.

Sunny Oatmeal Bread

1 cup buttermilk, warmed to lukewarm
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) bread flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Mix the buttermilk, yeast, sugar, and oats in the bowl of your stand mixer and set aside for 10 minutes so the oats can hydrate and the yeast can make the mixture light and bubbly.

Add the salt and bread flour and knead until the mixture forms a ball that cleans the sides of the bowl and starts becoming elastic.

Add the olive oil and sunflower seeds and knead at slow speed until the olive oil is incorporated and the seeds are distributed throughout the dough. You don't want to increase speed until the seeds are mostly inside the dough, or they'll be leaping out of the bowl.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap. and set aside until it doubles in size, a bit less than an hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal.

When the dough has doubled, take it out of the bowl and knead it a bit. You might need a little flour on your work surface, but maybe not.

Form the dough into your preferred shape - I went for an oval - and put it on your prepared baking sheet. Cover it with plastic wrap and set it aside until it has doubled in size.

When the dough has doubled, slash as desired, and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, until the loaf is nicely browned.

Let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.

This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.


hobby baker Kelly said...

That is a lovely loaf, the color is beautiful! Are those really sesame seeds? They look so big...

Donna Currie said...

Aaaargh! They're sunflower seeds! I fixed it now. Of course, it would be good with sesame, but this loaf had sunflower.

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