Steel-cut Oat Bread
Makes two large loaves.
Steps1 evening before bake day
1. Refresh 100% starter to yield +200 grams for the next morning. Overnight room temps can be 60F. Use 50 gm whole wheat, 50 gm AP, 100 gm H2O and 30 gm natural leaven at 100% hydration.
Steps 2 - 12 , bake day AM. Work at 70F
2. Pour 600 gm boiling H2O over 300 gm steel cut oats in a pot or bowl with a lid or cover. Stir the oats once and cover. Let steep 45 minutes.
3. (45 minutes later) Pour the steel cut oats and associated water into a large sieve set over a bowl. Let drain about 30 minutes but capture and reserve the water. After 10 minutes use the accumulated water.
4. Into your bulk dough bowl, add the oat water and enough other water to yield 650 gm.
5. Add to the bulk dough water, 200 gm starter and whisk to incorporate.
6. In a small bowl add 50 gm of remaining oat drainage water (add more water if necessary) to 25 gm kosher salt. Set aside.
7. Add 1 kg AP flour to water and starter in bulk dough bowl. Mix by hand or on a work surface until all flour is moistened. Dough may be rather stiff.
8. Let dough autolyse for 30 minutes.
9. Add salt and associated water to dough by hand. When the salt-water is incorporated, do a set of stretch and folds. Return to bowl and let rest 30 minutes. Do another set of stretch and folds. Let rest 30 minutes.
10. Add the oats. Turn the dough out on to a wet work surface. Stretch the dough into a large rectangle. Incorporate the oats using letter folds. [Sprinkle 1/3 of the steel cut oats on to the middle 1/3 of the dough. Fold an end 1/3 of the dough over the oats. Sprinkle another 1/3 of the oats over the middle and fold the final 1/3 of the dough over the middle. turn the dough and sprinkle 1/2 of the remaining oats over the middle. Fold the end over the middle, sprinkle the remaining oats over the middle and fold again.] Give the dough a few kneads to ensure good distribution of the oats. Return the dough to the bowl. Cover and rest at 70F until doubled ( maybe 3-4 hrs.)
11. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Form into balls and let rest 15 minutes. Shape into logs (for oval loaves) or rounds (for boules) depending on whether you are baking in round or oval dutch ovens (or oval Romertopfs , as I do). Roll smooth (non-seam) surface of shaped doughs into rolled oats to cover the surface and place seam side up into appropriately shaped forms. Let proof about 1hr 30 minutes at 70F.
12. At the 1 hr, 30 minute mark, place dutch ovens into oven and preheat to 500F for about 30 minutes. Remove dutch ovens, turn loaves out onto dusted work surface, score, place into dutch ovens, cover and place in the oven. Lower oven temp to 475F and bake 30 minutes. Remove dutch oven covers and bake for 25-30 minutes uncovered at 450F. Let cool completely. While they can be eaten as soon as completely cooled, the loaves will hold perfectly, uncut, 1-2 days as the moisture from the steel-cut oats permeates the crumb.