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Oatmeal and Sweet Date Bread (courtesy BBGA/Team USA 2005)

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breadsong's picture
breadsong

Oatmeal and Sweet Date Bread (courtesy BBGA/Team USA 2005)

Hello,
I really enjoyed the recent course I took that was put on by the Bread Bakers Guild of America, and am grateful for being a member and for having the chance to participate. Another thing I really appreciate about membership in the Guild is access to Guild's online newsletter and formula archive. There's lots of good stuff in that archive!
 
Today's bake is Oatmeal and Sweet Date Bread, one of the Team USA 2005 formulas the Guild provides online.
This one caught my eye last March; oatmeal and dates are two of my dear father-in-law's favorite things and I wanted to make this bread for him. This bread was very moist, and delicious with the sweet dates!

It was so good, I wanted to try making it again today (...a Team USA formula for Canada Day!
...the maple leaf is to add some Canadian content :^) ...   )


Wanting to share this formula, I asked permission of the Guild to post the formula here on TFL; the Guild kindly granted permission and asked me to include this note in the post:
"The mission of The Bread Bakers Guild of America is to shape the knowledge and skills of the artisan baking community through education.  Guild members have access to many other innovative professional formulas, both online and in the Guild’s quarterly publication, Bread Lines.  For more information about membership, please visit www.bbga.org."  

With thanks to the Bread Bakers Guild of America and Jory Downer, William Leaman and Jeffrey Yankellow, the team members of Bread Bakers Guild Team USA 2005 - who were gold medal winners that year at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie!

The formula authors describe the bread and its ingredients:
"The wide range of weather throughout the United States provides for a variety of growing climates. The warm weather of the west coast, allows for California to grow an abundance of palm trees that fruit, the luscious date. In this original formula, rolled oats, another major crop of American farmers, are complemented by the sweetness of dates. A portion of the oatmeal is fermented in a sponge. The high sugar content of the dates creates a rich brown crust that balances their sweetness. The abundance of oats results in a tight textured, full bodied crumb which is a pleasant contrast to the open crumb of the other breads."

A couple of pictures from today's bake (1500 grams dough weight, 540g boule, (6) 160g triangles):   
                                      

My first bake (3 boules, 1635 grams total dough weight):
                                                            

This bread is made with three preferments and a soaker, but the three preferments can be mixed at the same time.

Ingredients ( for 1635 grams dough):

 

Poolish

Oat sponge

Liquid levain

Soaker

Dough

Total

Bread Flour

120

120

60

 

300

600

Water

120

132

60

60

219

591

Instant yeast

0.12

0.12

 

 

1.5

1.7

Salt

0.6

0.6

0.3

 

11.5

13.0

Rolled oats

 

60

 

60

 

120

Dates, diced

 

 

 

 

300

300

White starter

 

 

12

 

 

12

Poolish

 

 

 

 

240

 

Oat sponge

 

 

 

 

312

 

Liquid levain

 

 

 

 

132

 

Soaker

 

 

 

 

120

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

240

312

132

120

1635

1635

I adapted the method for mixing by hand:

12 hours prior to the mixing the dough:
Poolish: Use a water temperature for 72-74F final poolish temperature; mix all until well blended; cover and ferment at 73F for 12 hours.
Oat sponge: Use a water temperature for 72-74F final sponge temperature; mix all until well blended; cover and ferment at 73F for 12 hours.
Liquid levain: Use a water temperature for 72-74F final levain temperature; mix all until well blended; cover and ferment at 73F for 12 hours.
(At 9 hours, my levain wasn't anywhere near ready...the salt taking its effect; I set the container holding the levain in a shallow basin and filled halfway with warm water; replaced with more warm water as needed; this got the levain going and it had tripled by the time the poolish and sponge were ready)

30 minutes to 1 hour prior to mixing the dough:
Using tepid water, mix together so oats are all moistened; cover, and set aside to let rest.

Prepare the dates by chopping; set aside.
"The variety of date used is flexible. It is important that they are not too soft. A soft date will blend into the dough instead of maintaining its shape, creating a dark color in the bread and increasing the likelihood of a burnt crust. The dates should be cut into ¼” pieces in preparation for mixing."

Mixing the dough:
Use a water temperature for 73-76F final dough temperature. (I started with 104F water as I was allowing for autolyse, hand mixing and resting periods during the hand mix, during which my doughs tend to cool down).

Place flour in bowl. Add 85-90% of the water to the bowl and mix until flour is evenly hydrated. Cover and autolyse for 20 minutes.
Add yeast, poolish, oat sponge, and levain to the mixing bowl. Mix with a dough whisk to combine. Cover, place in warmed proof box (to try to preserve warmth in the dough), rest 5 minutes. Dough temp.: 80F.
Oat sponge is on the left in the photo:


Add salt to mixing bowl. Mix, folding in the bowl, 50 folds. Dough temp.: 74F. Cover, place in warmed proof box, rest 5 minutes.
Fold 30 times in the bowl, then 5 minute rest as before, then finally 20 folds. Dough is lifting away from the bowl as I fold it at this point; gluten showed improved mix.

Add remaining water (80F) to the bowl, and mix to incorporate.
Add oat soaker and dates and mix to incorporate evenly.
Dough temp.: 73F (recommended to be 73-76F).
Bulk ferment at 78F for two hours, with (3) stretch and folds every 30 minutes.
Here is the dough at the end of the bulk ferment:

For the first bake I divided the dough into three parts to make boules. For today's bake, I followed these shaping instructions to make (2) triangle breads (remaining dough shaped as a boule):

Divide the dough in 160g / 5 ¾ oz pieces and preshape as a tight ball. Cover and allow the dough pieces to rest for 20 minutes.

Shape the rested balls of dough into triangles, being gentle not to degas the dough too much. Three triangles make up one loaf. Arrange three triangles together on floured linen, seam up, so that the point of one triangle rests in the center of one of the sides of the other triangle. The finished shape will have a circular appearance.
(I proofed top side up as I didn't think I'd be able to successfully flip the triangles over!).
Place the loaves in a draft free place at approximately 74° F for 30 minutes to proof.

Shaping a triangle by gently folding over three sides, towards center, pinching to seal and bring together:
  
                                                                        After proofing:  

A couple of notes about the maple leaf: I used a bit of decorative dough for this (extra dough that I froze after making my fol epi loaf awhile back. After thawing, the dough is just as good as new :^) ... a happy discovery!) 
After cutting the leaf and removing the excess dough, I dusted the leaf with flour.

I used the cutter to gently! mark the boule to help with placement of the leaf. 
                                                              
I brushed the area where the leaf would go lightly with water, to help the leaf stick.
After the leaf was placed, I scored around it and then lightly on the floured leaf, to try to make "leaf veins".

Back to the triangles:
If proofing seam side up, turn the loaves over onto the oven loading device.
Score each triangle with two lines (I did three).

Bake with steam at 475° F for approximately 30 minutes. 
Vent the steam from the oven and continue to bake for an additional 5 minutes.
(I found these were browning fast. I moved the loaves around every 10 minutes, and covered with foil and reduced to 435F after 20 minutes. 30 minutes total bake time; left in oven for 10 minutes with oven off and door ajar).
Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool.

And lastly, a couple of crumb shots!:
 

Happy baking everyone, and Happy Canada Day!
from breadsong

Submitted to YeastSpotting :^)

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I looks delicious!

I just joined the BBGA and have yet to really explore their archives. I'm looking forward to new discoveries.

David

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello David and thank you! -
I really hope you enjoy your membership :^)
There are bread formulas from around the world, great write-ups on the regional classes, and incredibly-helpful technical articles available to view; those back issues of the newsletter are a feast for the eyes, with the photos and all of the information...happy browsing! 
:^) from breadsong

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Breadsong,

What beautiful loaves.  I particularly like the boule with the maple leaf. Very striking especially with the flour dusting added.

Another one for my 'to bake' list.

Can you explain why the leaven has the salt added?  I know it is used to slow things down but you then had to counteract it with a warm water bath....Why not just prepare a regular leaven?

Thanks,

Janet

 

 

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Janet - Thanks so much; I'm glad you liked the maple leaf :^)
The instructions were to salt the levain, but perhaps the formula authors were working with a really robust starter.
It's been 5 days or so since I last fed my starter; my starter might be a bit sluggish.
Also, the ambient temperature overnight is cooling to 68F of so in the kitchen here.
The warm water bath sure did wake the levain up though and I was really pleased with how it responded.
Thanks again Janet!
:^) from breadsong

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Breadsong,

Just wanted to report back on the loaves I baked yesterday.  They got the 'seal of approval' from my 17 year old daughter!  She had eyed the dates skeptically as I was dicing them up....

The bottoms of the loaves were really dark....I know it is from the dates but the temp I used was lower than what you posted because I know what has happened in the past with loaves with lots of sugary fruit in them.  (I pre-heated to 425° and lowered temp to 365° once the loaves went in.)  Next bake I will try going even lower.

I am wondering what the consistency of your dough was - what it felt like.  I used fresh ground kamut instead of bread flour and the dough had a really nice velvety feel to it - which I attribute to the dates. ( I have experienced the same texture in one of Shiao Ping's loaves - her Banana Pain au Levain.)  It was very sluggish during fermenting despite my active starter and warm temps.  I ended up adding 2g extra grams of IY after about 3 hours of no noticeable fermenting happening.  I gave it several S&F at 10 minute intervals and then left it to do 'it's' thing.  The IY really perked it up and within 2 hours it was ready to proof.

Did you find that the fermenting time was increased with your boules?  

Oh, because I decided last minute to bake this formula I had no dates on hand.  Only store close charged an arm and a leg for the ones I bought.  They were fresh and organic and turned the loaves into pure gold....I have no regrets but just thought I would add the cost in case anyone else decides to try this.....might want to shop around for their dates ahead of time. :-)

The preferments were a breeze to do due to the uniformity - as you stated.  I left out the salt in my leaven based on your experience and all ripened simultaneously.....in fact I had to put all into the refrigerator and they were held there for 12 hours before being used and the bread still turned out GREAT!!!!

I am definitely going to bake this formula again soon - after I go to my regular grocery store and stock up on dates :-).  It has been added to our 'favorites' list. :-)

Thanks again for sharing the formula and the story behind it.  I never would have attempted anything like this if I had merely read the formula in a cook book.

Take Care,

Janet

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Janet,
I'm so happy tried this formula, and that you and your daughter loved the bread!
I'm glad too that you found what sound like fabulous dates to mix into the dough - so glad you loved their flavor.

Here are a couple of pictures of the dough, just after the hand mix, and then partway through bulk fermentation (just after one of the folds), to give you an idea of dough texture/consistency:
  

For bulk ferment and for proofing, I held to the formula authors' schedule (trying to keep temperature in the right zone, using my proofing box to control temperature for both the bulk ferment and the proof).

Thanks again Janet; I really appreciate you writing to say how it worked out; and very happy you rank it as one of your favorites!
:^) from breadsong

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Breadsong,

Thanks for the photos of your dough....Mine dough didn't have the same billowiness as yours shows until I added the IY....probably due to the kamut and the freshness of the dates....the ones I bought did blend into the dough as you said softer ones would....Next batch will be with firmer dates.  That will probably help with the darkened bottom crust as well.

Thanks for the reply and photos!

Janet

Mebake's picture
Mebake

This is beautiful work, breadsong.. your shaping, stenciling, and scoring... all pro. thanks for posting the recipe too.. Man, you must be spending all day at home for these ones..!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Khalid,
Thanks so much! and I hope you like this recipe if you try it.

you must be spending all day at home for these ones..!

<guilty as charged!> ... but it was a relaxing day in the kitchen "puttering" ...
:^) from breadsong

Anjali's picture
Anjali

Just lovely, mouth-watering breads!  Like many of your other bakes, very eye catching. Dates are my favourites. Definitly a must try.

Regards,

Anjali

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Anjali, and thank you for your kind words!
The dates add a wonderful flavor to this bread and I hope you love the bread as much as I do if you make it.
:^) from breadsong

arlo's picture
arlo

Mmm, I love the thought of three kinds of preferment in a dough. Just screams flavor to me!

As always with your post, the quality of this bake is great!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello arlo -
Thanks so much for your comments and glad you like this one :^)
When looking at the formula, the flavor combination was very attractive to me, but I was also curious and intrigued by the oat sponge.
With all of the preferments, oats and dates, it sure makes a super-tasty bread!
:^) from breadsong

chefscook's picture
chefscook

What beautiful breads just simply. Beautiful you should. Be proud. Of yourself

I like to make breads team and today I w
ill team be making my sourdough bread I would like to join and learn more can anyone join and is there a fee well I HOPE to hear from you soon
Once again thank you for sharing
Chefscook

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Chefscook,
Thank you and I was happy to share this formula and really wanted to,
after enjoying, so much, making and tasting this bread.
Details about Guild membership are here. I think the only prerequisite is interest in bread baking :^)
Thanks again! from breadsong

varda's picture
varda

Thanks for your detailed post.   Love this bread.   The thought of three preferments sounds daunting but you obviously are willing to do what it takes to produce these gorgeous breads.   -Varda

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Varda,
That's such a flattering thing to say. I am surely unqualified - very enthusiastic about bread baking but still so very much to learn!
I'm happy you like this post! One of the things I really liked about how this formula was set up were the consistent measurements in the preferments and soaker. The formula authors might have done that to make it easier to do scaling in a competition setting; it makes it easier at home, too.
I so enjoyed the process of making this bread.
Thank you so much for your comments!
:^) from breadsong

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi breadsong,

I couldn't agree more with varda, and the others: such beautiful bread!

Very best wishes

Andy

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Praise from you means a lot, Andy - thank you so much!
:^) from breadsong

jcking's picture
jcking

Simply great blog!!! Really good pix.

I've been a member of the BBGA guild for 2 months now and have been reading the old posts on yahoo from the beginning. I'm up to May of 2005. Hope to see some Guild activity here in GA.

Fornituri te salutant! (Those who are about to bake salute you!)
Jim

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Jim, thanks so much for your friendly note!
I check out the BBGA Yahoo forum from time to time...more interesting information there, too.
So glad you like the photos and post about this bread!
Thanks :^) from breadsong

Syd's picture
Syd

Beautiful, breadsong!  Oatmeal and dates are a great combination.  Both of them will add to the moistness of the loaf, not to mention the flavour.  Very creative stencilling and scoring.  You have a very lucky father-in-law. :)

Syd

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Syd,
I think I found some good dates for this bake! Moist, but not too sticky so they weren't hard to cut up.
Thanks so much for your compliments and kind words!
:^) from breadsong

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

All around gorgeous.  The crumb looks mouthwatering delicious.  Thank you for sharing your beautiful bake, I've added to my favorites.

Sylvia

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Sylvia,
Thank you! I have to agree about the crumb of this bread - there's a lot of water in this dough; 
the crumb is really moist and tender; and for my tastebuds, fantastic flavor.
I hope you enjoy making this one and looking forward to your next post, as always, be it for this bread or any other!
:^) from breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

I was hoping you'd bring your artistic talents and baking skill to create something to celebrate Canada Day, and you haven't disappointed. This is a spectacular looking loaf breadsong! Not only for the maple leaf applique (of course) but the crumb has that lovely, feathery soft look to it that suggests a richer bread than this formula is, almost like brioche. Obviously a lot of love and care went into it, along with your usual attention to detail. Nicely done on all counts.

Hope you and your family are having a great Canada Day weekend together!

Franko

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Franko,
Thank you so much and belated Happy Canada Day to you and yours, too!
I really appreciate your kind comments and am glad, as my Canadian friend, you like the maple leaf :^)
I was wanting to make some really good bread for family - and with this formula,
was rewarded with a yummy bread with lovely flavor and texture. Mmmmm!
Thanks again, so much!
:^) from breadsong

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

...but I'll say it anyway.  Those are beautiful (both the one with the Maple leaf and the triple triangle ones),  and the formula sounds delicious!

Happy Canada Day!

Glenn

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thanks so much Glenn and Happy Independence Day to you and yours!
:^) from breadsong

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

Your skills and creativity is so admirable. The breads are so pretty and look delicious. 

Thanks for sharing your wonderful works. 

Sue

http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Sue,
Thank you for your sweet comments!
I'm grateful that the Guild shares these Team USA formulas with members online.
It's a gold mine in that Guild archive - so I happy I came across this one!
:^) from breadsong