My wife likes oatmeal and things made with oatmeal, so she requested a bread made with oatmeal. This is the result:
- 1/4 cup oatmeal (would have used more, but that's all we had)
- 1/4 Bob's Red Mill 7 grain hot cereal
- 1/4 cup barley flour
- 1 cup boiling water
Mix, let stand overnight, covered.
- 1/8 tsp rapid rise yeast (it's what we have -- I'd prefer 1/4 tsp regular dried yeast)
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1 cup warm water
Proof yeast in water, mix in flour thoroughly. Let stand overnight, covered.
In the morning:
Proof 1/8 tsp yeast (rapid rise, I'd use 1/4 tsp dried yeast if I had it) in about 2 T warm water.
Sprinkle 1 T salt on the bouillie (I will use 2 tsp next time, see notes below) and mix, then add poolish and yeast mixture above to bouillie and mix. Mix in flour until it looks like the right hydration (I was aiming for 66 percent or thereabouts -- but see notes below!). I was assuming this would come out to 1 1/2 cups or so, but it was somewhat less, perhaps 3/4 cup, before things started to look like the sort of moist dough I wanted. Autolyse thirty minutes, then knead for moderate dough development. During kneading, something began to give water back -- the dough rapidly turned into a very moist dough, and felt like 70 to 75 percent hydration. I kneaded it wet for a time, just to see what would happen (if something suddenly gace BACK a bunch of water, I didn't want to panic, add a bunch more flour, and then have whatever it was suck the water up again!). I wound up adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup more flour in towards the end of kneading.
Bulk rise 2 hours with S&F every hour. Retard in fridge for a couple of hours, this was purely for scheduling reasons. Warm for an hour, S&F, warm another 30 minutes, form a boule. Proof until ready.
Bake at 450 for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 425 for 25 minutes. The result:
The flavor is wonderful. The crumb is a sort of alarming grey, but that's just the oatmeal. You can't feel the 7-grain cereal (which is a hearty cracked grain thing) but you can see it in there. I was looking for a more open crumb, but I probably wound up overworking it in my struggles with apparent hydration. As you can see it was a trifle underproofed (frankly, it may still have been cool from the fridge inside) and my scoring.. sucks.
When I do it again:
- less salt, 2 tsp not 1 T as indicated. The flavor is wonderful, and also salty!
- more flour initially (in the mixing pre-autolyse)
It seems as if the whole grains absorbed more liquid than I expected, which is partly why I wound up oversalting. Also, I can't do arithmetic well. Anyways. ALSO I think that when I started to knead the oatmeal started to give up the water it had soaked up, so my apparent hydration shot up (i.e. it started feeling REALLY WET). The lesson here is to mix it to quite firm in the bowl, I'm going to try for more of a 55 percent hydration "feel" in the bowl, a firm American Bread kind of feel, then autolyze, and then knead. I am hoping that the oatmeal (or whatever it was) will give up water again, and bring me back to my nice moist dough for the bulk rise.
I think I will also proof my second yeast (the yeast that goes into the dough mixture in the morning) in 1/4 cup warm water, to allow for more bread flour to be mixed in to hit my target hydration. I wanted a somewhat larger loaf than I got, since the whole grains soaked up more water than I expected. I'd really like to get that 1 1/2 cups of bread flour into the dough, and I simply need more water than I had. So, the next version of this recipe I will be using uses the bouillie and poolish as above, and:
Proof 1/8 tsp rapid rise yeast (or 1/4 tsp regular dry yeast) in 1/4 cup warm water. Sprinkle 2 tsp salt onto the bouillie and mix, then mix in the poolish and the proofed yeast. Next, mix in flour to get a firm dough (approx 1 1/2 cups). Autolyse 30 minutes, knead to moderate development. Bulk rise 2-3 hours with S&F hourly. Retard a couple of hours in the fridge (or not, as you like, really). Warm to room temp with hourly S&F for a couple hours, shape, proof, bake as above!