The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

steeel cut oats in sourdough - cooked vs Raw?

Edthebread's picture

steeel cut oats in sourdough - cooked vs Raw?

I am interested in trying some sourdough oat bread using steel cut oats.  I want to either add them raw in an overnight soaker or  cooked when I mix the final dough.  Any thoughts about the relative merits of these approaches?

Presumably I will need to add more water than usual in the soaker if I add them raw, as it sounds like they take up a lot of liquid.

davidg618's picture

I'd use a soaker rather then cook them. cooking will gelatinize the oat's starch; which will occur in the baking anyway. I think you'll retain more subtle flavor this way. Steel cutting doesn't alter the oats any more than rolling them, except it results in less damage.

David G

txfarmer's picture

I recently used it raw in the overnight soaker too, worked out well since it didn't feel "too crunchy" in the final bread. I figured that using it raw would preserve more nutritional value, and it's less work!

b_elgar's picture

I make sourdoughs with steel cut oats all the time. I add the oats in straight from the tin to high hydration doughs.

I do retard my doughs in the fridge overnight, leave it out a couple of hours the next day, then shape and allow for a final rise.


Here is a link to some breads made that way:



Edthebread's picture

Thanks for the replies.  But when using them dry do you add more water than you would normally add in the soaker (compared with flour alone)?

Janknitz's picture

I make a multigrain bread and the recipe calls for raw oats. The oats are not discernible at all in the finished dough--nothing special is done to the dough at all.

mrfrost's picture

"Raw" oats?

You are probably referring to rolled oats, which have been steamed and flattened.

Steel cut oats need to be cooked, or soaked much longer. Otherwise you're talking about eating whole oat "seeds", or seeds that have been cut(chopped) once or twice.

Janknitz's picture

I meant uncooked rolled oats. 

Boron Elgar's picture
Boron Elgar

They do not need to be cooked or soaked. In a well hydrated dough with a long retard and/or a long, cool rise, there is no crunch or problem with them. Steel cuts oats are fabulous in breads.

And adding rolled oats or other cooked or pre-cooked grains is a whole different sort of bread.

I add often grains such as the oats, quinoa, coarse cut corn meal, rye berries.  etc., to breads all the time. The texture is wonderful.

Keep it simple in prep. Do not make extra steps for yourself. One of the things that turned me off Reinhart's technique is the requirement for a soaker. I have skipped it altogether and just included the grains directly into the dough.

The breads at the link below have grains added directly to dough as well has having some on the crust to add crunch. The interior grains are not crunchy at all.

Live a little. Give it s a try.

Edthebread's picture

Great looking grains in those breads, Boron Elgar!  I'll add some raw steel cut oats in my next effort and hope mine come out as nicely.

I agree with you not to over-complicate the process, and initially I was resistant to the soaker + biga "epoxy" approach.  But after trying it I do find that making the soaker and biga separately gives much nicer, more 'wheaty' flavor with whole wheat breads.  I think the flavor of the wheat really comes out after the overnight incubation in the soaker.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to your crumb texture. (A great way to use up left over cooked cereal.)  Adding dry rolled oats will take moisture away from the dough if not included into the original recipe.  Soak several hours and drain before using or add more moisture.  Rolled Oats absorb quite a bit and I have used that to my advantage when a dough has gotten too wet and I didn't want to add lots of flour.  Do add a pinch (2% of dry oat weight) of salt too.  

As already stated steel cut oats can be very hard.  I would use them after soaking 8-10 hours.  If you want a moist bread, cook them and substitute the cooking water for the water in the recipe.

More water than a soaker?  If excess water is poured off the soaker, then no. Sounds like a specific recipe with a substitution in mind.   ?



jluckermierzwa's picture

About how much rolled oats do you add per loaf?

dabrownman's picture

into oat flour and treat as one for hydration, autolyse and salt.  No hard bits int eh bread then and no need to soak or cook them.  I like about 10% of the flour to be oats.  Why I don't know but we like them with potato flakes too.

Happy Baking