The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Oat Bread Take 2

linder's picture

Sourdough Oat Bread Take 2

Okay, I got rid of the baking soda in the bread.  It doesn't taste like baking soda anymore.  I added 1/4 cup honey to the bread instead of diastatic malt, added zest of one orange and one more cup of oatmeal substituted for about that much flour. 

Results- better but still not a loaf to write home about, rather bland in flavor.  My husband says it's not near as flavorful as the 100% whole wheat bread from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads.  Hmmm, what to do next? 

A little more salt? I'm using about 2 tsp. for 2 loaves.  I'm thinking of uping the whole wheat flour and doing a preferment of wild yeast starter like the WGB bread and putting together an oats soaker as well a la Reinhart.  Is it the oats that make the bread so ho-hum?

Or maybe just forget this recipe, because it seems like by the time I've tweaked it there won't be much left of the original.  Any ideas for improving the flavor profile of this loaf gratefully accepted.




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


Oats are bland, it's their nature, what about toasting 'em first?  Malt or brown cane sugar instead of honey if sticking to white flour.  Did you reformulate the salt when removing the soda?   Roasted nuts?

isand66's picture

Are you bulk fermenting the dough in the refrigerator?  If not that will help immensely in developing some flavor.  Try adding some wheat germ which will add a nice nutty flavor as well.

Post your updated formula and I will be glad to look at it again and give you my two cents.


dabrownman's picture

be like oatmeal - ungodly bland tasting until you add the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spices fruits and nuts to make it palatable.   I like the oats in bread for their health benefits, if ground into a flour from seed or cracked into a meal and made into a gruel first like Janet would do.  The fiber and nutritional benefits are too good to pass up if made from the seed or the oat bran is added back into steel cut or rolled oats.   I don't usually put  more than 10% oats in the bread to keep it from being bland.   Of some reason,and I don't know why, I usually pair instant potato flakes when ever I put oats in bread.  I think it has to do with Clayton talking about how magnificently oats and potato make bread rise.  A cooked or uncooked potato starter also pairs well with oatmeal too since many oatmeal bread originate in Scotland, Ireland and England where potato starters were and are common.  War Breads, that have been around for centuries and made when white flour was scarce, also had oats, corn meal and WW flour in them.

I went to check Clayton's Complete Book of Breads he only had 1 oatmeal SD bread. It has a Potato SD starter, non fat dry milk powder, honey, AD yeast and baking soda (wow the same 3 leavens your recipe has) and AP flours of all things - Why didn't he use bread flour ?  He said it made good toast.  haven't seen any with veg oil in them.

The other oat breads have pumpkin pie spices, orange segment and peel, molasses, brown sugar, raisins and other dried fruits, walnuts an other dried nuts, buttermilk and or sour milk.  Looks like they were trying to perk up a bland taste too!

I would keep the white malt in the mix since it provides the enzymes that break down carbs for yeast and Labs to eat.  The 2 c of WW is the only thing supplying  flavor in the bread so keep that too.  I would put in some molasses or barley malt syrup  in place of the honey, a half C each of rye and spelt flour in place of 1 C of the AP, replace the rest of the AP with bread flour and use buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream or sour milk for the liquid.  Using a potato starter would be nice too as would some oat, spelt and rye sprouts to top it off.  At least it would have some more flavor without putting in spices, fruits and nuts - but adding them in you get a nice dried fruit bread too!

Sadly, oats have no taste.

Janetcook's picture

Hi Linda,

Have you tried THIS formula of txfarmers?  I have tried many oatmeal type loaves and I always come back to this one.  It is my base for any loaf that includes flakes.  (Only thing that I change is the way in which the oat groats are treated...I have oat groats and mill them like steel cut oats which I use instead of flakes.)

Good Luck in your search :-)


mini_maggie's picture

I don't know a lot, but I know molasses  (and at least 2/3 whole wheat) are key to getting a little flavour in oatmeal loaves.  Personally I find half molasses and half honey a good mix.