The Fresh Loaf

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steel cut oats/water question

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christinepi's picture
christinepi

steel cut oats/water question

I've been using breadtopia's no knead yeast recipe with good success. I use 143g whole wheat bread flour, 300g white bread flour, and 343g  water. Result is a nice crumb with a gorgeous crust. Breadtopia has a recipe for a variation: 86g whole wheat bread flour, 86g steel cut oats, 286g white bread flour, and 343g water. 1/4 tsp yeast in both recipes. I made the oats one yesterday for the first time. When I mixed the dough, it was immediately apparent how much wetter it was than the regular recipe. I figured that the oats would absorb some of that water, and they did. After 18 hours, when I stretched and folded the dough, it felt much more dense and heavy, not fluffy like the original recipe dough, and barely manageable because of the high water content. I got concerned, but kept going. It rose again, not as much as the first, though definitely denser than with the regular recipe. 

My question: I'd like to combine the original with the oats recipe to get to some compromise. I like the oats in there, but I'd like it less dense. I was wondering whether presoaking the oats might help and then just add them to the original recipe, just like one would add nuts and seeds. But I imagine there could be a problem with the water contained in the oats, that one would have to adjust for that? Should I subtract the water amount that the oats absorbed from the overall water amount? Any thoughts?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I like to grind them first to make a flour out if them in a coffee grinder.  Your oat recipe had the same amount of water but less of the much more thirsty whole grains and bread flour too but the same amount of water as the original. Even though there is a little more dry weight at 456 g in the oat version I'm guessing that with the less gluten and less thirsty mix of flours you need to cut back some of the water too - to get it to feel and rise right.  The original recipe was 77.4% hydration with 32% whole grains.  The oat version is only 18.8 % whole grain and 75% hydration, with less gluten  so I would cut the water back to 335 q to 73.5 % hydration and see how that works out.

You can presoak the whole grains with the oats as a partial autolyse   for a coupe of hours and then add the rest of the flour and the water and let it go for another 20 minutes before mixing in the salt and yeast,

Happy Baking

christinepi's picture
christinepi

To say that while higher hydration can raise the chance of better and lighter  crumb, that there's a point when the hydration is  simply too high and the beasties can't do their job properly anymore?

In other words, if I cut back on the water in the oat recipe, will the already relatively dense bread that I got yesterday get denser? Or was it so over hydrated that it just pooped out? These things confuse me so much.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

doen't mean you cant throw in a coupe of Stretch and Folds at the 2 and 4 hour mark to help the gluten along some too.  If the gluten is properly developed th gas wont escape and your bread will be less dense.  I don't know what it is about oats and potato but together they can really rise some dough.  I sometimes boil potatoes when oats are in the bread mix and then use the water from the potato boil for the liquid in the dough.   This will help too.  I'd tell you the rest of Lucy's tricks but she is watching me quite closely right now....

ericreed's picture
ericreed

If by beasties you mean yeast, it's not that they can't do their job. It's probably that the proteins which combine to make gluten can't connect if the hydration is too high. The yeast are still happily eating and producing CO2, but without enough gluten to catch it, the gas just escapes the dough.

christinepi's picture
christinepi

... I used the original recipe, and just add 1/2 cup of oats--would the water amount have to be adjusted upwards or what would happen if I didn't?