The Fresh Loaf

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Need some advise with this recipe

bread basket's picture
bread basket

Need some advise with this recipe

Hi, I am really struggling with the following recipe: I call the bread German Oat because it is  German origin. The bread tastes really good and I think it also looks pretty good but I am struggling with the dough: It is a very wet dough and it it hard to mix because the oats are very compacted after soaking. I am not sure about the fermentation times. It is hard to judge for me because of the high hydration. Here is the original recipe:


 85gr AP

85 gr. water       at room temp 16 hours

9 gr culture


300gr rolled oats (old fashioned) toast

600 gr. boiling water, let sit 16 hours

final dough:

sour dough


475 BF (that's what I am using)

120gr rye

200gr water

21gr. salt

5gr instant yeast (15gr fresh yeast)

1Tbsp Molasses (Backmalz in the German version)

Mix dough till it comes together and let ferment 75min in the bowl. Divide dough in three, pre shape and let ferment 20 min. Final shaping , then final fermentation 20Min. bake 30 min @470F and 10min @ 375F

Calculating bakers% I get a hydration of 90% (I added the oats to the flour).

In my version I mix the dough, autolyze 30 min, bulk ferment about 75 min with 2 S&F (at the beginning and half time) bench rest 20 min, final fermentation 60 min (or till doubled) in bread pan

preheat 475F, bake 10 min with steam@475F and 35 to 40 min@ 375F

Is there anything I should or could change? How long the final fermentation? Window pane test is difficult , it is a very delicate dough with the oats not quite dissolved..

Thanks for looking into this


DavidEF's picture

There is a bit of confusion sometimes about the word autolyse, and what it means, so let me ask you this: Are you mixing ALL of the ingredients, and letting it rest as an autolyse? If so, my first suggestion would be to do what is generally considered to be a true autolyse - mix only the flour and water (okay, I'd say the soaked oats, too) and let it rest for the 30 minutes before mixing in the other ingredients. I'm sure you'll see a big difference in just doing that. If the oats are hard to mix in, try mixing some or all of the flour into the oats first, so it's easier to break up clumps and chunks of soggy oat clusters! Then, add the rest of the flour and water and do your autolyse. Then mix in your other ingredients. If you are proofing your fresh yeast, reserve some of the water for that.

Wingnut's picture

I don't know what you are asking for. What are you unhappy with? The color, the texture, the taste, the crumb, the shaping,….. Wet dough are, by nature, difficult to work with. I would not worry to much about a window pane with rye flour. 

To me your crumb looks very nice. The picture are a little small to see much detail. 

Sorry if I am not a help.



golgi70's picture

down your formula not counting the oats as flour.  I counted them as an addition for the soaker.  i think your struggles are that the soaker is so large.  The total Oat Soaker is 900 g.  The total flour is 685g.  So that means the soak is 132% in baker percentage.  

It sounds like this is a batter bread of sorts if it originate from another source.  If you'd like to make it a workable dough you'd probably want to decrease the percentage of oats/soaker to flour.  Or you could continue to treat it as a batter bread and skip the shaping part.  Mix dough until it comes together well.  Bulk Ferment for said time and with wet hands give your folds to help build some strength.  Then just pour into your greased pan and smooth over with wet hands.  .

Hope this helps or eases your mind


ananda's picture

Hi bread basket,

I calculate the hydration to be just over 90%.   Oats are very thirsty, so the formula is worth trying to perfect.

To that end:

  • put some of the salt in your hot soaker to prevent enzymatic activity
  • the molasses will cause flow in the dough, so further slackening
  • dispense with the autolyse; it is not necessary here.   Increase your bulk time to compensate if you need to

Best wishes


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

all the hot water?  Or is there some water to drain off?  If so, I would drain the water, save it and replace some of the dough water with it.   Then play with the hydration for a nice dough.  The oats are already hydrated so you can rely on "dough feel" knowing the oats will not dry out the dough.  

Oats and rye will make a sticky dough so I would opt for lightly wet hands for handling.

I would also roll the shaped loaves in grated nuts, nut flour and/or rolled oats and heavily butter the pans for a yummy crust. 

hanseata's picture

I also don't think you need to leave a hot soaker for such a long time.


mwilson's picture

Further to Andy's always excellent tips. I would alter the process slightly by adding in the soaked oats last since they're bulky and don't contribute any desirable gluten. So, mix the dough minus the soaker to achieve some elasticity then let it down with the remaining soaker water, check for window pane at this point and then add the oats.


bread basket's picture
bread basket

Thanks to every one for your suggestions.

David: you are right regarding autolyse. I will try this next time and see how it works.

Josh: the large amount of oats was what intrigued me about this recipe. That is something I would rather not change.

Andy: will put some or all? the salt in the soaker. Think I tried no autolyse because original recipe does not mention that. But did not make much difference.. I was not sure what the "Backmalz" in the original recipe was supposed to do , so I replaced it with Molasses. I like the taste of Molasses though but I don't think I will notice if I omit it.

Mini Oven: yes the oats soak up ALL the water. I have tried to put the total amount of water in the soaker but I could hardly see a difference. Those "Old fashioned Oats" are very coarse. I don't want to change to the "quick cook" ones because i also like the bite the leave in the bread. Your suggestion of rolling in grated nuts sounds yummy. Will try that.

Karin: with the quick cook oats I would not need to soak so long but again I don't want to use those. May be it is just the convenience of making soaker and starter at the same time, like the original recipe suggests. Could try a shorter soak. Would that dry my dough more?

Michael: I don't know because the oats are like a brick, hard to break up.

Again, thanks so much for all your suggestions, I will let you know what I tried and how it worked.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

"...the oats are like a brick, hard to break up."

Sounds like they need stirring.  First while pouring hot water on top of them and then a few times while they sit.  

I love oats and toasted oats even better (toasted in butter or coconut oil also good)  and this recipe of 1/3 oats is right on the max. limit edge.  I wonder if this was first a steel cut oat recipe...  

bread basket's picture
bread basket

It says kernige Haferflocken

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I hate chewing those flakes raw.  Chew forever and then pray you don't break something.  They are about 2 mm thick (1/8") and they do need a long soak.  

I think if you're using average old fashioned rolled oats, you can cut back the soaking time. 

Hmmm, I've got 280g of steel cut oats...  I wonder, I wonder...