The Fresh Loaf

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Oat flour yeast bread (not gluten free)

JulieOfTheRoses's picture

Oat flour yeast bread (not gluten free)

I recently made a quick bread with 50% oat flour, 25% barley flour, and 25% AP flour. I loved the flavor and I really want to bring that to the yeast breads I normally make.

I tried 20% oat flour and 80% AP flour, but it tasted almost the same as my 100% AP flour doughs.

I'd like to increase the oat flour significantly, but I know oats have no gluten and therefore could be very problematic in high percents. I already had a hard time getting to the windowpane stage with just 20% oat flour.

For a basic lean dough (flour, water, salt, yeast), can I add wheat gluten to accommodate higher percentages of oat flour? I've heard that you can get off flavors from wheat gluten, which would almost certainly come through in such a simple dough - have any of you had experience with this?

Any other recommendations? I could try subbing out bread flour for the AP, but I'm not sure that is really enough of an increase to allow me to use 50% oat flour.



The quick bread was a variation on an Irish soda bread:

8 oz oat flour, 4 oz barley flour, 4 oz AP flour, 1.5 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 14 oz buttermilk

Oil and flour two cake pans and preheat oven to 425.

Mix ingredients thoroughly and shape into round flattened ball in cake pan. Cut X in bread, cover with 2nd cake pan, and put in oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

To use oat and barley flakes, raw or toasted (two to one) and use them pre soaked (allow to swell in equal weights of water for at least an hour or overnight, drain well) into a wheat dough thinking of them like nuts.  They will cling whole to the matrix, give up water during the bake and interfere less with the gluten matrix without having to add any additional gluten.  That way you may be able to use the same mixture of oats and barley in various recipes. Try it.  Hold back some of the recipe water if the drained grain seems very wet. 

Toasting lightly in a little oil or butter is also very tasty.  Toasted ingredients for inside the loaf.

Try rolling a finished shaped dough in raw oat/barley flour or flakes before panning.  Butter pan so flour/flakes brown nicely.   :)

clazar123's picture

Quick bread/soda bread and yeast bread have different structures. I cannot see developing a lean, hole-y bread with high percentage oat flour and barley flour. I can see a dense or semi-dense sandwich loaf, but it will take some experimentation and maybe even some borrowing from GF baking. Otherwise, I can see an even lighter crumb if you follow Mini's suggestion and use the flakes as additives in a well-developed dough.

The problem with trying to achieve a lighter crumb with oat and barley flour is that they are so high in starch and form a gelled starch that isn't strong enough to trap enough air. You need more structure...more "netting" to trap the bubbles. Adding gluten is one idea but you may need too much gluten before you can handle that much starch. It will end up very chewy. I wonder if borrowing from Reinhart's  "the epoxy method" would be beneficial. It also is similar to the new "Modernist Bread" concept of adding "gelled" water to a dough. Bear with me, I am developing this idea as I type. I don't know if it will work but it sure would be interesting to see.

Reinhart's epoxy method uses a biga (flour,water,pinch of yeast only) and soaker (flour,water) and after they are properly developed they are mixed and final ingredients are added (flour,yeast,salt,etc). Gluten and starch development are maximized with little kneading. Works best with a stand mixer as the 2 layers can be stubborn to mix.

Modernist Bread (I heard this from a video by the author) talks about using "gelled water" and adding it to the dough as an additive (like nuts) and the way it affected the crumb-moist, high rise, great texture. Actually, this reminded me of tang zhong.

GF bread (of which this is a hybrid at 80% GF flours) uses gums (chia,psyllium,guar,xanthan,pectin,egg whites) for structure and to capture the gases produced either by yeast or by chemical leaveners (bakng soda and acid such as buttermilk or vinegar). Once again-too much and you have a loaf of gum. I would say a little of any of these will go a long way to providing additional structure.

Chemical leaveners using an acid and base-buttermilk (vinegar or lemon juice) and baking soda, just like the Irish Soda bread. Or double acting baking powder. Sometimes you see chemical leaveners added to a yeast dough to boost the number of bubbles quickly and capture them by setting the crumb in the oven before they can escape. In a high GF flour loaf( or high percentage rye), it is all about capturing the bubbles before they escape. If you just depend on yeast bubbles that develop slowly as the loaf rises, too many may escape before the crumb sets in the heat of the oven..

I would have to think on developing an actual method but I would employ all the concepts. It would probably be a very moist loaf that would need to be handled like a high percentage rye or a GF loaf.

Keep us posted! Very interesting idea!



JulieOfTheRoses's picture

Thank you for all of your suggestions!  I'll bake up my next experiments this weekend and share the results.

It sounds like I may already have a start in the right direction - I'm already using a poolish, so it won't be much of a stretch to modify that for some of your suggestions, and I'm making rolls with a denser crumb, not a hole-y hearth bread, so that should also work in my favor (I started on a quest to replicate some amazing German rolls I had years ago, and have since gotten distracted with my own experiments and variations).

My goal is to gain the oat-y sweetness and flavor, while retaining the texture of the bread - I don't like the dry, dense, crumbly texture you get from most GF breads.  I think I'll start with the biga/soaker method, use bread flour instead of AP, and look into the gelled water idea you suggested.  I do have several of Reinhart's books, but I'm not familiar with Modernist Bread or tang zhong.

Current roll recipe, without oat flour:
Poolish: 110g AP flour, 110g water, 0.5g instant yeast
Total (including poolish): 530g AP flour, 300g water, 8g salt, 5g instant yeast, 8g shortening

Mix poolish and let sit at room temperature for approx. 12 hours

Mix & knead all ingredients (including pre-ferment). 2 bulk rises (each time until doubled) at about 60 - 65 degrees - aim for 60+ minutes per bulk rise.  Divide into 12 rolls, pre-heat oven to 425, and let rolls proof until ready (usually about 45 minutes).  Slice rolls & baste with water.  Bake with steam 10 minutes (I use a cast iron skillet and boiling water), then an additional 10 - 15 minutes with steam removed.

clazar123's picture

Very interesting video:

If a combo loaf is what you want, I think about 30% oat may be good for a loaf that has gluten structure without using other structural components like the gums or seeds. If you go beyond that, you will then need some ever increasing additions.