The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My Oatiferous 50/50

albacore's picture

My Oatiferous 50/50

I've decided I don't really like the taste of wheat bran in a loaf that much. It's fine up to about 30% wholewheat in a loaf, but after that, I find the strong, bitter flavour of the bran is not really that nice.

One way round it is to sieve out the bran and put it in your muesli, so really you are baking with high extraction flour, but for this bake, I decided to try something a little different.

I started by using white wholewheat flour, which has a milder flavour than standard red wholewheat flour. The only version I know in the UK is Marriage's Golden Wholewheat bread flour, so this is what I used - no whole grains available in the UK - unless anyone knows differently - so the Mockmill was idle for this bake.

My next idea was to remove some of the wheat bran (no wheat bran was harmed in this bake!) and replace it with some oat bran.

Add in 7% rye for a rounded flexible crumb and 3% wheatgerm for some healthiness points and I was good to go - via a double retard route for flavour and good ears.

The bake went something like this:

Flour mix

  • 430g Marriage Golden Wholewheat through a #40 sieve
  • 53g retained, 20g added back to flour
  • missing 33g made up with 33g oat bran
  • 79g Matthews dark rye through #40 sieve
  • 22.5g retained, 5g added back and 10g oat bran added
  • 470g Waitrose Canadian BF
  • 30g wheatgerm
  • 3g malt flour


  • 225g young levain at 56% hydration, 30% of flour is Rubaud wholegrain mix



  • True hydration 80%
  • Salt 1.8%


  • Levain made in a 2 1/2 stage build at e5, e11, m8. The half build is a small top up one in the morning 1:0.21
  • All wholemeal flours and wheatgerm autolysed for 70mins with 423ml water at 32C
  • 414ml water at 32C added + all BF and malt. Autolyse 30mins
  • Add 225g levain, mix in
  • Add 20 salt, mix in
  • Mix on high speed 2mins 20secs
  • Turn out of the mixer into proofing bowl, dough temp 24C
  • Bulk ferment at 28C for 2hrs 10mins with in bowl S&F at 45mins and 130mins
  • Transfer to fridge for retarded bulk
  • Out of fridge next day (19 elapsed hours)
  • Rest 60mins at 24C
  • Preshape to 2 850g rounds, and a small one. BR 25mins
  • Shape to 2 batards, and 1 small boule, proofed on counter for 15mins
  • All bannetons retarded in fridge for 5 hours
  • Score and bake as normal


  • Overall, I was pleased with this bake. I was expecting a more open crumb, but maybe the high fat content of the oatbran and wheatgerm made it more closed? Or perhaps a longer final proof needed? Whatever, the crumb was moist, "rounded" and pliable
  • The bats had good ears and nice blisters.
  • Nice flavour with a definite sour tang



trailrunner's picture

Those are really nice loaves and I love that crumb !  Interesting flours. I keep thinking I will get a sifter from Breadtopia but I haven't placed an order in quite a while. I have a local mill to buy whole grains now. I will have to send off for one so I can try sifting out the bran particles. Thanks for posting and happy baking c

dabrownman's picture

and OSM to too!  Has to taste great.  I don't get the 3% sprouted flour though.  Th Brits are famous for their sprouted grain breads and they were light years ahead of the USA when it came to Granary Bread.  I couldn't even make any till I started sprouted grains at home:-)  Well done and happy baking Lance

albacore's picture

Many thanks for your comments.

DAB, do you mean the 3g malt flour? I find loaves with a high percentage of wholewheat flour don't always pick up colour well in the oven. The 3g of barley malt flour is just enough to fix it.

You probably don't have that problem in the US, where I think a touch of malt is a common additive in flour.


dabrownman's picture

flours because it has plenty already.  it is only white flour that has malt added since the natural enzymes are usually found in the part sifted out to make white patent flour.  I was just wondering if you were putting in diastatic malt or malt flour - two different things.

albacore's picture

I use Diax  - it's diastatic barley malt flour; not in every bake, just occasionally. I find 0.3% is about right.