Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oatmeal Bread from Martha Shulman

The bread I chose today took the entire day to make. The cookbook it is from is Great Breads by Martha Rose Shulman....very expensive now, but the one I own is paperback and I've had it since 1995 - bought for $19.95 - isn't that funny - $19.95 in 1995.

Here are the ingredients:

1 cup rolled/flaked oatmeal (I used McCann's)
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 T active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 T honey (from my bees)
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (for both of these I used King Arthur's flour)

1/4 cup canola oil
1 T salt
2 -3 cups whole wheat flour

1 egg beaten with 2 T water
1 T sesame seeds

To make the sponge, I boiled water and poured it over the oatmeal when I first got up and left it all morning. When I returned about four hours later, I softened the yeast in the warm water and added it to the oatmeal and its liquid, along with the honey. Then I stirred in the white and whole wheat flours.

I left this sponge for an hour or so until it was bubbly. Shulman, who references a mixer and a dough hook in other recipes, says to make this one by hand. I did not - but used the mixer throughout.

Once the mix was bubbly (sorry - couldn't upload the picture), then you make the dough by adding the oil and the salt. Then I used mostly the dough hook to stir in the rest of the flour. I used all three cups of whole wheat flour and was midway through the fourth cup, when I decided to use a little unbleached flour as well. Even at that and after kneading with the dough hook for 10 minutes, the dough was still quite sticky.

(Note: Blogger just couldn't seem to upload in the correct orientation tonight - I'll try to edit later).

Perhaps it was because I used the mixer and not a wooden spoon?

I used unbleached flour on the counter for the end of the knead and left it to rise in a greased straight sided container for about 1 1/2 hours. Then I punched it down and let it rise again for about an hour. This is recommended in the recipe. Shulman says the resulting bread without the second rise will be a bit denser than if it had been given the second rise.

Then I shaped it into loaves and put the two loaves into two greased pans. I used the egg wash to brush over both loaves and then sprinkled them with sesame seed. They rose for about 45 minutes before baking in a 375 degree oven for 50 minutes. I had already thrown out the egg wash, but for a tiny bit. The recipe says to brush the loaves with the egg wash about half way through baking, so I used the little bit to do that.

Even saved to disk, the picture would not upload in the correct orientation - I'm sorry you have to look at it sideways!

These loaves are beautiful but too hot to cut tonight. I'll report on the taste tomorrow.

Tastes delicious - light for a predominantly whole wheat bread. I really like this bread recipe and will make it again in spite of the day long effort.

No comments: