Hearty Oats and Wheat Bread

When you want to bake bread, bake bread.  I don’t know about you but baking bread just makes me happy.  It really gives me the warm fuzzies.  I don’t know, maybe I have said it before, but when I am not feeling my best baking some bread makes the world seem better.  So when a good friend said she wanted to start baking more bread using wheat flour and asked me if I had any ideas, I started researching.

This bread is the fruit of my labors.  An easy homemade loaf of wheat bread that you can make with a minimum of 6 ingredients.  A soft yet dense loaf of delicious bread.  Hard not to slather it in butter as soon as you can handle it hot and fresh out of the oven.  Good luck letting it fully cool.  I lasted like 10 or 15 minutes.  Some nice thick slices would make a good accompaniment to a light soup or stew.  Maybe cut some thin slices for a side sandwich.  Turn it into toast and top with avocado, tomato and eggs.  

Enjoy!  

Hearty Oats & Wheat Bread

Time: Prep 15 mins, Rest 2-4 hrs, Bake 25-35 mins

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients

  • 304g (2 Cups) Whole Wheat Flour
  • 170g (1 1/4 Cups) All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Packet Instant Yeast OR 21g Fresh Yeast
  • 360ml (1 1/2 Cups) Warm Water*
  • 45g (1/2 Cup) Oats* 

Procedure

  1. Get a large bowl, fill with the warm water and yeast. Stir to combine and let sit for 5-10 minutes until a foam starts to from on the top of the water.  Don’t worry that is just the yeast doing their thing.  If you don’t see any foam at all, your yeast might be old and it would be best to dump it out and start again with some new yeast.
  2. Once your yeast mixture has foamed up add the flours and the salt directly on top.  Stir together with a spoon, spatula or your hands until a sticky rough dough forms.  THEN STOP!
  3. Gently move the dough out of the bowl.  Add a light coating of oil to the inside of the bowl, place the dough back inside, roll around in the oil, cover with plastic wrap and  place somewhere warm to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Prepare your baking dish.  You can use a loaf pan, baking sheet, cast iron pan or dutch oven.  Anyway you go, cover with parchment paper and a light coat of oil.  
  5. Flour your work surface, your hands and the dough.  Turn the dough out and knead a few times to remove the air (also called de-gasing or punching down).  Then add your oats or other toppings.  Knead until incorporated and the dough is no longer sticky. Place in prepared baking dish and lightly coat with flour and a few oats for decoration. Let rest for 60 minutes. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 450°F (233°C)  
  7. Optional: Place a shallow metal or cast iron pan on the bottom rack of the oven and allow to heat with the oven.*
  8. (READ COMPLETELY BEFORE YOU BEGIN) Once the oven and pan are fully heated and bread is rested you are ready to bake!  If you choose to add the water, prepare 2 cups of hot water.  Make 3 1/2 inch(1.27cm) deep cuts in the bread in your desired pattern.  Place the bread in the over.  Pour the hot water into the hot pan and quickly close the oven door to retain steam and heat.*
  9. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until crusty and golden brown on top.
  10. Let cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes and then remove from the pan by living out with parchment paper.  Try to resist cutting a slice and covering it with butter while it is still hot… or don’t!

 Tips:

  • Make sure your water is no warmer than 110°F-115°F (43°C-46°C).  If your water it too hot you will kill the yeast and if it is too cool it might take longer to bloom.  
  • If you don’t have oats, or don’t like oats, or just want to mix it up here are some additional ideas:  millet, flaxseed or meal, chai seeds or meal, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds.  Just remember to adjust the amount.  For example, as chia seeds and sesame seeds are smaller 1/2 of them would be too much.  Maybe start the a Tablespoon and go from there.
  • Remember not to overwork the dough or you will have a tough result.
  • Depending on weather, heat and humidity, you might need to add a bit more water or a bit less.  Usually I withhold 1/4 cup water and see if it needs it, however if it should need more add 1 Tablespoon at a time.  The time it takes to rise can also depend on the weather temperature.  If it is a cold day it may take longer.  When rising, NEVER place the dough in the oven with the oven on!  You can kill the yeast before it has time to do its thing.
  • Adding the pan of hot water will help develop a crispy crust and keep the bread a little mosit.  It is very important to follow the steps as quickly and safely as possible.  You don’t want a lot of heat to escape when you open the door so have the bread and hot water close at hand. 

If you make this recipe I would love to see it!  Make sure you follow and tag me on instagram @kristenscookin and hashtag it #kristenscookin.

Recommended Kitchen Tools

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