The main complaint our chef hears about using whole oats in bread is that the bread ends up dry or hard as a rock. In fact, we think the term "oven produced bolder" pretty much sums it up. Most oat bread recipes end up this way because the whole grains are not given enough exposure to moisture to produce a tender loaf. Another common mistake when making oat bread is using cooked oats. While a small ratio of the moisture can be replaced with cooked cereal, an overabundance of cooked cereal will give your bread a gummy texture like denture cream. Over the last few weeks our chef has been working on an oat bread recipe with a very high ratio of the whole grain oats in the bread. The resulting recipe is our favorite by far. It has a chew and texture that cannot be matched along with a delightful crunchy crust. Hopefully you will find the same joy.
Artisan Oatmeal Sourdough Bread
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oat
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 cup sourdough starter (see our tutorial here)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp yeast (optional)
5 1/2-6 cups Texas Pure Milling Bread Flour
1 Tbsp. Salt
In a gallon sized bowl, combine the oats, juice and starter. Allow oats to absorb the juice and set aside for 30 minutes, allowing moisture to absorb. Add the remaining ingredients and knead until well combined in the bowl about 300 turns, about 5 minutes. Dough will be wet. Cover with a lid and allow to raise until doubled in size, about 2 hours*.
Divide dough into balls and form into loaves. Place in a well-floured brotform bread mold and allow to raise for 2 hours until doubled.
Preheat oven to 475°F. Invert bread mold onto baking stone. Slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor. Transfer to hot oven and bake 35-45 minutes until over 175°internal temperature.
Allow bread to cool before slicing. This bread you will find to be very moist and have a shelf life of 3-4 days if it lasts that long. Enjoy.
*If using only sourdough starter to raise the bread, the loaf will take approximately 12 hours to raise.