Sourdough

Toasted Oat + Honey Sourdough


Prep Time : 60 Minutes | Cook Time : 40 Minutes | Total Time : 18 hours | Difficulty : Sourdough

Hello my lovelies! I missed y’all. I had a lovely week off. I slept in. I read books. I went to the seaside. I had lunches with friends. I obsessively made an indecent number of canellés because reasons. I also had some inspired ideas for recipes that I will be sharing with you over the next few weeks. Now that I’ve cleared my emails and all that super fun coming back from holiday stuff it’s time to bake something.

Let’s celebrate being back together with some bread. Given my longstanding love affair with oats it’s only natural that a oaty sourdough would turn up at some point. We’re adding oats in two ways to make this loaf soft and toasty and nutty and delicious. First up we’re making a porridge to ferment overnight. Then we’re adding toasted oats to the dough for nutty golden crunchy morsels on the inside. If a hug was a loaf of bread this would be it. The dough will stay kinda sticky all the way so don’t panic – it will all turn out in the end.

An hour or two before bed make the porridge. Put the water and oats into a small pan or a microwave safe bowl and cook until a thick sticky porridge forms. It won’t be pretty.

Next we are going to mix the preferment. Transfer the porridge into a large bowl and add the cold water for the preferment and whisk it all together. It will be a bit lumpy. Test the temperature – it should be warm but not hot. Add the flour and starter to the rest of the preferment. Cover the bowl and leave it overnight.

It’s best to toast the wholegrain oats the night before as well so they’re ready to go. You can do them in a pan on the stove but you’ll get a more even golden result if you fan bake them dry in a dish for about 15 to 20 minutes at 200C (375F). They’re ready when they are dark golden brown and very fragrant.

In the morning the preferment will be risen and bubbly on top and when you look underneath there will be bubbles all through it.

In a small bowl dissolve the salt in 40 mls of the warm water. In another bowl or jug mix the honey into the remaining 100mls of warm water.

Add the honey water to the bowl of preferment. Measure the bread flour in on top and add the toasted oats.

Mix everything in the bowl together to make a dough. Work it in the bowl with your hand for 2 to 3 minutes folding the dough over on itself until it starts to resist you a bit. Cover the bowl and leave it for about 30 minutes.

Add the water with the salt dissolved in it and knead to distribute it thoroughly. This gives you a few more minutes of kneading to round out the process. You will notice that the dough has lost some of it’s stickiness because the flour has absorbed the water. Adding the last bit of water will cause the stickiness to return but don’t worry it’s fine.

Cover the bowl and leave it to ferment for 2 hours in a warm place. After 2 hours is up you need to start stretching. This wakes the gluten back up and traps pockets of air in the dough so that when you bake the loaf it will have a lovely open structure. This loaf won’t get as holey as some as the oats weight it down a little.

You need to do four sets of folds in all. Do them around 20 to 30 minutes apart. No one will die if you are distracted and one of them is a bit later. To do a set of folds moisten your hand and reach under the dough on the side of the bowl furthest from you. Pull a handful up and fold it down towards yourself onto the rest of the dough.

 

Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Go all around the bowl doing four folds in all. Cover and leave for 20 minutes and then repeat until you’ve done four sets. Cover and leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes or so.

Put the oven on to 250C. Put your clean cast iron casserole dish in the oven including the lid to heat up. If you have a cane or pressed conifer proving basket then dust this liberally with flour. Rub it in well so it coats the surface. If you don’t then dust a linen tea towel heavily with flour and lay it into a medium bowl.

To shape the loaf dust the bench heavily with flour and then turn the dough out onto the flour. Use your fingers to pinch the dough together on top. This will create a taught surface on the bottom of the dough which is also well floured. Shape the loaf to fit your basket or bowl. Don’t handle the dough more than you need to. We want to retain the air bubbles that are in there so they can expand into a lovely open crumb when we bake.

Lift it gently into the proving basket or bowl and lay it flour side down. You will be inverting this later so the smooth side that is on the bottom now will become the top later.

Cover and leave to rise for between 40 minutes and an hour. It shouldn’t double in size but will be about half as big again. You will get to know what this looks like with practice. I know that a loaf this size is ready to bake when it crests out of the basket I use by about an inch.

Cut a piece of baking paper big enough that as several inches clearance in either side of your unbaked loaf. You need room for handles. Lay the paper over the top of your dough. Support the dough with one hand and use the other to gently tip the basket/bowl over. Do this near the bench surface so the dough doesn’t fall. You will feel the dough release from the surface of the basket/bowl. If it doesn’t just give it a few seconds to let go. Don’t pull on the basket or tea towel.

If you wish to slash your loaf you can. It helps control how the loaf will rise and adds some flair. We could all do with some flair. Use the very sharpest serrated knife you have or a razor blade with a sticking plaster on one side.

Right, now we need to quickly do a thing. Put a wire rack on the bench next to the oven. Open the oven door and take out your pan and set it on the rack. Remove the lid and set that on the rack next to it. Quickly lift your loaf by the baking paper and lower it gently into the pan.

Put the lid back on and put it back in the oven and shut the door. Bake for 15 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and behold your beautiful well risen loaf.

Bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes with the lid off. I always go for the longer time to get a good dark crust. The malt syrup/honey we put in will help the crust develop as well.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. You should let the loaf cool completely before slicing. I know I know. Cooking is still happening in the middle of the hot loaf. Cutting it while it’s warm can squish the crumb and let excess moisture escape so the un-eaten part will be drier.

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Toasted Oat Sourdough


Prep Time : 60 mins | Cook Time : 40 mins | Total Time : 18 hours | Difficulty : Sourdough

Makes : 1 medium loaf

Tender chewy sourdough with the added softness of cooked oats and the toasty crunchiness of toasted oats.

Ingredients:

For the porridge:

  • 75 grams porridge oats
  • 200 mls water

For the preferment:

  • 250 grams of the porridge
  • 75 grams water
  • 75 grams bread flour
  • 50 grams sourdough starter

For the dough:

  • All of the preferment
  • 140 mls warm water, divided
  • 10 grams salt
  • 20 grams honey
  • 350 grams bread flour
  • 50 grams wholegrain oats, well toasted

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Bowls and spoons
  • Cast iron casserole dish (around 5 litre capacity)
  • Proving basket or a bowl lined with a linen tea towel

Directions:

An hour or two before bed make the porridge. Put the water and oats into a small pan or a microwave safe bowl and cook until a thick sticky porridge forms. It won’t be pretty.

Next we are going to mix the preferment. Transfer the porridge into a large bowl and add the cold water for the preferment and whisk it all together. It will be a bit lumpy. Test the temperature – it should be warm but not hot. Add the flour and starter to the rest of the preferment. Cover the bowl and leave it overnight.

It’s best to toast the wholegrain oats the night before as well so they’re ready to go. You can do them in a pan on the stove but you’ll get a more even golden result if you fan bake them dry in a dish for about 15 to 20 minutes at 200C (375F). They’re ready when they are dark golden brown and very fragrant.

In the morning the preferment will be risen and bubbly on top and when you look underneath there will be bubbles all through it.

In a small bowl dissolve the salt in 40 mls of the warm water. In another bowl or jug mix the honey into the remaining 100mls of warm water.

Add the honey water to the bowl of preferment. Measure the bread flour in on top and add the toasted oats.

Mix everything in the bowl together to make a dough. Work it in the bowl with your hand for 2 to 3 minutes folding the dough over on itself until it starts to resist you a bit. Cover the bowl and leave it for about 30 minutes.

Add the water with the salt dissolved in it and knead to distribute it thoroughly. This gives you a few more minutes of kneading to round out the process. You will notice that the dough has lost a lot of it’s stickiness because the flour has absorbed the water.

Cover the bowl and leave it to ferment for 2 hours in a warm place. After 2 hours is up you need to start stretching. This wakes the gluten back up and traps pockets of air in the dough so that when you bake the loaf it will have a lovely open structure.

You need to do four sets of folds in all. Do them around 20 to 30 minutes apart. No one will die if you are distracted and one of them is a bit later. To do a set of folds moisten your hand and reach under the dough on the side of the bowl furthest from you. Pull a handful up and fold it down towards yourself onto the rest of the dough.

Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Go all around the bowl doing four folds in all. Cover and leave for 20 minutes and then repeat until you’ve done four sets. Cover and leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes or so.

Put the oven on to 250C. Put your clean cast iron casserole dish in the oven including the lid to heat up. If you have a cane or pressed conifer proving basket then dust this liberally with flour. Rub it in well so it coats the surface. If you don’t then dust a linen tea towel heavily with flour and lay it into a medium bowl.

To shape the loaf dust the bench heavily with flour and then turn the dough out onto the flour. Use your fingers to pinch the dough together on top. This will create a taught surface on the bottom of the dough which is also well floured. Shape the loaf to fit your basket or bowl. Don’t handle the dough more than you need to. We want to retain the air bubbles that are in there so they can expand into a lovely open crumb when we bake.

Lift it gently into the proving basket or bowl and lay it flour side down. You will be inverting this later so the smooth side that is on the bottom now will become the top later.

Cover and leave to rise for between 40 minutes and an hour. It shouldn’t double in size but will be about half as big again. You will get to know what this looks like with practice. I know that a loaf this size is ready to bake when it crests out of the basket I use by about an inch.

Cut a piece of baking paper big enough that as several inches clearance in either side of your unbaked loaf. You need room for handles. Lay the paper over the top of your dough. Support the dough with one hand and use the other to gently tip the basket/bowl over. Do this near the bench surface so the dough doesn’t fall. You will feel the dough release from the surface of the basket/bowl. If it doesn’t just give it a few seconds to let go. Don’t pull on the basket or tea towel.

If you wish to slash your loaf you can. It helps control how the loaf will rise and adds some flair. We could all do with some flair. Use the very sharpest serrated knife you have or a razor blade with a sticking plaster on one side.

Right, now we need to quickly do a thing. Put a wire rack on the bench next to the oven. Open the oven door and take out your pan and set it on the rack. Remove the lid and set that on the rack next to it. Quickly lift your loaf by the baking paper and lower it gently into the pan.

Put the lid back on and put it back in the oven and shut the door. Bake for 15 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and behold your beautiful well risen loaf.

Bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes with the lid off. I always go for the longer time to get a good dark crust. The malt syrup/honey we put in will help the crust develop as well.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. You should let the loaf cool completely before slicing. I know I know. Cooking is still happening in the middle of the hot loaf. Cutting it while it’s warm can squish the crumb and let excess moisture escape so the un-eaten part will be drier.

Cook’s Notes:

  • This dough does retain it’s stickiness more than a wheat only dough – don’t worry just keep going and use a lot of flour to dust your proving basket or bowl
  • Remember to get your cast iron casserole super hot – make sure it’s in the oven for 30 minutes at 250C. If the pot isn’t hot enough you won’t get the best spring and you will see a denser layer at the bottom of your loaf.

 – This bread is best the day it is made or the day after but will keep well for up to a week – especially for making toast – 

© 2018 Wellington Bakehouse. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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2 thoughts on “Toasted Oat + Honey Sourdough

  1. Made the Toasted Oat sourdough over the weekend – so good!! I have been religiously making sourdough every 2 weeks after coming to your bread course last year – Hamish is still going strong. Good to have some different recipes to try. Thanks Kearin!

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