I’ve been making oat bread a lot, lately. Basically Alton Brown‘s recipe, though I’ve a couple of things different I’ll get to shortly. But since it’s someone else’s copyright recipe and you can get it easily I’ll not copy it here. (notice that I linked the video but you can click on that to get to the recipe itself.)
One of the things I really appreciate about this recipe is that it’s a lot easier – and less expensive – to get oatmeal instead of ground oats, yet the breakdown for cooking isn’t too dissimilar.
The big reason for the sift to oat bread is that it’s better for me and my diabetes. The complex carbohydrates of oatmeal, plus the fiber, release blood sugar into my system slower than just straight flour – white or whole wheat. I can tell the days I’ve used white bread instead when I do my blood sugar check.
Anyway, the differences.
1. I don’t use agave syrup. Instead I use molasses. Same reasoning as the oats, really. Molasses is slightly slower in releasing the sugar, and it’s carrying other nutrients.
2. I use steel cut oats instead of rolled for the additional oats, and they’re not toasted. Yes, I am losing that toasted taste – but I found it almost too subtle. Besides, I’ve got something else.
3. I add 1/3 to 1/2 cup dried fruit. Usually dried cranberries, though I’ve chopped dried apricots as well. On the one hand this boosts the sugar making mockery of the rest of the efforts. On the other hand it adds a bit of the fruit requirements of my diet.
4. I have never managed an overnight raise with this. Even when I use oatmeal I’ve set in the refrigerator overnight so it’s cold and do the second rise in the pan in the refrigerator as well, I’ve got a good rise in an hour or two. If I let it overproof, the subsequent rise is both lower and more fragile. I’ve had it collapse on the way to the oven.
5. I don’t bother with the egg wash and oat topping. Yes, it’s pretty. Yes, it tells everyone that this is oat bread. But as it’s pretty much my daily bread the pretty is unnecessary – especially as even with the wash about half the oats come off before eating
Processing. I make the oatmeal, stir in the oil, molasses, and water, and put it into a container for leftovers and put that in the refrigerator. Actually I make two or three such containers. Then when it’s time for bread the messy part of the measure is already done and cool enough it won’t kill the yeast.
Day of making I dump a container in, mix up the dry (to include the fruit), and add it all to the stand mixer with a bread hook. I let this go on low for 7 to 10 minutes – that seems to develop the gluten to turn it into a soft ball. Yes, it’s sticky. I lightly grease my hands to handle it.
1 to 2 hours for the first rise, into the pan, and let it rise in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Or if I’m in a hurry, about an hour on the counter. Once the dough’s above the pan it’s into the oven and baked.
My current favorite thing with this? Toasted cheese sandwich (open face). Just a slice of bread, a slice of cheese, and under the broiler till the cheese is toasted to taste.