Monday, January 24, 2011

Oatmeal Soda Bread

I love bread, but I’m still trying to get over the rolls on Thanksgiving that didn’t rise. Oh, was Dennis sad. He was going to buy rolls just incase mine didn’t rise, but he didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Thankfully there was a locally owned shop open … it saved the day.

So now, I’m experimenting in other ways.

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The best part of this recipe is that it’s simple. The ingredient list is short and I had mostly everything I needed in my cupboards (and fridge.)

Oatmeal Soda Bread (from 101 Recipes)

I meant to make this a little differently than Heidi’s, but I was afraid if I changed it up too much it would ruin everything. Next time I make this, I’m going to use spelt flour instead of oatmeal. Don’t get me wrong; this was a great loaf of bread. It was slightly sweet from the oats and next time I want to try something a little more versatile.

Ingredients

butter, to grease pan
2 cups rolled oats

~2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and kneading

1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt

1 3/4 cups buttermilk, plus more if needed, and 2T. for brushing *

mixed seeds - sesame, caraway, poppy, etc.

* If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make it by adding 1 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of milk. Let it stand for a few minutes to let the acid do it's work.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle of the oven. I free formed my bread but you can use a bread pan if you wish.

To make the oat flour, use a food processor to pulse the rolled oats a few times. Then process into a fine powder - another minute or two.

Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.

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Make a well in the flour and pour in the buttermilk.

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Stir just until everything comes together into a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead for 30 seconds or so, just long enough for the dough to come together into a cohesive, slightly flattened ball without many cracks. (you can ignore the crack at the bottom of my dough)

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If your dough is on the dry side, add more buttermilk a small splash at a time.

Brush all over the top and sides with buttermilk and sprinkle generously with mixed seeds or flour, 2 tablespoons or so. Slice a few deep slashes across the top of the dough.

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Bake for about 30 minutes, then quickly (without letting all the hot air out of the oven), move the rack and the bread up a level, so the top of the bread gets nice and toasted. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until a hard crust forms and the bread is baked through. It will feel very solid and sound hollow when you knock on it.

IMG_1266 Boy was this bread tasty.

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This bread will stay good for a week or so if you leave it wrapped in parchment and foil in the refrigerator. Or, you can slice and freeze like I do. It is much more dense than regular bread, but it can still be used just like sliced bread to make sandwiches. I actually used this bread to make one of my Glorified Egg Sandwiches. It’s also really good with Nutella. Yes, I went there.

Are you afraid of making bread? Do you have any bread disasters?

I have a recipe that I’ve used before (with help) that might be broken out this week…

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