Rabu, 17 November 2010

Steel Cut Oat Bread

Is there anything better than the smell of a freshly baked loaf of bread in the house? I don't think so. This is one of my favorites. A crunchy gold brown crust and a light and fluffy inside makes this bread irresistible. 
If you have never heard of the no-knead bread and would like to start baking your own bread I highly recommend this webpage  Breadtopia.  It has very nice video instructions and lots of good and easy bread recipes. 

Steel Cut Oat Bread
(makes 1 loaf)
(adapted from NYT /breadtpopia/M.Preston)
It’s amazing what the addition of a mere half cup of steel cut oats can do to enhance and vary the quality of a basic loaf of no knead bread. During the long fermentation period, the grains soften and swell to give the bread a wholesome and satisfying flavor and texture.
Simple enough to whip together in a heartbeat and interesting enough to become a regular in your no knead rotation.
3/4 cup (3 oz.) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (3 oz.) steel cut oats 

2 1/4 cups (10 oz.) bread flour or All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp. instant yeast or 1/4 cup sourdough starter

1. In a large bowl combine flour, oats, yeast and salt. (If you use sourdough starter, add it to the water and stir to dissolve. Add 1 1/2 cups water, and stir with a fork until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

Tip: I let the dough rise in a colander or basket lined with baking paper. When the dough has risen, I lift the whole thing and put the dough together with the paper in the pot.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic, la cloche, Roemertopf) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

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