Monday, April 25, 2011

Maple Oatmeal Wheat Bread

Not to overstate it but this recipe underscores the beauty of the recipe sharing that happens among bloggers.

I first saw this bread on my buddy Margaret's blog Tea and Scones (recipe here). I made it and my coworkers flipped for it. Mags saw my post, and she reworked the recipe to use whole wheat flour (you can see her post here). When I saw her version, I wanted to make it but I wanted to make it even better.

In this case, better means easier. I am in love with Dan Lepard's kneading technique, which involves three 10 second kneads, each followed by a rest period. I wanted to revise this recipe so it would be easy for yeast phobics (I used to be one of you!) to make a flavorful, healthy bread without a stand mixer or big muscles. Although I think this version is just about perfect, I hope you'll make the recipe your own just as Mags and I did.

This bread is wonderful while still warm from the oven, great dipped in a little maple syrup or with maple butter, and makes a spectacular turkey sandwich.

Maple Oatmeal Bread
Printer friendly recipe
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup (80 g) rolled oats
2 1/4 cups (300 g) whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cups (415 g) unbleached bread flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup (50 g) dried milk powder
3/4 cup maple syrup, at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Maple syrup for brushing (optional)
Oatmeal for sprinkling (optional)

In bowl of stand mixer, combine boiling water and oats. Cover and let sit for one hour. It's OK if you leave it a bit longer.

In a medium sized bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the whole wheat flour, the bread flour, yeast, salt, wheat gluten and dried milk powder. Set aside.

When the oats have cooled for one hour, add the flour mixture and mix in with a wooden spoon or spatula. Pour in the maple syrup and stir together with your wooden spoon or spatula then with your hands to bring together as a soft, sticky dough. Pour the warm melted butter over the dough and mix into the dough with your hands. Cover the bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.

Grease a flat clean surface with olive oil (or, use a Silpat as I do). Remove the dough from the bowl (it will be a bit damp and very sticky) and knead for ten seconds, then form the dough into a smooth round ball. Wipe the bowl clean and grease with olive oil, then return the dough ball to the bowl and leave for 10 minutes. It's OK if you leave it a few minutes longer.

Repeat this ten-second kneading and resting process every 10 minutes twice (a total of three kneadings), then let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Grease two loaf pans (you can use 8 x 4 or 9 x 5). Divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape into two loaves (which I do by dividing half the dough into two pieces and forming each into a ball, placing them side by side in the pan) and place each in a loaf tin. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about one hour, or until the dough crests about an inch over the top of the pans. If using the larger loaf pan, your dough may not crest as much. It should feel lightly springy to the touch.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If desired, brush tops of loaves with maple syrup and sprinkle with oatmeal. Place loaves in oven and bake for 40 minutes, rotating pans 180 degrees halfway through the baking time. Remove loaves from the pans and cool on a cooling rack for one hour before slicing. Warm bread is pretty irresistible, but your loaf will have the best texture if you wait until it cools completely. That said, if you cut off a few slices to try, only the cut end will be a little moist, the rest of the loaf will completely normal.


natalia said...

How wonderful Leslie ! I had missed it but will try it soon...wish we could share a turkey sandwhich sometimes !

Di said...

Mmm, that looks delicious! I've made some other oatmeal breads, but I like the changes you've made to this one.

Tracey said...

I think I remember your original post about this bread - in fact, I'm pretty sure I bookmarked it but never got around to try it. Thanks for the reminder, love the changes you made. I'm a big fan of that kneading method too.

Cakelaw said...

Yummy looking bread Leslie.

AmyRuth said...

Mmm, I may cross over among you into the non-phob's I've made a version of a maple oat from Healthy Bread in 5 mins a day before and its really nice. Reminds me more of the texture of a quick bread. This sounds really so delish. Need to try it. Your coworkers are really fed well. Just one of the many perks, I'm sure. :")

Jessica said...

Mmm...I love the Dan Lepard method too, and I always love reading your variations! This one looks particularly tasty.

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Your bread is amazing, Leslie. Look at what a confident baker of bread you've become, Leslie!! Dan Lepard's bread method is one of the great things I've learned from blogging, and it's so much fun!