October 15, 2008
Oats Whole-wheat Bread - I say Roll
I would rather call them rolls, but they are larger than rolls and smaller than a regular loaf of bread, and there in lay my confusion with naming it. So call it whatever you want, this bread/roll/mini loaf is just the fresh, home-made bread that we all crave for.
Bread making is known to be therapeutic, I don't know why, nor do I have the facts to prove it, but I would like to believe it.
Not many things in cooking is as satisfying as using your hands to make it, knead it, watch it grow, and then bake it off to a comforting perfection.
Nothing says comfort like bread, and making it is nothing less of sheer pleasure.
And I hate to stress the point, but if you are eating bread, whole wheat is the kind you should entrust your body with. Well, at least most of the times.
Let me talk about the origin of this recipe a little bit. It was taught at a "PCC cooks" class which I was assisting. PCC is a health foods stores and has various classes on healthy food concepts and nutritious cooking methods. Not all their classes focus on health, but some do, and I try to take in as much information I can. So far, so good.
From my bread making experience, here are 6 tips for a good loaf:
(This is not the end of all, I will make more bread, and I will have a lot more to share)
->I am guilty of using fancy yeasts in the past, but for real a good normal "Instant yeast" should do the job neatly.
"Highly active" sounds like something that only explosives should be labelled.
->Flours high in protein yield very good loaves. Bread flour is certainly one, but not having used that before, and for "healthy" reasons I would rather stick to the whole wheat kind. White whole wheat is lighter in color and yields a lighter loaf than the regular whole wheat flour.
->Refrigerate whole wheat flour. They become rancid if stored at room temperature. Unlike all purpose flour, it is unbleached, unrefined and filled with nutrients and those are best preserved when refrigerated.
->If you don't use a bread machine, like me and many others, kneading by hand is a non-compromising option. Infact, it gives you the satisfaction of making it all with your own hands. Knead for at least 15 min to get the gluten working in the dough.
It is hard to over-knead the bread dough.
->Hot water kills the yeast, and cold water fails to activate the yeast. Warm water is ideal, not too hot, not too cold.
->Patience is key, let the dough rise. Let the yeast do its job.
So to get off to a nice promising start, I lost the original recipe! (Laughing devilishly)
I am going to try to get the recipe and the method off of my head right now. But I promise good results if you get around to trying it.
On another note, thanks to Uma, Suma, G.Pavani, Shama, Vibaas and Curry Leaf for the nice "Butterfly award" they so kindly passed over to me. I really appreciate it girls. :)
Oats Whole-wheat Bread/Roll
White whole wheat flour - 1 and 1/4 cup
Cooked oats - 1 cup
Honey - 1 tbsp
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Toasted Sunflower seeds - 1 tbsp
Yeast - 1 tbsp
Warm water - 1/4 cup (use less or more to knead)
Celtic sea salt - 1/4 tsp (or to taste)
Quick oats - A handful to roll the dough in
Mix cooked oats, honey, and oil and set aside.
Add the warm water to the yeast and let it rest for 5 min. It will become frothy.
Mix the flour, yeast, oats mixture and the salt and start kneading. Add more warm water if needed.
Knead for about 15 minutes till the dough is soft and smooth. Add the sunflower seeds and work them in for 2 minutes.
Transfer it onto a large greased bowl.
Cover the dough and let them sit for at least an hour or two to rise. The more the better.
Preheat oven to 375F.
The bread dough should have doubled in size. Then, take it out and knead them again by hand for 5 minutes. There is no need to punch it down!
Shape it into a loaf/roll shape, wet the top surface with a little splash of water and roll it over the quick oats. This is just to give the top an nice look.
Score the surface and set the roll on a baking sheet on the top rack and bake at 375F for 30-35 minutes or till it becomes brown on top. The bread should sound hollow when tapped.
Let rest for about an hour before devouring.
Serve warm with a good, light cholesterol-free butter spread or fruit preserves.
This goes to Susan's Yeast spotting, Divya's Diet foods.