Oatmeal bread for BBD#9

This is my second bread baking day event, and I am enjoying it so much! Thanks to these events, I stretch my limits and my imagination further, get to see more of this aromatic world - the world of flour, butter, the smell of fresh bread and yes the world of Enid Blyton - I always wondered what it was like to bake back then when my sister and I would read of The Famous Five and The Secret Seven eating 'Cook's freshly baked bread and scones swimming in butter'!

What I like about these events is that I know I am going to get a surprise at the end of my efforts because most of the time I do not know what to expect - and tell me - who doesn't love surprises? The few disasters I have had goad me to do better!

The last time BBD#8 was hosted by Susan of Wild Yeast - Yes, she's that wonderful lady whose oven seems to keep smelling of fresh bread all the year round! That link is of the last round up and I was so proud to see my culinary creation featured - mine is the second last one on the round up and Susan has very graciously put hers after mine:). I enjoyed that moment a lot - Alright I know that is getting too elaborate.....but that was my first..so I have the right to 'wax eloquent' over it!

Susan hands over the baton to Astrid of Paulchen's blog! Paulchen invites us to bake a bread with 'oats' as the main ingredient. I loved the whacky layout of her blog - the puss in boots, the cute mushrooms and a recipe tag in the midst of all the chaos, very adorable and homely! Also enjoyed reading the trivial facts about oats. Here are a few more facts; I got them mostly from here

I also visited the person who started this tradition of a motley crowd baking bread together based on one theme - Zorra of 1x umruhren bitte. She started it with a post on 17th June 2007 with her theme as bread with herbs - Wish I was there for that one (it reminds me so much of Bangalore Iyengar Bakery's yummy herb breads!). So far 8 BBDs have been hosted with herbs, fruits, rye sourdough, bread and spices, filled breads, shaped breads and festive bread as the themes! So much done in such a short time! I am glad I missed the sourdough one - for some reason the word itself intimidates me!

Also glad to be taking part second time in a row! A year back if anyone had suggested baking bread at home, I would have been wonder struck, but not anymore thanks to you wonderful bloggers who have shown me how it can be done at home easily!

Alright, down to business!

Here's my simple and straightforward oatmeal bread. No pleats, no braids - just a plain loaf but with a nice crust (A little hard as I forgot to glaze with milk) and a good taste. It did seem dense, but that was expected! Mine is a rather simple, tiny, basic oven, and the bread took a little over an hour to bake. The book says it should be done in 45minutes.

(Source: Classic essential bread and buns from Confident Cooking series)

1 cup rolled oats
1 and 1/2 cups water
14g active dried yeast
1/2 cup warm water (extra)
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
1/2 cup warm milk
1tbsp. soft rown sugar
1tsp. salt
31/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats for the topping


1. Prepare a standard bread loaf tin. I lined it with foil that came up from both sides as I felt that the dough might rise beyond the loaf tin (Mine is an ice cream tin and so the depth is less).

2. Combine oats and water in a pan cooking in low heat till the oats is cooked and the water is absorbed.

3. Place the mixture in a large bowl and set aside till it comes down to room temperature.

4. Meanwhile mix the yeast with the extra warm water and caster sugar. Leave it aside to froth.

5. Mix the yeast mixture along with milk, brown sugar and salt to the oats mixture, stirring well to combine.

6. Add the flour a cup at a time till the whole thing comes together. The books says you should be able to form a soft dough. All I had was a sticky dough. I oiled my fingers with some olive oil and kept working to get a somewhat pliable dough.

7. Add a little more flour if required and knead on a floured work area to make the dough smooth and elastic. Mine was not elastic. Don't worry too much - it always corrects itself later!

8. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl for the first proofing. After an hour or so it will almost double in volume. Punch it down (it will be still sticky) and pat into a loose rectangular roll the same size as your loaf tin. Place with the seam at the bottom.

9. The book also suggests that some part of the dough may be used to make a braid, and placed on top of the loaf. (I was sleepy by then, so did not do that!)

10. Brush with water if you do want the hard crust I got. Sprinkle the extra rolled oats and leave to raise for about an hour.

11. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg. C. Bake till it rightly answers the skewer test. Set aside for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool.

It is a regular bread loaf - only more healthy! Serve it like a regular loaf with bread, jam, whatever! It should stay well for about 4 days. I found that this is by far the most dense loaf I have made! But it was very good, even the crust and when I offered it no one could make out that it was made with oats!!

Related pics (Click on pictures for recipe)
(L to R)
Monkey bread, Potato bread, Focaccia, Whole wheat buns, Herbed Cheese braided bread
and Rosetta rolls

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