Monday 11 June 2012

Oat and honey bread, and a malted bread

Recently I have been smitten with oats in bread baking.  I have tried three quite different recipes.  The first was a Granary Loaf that Sylvia didn't like due to all the seeds.  Then I tried a No Knead Oat Bread that E thought too dense.  Finally I baked  my favourite Chia olive oil bread with some oats added.  It was just right and everyone loved it.

I quite fancied the Granary Loaf at Mealtime Meltdown.   However I've never found granary flour here.  A quick search on the web made me decide to use wholemeal flour and a little malt extract.  I tweaked the recipe and was pleased with the results.  The bread (see above and below) was lovely with a delicious crust.  Below is the recipe I used but it could use a little work.  However I don't imagine I will make it much more in the short term because Sylvia wont eat bread with all the seeds.

Then I found a note in a blog post from a few years back saying that I had been making a no knead oat and honey bread.  I never recorded it.  What a fool!  Now I don't have a clue where it was and I really had a yen to make it.  A web search threw up the King Arthur No Knead Oat Bread.  It was as close as I could find. 

I tweaked it considerably and I am blogging the version I have arrived at after three attempts.  I have used olive oil instead of butter, and honey instead of brown sugar, and added chia seeds.  My main problem is that it is rather sweet.  I've tried 3 tablespoons of honey at first and then reduced it.  I tried more salt but that bread (top photo) was really dense and I wondered if the salt had retarded the rising.  My other dissatisfaction was not having an appropriate sized baking dish.  The above square dish seemed wrong and my Le Creusset French oven seems too big.

The second time I made the bread, I decided I must have a better baking dish.  I let it rise overnight and the next morning I headed out for the shops to buy a new dish.  I was pleased to find a stoneware for $30 at a local shop.  (I consulted Jim Lahey's book on his No-Knead Method - which I highly recommend - and he said more expensive dishes weren't necessarily better.)  It is still slightly too wide but is a great improvement.  I think I need to try Jim Lahey's No Knead Bread again with this new dish.

One reason that I love no-knead bread is that they are so forgiving of my lifestyle.  It took me a while to finish my shopping and get home after buying a new dish.  On the way home, Sylvia scraped her finger on a fence so a bandaid had to take a higher priority than bread upon stepping through the front door.  Once the dough was rising in the baking dish, we returned over the street to have Sylvia's hair cut and get photos developed.

While the bread cooked, we visited the neighbours and went for a bike ride.  I was bringing in washing when the buzzer went off to say the bread was ready to come out so I didn't take it out immediately.  I guess that is also a benefit of a slow oven.  This is not a quick bread.  The third time I made the bread, I started at 10.30 in the morning and it came out of the oven at 11.30pm.  It is delicious and very dense with a nubbly texture that keeps well for a few days.  It slices easily and made lovely sandwiches.

I love both these breads but they haven't been so great for all the household.  So I returned to Chia olive oil bread that I have made many times.  Of the 600g of flour, I used 400g bread flour, 100g wholemeal flour and 100g rolled oats.  It worked really well and was lighter than when I have added wholemeal flour.  No photo but I think you might see it in the background in the future as this seems the one that suits everyone.

I am sending this post to Susan at YeastSpotting, the weekly round up of yeasty recipes in the blogosphere. 

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: CC Spicy Chai Tea
Two years ago: Chocolate custard crumble
Three years ago: Banana, cranberry and raspberry smoothie
Four years ago: Split Pea Soup goes Asian
Five years ago: Nubbly Bread and Hearty German Soup

No Knead Oat and Honey Bread
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

4 cups white bread flour
1 cup wholemeal plain flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried yeast
2 1/4 cups cold water 
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix dry ingredients well and add water, honey and olive oil.  Mix thoroughly to make a sticky dough.  I put my hands in the bowl to mix it (which seems like kneading and makes me question if this is really no knead bread). 

Cover with cling wrap and leave for at least 8 hours.  Below is dough I left overnight for 8 hours.

The recipe said that it will become bubbly and rise quite a bit.  Mine rose but I don't think it really became bubbly - just remained stony faced!  Below is the dough after leaving it another few hours. 

Once the dough is risen, tip it out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface.  The dough will deflate slightly when handled but the air is not punched or kneaded out of it.  Place in a well greased cast iron or stoneware baking dish with a lid - preferably an oval one. 

Leave to rise for at least an hour - the one below was left for over 2 hours.  It should be puffy and risen.  During this time preheat oven to 220 C.

Bake for 50 minutes with the lid on and then another 10 minutes with the lid off.  The recipe said to test it with a thermometer in the middle of the bread but I don't have such a thing so I just rely on it smelling cooked, sounding hollow when tapped and looking a deep golden brown.  I left my most recent loaf in the oven longer when it was only a light golden brown at the end of the baking.

Remove from baking dish.  (NB Two out of three times I have found it sticking to the pot slightly and have had to prise it out.)  Cool on a wire rack and leave at least an hour before slicing and enjoying!

Malted Oat Bread
Adapted from Mealtime Meltdown

400ml warm water
2 tbsp malt extract
1 tsp dried yeast
2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1-2 tsp for kneading
285g white flour
275g wholemeal flour
50g wheatgerm
55g rolled oats, plus extra
50g mix of sesame, poppy and linseeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp salt

Mix water, malt extract and dried yeast plus a handful of the flour.  Leave for 15-20 minutes until it looks foamy and/or creamy (ie there are indications the yeast is alive and kicking.)  Add remaining ingredients.  Knead for about 10 minutes (I think I did a bit less) on a lightly oiled surface, adding more oil if the dough becomes too sticky.

Leave covered in a warm place to double in size (suggested time in 1 1/2 hours.  It took me over 3 hours the second time because the house was so cold and the dough actually developed a bit of a crust - not ideal.)

Knead briefly and place in a lightly oiled bread tin (or on a lightly oiled baking tray).  Sprinkle with extra oats.  Leave to rise for about another hour.  Bake at 220 C for 35 minutes.  (I did this at 230 C to make amends for my oven.)  It is ready when it sounds hollow when tapped.  Cool on a wire rack and leave an hour before cutting.

On the stereo:
The Original Music From ABC-TV's Dark Shadows


  1. What a hearty delicious loaf this is! I need to get back to bread baking.

    1. Thanks Joanne - I haven't done much over summer but winter seems to make me want to bake bread - perhaps you need to wait for the cooler weather!

  2. oh no! a boo-boo! :( And Wow! those loaves look so beautiful!! i am so impressed with your bread making skills -- it seems like all my GF bread attempts end up as utter failures! haha! thanks for sharing!

    1. thanks GF happy tummy - I haven't attempted gf bread - seems another challenge altogether

  3. Thanks so much for the these recipes...honey and oat bread has been on my mind since you mentioned it and I love the idea of no knead baking. I love the look of the recipe, and the malt one too.

    I am a bit lacking in bread baking dishes so may have to think about how to rectify that...or do you think an oven tray would work too?

    1. Thanks Kari - I love the idea of no knead baking - got quite into it a while back but I think my lack of suitable dish was one reason I wasn't happy with it. I have put a link to my previous no knead bread in the post but would like to try a few more - maybe it would work with oats!

      As for the dish, I think any baking dish with a lid will do - I have tried it with a few of my lidded casserole dishes and they have been ok but I haven't been happy with the shape. The lid is important because it creates steam to cook the dough.

  4. Oooh, you know what the too-sweet loaf should be used for? Chocolate bread and butter pudding. You know you want to ;)

    1. Thanks Hannah - that is a most excellent suggestion - though I can confirm that the oat and honey loaf is also excellent with peanut butter!

  5. Your bread looks so good and I love the sound of the malted oat bread! I really need to get out of my current rut of only making pizza/calzone dough and occasionally pita bread. Having said that I don't think I have a decent sized baking dish to be able to make bread like this. *sigh*

    1. Thanks Mel - I would like to make pita bread occasionally - it is still hiding on my to do list! The malted bread just needs a regular loaf tin - and I have tried no knead bread in a rather small baking dish (though this was the Jim Lahey no knead bread that makes a smaller loaf) - I was pleased at how cheap it was to buy a new dish - but you then need room to store it

  6. I love the look of this bread. Homemade bread is such a treat and something I should do more often. I love the image of the bandaid! xx

    1. Thanks charlie - I love home made bread - though I still find it hard to time when I make it

  7. Ah, love the malted oat bread. I have some jalapenos goat cheese which would go very well with the bread. Yum!

    1. Thanks Sharan - your goats cheese sounds just the thing for the malted oat bread

  8. I do love a good no knead loaf! Although I have a dough hook that can do it, it's great when you don't even have to use that!

    1. Thanks Lorraine - no knead bread is great. The Honey and Oat bread recipe suggested a quick go with the dough hook to mix it together well but it seemed against the spirit of no-knead. I don't have a dough hook but I don't mind kneading unless the dough is really hard or really soft but I love being able to leave the dough for ages

  9. Your oat bread looks stunning & very appetizing! I love oats in my breads, cakes & muffins!
    Your malted bread looks equally tasty!

    I also tried your lentil quinoa stew yesterday evening & my husband & I loved it so much: so much flavour in there! :) A big thanks!!


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