I already have a recipe on this blog for oatmeal buttermilk bread, and it's a pretty tasty recipe at that. It was my go-to loaf for quite some time and no matter what I'm sure that I'll keep making it occasionally.
However, the best part about making bread is how many amazing recipes there are out there for everyday loaves. How can I commit to one oatmeal buttermilk loaf when there are so many others out there begging to be tried? I was so pleased with how all the loaves that I've made with this recipe have turned out. I am a sucker for a tall loaf with a soft crumb that toasts up perfectly.
When you bake bread with oatmeal is it very important to use old fashioned or large flake oats. They absorb more water than the instant or quick oats so make sure that you have the right ones. If you try to bake with quick oats you'll end up with a tasty but sort of sad and lumpy looking loaf that is going to hurt your feelings when you pull it out of the oven.
You want to open your oven and be greeted by a beautiful tall loaf of bread, not a flat-ish lumpy thing that makes you go "oh...hope that thing is edible".
The right oats = beautiful bread.
It's also important to let the oats soak for the full 30 minutes in warm water so that they absorb as much as they can and soften up nicely. Sometimes I'll just let them soak while I do other things..
Once the oats are soaked the rest of the ingredients get mixed in with the paddle attachment until they come together in a sticky mass. Then the dough gets kneaded and kneaded and kneaded with the dough hook.
The dough is a bit sticky to begin with but avoid adding extra flour until it has been kneaded for a bit. It should clear the sides of the mixer's bowl but stick to the bottom. If you need to add extra flour do it just a tbsp at a time.
Then finish up the dough by kneading it on a lightly floured surface with floured hands for a minute or two. It gets formed into a ball and then placed in a lightly oiled bowl to double in size.
After the dough has doubled it gets divided in half and then formed into loaves. For these two loaves I rolled one loaf so that it would just have the regular rounded top, then for the second one I made a short braid and stuck it in another loaf pan.
I grease my loaf pans pretty heavily because in the last few months my pans have rebelled and everything (EVERYTHING) sticks to them if they are only lightly greased. The scene in my kitchen would go something like this: "yay the bread is done, looks good!... hmm it's sort of stuck. Maybe if I just pull it like.. no.. or use the spatula to.. um. uh oh. Crap. Stupid bread! It's not my fault that you're all ripped. I hate you." (and repeat) I think it took about five ruined loaves before I started to try something different.
I really should just get new pans, but for now the extra greasing is working like a charm.
While the bread was rising I went to visit Wellington to see if he was enjoying staring out the window while my sister's dog Chloe played in the yard.
As you can see from Wellington's disgust he does not enjoy dogs spying on him/ruining the view.
Chloe has developed an intense fascination with Wellington, much to Wellington's displeasure. He chose to sit with his back to the window and Chloe chose to stay at her station and monitor the situation. I chose to go finish baking the bread.
These loaves have a pretty huge oven spring so I don't really recommend brushing their tops with anything but water. I didn't realize how huge they were going to get the first time I made them so I had topped them with an egg wash and some sesame seeds. When I opened the oven to rotate them I was greeted by this:
The bread smells amazing while its baking and it really does taste as good as it smells. It has a super soft crumb thanks to the oatmeal and when it's toasted it crisps up really nicely on the outside but stays soft on the inside.
Oatmeal Buttermilk Bread
Slightly adapted from Breadbasketcase. The only changes that I made was the oven temperature and baking time, and replacing honey with brown sugar (because I hate measuring out honey).
1 lb, 10 oz. bread flour
6 oz. whole-wheat flour
5.3 oz. rolled oats (old fashioned or large flaked)
2 cups warm water
1 cup buttermilk
2.4 oz. brown sugar
2.4 oz. (5 1/2 T) canola oil
.7 oz (3 1/2 tsp.) salt
.18 oz. (1 1/2 tsp) instant dry yeast (not active dry yeast)
1. In your mixer's bowl combine the oats with the 2 cups of water and let soak for 30 minutes
2. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix together with the paddle attachment until they come together as a sticky mass
3. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 10 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom. If it is still too sticky to handle add a few Tbsp of extra flour. Continue to knead until the dough passes the window pane test
4. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough for a minute or two with floured hands. Then shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave at room temp to double in size. About one hour.
5. After the dough has doubled divide it in half and form into two loaves. Place the loaves in greased loaf pans, gently cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until domed an inch or two out of the pans. One to one and a half hours.
6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the loaves with water, sprinkle with oats (optional), place inside the oven and lower to 350. Bake for 20 minutes the rotate. Bake for another 25 minutes until the tops are a dark brown and the loaves sound hollow with knocked on the bottom. Total baking time: 45-50 minutes
7. Allow the loaves to cool completely on wire racks before slicing. I know it's hard to wait but if you slice it while still warm you'll end up with a squishy loaf. Letting it cool allows the loaf to finish steaming inside and sets the crumb properly.