The Wood-Fired Blog

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread

600 grams whole wheat
200 white whole wheat
200 AP flour
600 grams (60)% water
10 grams (1%) yeast
20 grams (2%) salt
40 grams olive oil
30 grams honey
2 cup old fashion oats (3-5 minute cooking)
2 cup boiling water
Pinch of salt

Please forgive my slightly funky recipe format, where I mix baker’s percentages and grams with cups—but the bread came out really well, so I will be going back and putting some structure into the recipe. For example, it will be interesting seeing how the percentages come out and what the actual dough hydration is.

Interestingly, I am not even sure how you are suppose to calculate oats as part of a baker’s percentage formula. Seeds (which do not absorb water), are not counted as part of the flour, which makes a lot of sense. But what about whole grains?

To make the bread, I added 2 cups of boiling waters and a pinch of salt to the oats and let it soak until the mixture had cooled to room temperature. Then I mixed all of the bread ingredients and added the oatmeal, and mixed it on medium speed (KitchenAid 3) for 10 minutes.

Following my improved fermentation techniques, I did a bulk fermentation, punched down the dough, and then did three or four folds and shaped a boule and let the dough rise a second time. Then I divided the dough, did a boule fold, shaped my loaves and put them into a linen lined whicker basket and a baneton.

Because the oatmeal was still warm (though not hot) when I added it to the bread, the yeast was very active and the dough expanded very aggressively. To bring it under control, I did the final proofing for the boules in the refrigerator. The oven spring was huge, and despite some pretty good scoring, the loaves exploded a little on the side.

The flavor, the texture of the crumb, the lightness of the loaves, and the moisture were all really good. All of that in a formula that is 80% whole whole wheat.

One last note. I am feeling a lot better about my oven management of the Presto oven—this is my second one, and I have just finished a complete curing (or dry out) cycle. I fired the oven for about an hour with three pieces of wood, and then let it cool down into bread baking temperatures for an hour and 45 minutes. I have also started using a garden sprayer to create steam in the oven. By opening the oven door just enough for the sprayer wand, you can create a lot of steam without a lot of effort. The oven was just right, and the top of the bread, the bottom of the bread and crumb were all ready at the same time.

Today I baked the two large boules and two baguettes, all in a single bread loading in my Presto oven. Who says you can’t bake a lot of bread in a small pizza oven. :-) It was great.

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