Bread Baking: Oat-Wheat Loaf

[Photograph: Donna Currie]

Now that the holidays are over, many people are on their way to vowing to eat better. What that means depends on what kind of bad eating has been going on. For me, sometimes my "be good" vow includes an effort to eat something in the morning instead of just slurping a cup of coffee.

Around the holidays I get even busier than usual, and my non-breakfast sometimes turns into non-lunch. So when I think about improving my eating habits, I start considering ways to eat something simple in the mornings.


Tips on Making this Recipe...
by hand-kneading »
in a stand mixer »
with a food processor »

Of course, there's always some kind of bread around. But not every bread inspires me to make toast. And not every bread fits my criteria for reasonably healthy breakfast. This one does. White whole wheat and oatmeal add fiber and flavor. If I want a little protein, peanut butter isn't far away.

Another benefit to this bread is that the recipe is designed to work around even the busiest day. There are plenty of times when the dough rests, and you can stretch that time to fit your schedule.

About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. She launched the blog Cookistry and has now joined the Serious Eats team with a weekly column about baking.

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Bread Baking: Oat-Wheat Loaf

About This Recipe

Yield:Makes 1 8x5 loaf
Active time:45 minutes
Total time:1 day
Rated:

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 ounces (1 cup) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 3/4 ounces (1/2 cup) quick oats
  • 1 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 9 ounces (about 1 2/3 cups) bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Procedures

  1. 1

    The night before you want to bake, put white whole wheat flour and oats into bowl (use bowl of your stand mixer if you will be kneading by machine, or use any medium sized bowl if you will knead by hand). Add 1 cup very warm tap water. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit on counter overnight.

  2. 2

    In morning, mix remaining 1/2 cup water (lukewarm this time) with sugar and yeast in small bowl and let it sit until foamy, about ten minutes. Add yeast mixture and bread flour to bowl with white whole wheat and oats, and mix until combined. Knead (with the dough hook, or by hand on your counter) until it begins to become elastic. Add salt and oil and continue kneading until completely incorporated. Drizzle olive oil into plastic bag and transfer dough to bag. Seal bag and place in refrigerator.

  3. 3

    In afternoon or evening (or the next day) take bag out of refrigerator and leave it on counter to come to room temperature, about two hours. Prepare 8-inch loaf pan by coating with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkling lightly with cornmeal. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly flour work surface and turn out dough. Knead briefly, then shape dough to fit pan, and place seam-side down in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled—about one hour.

  4. 4

    Remove plastic wrap and bake until nicely browned, about 40 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes in pan, then remove and let cool completely before slicing.

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