A bit about community loaves;
So if you follow me on social media, you probably know that I am one of the bakers in the Northwest Bread brigade who bakes and donate loaves to Hopelink every week. The Honey Oat pan loaf we bake, was developed and tested by a panel of few experienced bakers under the supervision of Katherine Kehrli, founder and head of the organization. The original recipe is inspired by a loaf done by the Grand Central bakery (they work closely with us for this project too), which is an affordable, simple, wholesome sandwich loaf without added chemicals. Flour,Oats, honey or molasses, oil, water,Salt, levain and a pinch of commercial yeast. Yes, commercial yeast is there for two reasons. Consistency (because not everyones’ starters are the same and there are novice sourdough bakers) and speed (same day bake for efficient logistics) . The levain we use is wholegrain based and is fermented for at least 6 hours (or overnight), which adds loads of flavor, nutrients and also act as a preservative. I tested personally and the bread didn’t go moldy moldy even after a whole week of sitting in my DO on the counter.
So when I proudly showcased my “community loaves”, almost everyone wanted a recipe. So as you know, I love to use 100% sourdough to leavan my bread and usually I like to phase out my bakes. So here is my version. This recipe is very similar to my Rolled oats and Apple sourdough, where I use an Oat porridge and grated apples.
You can use Honey or Molasses or both
You can ferment/retard overnight or bake on the same day
This step is crucial. Refresh you starter and make sure it is ripe before using it. A well fed (refreshed) starer is the key to having less sour bread. Because this is a sandwich loaf and I like to keep the flavor mild.
Feel free to mix some wholemeal in the starter if you like. I am using my usual all white starter (100% hydrated if you are wondering)
I used normal strong bread flour (KAF) and wholemeal flour that are widely available, so everyone can have ago at it. Anyone who has bread flour and some sort of wholemeal flour can try this recipe.
If you are lucky enough to have access to locally milled flour, by all means go for it! Just keep the ratios intact.
Measure the water in to a clean bowl and add the starer. Dissolve the starter in the water before adding it in to the flour
This is flour water and starter, just mixed and ready for the 1 hour autolyse
While the flour is being autolysed, lets make the porridge. It’s very easy. Mix the rolled oats and water and microwave for about 2 minutes. Or cook this on stove top until soft
Weigh the honey/molasses and oil and mix with the cooked oats while it is still hot. This stops oats going clumpy as it cools.
Tip: Spray the container with cooking spray before you weigh honey or molasses or weigh it in the same container as oil. This will ensure you get every single drop of honey out of that container
Once done, mix the porridge and spread it on a plate to cool faster
Add the cooled porridge to the autolysed dough along with the salt and mix together. You can use a mixer or use your hands. I prefer to use my hands
The dough will look like a sticky mess. But don’t worry, this is how it is supposed to be. Now that you have mixed everything, start kneading the dough. Use slap and fold to strengthen the dough.
after about 2-3 minutes of kneading the dough will start to look much smoother
Dough after kneading. It looks much stronger and holds its shape nicely. Place this in a greased container, cover and let rest for 45 minutes
Dough after the first 45 minutes. Do a coil fold.
Dough after the first fold. Now cover and leave to rest for another 45 minutes.
Dough after the second 45 minutes rest. Give another coil fold.
Dough after the second fold. it feels much stronger at this point. Cover tightly and place in the fridge to retard (long slow fermentation) 12 – 18 hours
For the same day bake:
Cover and leave in at room temperature for two hours.
Once done, start from the pre-shape and continue
After the retardation, take the dough out and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour or just until it start to go soft.
Tip the dough on to a well floured surface. notice the air bubbles. The dough will feel slightly puffed up and sponge like underneath. If your dough feels stiff and dense, give it another hour or so to finish bulk fermentation
Preshape the dough in to a tight ball. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
After the rest, shape the dough in to a loaf. I have a video of shaping and sticking oats on top. Have a look.
Once shaped and decorated with oats, place in the slightly greased loaf pan ( 9 by 5 loaf pan). Press gently using you palm to spread the dough nice and even to a snug fit.
Cover and leave in a warm draft free place to proof. I like to place mine in a large polythene bag.
Proofing time may vary ( 3-5 hours)
Halfway through to the proofing, start preheating the oven to 400 F
Proofed loaf will rise right out of the pan. You can clearly see when it is done, or do the “poke” test to make sure.
Reduce oven to 350 F and place the proofed loaf in. Bake for 45-50 minutes
Once done, leave to cool on a wire rack for 2- 3 minutes and then remove the bread from the pan and place on the wire rack.
Do not leave it the pan! The bread will go soggy
When this is completely cool, you can slice or store away.