I have a vague recollection of taking down a number of my Mum's recipes when I moved out for uni, but I'm fairly sure that I've never actually made this. Yesterday I noticed that we were down to a few slices of bread from the previous batch, so I decided to try this recipe.
Note that although there is not much work involved, the whole thing requires about 2 days from start to finish. Given the amount of flour, I recommend using a machine to knead the dough, in fact I've noted this specifically in the recipe and which may explain why I've not made it before,
7 dl water
4 dl rolled oats or spelt wheat
3 dl water
20 g fresh yeast
1300 g strong white flour
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cider vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
- Place the 7 dl of water in a large bowl, add the rolled oats and let them soak for a few hours.
- In the bowl of the mixer, dissolve the yeast in the water, then add flour, salt, sugar, vinegar, olive oil and the soaked oats along with their liquid and mix together to a dough until gluten has developed.
- Transfer the dough to a lidded container and put in the fridge overnight.
- Take out from the fridge the next morning and carefully turn out on a floured surface
- Divide into three equal parts and shape each into a loaf.
- Grease three loaf tins and place the dough loaves inside, then cover with cling film and let proof for an hour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 240 degrees C and bake the loaves for 30 minutes, then cover them with aluminium foil, turn down the oven to 200 degrees C and let bake for a further 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and the tins and let cool onto a wire rack completely before slicing.
I've not come across a bread recipe calling for vinegar, I'm guessing it helps bring down the pH-value in the dough and thus create a better environment for the yeast. Even using cider vinegar which I find is fairly mild, the dough smelt of it as I put it in the fridge last night. I checked it just before going to bed (rather late) and the dough had already doubled and filled up the box. I should have knocked it back, because this morning when I took it out of the fridge, the dough had managed to push the lid so much that it had managed to seep out on all sides. So much for my airtight container.
Now the recipe also states to put the dough in the microwave at a third power for 3 - 4 minutes. But I skipped that because I didn't want to risk cooking part of the dough. At third power doesn't mean that the microwaves will be a third strength, but rather that they will only be on for a third of the time set.
I used rolled spelt wheat this time. Looking at the ready bread it pretty much looks like it is a wholemeal bread, but I suspect the texture will be nicer. Which reminds me, if using oats, it is crucial to use rolled oats and not porridge oats. The reason is that porridge oats are flakes of the de-husked oat grains and so they soak up liquid quite happily. Rolled oats are the whole grains rolled flat into flakes and don't soak up liquid as much.