Monday, September 15, 2014

Guest Post: Oatmeal Molasses Brown Bread Recipe

I'm so excited - not only did Joey find a recipe and make it completely on its own, but he wrote up what he did so I could put it on the blog. This is what he did:

I decided to make bread for us somewhat out of the blue last night.  Looking over one of the bread recipes that I knew was easy enough for me to handle (the sea salt focaccia) I found a link to this new brown bread.  After a quick perusal of the recipe I decided that it sounded good and was simple enough that I could handle it.

Following the recipe exactly (since I certainly don't know enough about baking to change things on the fly), I added all the liquids to the mixer and began adding the flour.  After adding the first 3 cups of flour it was immediately apparent that I would need a lot more flour.  I had measured out an additional 1.5 cups of flour to add in little by little, but quickly ended up using the entire 1.5 cups.  The dough was still very wet and sticky, so I continued to add in flour until it pulled away from the sides of the mixer and formed a nice ball.  I ended up using 5.5 cups of flour minus 1 tbsp.

From here it was easy, just took the dough out of the mixer and formed it into a ball, then placed that into a metal bowl that had been sprayed with oil.  I covered it with a tea towel and placed it in the oven with the light on to keep things warm.  Two hours later I had a nice big ball of dough.  Hard to say if it was 'doubled', but it looked big enough to me so I proceeded with the rest of the recipe.

I separated the dough into two pieces by hand as best as I could.  I know they weren't even, but it was close so I figured that everything would be fine.  At Jen's suggestion i flattened out the dough balls (each one separately) into a rough square and then rolled them up and placed them into loaf pans (sprayed with oil already).  Placing these back into the oven to rise again I let them rise for another hour.

Again, they were supposed to double in size but it's a bit tricky to judge the volume of a rolled up log of dough in a loaf pan.  I deemed them 'good enough' and removed them from the oven where they were rising so I could heat it up.  Putting them in the oven, they spent 42 min at 350 degrees before I took them out to check.  Both loaves registered internal temperatures of just over 200 degrees F (which Jen tells me means they are done), so I took them out to rest before removing from the pan.

Now it's time to make a sandwich and see if my experiment worked.

I used the bread for my own sandwich, and definitely liked it. We didn't like it as much as our typical honey wheat, maybe because of the texture (a little dense) or because it has a slightly stronger flavor. I think that using a little more yeast next time would help with the texture, to make it more similar to the fluffy wheat bread. Of course I forgot to take any pictures, of either loaf! Check out the site we got the recipe from - ours looked pretty similar, just not as fluffy

Yield: 2 loaves (~15 slices per loaf)

3 tsp active dry yeast (will use 4 tsp next time)
1 1/2 cups warm water (110-115 F)
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 tsp salt
1 cup rolled (old fashioned) oats
5-6 cups all purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl (stand-mixer), add the yeast and honey to the warm water, let sit until creamy and bubbly. 
Affix paddle attachment to mixer and add the butter, sugar, egg and molasses, mix well.
Affix dough hook and add 4 cups of the flour, salt and rolled oats, mix well.
Gradually add only enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that cleans the sides of the bowl when mixing. 
Using the dough hook attachment, knead for 10 minutes, until dough is soft but not sticky. Continue to add flour if the dough is still sticky. 
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Place in a warm spot (the oven with the light on works well). 
Let rise until the dough doubles in size, 1 1/2 - 2 hours. 
Meanwhile, spray two 9x5" pans with nonstick cooking spray. 
Remove dough from bowl to a clean cutting board dusted with flour, and divide dough into two pieces. Shape each piece into a rectangular shape, and roll up tightly, starting with the short end. Place each log into a greased pan. 
Cover pans and return to warm place until once again doubled in size, approximately 1/2 - 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F (if rising in oven, take pans out of oven before turning oven on!) and fill a small ovenproof dish halfway with water. 
When dough has doubled in size, place both pans of bread and the dish of water in the oven. 
Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until golden and hollow sounding when tapped. If you have a thermometer, the bread should read at 190-200 F. 
Remove from the oven and let sit in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Then remove the loaves to a rack to finish cooling. Wait until the bread has cooled completely before slicing.