Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oatmeal Buttermilk Bread

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We’re not big bread eaters. Not because we are concerned about counting carbs, but simply because we just don’t eat it. I stopped buying bread because we’d eat a few slices and the rest went to waste (well, I’d just tear it up and feed it to the birds).

Ever since I starting having GI issues I’ve stopped buying premade and packaged foods. Now I make almost everything myself, so that I know exactly what is in the food I eat. This way I ensure there are no surprise ingredients that could possibly cause abdominal distress. Recently, I started making my own bread, slicing it up and freezing the slices, so we can thaw slices as we need them. I found many recipes for bread, and this is far and away my favorite. Most homemade bread is dense and heavy, but this one is so light; I love it. I made this loaf to go along with my curried carrot soup. Whatever was leftover the next day I froze. This bread freezes really well. After slicing, I wrap each slice in aluminum foil before placing them in freezer bags and freezing. This method prevents the frozen slices from sticking together, making it easy to just grab one or two slices as needed. You can make it in a mixer, but I like to knead it out by hand; I find kneading to be relaxing and therapeutic.

Oatmeal Buttermilk Bread
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Makes 1 loaf

1 ½ c rolled oats
1 c boiling water
¼ c water
2 tsp + 2 Tbsp agave, divided
2 tsp yeast
1 ½ c buttermilk
½ c extra virgin olive oil
5 c 100% white whole wheat flour (I use Trader Joe’s brand)
~1 Tbl ground flaxseed meal
2 tsp kosher salt

Set aside ¼ cup rolled oats. Place the remaining oats into a medium bowl. Cover with boiling water. Mix with spoon and let sit uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Whisk 1 tsp agave with 1/4 cup of warm water in a bowl then sprinkle yeast on top. Let rest for 5 minutes. Add soaked oats, buttermilk, oil, 2 Tbsp agave, flour, and salt. Stir to combine, then knead 8-10 min. Dough should be wet but have a satiny finish.

Place dough in a well oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm area for 1 hour, or until about doubled in size.

Place dough onto a floured surface and flatten to release excess air bubbles. Form dough into a 12 x 6-inch rectangle and position it so that a long side is facing you. Fold the 2 short ends onto the top so they meet in the middle. Starting with the closest end, roll dough away from you into a log. Let loaf rest on its seam for a few minutes.

Transfer loaf to an oiled loaf pan, pressing dough into the corners. Mix remaining agave with ½ tsp with very hot water. Brush over the top of the loaf and sprinkle with the remaining oats. Let sit 35-45 minutes, until loaf rises just over the top of the pan.

While loaf is rising, preheat oven to 385 F. Bake for 1 hour, transfer loaf to wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting.

Source: slightly adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

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