Easy Honey Oat Loaf

While I am putting finishing touched to my first BREAD-o-lution project, here is something to feast your eyes on - a quick one-day sourdough I’ve made yesterday. 

We’ve been eating quite a lot of porridge lately – according to my 3 year old, “porridge is the best!”. We’ve been trialing a lot of different oats, and jumbo porridge oats weren’t such a hit in a porridge form, so I’ve decided to turn them into a bread. And to be honest, my kitchen was getting overran with different bags of porridge – there is only that much of oat you need in your life :) 

This is a very easy loaf – I’ve mixed it up around 11am and baked it around 11pm, so 12 hours in total, but the actual involvement is very minimal. 

One-Day Honey Oat Loaf
150g 100% wholemeal starter 
150ml water 
150ml milk 
30g runny honey 
450g white bread flour 
80g jumbo porridge oats (but I am pretty sure you can use any other oats you have) 
1 heaped tsp salt
 50g butter, room temperature 

Place starter, milk and water, honey, flour and oats in a free-standing mixer. Mix on the slowest speed for 6 minutes – I have a KitchenAid mixer, and I use speed 1, but I am sure you can mix it by hand as well – mix the dough for about 10 minutes if doing it by hand. 

 This is quite a wet dough, roughly about 70% hydration (read more here on how to calculate hydration). I am dividing total weight of all the liquids (75g from half of the weight of starter, 300g milk and water and 50g butter) over total weight of all the flour (75g from half of the weight of starter, 450g flour, plus adding oat weight as its super absorbent) = 425/607 = 70%. 

Cover the bowl and leave for 20 minutes to rest. 
Add salt and turn your mixer to a slightly higher speed – I use speed 2 on my KA, and slowly add butter, adding a little bit at the time. Mix for 4 minutes in total. Again, it is possible to do this by hand, just a bit trickier and messier – mix for 12 minutes if doing it my hand. The dough should me reasonably wet, but not sticking to your hands, nice and glossy texture. 
Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Do stretch and fold 3 times at 30 mins intervals. Leave to prove at room temperature for 5 hours. It won’t quite double in volume, but it will look bigger and softer. 
The dough looked quite soft, so I decided not to risk it and bake it in a loaf tin. Normally I bake free shape loaves, and I wanted a nice toast loaf, and with the dough being so soft I didn’t want it spreading out all of the place. 
Line a loaf tin (I think line is 2lb) with baking parchment – to be honest you probably don’t need to do this as its been enriched with the butter. 
Deflate the dough and shape it into an oblong shape – oil your workbench and your hands slightly – this will stop the dough from sticking to everything. The dough was very wet, so any kind of shaping will do. Don’t be afraid to over-handle it, its very forgiving, plus you have another prove ahead. 
Cover the loaf loosely with clingfilm and leave to rest at room temperature for 3 hours. It won’t have doubled in size, but it should look very marshmallow-like, soft and wobbly. Spray top of the loaf with water and sprinkle with some rolled oats – this is purely for decoration, you can leave that bit out. 
Bake in a preheated oven – 200C fan – for 30 minutes. Take out of the loaf tin, remove backing paper and leave to cool for at least two hours or best overnight. 
I really enjoyed the flavour of this bread, soft crumb, with quite rustic taste – that would be the oats. It started getting a bit crumbly after day 3 – I guess that’s oats drying out, so best eat it in a couple of days.

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