You may know that I just posted a recipe about how to make no-bake granola which used oats and flax seeds. Obviously there were other ingredients but I had quite a bit of these two ingredients left over and since I bake bread 3-4 times per week I thought it would be a good addition to a loaf.
There was a test batch of this bread that also included raisins. Oh dang, that was some good bread! But that was the one ingredient I was out of…of course. If you have been reading my posts for a few weeks you know I have been training for a half-marathon also so this made really good sense to try and include extra nutrients as much as I can to fuel my runs. Yes, I know I just posted a recipe for beer cake but that is an indulgence for training hard…sounds good, right?
If you have raisins on hand and want to include them in this bread you should try it. It is a really good combination and when toasted with a little cinnamon it is outstanding.
When this comes out of the oven there is such a wonderful aroma that fills the kitchen. Then within minutes the song of bread begins as the crust is contracting and cooling making that wonderful crackling sound. I make believe my breads are on stage with Pavarotti singing a Puccini opera arrangement that concludes with a standing ovation that lasts for 15 minutes.
Usually I can hold myself off and wait to let it cool completely before slicing into these things but this one I could not wait. I barely waited 45 minutes before I got the bread knife out. Slicing through the crust it seemed to shatter, from the crispy outside, revealing the creamy interior filled with the dark flecks of flax seeds and steam rising carrying with it the aroma we all love.
I almost joined the chorus it had been singing earlier but refrained from doing so. It was very hard but sometimes when I let my voice carry throughout the house my wife and daughters cover their ears and shout back at me and I didn’t want to be distracted from this wonderful warm loaf of bread in my hands.
Try this bread out and tell me you don’t want to sing along with it when it begins its performance.
A few notes about the process:
- Mix the oatmeal and flax seeds with water the same time you make the sourdough starter. This is called a soaker.
- I used a fairly young levain, which means I only let the starter “feed” for about 7 hours.
- Because of the younger levain it had a bulk fermentation time of approximately 5 hours.
- Final proofing was 1 1/2-2 hours.
- Let it cool for at least an hour. Pay no mind to what I wrote above. Keep your hands off the loaf and let it complete the performance then tear into it for an encore.
- 2 ounces/2 tablespoons sourdough culture unfed
- 5 ounces water
- 5 ounces bread flour
- 10 ounces bread flour
- 4 ounces white whole wheat flour
- 8 ounces water
- All of the levain
- .32 ounces/1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
- Enough water to cover the oat/flax mixture, about ½ cup
- Approximately 7 hours before making the dough mix the sourdough culture and water until dispersed then add flour. Cover with plastic and let rest.
- Mix the oats, flax, and water at the same time then cover with plastic and let rest.
- After the sourdough starter has been "fed" add it to a large mixing bowl (if mixing by hand) or the bowl of a stand mixer then disperse in the water. Add flour and mix just until the flour is wet. It should look like a shaggy mess. Cover with plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Add salt and soaker then mix just until the salt and soaker has been incorporated into the dough. Do not over mix here. It should not be a tight ball of dough yet.
- If mixing by hand you can stretch and fold every 30-45 minutes for 6-7 intervals and letting rest between each stretch. Cover with plastic and rest.
- If mixing with a stand mixer mix on low for 2-3 minutes until dough begins to resemble a ball of dough still being careful not to over mix here. Stretch and fold after 1 hour cover with plastic and fold again 3-4 more times at 1 hour intervals.
- After the bulk fermentation in concluded shape as you would normally and proof at room temperature for 1½-2 hours. Preheat oven to 460 degrees at this time to make sure it is thoroughly hot enough to bake in.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until a dark crust has formed.
- Let cool at room temperature for approximately one hour.
Submitted to YeastSpotting