oats and honey bread
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If you only make one loaf of bread this winter, make it the porridge bread.
Porridge has become awfully trendy these days hasn’t it? Everyone has it for breakfast; you can buy those little pots that magically cook in an instant at the opening of the top or just need adding hot water to them, frankly quite disgusting. If porridge you want, it needs to be done properly – soaked with milk or water the night before, cooked in the pan while you put your make up on/shave, with added raisins or dried blueberries and drizzled with honey. And a dollop of crème fraiche. Try beat THAT with a garishly red pot of sticky gloop eaten on the hoof.
This is taking oats somewhere else – to a bready direction. I call it ‘porridge bread’ because you soak the oats with the seeds the night before. The starter sitting around overnight gives the bread great flavour. And the honey makes it extra tasty.
The recipe is from the wonderful ‘Short and Sweet’ book by Dan Lepard.
oats and honey breadServings: 1 small loafTime: 3 hours plus fermenting overnight
- For the sponge:
- 225ml warm water
- 10g fresh or 1 tsp fast action yeast
- 175g strong white flour
- For the porridge:
- 50g rolled oats
- 3 tbsp honey
- 50g linseed
- 50g sunflower seeds
- 100ml boiling water
- For the dough:
- 100g strong white flour
- 75g wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 25g butter, softened
- a little oil for kneading
1. First make the sponge: mix the yeast and the flour with warm water in a mixing bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for at least 2 hours, or overnight in ambient temperature.
2. Make the ‘porridge’: mix the seeds, oats and honey in another bowl, add the boiling water, stir and leave to cool (this can also be made ahead the night before).
3. When ready to make the dough, mix the flours in a large bowl or a standing mixer and rub in the butter until it disappears. Now beat the oat porridge into the sponge with a whisk or a hand mixer, then pour it into the flours/butter bowl. Stir it well and leave covered for 10 minutes. Knead by hand or with a mixer dough hook attachment. Give it at least 10 minutes of kneading, until it’s smooth and stretchy and bounces off the sides of the bowl (or doesn’t stick to your hands any more). Leave covered for at least half an hour.
4. Butter a loaf tin. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, roll it out into a rectangle the width of the tin and 2cm thick, then roll up tightly into a log.
5. Drop it into the tin, cover and leave in a warm place for an hour or until increased in volume by half.
6. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7. Dust the risen loaf with flour, slash it down the centre with a sharp knife or razor and put in the oven, spraying it with water. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the heat down to 200C/390F/gas 6 and bake for further 20-25 minutes.