Monday, January 15, 2007

Play Day

Today we woke to a beautiful blanket of snow. You've never seen two kids so excited! Abigail was very excited to head off to school and Zander couldn't wait to play outside today. Sadly, he didn't last very long as there was a pretty stiff wind blowing, but he sure enjoyed his time out while he had it.
For my version of Play Day, I chose to play some where with my latest favorite bread dough. I think I've got the best version yet of the Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread that I posted the other day. Today I made two batches to play with, one for a free form loaf, the other for some rolls. The free form loaf didn't turn out so well. This dough really expands in the oven, so trying to shape it just doesn't seem to be working well. It really needs a pan to hold it all together and help it bake evenly. That being said, the rolls turned out wonderfully. I sprinkled the tops with a sea salt/fennel seed/citrus peel blend that I've been dying to use, and the end result is very good. Reminiscent of a kummelweck, for those of you familiar with the Buffalo area delicacy, the fennel seed really shines on this bread dough. I will do this again.

As for the dough itself, I have made some changes. I am now subbing in 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, and suspect I could take that one more half cup further with little detriment to the bread itself. I have also upped the oatmeal to a full half cup. It's really a fantastic bread for eating, toasting, or making sandwiches. Here is my revised version:

Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread

2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup buttermilk

  • Stir together the flours, oats, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl; add the butter, buttermilk and yeast mixture and beat with an electric mixer until the ingredients are well blended.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl; cover with a tea towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until it is doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Punch the dough down and let it rise again, covered with a tea towel, for 45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350° and oil a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
  • Punch the dough down again and place it in the loaf pan; bake for 35-40 minutes or till the loaf pulls away from the side of the pan and loaf sounds hollow when you thump it.


Claire said...

I love the red cheeks! He's had so much fun! This bread looks yummy...I'll have to try it some time.

Erika said...

He was so funny outside! He did go out again later on to play, I'm so glad it finally snowed enough to play in.

That bread IS awesome, and it's actually really easy to throw together. I usually knead my dough by hand for bread, and this one works well in my stand mixer with the dough hook- so that makes it even easier.

Oh- and if you use regular quik-rise yeast, you'd bloom it in the water for 5 minutes before adding it to the rest of the dough ingredients.