Saturday, April 9, 2011

Buttermilk-Oatmeal Pullman Loaf

1 teaspoon of sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, or 1 1/2 teaspoons of rapid-rise or instant yeast
7/8 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup rolled oats (old fashioned or quick)
2 T melted butter
3 T honey
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 – 3 1/4 cup bread flour, and more for kneading
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
olive oil for brushing the dough before baking

Preparing the dough:
Proof the yeast by putting it in a small measuring cup with 3 tablespoons of water that is warm, no hotter than 115 degrees F, with a pinch of sugar. Set it aside for at least ten minutes.

Mix together the buttermilk, oats, melted butter, salt, honey, 1 cup of flour and the baking soda. Beat well until combined.

Beat in another half cup of flour, then add the yeast and water mixture along with another half cup of flour, and beat some more, until combined. The dough should start to feel a bit stretchy.

Stir in another half cup of flour, and dump the contents of the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface.

Set the remaining 3/4 cup of flour close to your work area. Knead, adding flour a bit at a time as necessary, using a bench scraper to lift from your work surface any dough that is sticking.

Knead for about ten or twelve minutes, adding only as much flour as you need to keep the dough from sticking hard to your hands. You don’t need to add the entire amount stated in the ingredients list. Remember, this dough has oatmeal in it, which will continue to soak up the liquids in the bread during the rise.

Let the dough rest for a few minutes while you prepare the bowl and your rising area, if necessary.

Wash in hot water the same bowl that you used for mixing the dough. Dry it and drizzle in the bottom a teaspoon or two of good, fruity olive oil. You can also use butter to coat the bowl, if you prefer.

Gently form the dough into a ball, put into the bowl topside down, and then flip it over to coat with the oil.

Cover the bowl with a piece of parchment and a tea towel. Allow to rise until doubled, for about an hour to an hour and a half.

Punch down gently, knead a few times, and set aside on the parchment you used to cover the bowl.

Allow to rise a second time about 45 minutes or until nearly doubled in size.

Brush with olive oil, slash the dough a few times with a sharp knife, and bake at 350 degrees F for about 55 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when the bottom is gently tapped.

Allow to cool on a rack for about an hour before slicing.


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