Best Oatmeal Sourdough Bread Recipe – Mother Earth News

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It seems almost impossible to find a real sourdough oatmeal bread recipe. I’ve spent hours searching the internet, the library, and poring over the sizable number of bread books on my shelf at home, all to no avail. Apparently, oatmeal bread recipes are either written for straight dough (those that use dry yeast) or a combination of sourdough and dry yeast. So, out of frustration, I created my own yeast-only oatmeal bread recipe with a tart sourdough starter. Luckily it was a great success!

This bread was so good that I made two extra large loaves in the same week. I would like to say that the whole

family was visiting but that would be a lie. My husband and I ate both loaves ourselves. It really is is its good. However, I can’t tell you how long this bread lasts before it gets moldy or dry out because it didn’t last that long at my house. I bet you won’t either.

Sourdough bread starts with a well-nourished sourdough starter. Sourdough starter is basically a combination of water, flour, and some kind of yeast. Unlike packaged yeast which seems to come to life when combined with the other bread ingredients, yeast is already active and bubbling when added to the recipe.

Sourdough, like dry yeast in traditional dough, helps bread rise. The actively fermented sourdough starter also gives the dough a tangy flavor and longer shelf life than other homemade breads.

There are many ways to make a sourdough entrée. I use the method found on my site Make your own sourdough starter. Over the Years NEWS FROM MOTHER EARTH has published several articles on making your own sourdough starter, including Creating Homemade Sourdough Bread From Starter Mix, and a previous blog post, A Beginner’s Guide to Sourdough. Whichever method you use, your starter will eventually be populated with local wild yeasts found in your particular geographic area. You can start with a dried starter bought while on vacation in San Francisco, but after a few weeks that starter will be less San Francisco sourdough and more Peoria sourdough or Austin sourdough. That’s not a bad thing. San Francisco may be famous for its sourdough breads, but I guarantee your bread will be delicious too.

How to make sourdough oatmeal bread

Start by mixing the following ingredients together in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer.

2 cups sourdough
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup rolled oats (old fashioned or quick)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons of honey
1 to 1 1/4 cups warm milk

1. Mix until a soft, loose dough forms. Cover and let stand 30 minutes.

2. Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth. The dough will still be quite moist. It’s okay if you’re using a stand mixer. If you are kneading by hand, you may need to add a little flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Just add as little as possible to keep the dough soft and loose.

3. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours. Sourdough mixes do not rise as high as traditional straight breads. The mixture will puff up a bit, but you probably won’t see a doubling of the batter.

Shape dough into 2 loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise another 1h to 1h30.

4. If using a regular 9×5 inch loaf pan, bake the loaf at 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until the inside reaches 200 degrees. (I use my trusty digital thermometer for this.) If using a single, unglazed clay pan (as I do, pictured above), follow the manufacturer’s instructions. For example, I soak my skillet in water for 15 minutes, then place the bread in a cold oven, set the temperature to 475 degrees, and bake for about 50 minutes.

5. Once baked, remove from pan and let cool on wire rack for at least 15 minutes before cutting. This rest period is important to let the crumb set and will help you slice the bread evenly.

As I noted above, this recipe is the “best ever”. I have made hundreds of sourdough breads and this is by far my favorite. It’s a great compilation of whole grains (oatmeal), light but well-textured bread, and the extra tangy flavor of sourdough.

What do you think? What is your favorite sourdough bread? Let me know in the comments section below.

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