Last week’s mash up loaf of Dan Lepard’s and River Cottage recipes and methods got me thinking. I love adding rolled oats to a loaf of bread, oats give it a really lovely nutty texture, which is just very satisfying to eat. Happy bread texture, if you like. So, as I haven’t made a proper sourdough in a while, I thought I’d change my usual method a little, replacing some of the flour with rolled oats. Brilliant result, so happy with it, I think I’ll use this recipe for every sourdough loaf from now on. We had it for dinner topped with roasted butternut squash, toasted walnuts, goats cheese, chorizo and a drizzle of honey. Delicious.
Ingredients and method: sponge (night before): 75g rolled oats, 100g strong wholemeal flour, 175g strong white flour, sourdough starter (about a ladleful and a half – I tend to just pour from the jar and not measure), 360ml water. Mix these with a wooden spoon and leave, covered, overnight or, for at least 6 hours. In the morning, add 150g strong white flour, 100g strong wholemeal flour and 1 tsp salt. Mix to combine then knead for about 10 minutes by hand (until elastic) or 6 minutes in a mixer with a dough hook attached. Shape into a ball and leave, covered in an oiled bowl. After an hour, deflate, shape into a ball again and leave – this deflating/ shaping needs to be repeated hourly 3 more times. So, after four hours, deflate the dough one more time, roll up tightly, then stretch a little and blanket fold into a sort of a pillow. Gently work the folds in and shape into an oval (or a round if you prefer), gently roll in wholemeal, rye or spelt flour and leave to prove in a floured basket or a floured wooden board, covered with a plastic bag, for anything between 2 and a half to 4 hours (mine proved for 3 and a half today). Place a hot stone or a heavy baking sheet in the oven then heat to 250C or as high as you can, then slash the loaf and transfer to the oven. After 10 minutes, lower the heat to 180C and bake for another 35 minutes. Beloved thought this particular loaf resembled a sankhara stone from Indiana Jones, not bad. Also love how you can see the fabric grain from my proving basket in the photo above.