A couple weeks ago when I was still on holidays I had some free time on my hands. Usually any free time I get I like to spend it in the kitchen baking whatever pops into my little noggin, but lately I hadn’t had a whole lot of time to do anything time consuming. I decided to pick something I love to make and eat but haven’t had a chance to make in a long time, bread!
I absolutely love making bread, there’s just something about kneading the dough and getting your hands dirty that makes it that much more enjoyable. Back when I was a lot younger my mom would make multiple loafs of whole wheat bread every couple of months. On these rare Saturdays, as she was mixing the dough I would hover around the kitchen waiting for her back to turn so that I could sneak in and steal a little piece of raw dough to eat. I don’t know what my deal was as the thought of eating raw bread dough seems kind of gross to me now, but back then it was just as good as eating cookie dough in my books. As awesome as that raw dough was it didn’t compare to when that bread came out of the oven. My mom would scold me for not letting it cool but I couldn’t resist cutting off a piece of warm bread, spreading it with margarine and waiting for it to melt just a little before I took that first bite .
I usually like to make Peter Reinhart recipes, but as I was looking through Color Me Vegan I came across a recipe for Oat Bread. I try to avoid using a lot of white flour when I make bread as I have a bad habit of devouring a loaf within a short span of time, so when the recipe gave the option of using all-purpose unbleached white flour or whole wheat pastry flour, I went the ww pastry flour route. I find weighing ingredients is best when making bread but for this recipe in particular measuring would have been a better choice. Right off the bat I new the weights were wrong because even after I had finished adding in all the flour, the dough was a big sticky mess. I figured the weight of the whole wheat flour was probable different then what the white flour would be, so I slowly added in some white flour to fix it. In the end I added almost two additional cups of flour before I got the dough to the right consistency. Then it was time for the first rise.
Make sure you’ve got plenty of free time if you decide to make this bread, as the recipe requires the dough to rise 3 times before you bake it.
The bread turned out ok but I don’t think I would make it again, at least not with ww pastry flour. I liked the flavour as it had a mild nutty taste, which would have been enhanced if I had thought of toasting the oats beforehand. The bread turned out a bit crumbly; I think this was because there isn’t enough gluten in whole wheat pastry flour, so using regular whole wheat mixed with all-purpose would have made for a finer crumb. I do like the fact that the recipe utilized some of the oat bran that I’ve had in the freezer for a while.
It wasn’t perfect but that didn’t deter me from shoving warm, peanut butter covered slices in my mouth. This just means that I’ll have to hunt down another oat bread recipe to try.