Saturday, June 4, 2011

Oat Bran Broom Bread

As part of the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge, I've baked many of Peter Reinhart's bread recipes. As much as I enjoy the bread from that book, I really love the opportunity to bake from one of his other, later, books too. In fact, I bought Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads book first, and it was my companion for many of my early forays into bread-baking.

One of the loaves from the whole grains book is called Oat Bran Broom Bread, an unusual bread name, to be sure. Reinhart calls this "broom bread" because it has a ton of soluble and insoluble fiber, and, although he gets a bit more specific in his explanation, that's all I'm going to say on that subject! The recipe was appealing to me because of its inclusion of whole wheat flour and oat bran with some whole flaxseeds thrown into the mix.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- You can find the recipe, along with some stunning pictures of finished loaves, here.

- The bread uses the indirect method, whereby two different pre-fermented doughs are prepared, and then held for minimum time periods of 8 and 12 hours. The long rest time helps to break down the whole ingredients; in this way the nutrients from the grains and seeds are accessible in the finished product.

- My daughter J.D.E. did all of the hands-on work for this loaf - measuring, mixing, kneading and shaping - entirely by herself.

- I set the oven up to use Peter Reinhart's steam method: put hot water in a metal pan, then place in an oven preheated to 425 - hotter than the baking temperature - and reduce the temperature when you put the loaf in the oven. That's how we started, at any rate. When we put the bread into the oven I forgot to reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, so it baked for 20 minutes at 425 until I remembered my mistake. The bread got very dark on top, but we immediately tented it with foil to forestall further browning.

- Thank goodness bread baking is a forgiving process; the bread survived the excess oven temps with just the dark top to show for it.

the verdict:

This bread was good sliced straight from the loaf! It also made very good toast. Great job on this loaf, J.D.E.!!

I'm submitting this bread to Yeastspotting, a fabulously inspiring round-up of yeasty goodness that is posted each Friday. Click on over to see some wonderful breads.