I’ve been unable to get hold of any wholemeal bread flour so far during the lockdown, so when I found my local Sainsbury’s had strong while bread flour last week I grabbed a bag and thought I’d try out a version of Delia Smith’s Oatmeal Bread recipe (as oats seem to be in good supply and I always have them in the cupboard). So here are a few images – and I’ve summarised the full recipe at the end of the post for quick reference in case you’re interested! It takes quite a long time – but most of it is waiting for the dough to prove and it’s worth the effort.
Delia’s recipe uses half and half of strong white bread flour and wholemeal bread flour plus some oats, so I made my own variant with mainly white bread flour and a smaller amount of oat flour (whizzed up from rolled oats in a food processor) along with the same quantity of rolled oats soaked in milk. I used oat milk (of course!) and a buttery non-dairy spread to make a dairy free version. I had a teaspoon of honey in my recipe, but you can leave that out for a vegan version.
I mixed the flours together in a mixing bowl along with salt and fast-acting dried yeast and melted the non-dairy spread in a saucepan with the honey while the oats were soaking. I tipped the melted mixture into a well in the flour mix and then added the soaked oats and some hand-hot water with a teaspoon of sugar. [N.B. I’ve also made a version without the sugar or fat and it’s nearly as nice.]
I mixed everything together until it formed into a nice ball of dough. I used the wooden spoon for a bit and then finished it off with dough hooks in a hand mixer which was much quicker! Then I kneaded the dough for about ten minutes before leaving it to prove in the bowl covered with a damp tea towel.
After around 1.5 hours of proving it had doubled in size. I knocked it back and kneaded it again for another five minutes or so.
Then I cut it in half and formed two rounds which I rolled in some extra oats and placed on a floured baking sheet. I made three slashes across the top of each loaf and then placed the whole lot in an oiled plastic bag for the second prove.
After another 1-1.5 hours the loaves were ready for the oven! I baked them in a hot oven (230C) for ten minutes and then turned it down to 180C for a further 30 minutes.
When the loaves were done I left them to cool on a wire rack. Though I couldn’t resist slicing one while it was still warm and trying out some of my new oat bread!
It’s lovely with buttery spread and a bit of honey 😋
All of the images are now up in my Alamy food gallery.
If you’d like my full recipe here it is. Why not try it with different flours or combinations of flours? I’d love to see your results!