Monday, July 11, 2005

Uses for Leftover Oatmeal

If you end up making more oatmeal than you can eat, a great thing to do is add it to bread dough. It adds moisture, heartiness and great taste and texture. Because I often add a bit of vanilla and molasses to my oatmeal, I find that it lends a bit of extra sweetness to the final bread. Sometimes I boost this with a bit extra molasses or honey in the dough.
Sourdough has a long first rise to let the sour flavor develop. I wouldn't recommend using olive oil in this bread, as a milder vegetable oil will let the flavor of the bread come through. This makes a great sandwich bread.

Oatmeal Sourdough
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup cooked oatmeal (steel cut)
1 ½ cups water, warm
2 tbsp molasses or honey
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp oil
3.5 - 4 cups bread flour

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add in the flour gradually until the dough comes together into a ball. Turn out dough onto a floured surface, adding extra flour if necessary, and knead until dough is smooth and somewhat firm. Place into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at least 4 hours or overnight.
After the first rise, turn dough out onto a floured surface. Gently deflate it and shape it into a round loaf. Transfer loaf to a parchment lined baking sheet and let rise, covered with a clean dish towel, for 1-1 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 425F.
Slash dough two or three times with a sharp knife. Bake at 425F for 40 minutes. The bottom of the loaf will sound hollow when tapped when the bread is done.
Allow bread to cool on a wire rack and come to room temperature before slicing.