Still Obsessing…

Yes, I’m still baking bread – in fact, I’m trying to come up with the perfect recipe for Thanksgiving dinner with friends later this week. This is really really close!

Yes, I made that!

Yes, I made that!

Barley-Oat Bread

2 cups cold liquid culture (from my sourdough starter – read this for more info)
3 cups flour (plus more for kneading)
1 cup oat flour
1 cup barley flakes (I got mine in the bulk food aisle at either WinCo or Whole Foods) and/or oatmeal (I did a mix)
3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill 7-grain cereal mix
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp butter
2 teaspoons salt

1. Mix the liquid culture with 1 cup of the flour, the barley/oat mix, and one cup of the water in a large mixing bowl. This is your sponge. Proof 12 hours at room temperature or 6 hours in a proofing box at 85 degrees. (I cover bowl with plastic and leave in oven that’s been warmed briefly, along with a pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf. If you have a proofing box, you know what they are. If you don’t? Google is your friend here…!)

2. Add the oat flour and 1/2 cup of the water. Mix and spoon-knead in bowl until smooth. Proof 8 hours at room temperature (or 4 hours in proofing box.)

3. Punch down. Melt butter, add milk and warm briefly. Dissolve the salt in the liquid, & add the Bob’s Red Mill mix. Stir well, and let sit 5-10 minutes. Add to the dough and stir well, adding rest of flour (save 1 cup to flour board with) in 1 cup-increments. When too stiff to mix by hand/spoon, transfer to the floured board and knead in the remaining flour.

4. Form 2 loaves and proof a third time (I re-heat oven to warn & add boiling water to the pan) for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, or until loaves have doubled in size.

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for 40-45 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Notes:

May need more flour; I lost track of just how much I used! Also, the recipe I started with calls for it to be baked in pans; I used this as the maiden voyage for my new french bread double-loaf pan. Alas, I had to do a second shaping when I noticed it was spilling out the sides – next time, I’ll start by rolling it out much thinner if I’m baking a long free-form loaf, or could do it on silpat/baking sheets as a round loaf, maybe. Also — I’m adding vital wheat gluten in place of flour to help the texture/rise. I sub in one tablespoon of Bob’s for every cup of flour the recipe calls for. If you want to make this vegan, I’d use all water and sub in olive oil for the butter.

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