I guess it had to happen – and at last, here it is, a bread recipe and I thought I’d go with oat bran bread as something a little off the usual run of the mill white bread we tend to eat. There is nothing quite like the smell of homemade bread in the house, is there? Not that I grew up with much, if any, home bread baking but the smell makes me feel at home.
This is a lovely breakfast loaf, with the oat bran giving it an almost porridgy taste. I’ve just had the crust dipped into hummus which worked really well too.
I was on-line shopping and noticed they did fresh yeast and I got a bit excited and bought a load of it yesterday. I’ve never used the stuff before, I always use the dried stuff. Once I’d got it I figured I should try to use it. It doesn’t freeze well unless it has already activated and risen, apparently so I’m going to try out various recipes and freeze some of them as raw dough to see how that turns out. I have 200g of the stuff to get through so I think I may have to beg, borrow or steal some freezer space! Either that or I’ll send the child out to visit the neighbours with offerings of various warm loaves!
This first recipe is also part of my waste-not-want-not stint as I had some oat bran unused from a cookie baking marathon just before Christmas. I would normally use strong flour for bread making but I didn’t have any so have just used plain. I have to thank the delectable Paul Hollywood for the tip about oiling my hands – I suffer with dry hands, particularly after baking and kneading dough and not only does this stop all the dough sticking to my hands, it leaves them beautifully soft too!
25g fresh yeast
150ml warm milk (body temperature)
150ml warm water (body temperature)
50g salted butter, melted
100g oat bran
500g plain flour
1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and water and add the sugar. Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes when it should start to “froth”.
2. Pile the dry ingredients onto a clean surface and make a well in the middle.
3. Add the melted butter to the yeast mixture, stir and then slowly add to the flour in the well, gradually incorporating into the flour.
4. Mix together with your fingers (I oil my hands before hand to stop it sticking too badly) until you’ve formed a ball of dough and then kneed for about 10 minutes.
5. Alternatively, you can put the whole lot in a food processor or the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough blade/hook attached and let that do the work.
6. Lightly oil a large bowl and add the dough. Cover, loosely with cling film then leave to rise in a warm, draft free place, until the dough doubles in size, in my case it took about 30 minutes.
7. Lightly flour a surface for kneading and scoop the dough out onto it.
8. Knock back the air from the dough and knead with the heel of your hand until you have a smooth, elastic texture, then shape into a fat sausage before putting in a lightly floured bread tin. I don’t use a metal bread tin as a rule and use a stoneware one, from Pampered Chef.
9. Pop the whole tin inside a large plastic bag and leave to prove a second time, again to double in size and again this took about half an hour for me.
10. Remove the plastic bag and make diagonal shallow cuts across the top of the loaf then bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for about 45 minutes. When it is baked, the bread should tip out of the tin easily and sound hollow when you tap it on the bottom.