This oat and honey bread is our eldest’s favourite loaf. It has a denser texture due to the oats, with a delicious sweetness with the honey. It makes lovely toast and is great with soup.
350g strong (aka bread) white flour
100g wholemeal bread flour
50g porridge oats or jumbo oats
5g easy bake (aka instant yeast)yeast or 1 sachet or 15g fresh yeast
5-10g fine sea salt
Approx 320-370g water
Place the flours and oats in a large bowl. Add the yeast or crumble in the fresh yeast, mix through the flour. Add the salt and mix through. Add the honey.
Add 320g water, you will need more but start with this amount and then splash in more as needed as you are mixing. Using a clawed hand mix the dough. There should be no dry bits and the dough should feel on the sticky side. The bran in the wholemeal and the oats will continue to absorb more water as the dough rests, so this loaf is better made on the stickier side. Cover the bowl with a large inflated bag/ shower cap or proving cloth and leave to rest for a minimum of 10 minutes, up to an hour if you are busy. Then do stretch and folds as shown in this video or knead your dough to develop the gluten.
Allow the dough to ferment, either at room temperature for 1-2 hours or in the fridge for several hours or overnight until the dough is light and airy and has doubled in size.
Shape the dough as you prefer and allow to rise again. This can happen either in the fridge or at room temperature. It will prove in as little as 30 minutes in a warm room, will take up to 2 hours in a cool room or several hours in a fridge. You want the dough to become airy but not double in size. Here is a video to show you what you are looking for in a fully proved loaf.
Preheat the oven to 220C, gas mark 7, 425F. Place a solid sheet in the oven to place the loaf onto. If you are using a dutch oven preheat it in the oven at the same time.
Unless your loaf is in a tin you will need to score it with a sharp knife so that it bursts in the oven at this slash rather than the weakest point.
When the oven is ready and the loaf is ready place on the preheated solid shelf and steam the oven. You can steam the oven by spraying with a plant mister (avoid the glass door and light) or by placing a cup of hot water in a roasting tray in the bottom of the oven (be careful not to burn yourself). Bake for 30-35 minutes until fully baked. It will look evenly golden, sound hollow when knocked on the bottom and will show 90C on a thermometer probe.
Allow to cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Enjoy.