Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Oat Bread with Wild Yeast

The last thing I expected when I put this recipe together was that the end result would be a loaf with such a tender moist crumb. A light loaf speckled with flecks of oats, a delicious flavour, slightly sweet with a small amount of honey, I doubt I will be able to judge its keeping qualities because I suspect it will be eaten up for too quickly.

I began by toasting the oats, in a hot oven, 200C for around ten minutes, just long enough to deepen the colour a little.

To make 3 loaves you will need:

for the Ferment,
100g of starter from the fridge
150g of Strong White Flour
50g of Strong Wholewheat Flour
200g of water

For the Main Dough,
All of the Ferment
 800g of Strong White Flour
 150g Strong Wholewheat Flour
200g of Porridge Oats
1 tablespoon of Honey
750g of water
21g of salt

Begin by putting together the ferment ingredients, cover and leave for 8 hours, the ferment is ready to add to the main dough ingredients when it is showing good signs of activity see fig 1. Add the ferment to the all the main dough ingredients apart from the salt, mix together sufficiently to form a soft dough. Leave covered overnight.
Add the salt to the dough, I do this in my food mixer and it takes little more than a minute of mixing on a medium speed. Leave the dough to rise, stretching and folding the dough (this technique is described in earlier bread recipe posts) every hour for three hours. Being careful not to knock out the gas that has been formed during the last three hours, form the dough into three loaves and leave to rise for a final time before baking them at 220C for 30-35 minutes.


  1. I am just getting the bug for wild yeast. What is your approximate time for 'rising'. My RV is 75 to 80 most of the time. Live in S Texas.

  2. Hello and thank you for your comment/question; I have to say when it comes to baking with wild yeast which really does reward much more than when baking with commercial yeast, the timing is something you just have to get a feel for. That doesn't sound very helpful I know, but factors like temperature and just how active your starter is can affect timing so much. I always recommend people bake when they have a couple of days at home and are in a position to both keep an eye on progress and respond when dough and or loaves need to be moved on to the next stage. S.Texas will certainly be far warmer than here in Norfolk, England, so expect dough to rise in a couple of hours or so, but as I said, leave yourself flexibility and see how it goes. Good luck and happy baking, Tôbi. Let me know if you need further help.

  3. Since you are 'johnny on the spot' with my question and also left yourself open to further assistance, I was wondering about using a substitute for oil/butter in recipes. This morning I used my extra starter for oatmeal muffins which called for 1/2 C of oil. I used light olive oil, but wondered if there's a companionable substitute for the fats? I know.. we may not die laughing, but I don't want to die with clogged arteries, either. Thanks so much for your previous response. I work out of my RV and am a full-timer, so I have the perfect situation for keeping an eye on things!

  4. Hello again, always happy to be asked a question even if I don't always have an answer. Personally I restrict (to some extent) the number of items that contain fat rather than reduce the amount of fat in a recipe. Fat in the form of butter or oil, especially in baking, does have a distinct function and it's not easy to play around with the proportions. Having said that I have in the past made very successful sponge cakes using a lighter form of spreadable butter and using the same amount I would have been using if I'd used regular butter. Light olive oil refers to the lightness of flavour rather than a reduction in calories I'm afraid. There is an increased anxiety about fat in this country which runs in parallel with an increase in girth size. I'm sure regarding food as dangerous doesn't help the situation and that trying to relax around the issue and enjoy a good variety of foods but in moderation is the answer. Like a lot of people I have grown old but my appetite hasn't diminished, this has led to a waistline that is larger than I would wish, but at the moment I try to eat foods that are high in fat and sugar less than I would have done when I was younger and far more active. I'm not sure any of this answers your question but I would sum up by saying there is no lower calorie substitute for oil and butter that I have found works and that in general avoiding highly processed oils and spreads is a good thing. I do hope you keep in touch, best wishes and happy baking, Tôbi.