Sunday, 2 June 2013

Sourdough with Gruel

If Marks & Spencer can produce a "fuller for longer" range then so can I, I said to myself and knowing that oats are supposed to do this very thing, make you feel fuller for longer I came up with this idea. The smell of the malt as I stirred it into the thin gruel was very promising.

The softest lightest bread I have made for a long time.
And as for toast -  it's tender and delicious!

For this bread you will need;

For the ferment
1 tablespoon of starter from the fridge
200g of strong white flour
200g of water

For the main dough
All of the starter
1,000g of strong white flour
100g of porridge oats
800g of water
20g of salt
1 tablespoon of malt extract

 Begin by making up the ferment, mix all the ingredients and leave at room temperature in a large enough bowl for the mix to expand, cover and leave until the ferment is showing healthy signs of growth, lots of bubbles breaking and collapsing, forming creases in the surface click here for an image.
Make up the gruel by cooking the porridge oats in 800g of water until the oats are cooked and have thickened the water slightly, I find doing this in the microwave is easiest, it takes 10 minutes. Microwaves come into their own when it comes to cooking starch and liquid combinations.  Stir the malt extract into the gruel and set aside to cool completely to room temperature. I made up the ferment and the gruel mid morning and just before going to bed I mixed the main dough ingredients. Add the flour, the gruel and the ferment and form into a soft dough, add just a little extra water if you feel the dough is too stiff. Omit the salt at this point and leave the dough to rise overnight.
In the morning, add the salt and knead for a couple of minutes to fully combine. Leave the dough to rise at room temperature, stretching and folding every hour for 3 to 4 hours. Finally divide the dough into 3 and shape into whatever loaf shapes you prefer. Leave to rise for 2 to 3 hours, and balke in a hot 200C oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

Oats are sharp enough to pierce gluten, inhibiting the stretch that can usually be achieved, cooking the oats before hand reduces this effect and the loaves and billowy and light.
The water content of this bread has varied over the three batches I have made, largely down to how much the oats absorb while cooking, so do adjust the proportions to suit your own requirements, a little more or less water and a little more flour if you find the dough too soft. 
I sprinkled some porridge oats on top of the loaves before slashing and baking.

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