Rye and oats experiment
With the global pandemic came flour shortages. So I started experimenting with rye flours I don’t normally use and mixing them with buckwheat, oats and other grains. This recipe is one of my most favourite experiments so far. 70% light rye (T997), 30% oats, scalded and soured.
I didn’t have any expectations as my experience with rye and oat breads is limited, but I was really surprised by the flavour and aroma of this bread! Sourdough fermented oats have a very unusual taste, the bread turned out to be quite sour, but with a sweetish crust on top. Good colour and soft juicy crumb topped with a crispy crust - what else can you ask for?
This recipe is very similar to my Christmas Rye. It has three stages: sourdough, scald and final dough, but I didn’t make a custom crust for it, only applied a starch wash after baking. Before trying to bake this bread read the whole post carefully and read XMas recipe carefully too. The dough in this recipe will be extremely sticky! And it will resemble thick honey. It is very hard to work with, but I believe it is worth it.
If you need flour guidance, check this post. I didn’t have a specific oat flour so I simply milled the required amount of rolled oats in my food processor into a fine meal. British rolled oats I’m using are free from any additives, they are just pure oats and nothing else.
A spreadsheet for this recipe can be found here. Use it if you want to bake bigger or smaller loaf. Baking times might need adjustments.
Just your normal sourdough bulking stage. Mix rye flour, water and starter together and leave covered at room temperature (about +20C to +23C) for 12-14 hours.
To make a scald, pre-heat your oven to +65C, pre-heat a bowl with a boiling water, add rye flour and then mix in boiling water in 2-3 portions. Make sure to get rid of most of lumps, but be quick as the mixture will cool down very fast and we don’t want it to go below +60C. Check mixture temperature and once it gets down to +65C mix in raw rye malt. Cover the bowl tightly and place into the oven for 3 hours.
You can also make a scald overnight. Put it into an oven at +65C for one hour, then turn the oven off and let it cool with a closed door overnight. You will have a great scald in the morning.
Once sourdough and scald are ready, it’s time to mix everything together. Hydrate salt with a bit of water in the mixing bowl, add scald and sourdough and mix thoroughly. Then add all other dough ingredients and mix until everything is evenly incorporated. The end result will be extremely sticky! Only mix it with a spoon or a mixer! If you touch it with your hands, you will become a part of dough. Forever. Cover with cling film or towel and let it ferment for 2 hours at +30C.
Shaping is very simple. Carefully roll the dough into a ball, then mould it into an oblong shape. Be careful not to deflate it. Use wet shaping to do that. Then get some baking paper and put it on a tray, dust the paper with a thick layer of rye flour or put some oats instead. Put the dough on top of the flour layer, wet its surface with your hands and cover with a large bowl. Let it proof for around 60-90 minutes at +30C. The dough should start cracking from gas build up inside.
If you don’t want to shape this sticky mess, then you can dump it into a bread pan, proof and bake this way.
Pre-heat your oven to the maximum temperature possible (+300C would be great, more realistic +260C will work too). Spray some water on top of the dough and prick several holes with a chopstick. Put it in the oven and spray some water inside. It should bake at maximum temperature for around 6-10 minutes depending on the temperature.
Set your oven to +210C, carefully release excessive heat and bake for 35 minutes. Then set your oven to +170C and bake for 45 minutes more. The bread should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. Remove the bread from the oven and coat with starch wash while it’s hot. You need 2-3 thin layers.
The bread should rest at least 12 hours before cutting.