The bread is soft and light with a slightly sweet oaty flavor and a nice tang from the buttermilk. It keeps in a plastic bag without going stale for five+ days (a loaf has never survived without being eatten for longer than five days in our house)
The recipe comes from a delicious bakery in Seattle called Macrina. When I was visiting Seattle we picked up delicious treats from there for breakfast every single day. Their baked goods were seriously impressive.
I copied the bread recipe from the baking book that the bakery has published. I like writing recipes out because it forces me to read them really carefully. Plus I can organize the ingredients into groups that get put into the bowl together. For this recipe the oatmeal and water, yeast and water, and then the remaining ingredients all get their own little grouping.
The first time I made it I followed the recipe exactly. The dough was insanely sticky even after kneading and rising. I resisted adding more flour and wrestled it into a loaf shape and baked it up. The result was delicious but I decided to try adding a little bit more flour the next time.
That loaf turned out too.
Next time I added a tiny bit more. Success again!
I'm happy with an extra 1/2- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour. The dough is still very very very sticky. I would not knead this dough by hand unless you have some wizardly sticky-dough-talent (aka really good dough scrapers and an iron will to avoid adding more flour during kneading)
The dough will still stick to your dough hook, it will stick to the sides of the bowl, it will stick to your hands if you touch it. But don't worry! Its supposed to be like that. Just oil or rub butter on your hands before trying to pick up the kneaded dough and put it in a lightly oiled bowl.
I found that this much dough makes a loaf waaaay too large for my boyfriend and I. I always cut the dough in half and make two loaves. One to keep and one to give away or freeze.
Now roll the dough away from you and turn the loaf over to sit on its seam. Repeat with the other piece of dough so that you have two loaves. Place each loaf on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 35-40 minutes or until it has doubled.
My oven is not big enough to bake both loaves at once, so once they have risen I stick one in the fridge and then spritz the other loaf with water, gently gently press oats onto it and then bake it for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. To check if its done I knock on the bottom of the loaf, a hollow sounds means that its good to go.
I let the other loaf sit at room temp for about 10 minutes and then bake it up too.
Wait until the bread is cool before cutting into it! Its tempting.. so so tempting to cut into too soon. This bread comes out of the oven with a hard crust that gets steamed soft as it cools and the texture of the bread is so much better when you let it cool first.
Oatmeal Buttermilk Bread
from Leslie Mackie's Macrina
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup boiling water
-combine and stir until the water has been absorbed
1/4 cup warm water
-combine in mixers bowl, let sit for five minutes then stir to dissolve
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk on hand don't worry, it turns out great with regular milk too)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
- I usually combine these in a bowl while I let the yeast sit
1 cup whole wheat flour + 1/2 - 3/4 cup extra (even with 3/4 cup dough should be very sticky)
3 1/2 cups white flour
2tsp kosher salt
- add these to the mixing bowl with the yeast in it. Mix the flour and yeast on low with the paddle attachment while you pour in the milk, oil, and sugar mixture
add the oats and mix until combined
-switch to the dough hook and knead for 15-20 minutes. The dough will be sticky.. very sticky. Resist the urge to dry it out with more flour. I usually turn the dough over by hand half way through the kneading to make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom and not getting kneaded. (the dough will stick to your hands while you do this. don't worry its fine)
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to double (one hour or so)
Gently flatten the dough into a 12x6 inch rectangle. Cut this in half and then pat into two slightly bigger rectangles. Fold the two sides to overlap (like folding a letter) then roll the dough away from you to form a loaf. Flip the loaf over and let it sit on its seam for a minute. Repeat with second piece
Place the formed loaves on trays.
Cover in plastic and let rise for 30-45 minutes. Preheat the over to 385
Spritz with water (or brush on water) sprinkle with some extra oats and bake for 30-40 minutes. Crust will be dark brown and your house will smell aaammmaaazzzing. You will know if the loaf is done if it sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom.