This is my fourth recipe from the Outlander Kitchen cookbook. I’m racing through these because I checked it out of the library and will have to return it in two weeks.
This is the first recipe that wasn’t a “wow!”. It was more of a “meh.” I guess I’ve become spoiled by Peter Reinhart’s whole wheat recipes.
The bread itself came out fine. It was nice and soft, but didn’t have much flavor. I feel like it could’ve had so much more going for it, especially because it uses Peter Reinhart’s epoxy method of a preferment and a soaker, and had lots of other ingredients, like milk, eggs, butter and honey to give it flavor. I dunno. I’m glad I made it in loaf pans because it probably will be fine for sandwiches.
For this recipe (after that ringing endorsement!), you will need:
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp instant or active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups lukewarm whole milk
2 cup coarse-ground oats
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey, plus more for honey-butter wash
1 large egg
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for coating loaf pans and honey-butter wash
Eight hours before you want to make (so either the night before a morning baking session, or the morning of an evening baking session), mix up 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 tsp yeast, and all the milk in a large bowl. In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine the ground oats with 1 cup water. Cover both bowls and let sit for about eight hours until you are ready to bake.
Once you are ready to bake, combine the preferment, soaker, remaining 2 cups of flour and 1 1/4 teaspoons yeast with the salt, honey, and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Mix the dough on low with the paddle attachment until it comes together in a ball.
Then switch to the bread hook and knead on medium until the dough is smooth, 10 to 12 minutes.
Grease a large bowl (I used the preferment bowl without washing it) with butter and roll the dough in the bowl to coat. Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for 1.5 to 2 hours.
After two hours, my dough looked like this:
Gently punch down your dough and decide how you want to divide your dough. If you want sandwich loaves, divide the dough in two. If you want buns, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.
I wanted sandwich loaves, so I divide the dough in two, flattened the dough, then rolled it up and placed it seam-side down into buttered bread pans. I covered the bread pans and let them rise another hour while I preheated the oven to 375 degrees F.
Meanwhile, prepare a honey-butter glaze. Melt one tablespoon of butter and mix it with one tablespoon of honey.
When your dough and oven are ready, brush the tops of your loaves with the honey-butter glaze and score each loaf in a straight line with a razor or serrated knife and stick in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes.
After 50 minutes, mine looked like this.
I liked the honey-butter glaze. I may use it on other sandwich breads because it adds a bit of sweetness to the crust.
As you can see, the crumb is very tight, perfect for sandwiches. In the future, I may add other grains for more flavor.