Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Oat Soda Bread

I was browsing through some of my favourite blogs the other day and following my whimsical fancy, clicking here and clicking there as I wanted, I happened upon this delicious looking idea for homemade bread.
Heidi has a blog called 101 Cookbooks and manages to make healthy attractive and desirable. I love it. She was inspired from a friend of hers who made this bread. So I'm simply being another link in the chain for spreading this good recipe and good health around. 

I didn't change much about this recipe, why try to fix something that's not broken? So a big thanks to Heidi for sharing. I'm simply passing it on. 

Oat Soda Bread
butter, to grease pan
2 cups rolled oats (or if you can find it, Oat flour, farine d'avoine)
285 g flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda (bicarbonate alimentaire)
1 1/4 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt
415 ml buttermilk, plus more if needed - see note below  (lait ribot ou lait fermentĂ©)
mixed seeds - sesame, caraway, poppy.

Preheat the oven to 205°C with a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter and line a loaf tin with baking paper and set aside.

You can make oat flour yourself. Simply use a food processor to pulse the rolled oats for a few minutes until you have a fine powder. I don't have a food processor so I put my rolled oats in a blender and with a bit of shaking and pulsing I ended up with oat flour. You could also use a handheld blender. You can find oat flour in Health Food shops and that avoids any pulsing or shaking!

Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the flour and pour in the buttermilk. Stir just until everything comes together into a dough. 

Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 30 seconds or so, just long enough for the dough to come together into a ball without many cracks. If your dough is on the dry side, add more buttermilk a small splash at a time. Now put the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan. 

Brush all over the top and sides with buttermilk and sprinkle generously with mixed seeds or flour, 2 tablespoons or so. Slice a few deep cuts across the top of the dough. 

Bake for about 30 minutes, then quickly (without letting all the hot air out of the oven), move the rack and the bread up a level, so the top of the bread gets nice and toasted. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until a hard crust forms and the bread is baked through. It will feel very solid and sound hollow when you knock on it. Carefully lift it out of the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy with a good slathering of salted butter and some soup.

*buttermilk - if you can't find it in the supermarket you can make this at home, like I did. I simply took 415ml of milk and added 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Leave it at room temperature for 10 minutes. The acid in the juice will cause the milk to curdle and voilĂ  - buttermilk.

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