This Oat and Apple bread is from Dan Lepard's wonderful book The handmade loaf which has some great bread recipes, fantastic photos and stories from all around Europe . As Dan explains oats have remarkable properties when combined in breads and give the loaf a really interesting chewiness and moistness. That combined with the grated apple makes a really nice breakfast bread that is slightly sweet and stays moist and tender for many days. I found this bread still beautifully moist after 6 days when I finally ate the last slice. I have changed the amounts in Dan's original formula just so I get a decent sized 1kg loaf. Dan also uses 3/4 tsp of fresh yeast in his bread. I must confess I did use a little dried yeast (1/4 tsp) but if you prefer just leave out the yeast and use about 200g of active white starter. This would give you 52% preferment and should be fine to leaven this bread.
So to start on Wednesday night I got out my starter from the fridge and made my first build of the preferment.
|Total 1st build||42g||220.00%|
Day 2 morning - 2nd Preferment Build
|Starter 1st build||42g||60.98%|
|Total 2nd build||160g||230.98%|
Thursday night when I got home I mixed up the dough as per the formula below. I started by putting the rolled oats into a small bowl and boiling up a 100g of the water and pouring it over them. I let the oats soaking for 5 minutes while I got on with preparing the other ingredients. I began by dissolving and mixing the preferment with the rest of the water. I let this sit for a few minutes while I weighed up the flour and grated some nice tart crisp apples. I used pink lady apples because that's what I had on hand.
I mixed the oats and grated apple into the thick liquids and then combined in all the flour to form a dough. I let the dough sit for 20 minutes before adding salt and kneaded it into the dough by hand. The dough is pretty wet and sticky with the 60% water and wet grated apple, but resist the urge to add more flour. As per my usual method, the dough was then placed in an oiled bowl and covered in a plastic bag to seal it, before being put in the fridge overnight.
|Pref'mt 2nd Build||160g||40.00%|
Day 3 - morning In the morning before going to work I took out the dough and folded it once and returned it to the fridge. Day 3 - Friday Evening. I took out the dough and let it warm to room temperature over the next 4-5 hours as I gently stretch and fold it one every hour. I just folded it once every hour and kept it from drying out by putting it inside the plastic bag in-between folds. The dough should by fairly smooth and blistered by the time it is ready for shaping.
I shaped into a rough loaf and placed it in a cane banneton which I put inside a plastic bag and let rise for an hour or so before putting the whole lot back in the fridge for baking in the morning. Be sure to cover the dough in the fridge so it does not dry out too much.
Day 4 – Saturday Morning
Baking: I heat my oven to it’s maximum which is 250ºC. I use a baking stone, which I have allowed to heat up for 40 minutes before baking. Just before I put the loaf into the oven I dusted the top with some rough ground rolled oats and slashed the top of the loaf with a razor blade. To provide steam I place my loaf in the oven at maximum temperature and then turn it off and throw a handful of ice-cubes into the bottom of the oven. I turn it off because my oven is fan-forced and the fan would blow all the steam away. I leave it steaming for 10 minutes and then turn the oven back on and set the temperature at 210°C and bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer.Let it cool before cutting and the reward is a delicious moist bread that stays chewy and tender for much longer than anything else I have baked so far. This bread goes great with coffee and lime jam and later in the week I used it for my lunch sandwiches and it was excellent for sangers and just as good for toast.