Sunday, 10 March 2013

Oats-Maple syrup Bread

We often hear the health benefits of Oats. See But to me incorporating more than one type of wholegrain in the diet is more beneficial to replacing one by another all together. 

Ever since I tried to make a conscious change in my diet, whole meal oats has been part of the staple in our home. However, both Anjalie and Naz turn their nose up at cooked oat's gooey texture. So I try to come up with different ways of cooking and/or including oats that does not give the gooey texture. So far, I have had successes with Oats upma, oats bhel and oats dosa. But tonight I wanted to try oats in bread along with the perfect compliment for oats (IMO) and my personal favorite for flavor: Maple syrup. While, I would love to make bread with mostly oats, I am aware that oats does not contain much gluten and hence for a yeast bread I will need to use bread flour to provide the gluten. Here is a recipe that has wholemeal and white flour to provide the gluten. Using strong bread flour will give more fluffy and softer bread.

You will need:
1 and 1/2 cup warm water, 
2 tbl spoon Maple syrup (add an additional tbl spoon if you like sweeter bread), 
3 and 3/4 cup strong bread flour, 
1/2 cup strong wholemeal bread flour, 
1/4 cup rolled oats, 
1 tbl spoon oat bran, 
1 tsp salt, 
1 tsp granulated sugar, 
2 tbl spoon butter 
1 tsp rapid-raise yeast. 

Oats adds interesting texture and a nutty flavor to this wholemeal bread and using Maple syrup to sweeten the bread also adds more flavor to it. Here is the bread machine recipe: Place the ingredients given in the list into the bread pan of the machine in the order given (or reverse the order if  your machine instructs to place yeast first. Remember to place sugar, salt, butter and yeast in the four corners of the bread pan. The liquid needed may vary depending on a lot of factors. So I would suggest to start with 1 cup and add more warm water during the kneading cycle if needed. Finally, 10 mins before the baking cycle glaze the top of the loaf with milk and add a tsp of rolled oats. I find it gives the loaf a kind of rustic look. But you can skip this step if you prefer.

The texture of the bread was extra-soft and fluffy with a soft crust. Flavor was slightly nutty but not too overpowering. Anjalie and Naz hardly detected that it had oats!  But I might add another 1/4 tsp salt next time since I would like it to be a little more salty. If you like salty bread, be careful when increasing salt in your bread as too much salt can stop yeast from growing. Change by 1/4 tsp at a time until you find the correct taste. When I told Naz that it had oats, the reaction was, "really, but it was soft and not chewy!". It goes to show there is a lot misconception about oats. They really are yummy :)

I do not care very much for sweet bread. So I tried to go easy on the maple syrup. But you can add more if you like sweet bread. Just reduce the amount of water used. You may have a darker looking bread but it will have great flavor. If you like golden syrup, honey, treacle or molasses, you can replace maple syrup with those. These sweeteners are way better than granulated sugar anyway.

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