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Oatmeal – Bread Flour Blend – Soaker and Sponge Method

Yields1 Serving


 1 ¾ cups (220g) Great River Organic Milling - Bread Flour Blend - Oatmeal
 ¾ tsp (4g) sea salt
  cup (170g) buttermilk, kefir or diluted yogurt
 2 tbsp (28g) orange juice
 1 ¾ cups (220g) Great River Organic Milling - Bread Flour Blend - Oatmeal
 ¼ tsp (1g) instant yeast
 ¾ cup (170g) cool water
Final Dough:
 ½ cup (62g) Great River Organic Milling - Bread Flour Blend - Oatmeal
 2 tsp (6g) instant yeast
 ¾ tsp (4g) sea salt
 2 tbsp (6g) honey, or other sweetener
 1 tbsp (14g) unsalted butter - room temperature or softened
Before the Bake

-Make the soaker - Mix ingredients, cover and leave at room temperature for 6 to 24 hours. If you decide not to bake you can keep this in the fridge for a few days. Remember to let it come to room temperature before adding to your mixture and baking.
-Make the sponge - Mix ingredients together via mixer with dough hook attachment or by hand.
-Knead for 2 minutes (keep mixer on low).
-Let it rest for 10 minutes.
-Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Remember to let it come to room temperature before baking.

Baking Day

Mixing the Ingredients:
-If soaker and sponge have been refrigerated, let them come to room temperature (approx. 1 hour).
-Alternate adding a spoonful of soaker and sponge into the mixing bowl fitted with dough hook attachment. If mixing by hand use a large bowl.
-Turn mixer on low till the soaker and sponge come together. Likewise for mixing by hand.
-Sprinkle yeast on top of the mixture.
-Mix on 1st speed for two minutes. If mixing by hand, knead according to length of time for each step disregarding speed.
-Mix on 2nd speed for two minutes.
-Add honey, butter and salt. Mix two minutes more.
-Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
-Pour dough onto a lightly floured surface.
-Knead by hand for a couple minutes to determine if dough needs more flour (dough appears too wet) or more water (dough resists pulling and is difficult to knead).
NOTE: Do not over knead. Dough should be sticky but will get stronger through the steps of resting, kneading and shaping.


First Rise:
-Form dough into a ball and place it in a buttered or oiled bowl and cover with a floured towel or oiled plastic wrap.
-Let it rise for 45 minutes or until it is 1 ½ times its original volume.


Shaping the Dough:
-Using a dough scraper try to get the dough out in one piece and pour onto lightly floured surface.
-Let dough rest for 1 minute.
-Check the dough’s structure. If it feels firm do not overwork. If it spills out and seems sloppy add some extra stretches and folds while incorporating a small amount of flour from the work surface.
-Let dough rest for a minute.
-Pat the dough into a rectangle. Fold into thirds like you would fold a letter before placing in an envelope.
-Let dough rest for a minute.
-In the other direction fold into thirds again.
-Let dough rest for a minute.


-Form dough into a ball by pulling the dough towards you on an un-floured work surface. This motion of pulling will create a drag on the bottom surface thereby creating surface tension on the top. Continue to drag and pull while making a quarter turn until you create an imperfect ball.
-Allow to rest for 10 to 20 minutes.


Shaping the Loaf:
-Form the dough ball into a rectangle by patting it down and lightly pulling and pushing on the dough. Take the smaller edge and roll into a cylinder. When you get to the edge pinch along the edge to form a sealed seam. On the ends, tuck the dough inside the roll and pinch to form a seam at each end.
-Place dough into a greased 8 ½” x 4 ½” loaf pan.


Bake Prep:
-Preheat oven to 450°F


Final Rise:
-Cover loaf pan with a floured or slightly damp towel, or an oiled piece of plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise for about 45 minutes or until 1 ½ times its original size.


Loaf Prep:
-Mist or brush the top of the loaf with water.
-With a lame or sharp serrated knife, quickly slash the top of the loaf down the middle. This allows steam to escape and creates more rise in the loaf.


Oven Prep (Optional):
-Create steam in the oven. This will slow down the development of the crust allowing the starches to turn into sugar and eventually brown and caramelize. It also creates a higher rise in the loaf.
-Place a rimmed baking pan on the lowest rack of the oven.
-Using a plastic pitcher (approx. 6 cups) fill with ice. Do not use glass in case of breakage. Pour the ice onto the rimmed baking sheet. Keep your face and hands away from the steam so as not to cause burning. Also avoid getting ice onto the oven door window. Protect by placing another rimmed baking sheet over the glass. Quickly and carefully close the oven door to keep in the steam.


Bread Baking:
-Place bread into preheated oven for 10 minutes.
-Reduce temperature to 375°F. Continue to bake for about 30 minutes. Halfway through the baking rotate the pan to make sure it bakes evenly.
-After 40 minutes of baking or the internal dough temperature reaches 190°F (measure with an instant read thermometer), take bread out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before slicing.