Sunday, February 12, 2012

PS #7: A Riff On Previous Breads: Using Up Buttermilk, Coffee, and Oats

Baked On February 4 and 5, 2012

I enjoy a whole wheat bread with robust flavor that is also moist and tender.  Adding dairy, especially in one of its cultured forms, usually accomplishes that.  And oats, using ground old-fashioned rolled oats or quick-cooking oats add a bit of sweetness and tenderness, too.  Whatever leftover liquids are sitting in my fridge or freezer also can wind up in my breads.  So, last weekend's breads were inspired by
  1.  two breads I'd made in January (see here and here) and
  2.  some very dark coffee leftover from breakfast
Part of the dilemma is using enough coffee to give it some nice dark undertones without adding noticeable coffee flavor.  My solution was to use all the elements that worked: oatmeal, buttermilk, sour cream, coffee, and a little brown sugar.  I didn't have a lot of time on Saturday to bake, so for the first batch I used some dried yeast and on Sunday I used Pete's starter for the variation.  I will just list one set of ingredients with the quantities for the first ( ) and second  { } variations bracketed.

"Oatmilk" Coffee Bread (Yeast)  and {PS#7 Versions}


ww flour (2 c) {2 c}
ground, rolled oats (1 c) {1 c}
bread flour  (2 1/2 c) {3 1/2 c}
low-fat buttermilk (1 c)  {1 c}
low-fat sour cream (1/4 c) {1/3 c}
very strong, dark, leftover coffee (not powdered or dried) (1 c) {1 c}
brown sugar (1/3 c)  {1/3 c}
salt (2 t) {2 t}
leavening (3 t dried yeast) OR  {16 oz. refreshed starter -see here}

Mixing, Method

For the first batch ( ), I mixed as usual- dry ingredients except sugar combined in my stand mixer, add slightly warmed wet ingredients and brown sugar, mix with flat beater,  knead using dough hook.  My notes are hazy as to the weight of the dough- the yield was one oval loaf and one small boule.  As per my other posts, the dough rose in a lidded plastic tub, then shaped and put to rise a second time in a towel-lined, floured basket. Second rise took about half an hour, while lidded pots preheated in a 425 F oven.  Loaves were tipped into the matching pots- in this case, a small oval roaster and a small dutch oven.  These took 30-33 minutes to bake to "done" temperature, about 200 F, since the oven temp was a little lower than usual.  

Second batch { } was mixed as the first, although starter went in at room temperature.  This batch yielded more, since I was using a pound of starter and one extra cup of flour.  This yielded one 2# 4-oz. long oval loaf (baked in fish poacher) and a 1# 2 oz oval loaf, baked in the little roaster.  I think it rose pretty quickly this time, too- less than five hours for a starter-leavened bread.

Results and Comparison

First batch was delicious- highly flavorful, moist, without a distinct coffee flavor.  One mistake in attempting to duplicate this using the starter was that the proportions were off - the second batch had more water and more white flour without proportionately larger amounts of the other ingredients.  I probably should have used either a smaller amount of starter, or larger amounts of everything but the white flour.  No harm, really, because the second batch was a milder version of the first.  Since it was not as assertive with the flavors, it was better for sandwiches and spreads.  Our neighbor Bob received the oval loaf from the first batch.  We immediately ate the remaining little round.   

As soon as the second batch cooled off completely, I bagged up the smaller oval loaf and froze it.  Last night I pulled the frozen loaf out and let it defrost overnight.  The slice(s) I had for breakfast tasted fresh baked and very flavorful.  So I think this particular combination of ingredients is one to bake again and again.  My dilemma is to figure out what to name it!  

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