For those of you who regularly read this blog, you may have noticed a few things about the way I cook and bake. Primarily I make food that is tasty to eat using ‘natural’ ingredients. For example, I unashamedly use butter when baking and cooking and tend to avoid overly processed foods. While I have a passion for baking bread, with nuttier and seeded loaves being my preferred loaves, yet I live in the real world. In a family of five people, three prefer white bread. So here is my compromise. Oat Bran White Bread is a soft loaf without the heaviness or chewing required by its wholemeal cousin.
Since this bread is so soft it is perfect for sandwiches and also makes the most incredible toast. In fact, this loaf makes the best toast, in my opinion, of all the bread recipes here on Feasting is Fun. Packed full of fibre from the whole oats and oat bran, it is good for you as well as being a tasty, filling bread. Yet also having the lightness of a white loaf.
While I am not into faddy food, having food allergies myself means I am attempting to increase the variety recipes on this site. For example gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian. I try to use fresh local and seasonal food as much as possible in my everyday cooking and that is reflected in the recipes posted here. I am not perfect and we have standby dinners in the freezer for days when I can’t cook.
All that said, I do try to make as much of our own bread as possible. If I didn’t have a bread machine or stand mixer I simply would be unable to make bread from scratch. Kitchen machinery that earns its place will always be welcomed by me. Far better to make good quality, homemade bread with the help of a mixer, than buy its mass produced counterpart. Bread is a staple and a great tasting, fresh loaf will always be at the heart of any kitchen that I use.
A quick note about this Oat Bran White Bread: I have recently updated the recipe, replacing the butter for Rapeseed oil. First of all it gives the baked loaf a softer texture and also makes the recipe both dairy free and vegan. I am NOT jumping on the ‘vegan’ bandwagon, however, creating a loaf that more people can make and enjoy will always be a priority for me, providing there is no compromise on flavour.
Recipe: Oat Bran White Bread
420ml Water at room temperature
450g/1lb Strong White Bread Flour – I use Shipton Mill
100g/4oz Fine Oat Bran available from health food shops and Amazon
50g/2oz Rolled Oats
7g /1sachet Active Dried Yeast – I use the green tub/sachets from Allinson
7g Sea Salt – I use Maldon
2 tbsp Rapeseed Oil (Canola Oil)
Using a bread maker or stand mixer, pour the water into the bowl and then add the yeast.
Next add the flour, oat bran and oats.
On top of the dry ingredients add the salt and oil.
Set the bread machine to dough cycle and start.
If using a stand mixer, attatch the dough hook and mix until all the ingredients come together. Continue to mix for 10 minutes. Stop mixing and remove the dough hook. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth until the dough has doubled in size, approx 1 hour.
Once doubled in size, remove the cloth and tip the dough out on to a lightly floured worktop so that the top of the risen dough is in on the bottom, in contact with the work surface.
Once the bread mixer has finished the dough cycle, start it again, allowing it to mix (knock back) the dough for one minute. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Working around the dough, take hold of the dough with your hand, pull out and then press into the centre. Continue, as in the photographs below, until you have a tight, neat lump of dough.
Gently, using your fingers, press the dough out to form a square shape.
Fold the bottom third of the dough up and then the top third of the dough is folded down, slighlty overlapping the seam.
Turn the dough over and place into a well greased loaf pan.
Spray or brush with water and sprinkle over rolled oats and oat bran.
Cover with a clean tea towel, place in a straight free place and leave to rise until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, 425F, gas mark 7.
As soon as the dough has risen slash across the dough with a very sharp knife or grignette 4-5 times.
Place the bread in the centre of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. The bread is baked when golden brown and carefully rapped with a knuckle and it sounds hollow.
As soon as the loaf is baked remove from the oven and turn out immediately on to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Allow the bread to cool fully before slicing.
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This Oat Bran White Bread loaf has a wonderful texture and flavour. While it does contain oats it certainly doesn’t taste like porridge. The oat bran lends a slight nuttiness, without the full on slog you get from a wholemeal loaf. It slices beautifully and makes equally good toast and sandwiches, although I confess to enjoying a slice with just butter on it. A really good loaf should have its own flavour and not just be a package for some cheese and ham.
If you love white bread, but want to incorporate more healthy fibre in your diet – this loaf is a great place to start!
Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.
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