Sunflower Oat Wheat Bread

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    Sunflower Oat Wheat Bread 2BakerAunt

    Sunflower Oat Wheat Bread

    Marliss Desens adapted this recipe from “Nutty Oat Wheat Bread,” which appeared in Pillsbury Simply from Scratch (no. 12). It makes two large 9×5-inch loaves.

    1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
    2 cups buttermilk
    4 Tbs. honey

    ½ cup warm water (110F) with a bit of the honey
    3 ½ tsp. active yeast

    2 eggs

    3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    1 cup bread flour
    1/3 cup special dry milk
    ¼ cup flax meal

    3 ½ Tbs. olive oil [Canola can also be used.]

    1 ½ cup bread flour (I usually need an additional 2 Tbs. bread flour)
    2 tsp. salt
    1 cup sunflower seeds

    Soak oats in buttermilk while assembling rest of ingredients. Proof yeast for five minutes in mixer bowl with a bit of the honey. (Add the rest of the honey to the oat-buttermilk mixture.) Stir together first four dry ingredients.

    Add oat mixture to yeast. Add eggs. Mix on speed 2 with flat beater. Add combined first set of dry ingredients. Mix with flat beater. Leave beater in and cover bowl to rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile combine flour and salt.

    After 15 minutes, add olive oil to oat mixture and mix until combined. Add flour mixture and sunflower seeds, start mixing with flat beater on 2, then change to dough hook. Use bowl scraper to turn dough so that flour does not accumulate at bottom of bowl. When combined, knead on speed 3 for 5 minutes. Check for windowpane. Knead additional minute if needed. Place dough in an oiled large bread bucket, snap on lid, and allow to rise for about an hour.

    Turn dough out onto kneading mat and lightly de-gas. Divide in half, using a scale. Form each half into a flat rectangle, fold in long sides, then short sides, and pull long sides together, smooth, and turn over. Cover and let rest five minutes. Grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans. Form each oval into a loaf by flipping it over, smoothing it, then folding in half lengthwise. Let rest 5 minutes. Stretch on long sides and top, tucking under. Place in loaf pan. Repeat. Cover the loaves (I place in a plastic cake holder) and allow to rise for about 45 minutes. After half an hour, preheat oven to 375F.

    Bake for 35-40 minutes to 200F.

    Cool completely on rack.

    What I changed:
    This recipe was one of the first whole grain breads that I baked. My only change at that time was to replace ½ cup of buttermilk with ½ cup of water for proofing the yeast. I still do that. When I rediscovered this recipe, over thirty years later, I had become an accomplished bread baker. I made some additional changes. I reduced the yeast from two packets (4 ½ tsp.) to 3 ½ tsp., as yeast is more effective now in doing its job.
    I reduced the salt from 1 Tbs. to 2 tsp.
    I reduced the honey from ½ cup to ¼ cup, as I do not like my bread to be overly sweet. I replaced AP flour with bread flour, as the bread has a lot of whole grains, so I wanted more gluten.
    I replaced 1/3 cup margarine with 3 ½ Tbs. olive oil (what current nutritional studies state is a healthier choice).
    I added 1/3 cup special dry milk and 1/3 cup flax meal to increase nutrition.
    I add the wholegrain flour mix, along with some bread flour first, then give the dough a rest so that it can absorb the liquid. (This step prevents adding too much flour later.) I wait to add the oil until after that rest, so that the yeast can get started (a tip from Cass Avona); waiting to add it after all the flour makes it too difficult to combine.
    The recipe did not specify what kind of chopped nuts; I have always used sunflower seeds, which I don’t chop.
    I deleted 2 Tbs. margarine used to brush the dough before its first rise. Perhaps that was to keep the dough from drying out?

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    •   Sunflower Oat Wheat Bread 3
    Sunflower Oat Wheat Bread 4Mike Nolan

    That’s a lot of margarine just to keep the dough moist, though there are a lot of recipes that have you put a little oil in the bowl and roll the dough around to coat it before the bulk rise.

    Sunflower Oat Wheat Bread 2BakerAunt

    The recipe is from the time when margarine was touted (incorrectly, we now know) as healthier than butter. It’s for two loaves, so that would be about 2 1/2 Tbs. per loaf, which is not that high. KAF often uses 2 Tbs. butter per loaf.

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