Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Get Cultured! Part 3b

Part 3 was about my sauerkraut and oatgurt failures. Well, I've turned one of them into a success- I used my oatgurt to make bread, and it is so YUMMY!
I made up some no-knead bread:
450g strong bread flour
320g lukewarm water
1/8 tsp yeast
10g salt
All of the oatgurt (about 650g, originally 2 cups of pinhead oatmeal soaked in 2 cups of water)
Just mix everything up and leave it in a covered bowl for 12-18 hours. It'll be all puffy with air pockets. I had intended at this stage to add a cup or 2 of grated apple, but then I thought leaving it out would make the bread more 'multi-purpose', I could eat it with anything if it was just plain. But I reckon it would be great with apple, and maybe some jumbo oats or sunflower seeds chucked in too.
I stretched and folded the dough, plopped it on a sheet of floured greaseproof paper and dumped the lot in my cast iron pot, sprinkled some jumbo oats over the top, put the lid on and left it to sit somewhere warm for about 2.5 hours. Then I put the pot in the oven, turned it right up to the max heat, and left it for about 50 minutes before taking the lid off, and giving it another 40 minutes lid off.
This was the nicest bread I've made to date! It was a beautiful colour too. I love the way this bread is probably quite like how people used to make bread, i.e. using a mash of the grain rather than a milled flour and leaving it to sit around for days. The oatgurt was 3 days in the making, and then the bread dough was about 18 hours from first mixing to baking. The longer the grains or flour have to ferment, the more complex and rich the flavour. It begins to taste like biting into a field of golden oats, swaying in the hot August sun...yum.

I had some bread for lunch with a little bit of soup, hummus and cucumber

Look at how light the crumb is! I thought with that oat mash it would be quite a dense bread. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Some other eats:

I had a smoothie this morning for the first time in ages! I've been eating porridge for breakfast nearly every day with various toppings but fancied a change, something fruit-based now that the weather is starting to warm up a bit. I didn't depart too far from the oat theme, I used oat milk as the liquid and a tablespoon of oat bran for little fibre boost. The rest of the smoothie was frozen raspberries and a nice ripe banana. On the smoothie note- I've tried green smoothies, and it's just not my thing. It just does seem right? I guess I prefer chewing my greens and I like my smoothies fruity. That said, I got some matcha green tea recently and I was thinking that it might make a nice addition to a morning smoothie, it would also turn it green, without being cabbagey. But we'll see. For now I like them pink.

I'm still loving my greens'n'grains dinners: this was brown rice with kale, leeks, mushrooms and some sunblush tomatoes. The sauce is just vegan mayo (Plamil brand) with lots of Dijon mustard, tarragon and parsley. Without the tomatoes it would have been macro-friendly, but they really lifted this.

Tonight I had a baked potato, something I haven't had in a while! I mixed up some vegan "butter", nooch and sundried tomato and smooshed this into the potatoes and stuck them back in the oven while I cooked some green beans (I LOVELOVELOVE these things). I served the beans in more Dijon mustard and olive oil, and topped the baked potatoes with a nice big dollop of hummus.

Oh, I made oat milk yogurt too- it smells lovely and yogurty, but it was quite thin. Still, I'm glad I now have a non-soy yogurt to put in my smoothies and over my porridge. I tried using xanthan gum to thicken it but as the xanthan thickens as soon as it hits liquid, it's hard to stop it clumping up. I'm either going to find a way to get it better blended into the oat milk, or leave it out altogether. I'll do a separate blog post on oat milk yogurt once I've tried out my new electric yogurt maker (I used the EasiYo for last night's batch). It's not that I'm trying not to eat soy, I just don't like the beaniness in yogurt. But the brand I bought to start my oat yogurt off, Sojade, is quite nice. Not sour enough though, which is always a failing in non-dairy yogurts I've tried, but it wasn't very beany which is good.

Back to work tomorrow, boo. This will be the real test for my coffee habit, as my boss drinks a lot of coffee and we always go for coffee together or share a French press at tea time. My office is a tip at the moment, I'm in the middle of archiving a decade's worth of testing records (and we test ~60,000 donations a year, and ~40,000 antenatal samples too). Perhaps I'll stick some photos up this week.


  1. I have to try your bread recipe. I made some regular bread yesterday. My bread doesn't even look as delicious as yours, and I had to knead it forever! I don't know why I can't get those beautiful big "eyes" in the bread.

  2. Hi veronica, in my experience, the wetter the dough, the more open the crumb will be, but if a dough is very wet, then you won't be able to knead it by hand. Therefore the best way to get open crumb is make a sloppy dough with a very small amount of yeast and let it rise very long and very slow, and don't knead it, just fold it up a bit a few times. Here's the original recipe:
    I line my cast iron pot with greaseproof paper, kind of a bit scared to dump the dough straight on the pot, but it never sticks to the greaseproof. This bread is soo easy! If you don't have cast iron, bake the bread in a pyrex bowl with a pyrex plate on top. You can add any soaked seeds or grains eg rolled oats or dried fruit if you like. Happy baking!