Rustic is love – Oatmeal and rye bread

Oatmeal rye bread

Some flavors are incredibly easy and almost everyone likes them. Think vanilla ice cream, ham and cheese, croissants. They’re the superstars of every kitchen/store because we’ll never tire of them and because we’re used to them. The same goes to people, design, fashion, decor, and pretty much everything else. But then there’s the other side of flavors, the unpopular, frowned upon by some and grossly overlooked ones. Like strong mustards, fennel and stinky cheeses. While they may go very high on our foodie-enjoy-almost-anything lists, the majority of people will pick a croissant over a whole wheat bagel any day. Oftentimes I do as well. But when you think about it, it’s really those things that you enjoy because of their strong characteristic flavors that really stick in your mind. And when they’re combined in your plate in such a way that their strengths don’t fight but compliment each other, then you’ve got what I think is a real ingredient experience. Such is often the case with rye breads or pumpernickel, for instance. It might not be ideal for a way-out-there sandwich or for any other recipe involving a lot of actual cooking….but if you’ve got some fresh bitter arugula and a good slice of cured ham lying around…..heaven. This bread turned out to be one of those things…a strong, earthy, moist, compact affair which in the company of some roasted sausages and maple syrup might make you squeal in delight (or you can just smile, if you’re the strong silent type). I tweaked the recipe I found at food.com to include wheat oats and maple syrup…and then I made dinner rolls which turned out suprisingly well for rye; a good hard crust and incredibly soft inside, the ideal roll for scooping up some mushroomy sauce or a jus left from your dinner steak. (Not that I ever scoop up sauce with my bread. ever. Yeah right) Read more for the recipe.

Rye and oatmeal dough

Rye and oatmeal dough

Rye loaf rising

Rye, rolled oats and wheat oats rustic bread
(You can find the link to the original recipe right here at food.com)

Ingredients

2 (1/4 ounce) packages yeast
3 cups warm water
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 flour
2  1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups dark rye flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup wheat oats
white flour (as needed)

Stir the yeast into warm water in a large bowl, add syrup and stir till dissolved. Add the white flour and the whole wheat flour, about 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes. It should be smooth and very soft. Let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. The yeast sponge should rise considerably and be rather bubbly at the end of this time. Place it in the bowl of your mixer and sprinkle the salt over it. Using the dough hook, slowly add the rye flours and both oats. Switch to med speed and knead for about 8 minutes, until the dough is really elastic and smooth. You may need to add a little white flour to get there.Transfer to a large bowl and cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, (mine took about 5 hours). Remove from the bowl and form the loaves. Place them in greased or paper lined pans, brush with water and sprinkle some oats on top. Score each in half for better rising. (If you’re going for dinner rolls, just make balls about the size of the palm of your hand and place them in a muffin pan. aso sprinkle with oats). cover and let rise till doubled again. (about 2 hours should be enough)

Bake at 350°F for 40-60 minutes or until very lightly golden.

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