Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nuts n Oats

Yes, it is yet another entry about bread. I did mention earlier that I was on a bread baking frenzy last week as I was on 2 days' leave. That gave me a long weekend, from Thursday to Sunday! We had to stay home as my boy underwent a minor surgery on Thursday. He is recovering well and will see the doctor for a review this week.

Several recipes from 孟老师的100道面包 caught my eye and I had a hard time deciding what to bake. I also had to take into consideration the ingredients that I had in stock. Having a 2-kg bag of Harvet King Gold Medal bread flour was a major factor that led to the bread frenzy. Also, have four full days at home was another factor. I've learnt that breads and chiffon cakes need time and patience and rush jobs always end with dissatisfactory results.

The only thing I had to buy to bake this bread was instand oatmeal. I had checked with my mom and they are out of instant oatmeal. She told me to use whatever I need and they can take over the balance. She was keen to try bread made with oatmeal as well. So I zeroed in on this recipe, Walnut Oatmeal Bread. Recipe asked for molasses, which I replaced with maple flavoured honey syrup. I suppose real maple syrup would yield better fragrance and flavour. I did not have enough walnuts so I used the remaining pecan nuts still sitting in my fridge (from the hummingbird cake).

I thought I should toast the pecans slightly longer this time as they did not release any flavour previously. However, I forgot that I was using my new toaster and the nuts were slightly over-toasted (which I'm guessing explains the colour of the bread).

This recipe uses the water-roux (汤种 tangzhong) method, oatmeal and milk is cooked to form a dough. This is then refrigerated for at least 60 minutes before it is added to the rest of the ingredients. As usual, I used the breadmaker to help me with the kneading. Thanks to experience with the earlier loaves, I got quite used to working with the machine. This dough turned out to be less sticky and I did not bother to wrestle with it.

As I was too sick of tasting breads, I still do not know how it tastes. I guess I should ask my helper for her verdict. As I did not finish using the pecan cream cheese spread from the hummingbird cake, I thought it would be a great combination. May be I should try a small piece some time ...

Pecan Oatmeal Bread

A (汤种 tangzhong)
20g instant oats
50g water (I used milk)

250g bread flour
20g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp (4g) instant yeast
20g milk powder
20g molasses (I used maple honey syrup)
120g water

20g unsalted butter
60g chopped walnuts (I used pecans)

D(mixed together)
25g chopped walnuts (I used pecans)
10g caster sugar

1. Heat ingredient A in a saucepan, over very low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until the mixture resembles a soft, wet lump of dough. Cover with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 60 mins.
2. Place ingredient and B in the pan of the bread machine (according to the sequence as stated in the instruction manual of your bread machine). Add ingredients from 1 above last.
3. Select Dough function of the bread machine and start.
4. After about 8 mins of kneading, add in butter. Let the machine continue to knead. After the kneading cycle has completed (20mins), add chopped walnuts (pecans). Restart and let the machine complete the whole Dough cycle (I removed the dough only after it had doubled in volume, ie, end of the entire Dough cycle).
5. Remove dough and give a few light kneads to release any trapped air. Shape into a ball and cover with cling wrap. Let the dough rest for 10 mins.
6. Flatten and roll out into an oval, about the size of 20cm by 15cm. Roll up, lengthwise, like a swiss-roll.
7. Place the rolled dough into a well-greased baking pan or Pullman tin. Cover the lid and let dough proof for 60 mins or until the dough rises to 90% of the height of the tin.
8. Brush the top of the dough with some egg wash, and sprinkle ingredient D on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 180-190 deg C for about 30mins.
9. Remove from oven and unmold immediately.

a) If baking uncovered, check the colour of the bread after 20 mins. If it has turned brown, cover the top with tin foil. (I baked it in a covered Pullman tin.)
b) There is no need to toast the walnuts (pecans). If desired, however, you may bake the nuts for 10 mins at 150 deg C.

Recipe from 孟老师的100道面包

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