Creamy oats and honey are two ingredients that belong together, add them to a sourdough loaf and you have a wonderfully soft, almost sticky crumb. I have tried several recipes recently but haven’t been happy with the results. The only thing to do was to develop my own. So here it is. This loaf contains a higher percentage of water in comparison to most sourdough loaves, due to the absorbency of the jumbo oats.
I like a dark rye starter for this bake, it works so well with the oats. I suggest feeding your starter 2 days before making this bread. From your refreshed starter you can make the leaven, once it has risen by a third, pop it in the fridge. It’ll be perfect to use at your convenience the next day. If you need a little guidance on making and feeding a starter, click here.
As a rule I do 4 stretch and folds when I make sourdough but for this loaf doing a fifth is definitely beneficial to help mix the porridge into the dough. It’s often not completely incorporated, there may be a thin marbling effect, but this is absolutely fine.
If you have some experience in sourdough baking I highly recommend giving this a go. It’s a little stickier to shape but it’s well worth the effort.
This is the perfect loaf for toasting too, due to its softy and creamy crumb. Happy baking!
*If you follow me on Instagram you can find a video on my IGTV on how to make a basic sourdough loaf.
Honey & Oat Sourdough Loaf
- Le Creuset or Cloche, banneton basket.
- 40 g jumbo oats
- 125 g water
- 20 ml honey
- 350 g organic White Bread Flour
- 50 g organic Wholegrain flour
- 280 g water 36-39°C
- 90 g rye leaven It must be fed and fully risen
- 10 g sea Salt
- 20 g rolled oats approximately
- Add the wholemeal and white flour to the mixing bowl and blend, in another bowl mix 260ml of the water with the starter. I use water at approximately 36-39C.
- Add the starter and water to the flour and mix with a tablespoon or your hand until all the flour is just incorporated. Do not attempt to knead it. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave the dough to autolyse for 30 minutes.
- Place the oats in a small saucepan with the water and honey. Leave for 5-10 minutes to soak. Cook on a low heat for 5-6 minutes. You will find that it’s quite stiff and not at all how you would wish to eat porridge but this is the consistency you need for the dough. Pour it onto a plate and flatten, cover directly on the surface with parchment or clingfilm. Cool completely before using.
Working the Dough
- When the dough has autolysed you need to add the salt, sprinkle on the dough, add a little of the remaining water and then dimple with your fingers. Leave for a few minutes. The dough will stiffen with the addition of the salt. Now work the dough, adding the remaining water a little at a time. Cover with a damp tea towel to prevent drying. Leave for 20 minutes.
- Now for the first stretch & fold. Always keep a bowl of water next to you and wet your hands, (shaking off the excess) before working to minimise sticking. That’s the only way to work with a reasonably high hydration bread. Whenever you feel it sticking again, dip your working hand in the water, shake off the excess, and keep working.
- Now for the second stretch and fold, this is when you will be adding the honeyed porridge. Lay the porridge on top of the dough and proceed to squeeze into and fold the dough until you can’t fold any more because the dough is too tight.
- Now you’ll need to do 3 more stretch and folds at 20 minute intervals. It is often not completely incorporated, there may be a thin marble-like effect, but this is absolutely fine.
- Now you need to do a pre-shaping of your dough, this involves using your dough scraper, shaping it into a round boule. Pre-shaping is precisely what it sounds like; it sets the stage for successful final shaping. Leave for 15 minutes on the worktop.
Shaping and Bulk Fermentation
- Now it’s time for you to shape your dough and place in your banneton basket. Flip the pre shaped dough over onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently stretch the dough, fold the sides of the dough into the centre 3 times. Then finally fold the bottom to the top. Have a plate of rolled oats ready and quickly roll the dough in the oats and place in the banneton basket. Leave out for 45-90 hours, depending on your room temperature, then pop in the fridge for 12-14 hours, uncovered. This is called retarding the dough, this develops the flavour and it ferments slowly.
- Place a cloche or a Le Creuset in the oven and preheat to 230°Cfan. Allow 30 minutes to heat the oven, you need all this time to make sure that all the walls are saturated with heat and the temperature won’t drop as much when you open the door.
- Once the oven is ready, take some parchment paper and lay it on a baking sheet. Turn the sourdough out onto the parchment, score and quickly put into your hot Le Creuset, put the lid on and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook for between 5-10 minutes, depending on how much colour you like on your bread.
- Cool on a wire rack. Do not attempt to cut it whilst is still hot, it needs to relax, release heat and form a crust. So in 1-2 hours you can slice and slather with butter.
from the dough, fold it onto itself and then stretch the remaining three to four sides in the same way.
- This loaf works equally well without the addition of honey, just replace the honey with water in the porridge.
- For a vegan option, use maple syrup.