sourdough irish oatmeal bread
Sourdough Irish Oatmeal Bread
Irish oatmeal is not the rolled oats with which Americans are familiar but instead is like the steel cut oats available at food co-ops. The baking of these loaves, one in the La Cloche and one on a Superstone® baking stone, sounds complicated. It’s not and can be done with only one oven by allowing the dough used for the La Cloche loaf to rise a second time, and by shaping it when the Superstone® load is put into the oven to bake. Makes two loaves.
1 cup McCann’s Irish Oatmeal
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp. yeast
¼ cup water
2 tbsp. honey
2 cups sourdough starter batter
4 – 4 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
Pour boiling water over oatmeal in a mixing bowl; let it cool to lukewarm about 20 minutes. Combine yeast with the water and honey in a large mixing bowl; let it proof until foamy. Add sour dough batter, 2 cups flour, lukewarm oatmeal mixture, and the salt, mixing to form a stiff dough. Cover and let dough rest about 20 minutes. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead, adding more flour as needed, until dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place dough in a greased bowl and turn to coat the surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours. Dough may either be shaped at this point, or punched down to rise a second time.
Shape into 2 free-form loaves placing one loaf in the bottom portion of the La Cloche that has been lightly oiled and sprinkled with corn meal, and the other in the refrigerator or freezer for future use.
Cover and let rise until almost doubled in size.
Remove lid and allow the lid to heat for 20’ in a 425º oven. Slash the dough with 6 cuts made with a lame in a criss-cross pattern. Replace lid over base and bake bread for 20 minutes. Remove the La Cloche dome, reduce oven temperature to 400º and continue baking for 10 more minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350º and bake about 20 more minutes until loaf is of desired crispness and golden brown in color. Remove from oven and place dough on a rack to cool.