I'd heard the Scottish chef Nick Nairn talking about oatmeal bread and I thought "hmm, that's not a bad idea actually" so I thought I'd give it a go. Freshly baked bread is fantastic and it fills the house with a great aroma. This bread is so nice it almost makes you able to forgive Scotland for Travis. If you want to make normal brown bread, simply omit the oats.
N.B. I have no idea if Scottish oatmeal bread is actually anything like this.
* 500g strong wholemeal bread flour, plus extra for dusting
* 150g porridge oats
* 25g butter
* 1.5 tsps fast yeast
* 1 tsp sugar
* 1 tsp salt
* About 300ml warm water
- Sieve the flour into a bowl, discarding the crap. Rub the butter into the mixture with your fingertips, stir in the yeast, porridge oats, salt and sugar and slowly add the water while mixing, a little bit at a time as you don't want the dough to get sloppy. Add more water or flour as necessary - if it's sticking together OK you don't need any more water.
- Dust some flour onto a CLEAN work surface and gently knead the bread. for about ten minutes. A lot of people get stuck in with their foreknuckles and really punch the shit out of the bread, but this isn't the UFC - gently press the dough using your palm heels so that you get a nice spongy dough.
- Put the dough into a greased bread tin, or into some other weird shape if that's what you want. Cover it with a damp tea towel and put it in a warm place for one and a half to two hours until it's roughly doubled in size.
- Scatter a handful of porridge oats over the top and gently press them in - this will make a nice crunchy crust. Put it in an oven preheated to 220 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. When the bread is done it should have a nice brown crust around the outside and the bottom should sound hollow when you tap it.
- I found this bread was very nice with some proper butter, some mature cheddar cheese and a cup of tea (interestingly, you can see my cup of tea in the picture).