I was working in a group in my artisan bread baking class, and our assignment was to develop a brand new rustic sourdough recipe from start to finish - the challenge being that it had to involve oats in at least one place in the recipe. We knew that we wanted a really warm, toasty flavor for this bread, so initially we toasted our buckwheat flour and simply folded oats into the dough, but it was still lacking the nuttiness that we were looking for. I've always loved the flavor of toasted oats, and suggested that we toast the oats in the oven before adding them to the dough, and that day, what is still hands down one of my favorite breads that I have ever had the pleasure of eating was born. This sourdough has many of the delicious flavor qualities of toast before it is even toasted, and due to a mixture of flours along with the toasted elements, it has layers of flavor with lots of creaminess. It is a hearty, filling bread that is still my all time perfect egg-dipping toast, and as an added plus, for reasons that have yet to be explained, the dough smells strangely similar to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while it is mixing. It is a recipe meant for a professional grade kitchen, so it does make a large quantity of bread and calls for steaming, but I've been curious since making it as to how well it would do being cut down and simplified for home kitchens. This is easily the best thing that I made and ate this year, and I am incredibly proud of this recipe. —Amanda Reece
Harvest Grains Blend (King Arthur Flour)
Light buckwheat flour (toasted and cooled)
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth. The mixture will be very wet; this is normal.
Cover the mixture tightly with plastic wrap.
Let the mixture ferment overnight. If you notice that the mixture is too active (growing very large or producing too much gas), you can move the mixture to the refrigerator to finish fermenting. Make sure to remove it from the refrigerator and bring it up to room temperature before using to make the bread dough.
Gather and measure all of your ingredients.
The Desired Dough Temperature for this recipe is 75 F. It is best to use the DDT formula ((DDT x 4) minus flour temp, room temp, preferment temp, and friction factor = proper water temp.) with the factors of the kitchen currently being used to find your desired water temperature. Our machine's friction factor was 30, and if the mixing bowl was cold or the preferment was not up to room temperature, we also factored this in and added 4 to 6 degrees to the final desired water temperature.
Toast the light buckwheat flour and oats at 425 F, until a medium golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool before using.
Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a spiral mixer (starting with liquid ingredients and ending with dry ingredients).
Mix on 1st speed for 4 - 5 minutes.
Mix on 2nd speed for 2 minutes 30 seconds.
Using a dough scraper, remove the dough from the mixer and place it into a covered bin that has been sprayed lightly with pan spray and ferment the dough for 1 1/2 hours. In this fermentation time, fold the dough a total of two times, one fold 30 minutes after finishing the dough, the second fold 30 minutes after the first fold. Make sure to flour your bench/table heavily, along with your hands, when folding the dough, as it will be wet and shaggy.
Divide the dough into 779 g. pieces and very loosely pre-shape for boules (though if you prefer a different shape for your loaves, this will not affect the bread).
Rest the dough, loosely covered with plastic, for 20 minutes.
Shape your dough pieces into boules, place them onto a lightly floured baker's couche (as many as needed to fit all of your loaves) on a flat surface and cover loosely with plastic or place onto a covered baking rack. Proof loaves in a warm section of your kitchen for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Score and/or stencil your loaves as desired.
Load the loaves into a deck oven and bake with steam at 460 F for 40 to 45 minutes, venting the oven after 20 minutes, until the crust has developed a deep brown color.
Remove the loaves from the oven, let cool, and enjoy!