Oatmeal raisin bread recipe

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This bread, flavored with oatmeal, sweet raisins, and just a touch of brown sugar, is great toasted up for breakfast or perfect with coffee for an afternoon snack. As with our Fig and Fennel Bread, we found that baking the bread in a preheated Dutch oven created a beautifully even crumb and a bronzed crust without the need for specialty equipment. Since this bread was a bit sweeter than the Fig and Fennel, a prefermented sponge was unnecessary; we focused instead on getting the oat flavor to really shine. Mixing the oatmeal into the dough toward the end of kneading proved the perfect way to incorporate it without creating big clumps of oats. We tried incorporating oat flour into the dough in addition to the oatmeal, but the flour absorbed so much water that the loaf turned out dry. We found instead that replacing a small amount of the bread flour with whole-wheat flour complemented the earthy flavor of the oats and ensured that the crumb stayed light and moist. To give the loaf a pretty finish, we misted it with water and then sprinkled more oats on top. Do not substitute quick or instant oats in this recipe.

  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Total Time: 4 Hours 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (3 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) water, room temperature
  • 2 cups (11 ounces) bread flour
  • ½ cup (2¾ ounces) whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup raisins
How to Make It
  1. Microwave ¾ cup oats and water in large covered bowl, stirring occasionally, until oats are softened and water is completely absorbed, about 5 minutes; let cool completely before using.
  2. Whisk bread flour, whole-wheat flour, yeast, and salt together in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk milk and melted butter together in 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Using dough hook on low speed, slowly add milk mixture to flour mixture and mix until cohesive dough starts to form and no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.
  3. Increase speed to medium-low and knead until dough is smooth and elastic and clears sides of bowl, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to low, slowly add raisins, then slowly add oatmeal, 2 tablespoons at a time, and mix until mostly incorporated, about 3 minutes. Transfer dough to lightly greased large bowl or container, cover tightly with plastic, and let rise for 30 minutes.
  4. Using greased bowl scraper (or your fingertips), fold dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward middle. Turn bowl 45 degrees and fold dough again; repeat turning bowl and folding dough 6 more times (total of 8 folds). Cover tightly with plastic and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat folding and rising every 30 minutes, 2 more times. After third set of folds, cover bowl tightly with plastic and let dough rise until nearly doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1¼ hours.
  5. Lay 18 by 12-inch sheet of parchment paper on counter; spray with vegetable oil spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter. Using lightly floured hands, press and stretch dough into 10-inch round; deflate any gas pockets larger than 1 inch.
  6. Working around circumference of dough, fold edges toward center until ball forms. Flip dough ball seam side down and, using your cupped hands, drag in small circles on counter until dough feels taut and round and all seams are secured on underside of loaf. Mist loaf with water on all sides and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup oats, pressing gently on sides of loaf to adhere.
  7. Place loaf, seam side down, in center of prepared parchment and cover loosely with greased plastic wrap. Let rise until loaf increases in size by about half and dough springs back minimally when poked gently with your knuckle, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  8. Thirty minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Holding sharp paring knife or single-edge razor blade at 30-degree angle to loaf, make two 5-inch-long, ½-inch-deep slashes with swift, fluid motion along top of loaf to form cross. Discard any exposed raisins on top of loaf.
  9. Carefully transfer pot to wire rack and uncover. Using parchment as sling, gently lower dough into Dutch oven. Cover pot, tucking any excess parchment into pot, and return to oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake loaf for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until loaf is deep golden brown and registers 205 to 210 degrees, about 20 minutes.
  10. Using parchment sling, remove loaf from pot and transfer to wire rack; discard parchment. Let cool completely, about 3 hours, before serving
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