The package of dry yeast has been sitting in the pantry for a while. Bread-making, the one that involves kneading and waiting, is something I would like to have time for. A good loaf of bread needs no rush.
I am rushing a lot, lately, and with no fixed schedule even the simplest no-knead bread becomes a big endeavor. Yet, a meal without bread just doesn’t sound right to me. I feel like I am missing something like I am not completely satiated. No matter if it is to make a sandwich, or just to wipe up the sauce on my plate, or to help me collect the last forkful of salad, bread has to sit on my table, as fundamental as water. Most of the time, bread is also the staple snack between meals. A slice slathered with raw honey when I crave sweet, or drizzled with good oil and sea salt when I am in the mood for savory, it satisfy my physical and mental hunger.
I still enjoy making bread, as many times a week as I can. For much that I like buying a good loaf once in a while, having my bread on the table just makes me a bit more happy. The main difference, I guess, it’s the variety: I enjoy playing with different flours, seeds, herbs, and spices, at times, also with different salts, or with beer, or with dried fruits and nuts. I just can satisfy my cravings instantly, just by doing what I feel like. The only way I can do it is by making soda bread.
I have been making this oat soda bread a lot, lately. Since when I discovered steel-cut oats, I have been adding them to the dough and never changed since. They add extra-crumbliness and crunchiness to the bread, which is very dense and crumbly by nature.
Oat Soda Bread
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, mix flours, bran, oats, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the bowl and add the liquid. Knead the dough with a wooden spoon until it barely comes together in a ball; add more flour if needed. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and pat it down into a flat disc, about 3 cm high. Brush the surface with some buttermilk or oat milk and dust with extra flour. Using a very sharp knife cut the surface of the bread –you can choose the pattern you like, I usually do either diamonds or a cross or a star. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the loaf holds its shape when pressed. Remove and let cool on a rack before slicing. The second day it is perfect toasted.