Friday, November 30, 2012

Fermented Friday: Leftover Oatmeal Turned Bread- Cranberry-Sage or Multigrain

Fermented Friday: recipes featuring yeast, wine, beer or some form of fermentation.

Guess what happens when make a batch of rather bland slow cooker steel-cut oats one day, and then make Chocolate-Pumpkin Quinoa the next day?  That's right, leftover oatmeal.  I'm not one to let leftovers stand in the fridge, they always turn into something else.  It would be pretty fun to make cookies or granola bars with cooked oats, but we need a little yeast action for Fermented Friday.  If we can make bread with rice why not bread with leftover oatmeal?

Speaking of leftovers, I also had a little fresh sage leftover from Thanksgiving.  I wanted to make a version of these cute little Cran-Sage Rolls for Thanksgiving, but just didn't get around to it.  Since the leftover oatmeal had a faint cranberry-orange flavor I decided  to use the flavor concept from the rolls in this bread.  Dried cranberries, fresh sage and candied ginger add flair to lonesome leftovers.  Subtle savory notes from the sage are contrasted by sweet dried cranberries and a burst of candied ginger.  If you haven't tried candied ginger yet, you really should.  It has a bite, but it's so good.  I'm hooked.

For some reason I decided to make two loaves of bread at once. I'm not really sure, but I think I might be indecisive when it comes to choosing?  ; )   For the second loaf I went with a multigrain variation.  This bread is chock-full of wholesome grains.  In addition to our cooked steel-cut oatmeal we have quinoa, flaxseed, cornmeal, wheat germ, dry steel-cut oats and whole wheat flour.  Toasting the grains adds a super nutty flavor to this hearty loaf.  It's a bit drier than the cranberry-sage loaf but still soft.

Both variations work splendidly as toast or in sandwiches. Try the cranberry-sage toasted with orange marmalade or make a sandwich with any lingering turkey and cranberry sauce.  Warm gooey peanut butter on toasted multigrain bread goes without saying.  Not a bad way to eat leftover oatmeal if I do say so myself.

Cooked Oatmeal Bread (Cranberry-Sage OR Multigrain)
base recipe adapted from James Beard
inspired by Better Homes and Gardens

1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm cooked oatmeal
1/2 cup warm milk
1-1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
ingredients listed for one of the variations below


Cranberry-Sage: additional ingredients- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger, 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage.
Multigrain: replace 1-1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour with 1 cup whole wheat flour plus 2 Tbsp cornmeal, 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed, 2 Tbsp toasted quinoa, 2 Tbsp toasted wheat germ and 2 Tbsp toasted steel-cut oats.

* In a large bowl combine warm water, granulated sugar and yeast. Let stand 10 minutes. Stir in cooked oatmeal, milk, salt and brown sugar. Add flour one cup at a time until a stiff dough forms. If making multigrain variation, use flour replacement listed above. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed. If making cranberry-sage variation, knead in ingredients listed above during last few minutes of kneading. 
* Shape dough into ball and place in oiled mixing bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
* Punch down dough and knead 2 to 3 minutes longer. Shape into loaf and place in greased 8-x-4-inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.
* Shortly before dough is ready, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake loaf 45-50 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F.  Remove from pan and cool on wire rack at least one hour before slicing.

Food for Thought: "How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like kleenex?" -Julia Child

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