This recipe produces two good-sized loaves. If you bake this bread in an enameled cast iron dutch oven, you can get a nice crusty outside, with a soft, chewy inside. The steel cut oats in addition to the rolled oats gives the bread a great texture, inside and out.
- 16 oz Porter, Stout, or Lager beer, room temperature (see note)
- 2 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
- 800–900 g bread flour, divided
- 2 cups leftover steel-cut oats, room temperature (see note)
- 1 Tbsp molasses
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 oz rolled oats, divided (see note)
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp water
- Hoppy beers (like an IPA) can give the bread’s crust an incredibly bitter flavor. I find beers that are low to moderate on the IBU scale work best, with Porter being my favorite. The malty flavor plays well with the toasted oats, creating a well-rounded flavor in the final loaf.
- I originally developed this recipe using leftover steel-cut oats (minus the sweet toppings). My favorite way to prepare oats is Alton Brown’s recipe. If you don’t have leftovers, consider cooking up some oats using beer instead of water for extra beer flavor. You’ll need about 2/3 cup of uncooked oats to produce 2 cups of cooked oats.
- For best flavor, toast your oats in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring often, until oats begin to turn golden.
- Stand mixer — you could hand-knead this bread, but it is way easier to use a stand mixer. I love my Cuisinart mixer.
- Enameled cast iron dutch oven (or 2) — I find this bread gets the best crust when cooked in an uncovered 4–5 qt dutch oven. Tall-sided eartenware also works really well. If you don’t have either you can certainly prepare this bread in a traditional pullman loaf pan, or freeform loaves cooked on a pizza stone.
- If you only have one cast iron dutch oven, you wrap one of the dough balls in plastic, and stash it in the fridge while the first loaf rises & cooks. After the first ball is cooked, remove the dough from the fridge, form your loaf, rise, then bake.
- Combine beer, yeast, and 300 g of flour in a bowl. Stir to combine.
- Cover, set aside for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sponge, prepared steel-cut oats, molasses, and 500 grams of flour.
- Mix on low, using bread hook until all ingredients are combined–this will take 2–3 minutes.
- Add additional flour, if necessary, until the dough begins to come together around the hook. The dough will be sticky. The dough will be the right consistency when it pulls away from the sides of the bowl, but still sticks some to the bottom.
- Add salt and half of the toasted rolled oats.
- Mix on medium-high speed for 7 minutes.
- Place dough in oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise until doubled in volume, about an hour.
- Go get a cup of coffee.
- When dough is doubled in volume, preheat the oven to 550°F. Let oven heat for the duration of the second rise.
- Spray the inside of the dutch ovens with cooking spray.
- Separate dough into two pieces, and turn out onto a flour-coated surface.
- Give each piece a quick knead, and shape into a smooth ball to form a loaf.
- Paint the top of the loaf with egg wash, and coat in the remaining rolled oats.
- Place the dough (oat side up) in the bottom of the dutch oven, cover with a towel, and set sit for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
- Turn oven down to 450°F and place bread in oven.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 190°F.
- Remove bread from dutch oven, and cool on a wired rack.