This also happens to be my husband's favorite bread recipe. When I ask him what kind of bread I should bake, he always says "You know my answer: the Ruminate bread." :)
Adapting a yeast bread recipe for soaking is really quite simple. I'm going to share that method with you soon, so you can turn your favorite whole grain yeast bread into a healthier, soaked yeast bread!
(confused about soaking grains? Check out this helpful post.)
This recipe makes two loaves. I don't go through the effort of baking bread unless I can make at least two at a time. I haven't ever made more than two of this recipe, since my Kitchen Aid can't handle much more than that. If you have a Bosch mixer, I'm sure you could double this and make four loaves at a time.
It is not 100% whole grain. It's more like 80%. But it balances the fine line between hearty and light that is sure to please normal people and whole grain lovers alike. It has a slightly craggy, soft texture from the oats and a delicious sweetness from the honey. I recommend slicing it while it's still warm and slathering it with butter. It also makes kick-butt French Toast. Oh my.
Soaked Honey Oatmeal Bread
(makes two loaves)
1) The night before you want to bake, combine in the bowl of your mixer:
2 c. rolled oats
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. white whole wheat flour
2 c. warm water or half water and half milk
1/4 c. whey, yogurt, buttermilk, or kefir
Mix until evenly moistened. Cover with a plate and let soak 7-24 hours.
2) After the mixture has soaked, combine in a small bowl:
4 t. yeast
1/4 c. slightly warm water
Stir gently to dissolve the yeast. (It doesn't need to bubble, just dissolve. If you have instant yeast, skip this step and just add the yeast to the bowl of your mixer. You can either add the 1/4 c. water at that point, or add it to the soaked mixture the night before.)
3) When the yeast is mostly dissolved, add it to the bowl of your mixer, and add the remaining ingredients:
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. butter, softened
2 t. salt
1 1/3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 c. ground flax seeds (opt.)
4) Knead in your mixer until all ingredients are fully incorporated and the dough has a soft, stretchy texture. Only add more flour if it is really wet, but be patient, because it usually absorbs the moisture by the end of the kneading time. I do the windowpane test to know if it's done being kneaded: remove a small piece of dough and stretch it gently until you can see light through it. If it breaks before it gets to that point, knead it for a couple more minutes. Grease the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 hour or until it is about doubled in bulk.
5) After the dough has risen, grease two loaf pans (I like to use butter wrappers that have a little butter left on them). Gently deflate the dough and shape it into two log shapes the length of your loaf pans. Place the dough in the pans and cover with a clean, moist towel (I wet a towel with warm water and ring it out thoroughly). Allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it is an inch or two above the rim of the pan. Toward the end of that time, preheat the oven to 350.
6) Place the loaves in the hot oven and bake for 45 minutes, covering with foil after 20 minutes (don't skip this - it will get too dark!). To find out if it's done, stick in an instant read thermometer and make sure it's at least 190 degrees. (No more underdone bread! Yay!) Take it out of the oven and, after a minute or so, remove it from the pans to a cooling rack. Let it cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing. The longer you wait the easier it will be to cut, but it is oh-so-yummy while it's still warm!
If you try this recipe, or have a favorite soaked yeast bread recipe, I'd love to hear your feedback!