Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Something New and Old - Oat Bran Sandwich Bread

If you had visited almost any food website a few years ago, even up to about last year, one ingredient would have certainly jumped out at you - oat bran. For years we all knew about wheat bran, that tough outer coating of the wheat 'seed' that protects it. Usually it is filtered away to make white flour. Or when left in place we have 'whole wheat' flour. But oat bran is/was more exotic somehow. And it was touted as being at the forefront for fighting everything from high cholesterol to cancer. Truthfully, oat bran actually does all those things but probably only if eaten in quantity. Like every day. Sadly oat bran has fallen from the public eye and is no longer the 'in' health food but that shouldn't take away from it's good healthy qualities. It just means something else is in fashion at the moment. If you don't have any, you can substitute regular wheat bran instead. This recipe calls for both. But using oat bran along with the wheat variety will make for a lighter bread with more fiber and who knows, maybe it will lower your cholesterol. In any event, this bread is delicious and has great texture and structure. So it is wonderful sliced for sandwiches and very healthy. Eat a slice every day!

Here's What You'll Need:
4 cups AP flour or bread flour
1 cup oat bran
1/4 cup wheat bran
3/8 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs. yeast
3/4 Tbs. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk or soy milk
1 1/4 cups warm water

Here's What You'll Need To Do:
1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, including the brown sugar. Add the liquids and stir to combine. Move the ragged dough to a lightly-floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or so to make a smooth dough. As you knead the dough the bran will be more and more incorporated until it almost disappears. I have a confession to make. I own a bread machine, and sometimes, but only sometimes I use it to mix the dough. I never, ever use it to bake bread. I don't like the shape. Or the paddle stuck in the bottom, either. But sometimes, especially when the dough is sticky, it is a nice tool to have on hand for mixing and kneading the dough. As you can see from these photos, I used it for this bread.

2. Place the kneaded dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, turn to coat, then cover and let it rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

3. Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a loaf. Cover and let it rise again until it just rises over the tops of the loaf pan.

4. Bake at 350F (180C), or about 300F (150C in a convection oven) for about 45 minutes until golden brown. Let this bread cool completely on a rack before slicing. Yum!!!


  1. Hi David,
    I like the shape of this bread and the color of the slices.
    One question though: what is the name of oat bran in Hebrew?
    Thank you for your post.

  2. בעברית קוראים לו סובין שיבולת שועל
    בסופרמרקט אפשר למצוא אבל קצת יקר יותר טוב בחנויות טבע
    תודה ובהצלחה עם הלחם הנהדר הזה

  3. What an exciting experience!/Hilarious! Delightful! True!/wonderful stuff! thank you!

    Bakery Equipment

  4. Glad you liked the post. We manage to put up something new about once a week. Why not join us?