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From Starting with Ingredients: Baking by Aliza Green

Guinness Oatmeal Bread

Made with a combination of bread flour, whole wheat flour, cornmeal, and oatmeal, this hearty yet light bread is quick to make, and makes excellent toast and sandwiches. Serve it with Cheddar or Stilton, pickles, pickled onions, a slice of pate, beet salad, apple wedges, and, of course, a bottle of Guinness or other beer, for a traditional English ploughman's lunch. The bread freezes beautifully. This recipe is dairy-free.

Yield: 2 medium loaves

For this recipe you will need:

  • 1 (¼-ounce) package (2-¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 10 ounces (2-½ cups) unbleached bread flour
  • ¼ pound (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ pound (1⅓ cups) oatmeal
  • 6 ounces (1-¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon) stone-ground white cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle Guinness stout, at room temperature (flat is OK)
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for the egg wash
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1. Spray two medium loaf pans with nonstick baker's coating.

2. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, water, and maple syrup, and set aside to proof, about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly.

3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients: bread flour, whole wheat flour, oatmeal, cornmeal, and salt, and beat briefly with to combine.

4. Beat in the stout, then switch to the dough hook attachment and continue beating until the dough is smooth and elastic and comes away from the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes.

5. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl; turn over to coat with oil, cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth, and allow the dough to rise at warm room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

6. Punch the dough down and cut it in half. Using a rolling pin, roll each section into a rectangle about 9-inches wide and about 1-inch thick, and then roll the dough up tightly into a log shape.

7. Fit the dough, seam side down, into the pans. Brush with the egg wash, then sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Using a single-edged razor or a French baker's lame, cut 3 diagonal slits into each doug log. Set the dough aside to rise at warm room temperature, for about 1 hour, or until the logs have risen just above the edges of the pans.

8. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

9. Bake the breads for 40 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, and a thermometer inserted in the center reads 190°F.

10. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the breads from the pans (to keep them from getting soggy), and cool completely before slicing.

11. Store in a brown paper bag or a plastic bag open at the end for up to three days, or tightly wrap in foil or freezer wrap and freeze up to 1 month.

©2008 WHYY