Oatmeal Sourdough Bread

A couple of years ago I obtained a dried sample of Carl Griffth’s 1847 Oregon Trail sourdough starter. Made a couple of tasty loaves, but managed to let the starter die off. At the beginning of year I requested another sample and have started a very active starter and hopefully I can keep it alive this time.

My first bread with this starter is one from the linked website.

1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup sourdough starter
5 cups white bread flour

Makes two loaves. Combine in a large bowl the oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, and butter. Pour boiling water over mixture. Stir to combine. When batter is cooled to lukewarm, add the starter and stir in the flour. When dough is stiff enough to handle, turn onto floured board and knead for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled (about 4 hours in my oven with the light on). Punch down and separate into 2 equal balls. Shape into loaves and place in greased 9 X 5 X 3 inch pans. Let rise until doubled again. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 F. Cool on rack, brushing loaves with butter or margarine for a soft crust.

Notes: I needed additional flour to get beyond sticky. The starter seemed to be pretty active, but first doubling rise took 4 hours. Second rise in pans took an additional 2 hours (I actually should have let it rise in the pans a bit more, but I had a dinner appointment that I had to meet). In my oven, the loaves still weren’t really done in 40 minutes, so I dumped them both out of their pans and set them bare on the oven rack and baked an addtional 10 minutes. Nice loaves, though not as sour as I remember from the first time I tried this starter. It will probably get more sour over time.

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