Struan Bread

Last Thursday was a very exciting day for me, as Bakers & Best passed 10,000 all time page views!  While about 70% of those have been from within the US, the other 30% come from 94 other countries!  The UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany round out the top 5.   I’ve had visitors from Brunei, Qatar, Cambodia, Suriname, Angola…the list goes on.  Wherever you’re coming from, glad to have you!  Now to the bread…

Though most of my posts the past month have been pumpkin focused (see: beer bread, bagels, and pasta), don’t take that to mean I haven’t been busy making a variety of delicious breads.  It just so happens that most of them had been things I’ve posted about before.  We also finally depleted our bread reserves in the freezer which consisted of some whole wheat loaves, bacon-shallot sourdough, and sesame oat bread.

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I’ve been tinkering with several multigrain sandwich loaves the past few weeks and Peter Reinhart’s struan bread kept coming up in my searches.  This harvest bread lacks a traditional recipe which allows for a nice level of flexibility on the part of the baker when choosing grains; no need to feel constricted to what I’ve done below, use what you like or what you have!

I found different versions online, one the official Peter Reinhart recipe (two day recipe) and another an adapted version from The Fresh Loaf (one day).  Since I didn’t get around to making this until Sunday, I had to opt for the 1 day version, but I look forward to giving the 2 day version a shot soon.  The Reinhart recipe uses only whole wheat flour and a larger amount of grains so it needs overnight soakers to soften.

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I topped mine with poppy seeds and while playing around with the camera ended up with this incredible photo of the top of the loaf.  It’s pretty crazy the level of detail you can see on the the poppy seeds.  Unbeknownst to me they are shaped like curled peanuts and have lots of grooves along their surface.

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I absolutely love this bread.  It tastes a bit like the sesame oat bread but has a firmer crumb (I think due to the cornmeal) that is similar to some of the 100% whole wheat breads I’ve made.  The Fresh Loaf post boasted that it makes great toast and I can happily confirm that.  I’ve had it every day this week and look forward to experimenting with the recipe in the future.

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One other bit of exciting news, my baguettes from two weeks ago were featured on YeastSpotting.  For those that may not be familiar with it, YeastSpotting is a weekly showcase of breads (or leavened baked goods more generally) compiled by Susan who runs the excellent bread blog, Wild Yeast.  Her site has been a fantastic source of information and inspiration in my bread baking adventures.  Hopefully mine can do the same for you!  Enjoy the struan bread!

Struan Bread

Ingredients

Soaker

  • 3 T corn meal
  • 6 T rolled oats
  • 3 T wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup water

Dough

  • 2 C bread flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 T honey
  • 1 T yeast
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 3/4 C water
  • Soaker
  • 1 T poppy seeds, for topping

Directions

In a small bowl combine all ingredients for the soaker and let sit covered for anywhere from 1 hour to overnight.

When you are ready to make the dough, combine all dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Knead for 7-8 minutes, until smooth.  The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but not be overly sticky.  If this is an issue, add a bit more flour.  Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover, letting rest until doubled, about 90 minutes.

Remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat the dough into a rectangle about 6″x8″.  Shape into a loaf by rolling up the length of the dough (working from the short side).  With each rotation pinch the creases to create a bit of surface tension.  Place in a lightly oiled loaf pan and cover, letting rise until the dough just crests the lip of the pan.  

While the loaf is rising preheat the oven to 350° F.  Once the loaf has risen bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through.  Let sit two hours after baking to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from The Fresh Loaf.

4 thoughts on “Struan Bread

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