by Erin MacGregor, RD howtoeat.ca
The variations and additions to make it your own are nearly endless. Try adding your favourite nuts, seeds, grains or dried fruits.
- 2 1/4 cups (560 mL) all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 3/4 cups (175 mL) whole wheat all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups (175 mL) large flake oats (plus extra for garnish)
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) whole flax seeds
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) instant yeast
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cool water
- In a large bowl, whisk together flours, oats, flax seeds, salt and yeast. Add water and stir until no dry flour remains. Add extra water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, until slight sticky consistency is achieved.
- Cover bowl with a tea towel and allow to sit and rise at room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 24, until bubbles begin to form on the surface.
- Cover a clean surface area with flour. Turn dough out onto floured surface and fold it over onto itself 2–3 times, tucking the seams under to form a ball. Transfer dough ball to a generously floured piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle the dough’s surface generously with more flour and cover with a second piece of parchment paper and tea towel. Allow to rise for at least 1 more hour and up to 2 until it is about double in size.
- 20 minutes before the final rise is complete, preheat a 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven or oven-safe, heavy bottomed covered baking dish at 450°F (230°C).
- Transfer dough to the preheated dish by flipping it upside down into the pot from the parchment paper. The dough will spread out and look misshapen. Sprinkle with a pinch of large flake oats, cover with lid and return to oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake an additional 10–15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool before slicing and serving.
Makes: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Rise Time: 12-24 hours
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
From steel-cut to rolled, quick-cooking and instant oats, this cereal crop is versatile and has made its way into the morning routines of many Canadians across the country, and for good reason. Oats are low in fat, very low in cholesterol and sodium, a good source of fibre, phosphorus, selenium, and a very good source of manganese.
While growers used to primarily grow oats for Canadian consumers, the crop has transformed into a major Canadian export crop over the last three decades. In fact, about 70 per cent of the oats grown in Canada are exported around the world. One of Canada’s major advantages as a country is its large base of agricultural land, which makes it possible to grow an abundant and affordable food supply for Canadians, while also producing enough food to send to countries around the world.
But like most cereal crops, farmers have to manage a variety of insects, weeds and diseases that threaten oat crops. Without pesticides, Canadian farmers would grow about 20 per cent less oats. Fortunately, all pesticides used in Canada have been approved by Health Canada and Canadians can rest assured that the food they are eating is safe.