Oat Soda Bread

makes one generous-sized loaf

Inspired by Heidi Swanson's Rye Soda Bread in her forthcoming book Super Natural Every Day (April 2011).

Michael Ruhlman has christened the New Year with a new mission—a loaf of homemade bread in every hearth. You have to do the bidding though, since it'd be quite a resolution for him to bake enough for us all. Check out his post and spread the word. After you bake this recipe, you'll find it hard to stop baking fresh bread of any kind.

p.s. This bread was wonderful two days later, toasted with a slather of butter and fleur de sel. I even served it the day it was made alongside a red sauce. So, don't relegate it to the breakfast basket alone.

7 ounces oat flour (learn how to make it from scratch)

10 ounces all purpose flour, plus more for dusting and sprinkling

1 teaspoon (4 grams) granulated sugar

1 3/4 teaspoons (12 grams) baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons (6 grams) fleur de sel

2 cups (450 ml) plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Arrange rack in center of oven. Preheat to 400ºF.

Add flours, sugar, baking soda and salt to a deep bowl. Whisk together to mix well. Pour in 2 cups of buttermilk and stir using a wooden spoon until just combined.

Lightly flour a clean countertop or large cutting board. Dump dough onto surface and knead briefly, 30 to 60 seconds until it forms a relatively smooth ball. Place on a lightly floured rimmed baking sheet. Slightly flatten ball of dough.

Brush sides and top with remaining buttermilk. Sprinkle top with a generous amount of flour, 2 to 3 tablespoons. Using a very sharp knife, slash a deep "X" on the top of the loaf, making sure not to cut all the way through.

Bake for 25 minutes, then move tray to upper middle rack of oven and bake for 15 more minutes until it becomes a deep golden color and temperature registers 185ºF. It should sound hollow when tapped with your knuckle. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for at least an hour before slicing.