Molecular gastronomist Francisco Migoya, the head chef at Modernist Cuisine and co-author of Modernist Bread, shares his unique approach for incorporating oats into your next loaf of white sandwich bread. The grains are caramelized in a pressure cooker before being mixed into the yeasted dough.

Martha Bakes, Episode 1108


Credit: Mike Krautter

Recipe Summary

Makes one 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf


Pressure-Caramelized Oats


Instructions Checklist
  • Pressure-Caramelized Oats:

    Combine steel-cut oats, sugar, butter, salt, baking soda, and water in a medium bowl. Divide mixture between two 1-cup glass canning jars and seal with lids.

  • Place a trivet in the bottom of a pressure cooker. Place jars on trivet and fill pressure cooker with enough water to come halfway up sides of jars. Close lid and set valve to "sealed" position. Using the manual setting, cook on high pressure for 1 hour. Allow pressure cooker to completely depressurize before opening lid. Remove jars; let oats cool to room temperature before using. Oats can be refrigerated up to 3 days. (Makes about 2 cups.)

  • Bread:

    In the bowl of a mixer, stir together milk and yeast. Let stand until yeast is dissolved, 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate large bowl, whisk together bread flour, sugar, and vital wheat gluten.

  • Add flour mixture to milk mixture. Place bowl on mixer fitted with the dough-hook attachment; mix on low speed until a wet dough forms, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium and mix until dough is smooth and elastic, 6 to 8 minutes. Add salt and 1/2 cup (90 grams) pressure-caramelized oats; continue mixing on medium until fully combined, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Gently fold dough in half, cover with plastic wrap, and return to warm place to ferment for 30 minutes. Using your index finger, gently push into the dough surface: if it springs back slightly but still leaves a small dent, it's fermented. If it springs back too quickly, it's not ready.

  • Spray an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Turn dough out onto a work surface; flatten into a rectangle, with a short side parallel to work surface. Fold top third of dough towards center, then fold bottom third of dough on top. Using palms of your hands, roll dough back and forth to form a 10-by-8-inch log; pinch to seal. Transfer to prepared pan, seam-side down. Loosely cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place until proofed, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Repeat finger test.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in center. Brush top of loaf with egg wash. Working quickly, use a sharp knife or a lame (a baker's blade) to score a line lengthwise down center of loaf, to allow for expansion. Sprinkle top with rolled oats. Bake 40 to 45 minutes (or 35 to 40 minutes in a convection oven). Carefully invert loaf onto a wire rack, then reinvert and return to oven (still on rack). Bake 5 minutes more with oven door slightly cracked to vent steam. Let cool completely before serving.