Oatmeal Twists are Great for Dinner Too! (BBB June 2012)

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BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Oatmeal Twists with currants and sunflower seeds; summer dining; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting and Bake Your Own Bread; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) June 2012

Have you tried oatmeal twists yet? No?! Quick!! Get out your mixing bowl and whip up a starter so you can try them tomorrow night.

Oatmeal Twists(BBB) We LOVE oatmeal twists! Once you’ve tried them, I feel certain you will love them too.

Yes, we had the most brilliant dinner last night! It was one of those perfect evenings – birds singing, distant children laughing and playing, snippets of soft conversations from various back yards, warm but not too warm, and the garden green and lush.

T barbecued pork butt that had been rubbed with old bay seasoning and then finished with coffee barbecue sauce. And once that was done, he laid the meat on a rack on top of a plate (remind me to go into this further!) to rest as he barbecue-wokked asparagus and scapes that had been tossed with just a little olive oil and salt.

Yes, we had scapes!! With thanks to our neigbhour whose family couldn’t begin to finish eating them. Whooohhooooo! I adore scapes!

And to finish what was already sublime, we had freshly baked (on the barbecue) BBB oatmeal twists.

Oatmeal twists? What are those, you ask? Please, read on. I’ll tell you. Because you need to know.

Ah. Yet another lesson in reading… and then applying what has been read.

Oatmeal Twist Diary:

Thursday 14 June 09:29: I have a brilliant idea. Not only will I make twists with and without fruit and nuts but I’ll twist some of the dough to shape into a couple of hamburger buns. And maybe I’ll do the twist while I’m shaping.

700 g sourdough starter (or poolish/starter of 350 g all-purpose flour mixed with 350 g water and 2 teaspoons yeast (6.2 g). Sit 3 hrs, stir down, put in fridge overnight, or at least 8 hours- use where recipe calls for sourdough starter.)
-BBB Twist Bread recipe

09:52: Whaaaaat??? These twists have a starter! Drat!! Why didn’t I notice that before?! (Don’t answer that. I already know: I can’t read… :lalala:)

Now that I won’t be making twists until tomorrow, I thought I’d take a closer look at Farine’s recipe too. I was really intrigued when I saw “Bread with Oats, Plums and Hazelnuts” and wondered how the twists would be with fresh plums. Then I read on (sometimes I can manage to read ahead) and saw that she calls for “dried plums”. Since when are those not called “prunes”?! :stomp:

Now I’m really torn. Should I use walnuts, as Tanna and Pat did when they made the twists? Or should I use pecans as per the initial Babe recipe? Or should I use hazelnuts as per Farine’s recipe?

OR should I stray further and use almonds or perhaps sunflower seeds? What to do, what to do!

Friday, 15 June 10:14: Last night, as we were barbecuing hamburger buns and hamburgers for dinner, we discussed what nuts and fruits I should put in. Apricots and prunes (yes, I’m afraid I am very slow to change and simply won’t remember to call them “dried plums” without rolling my eyes) were nixed immediately by T; all nuts were eliminated shortly after as well – because we were going to have the twists for dinner.

There I go again!! Breaking rules… (Farine’s bread has “Morning” in the name…). But wait. Maybe it’s okay. The BBBabes have renamed the bread! Good thing too; there will be no unfortunate fines issued. We’re serving the twists with barbecued pork and grilled asparagus. We easily agreed that raisins would go well. I mentioned that Pat had used currants in some of her twists.

So. Currants it was!! And let me tell you, they’re not so easy to knead into the dough. For several turns not long ago, they insisted on staying in exactly the same spot before suddenly deciding to emerge en masse and start escaping by rolling around on the board. But I’m bigger than they are and slapped them into submission. The dough is now covered and rising.

The currants weren’t the only difficult ingredients. Rolled oats gave me grief too. I’ve been adding whole rolled oats to T’s sandwich bread for several months and the last time, I finished the bag. I promptly put “rolled oats” on the grocery list on the fridge.

Did we replenish the rolled oats right away?

Of course not. Why would we do anything so efficient?

Consequently, early this morning, I skipped down into the kitchen to see that the starter (yes, I did manage to remember to make the starter last night) was bubbling happily. And I got out my digital scale and got the flour out. And went into the cupboard to get the rolled oats that weren’t there.


I jumped on my bike to go to the supermarket. WHAT a beautiful day! I should always go for a ride early in the morning. The roads are empty. The supermarket wasn’t busy at all because it had just opened. I quickly located the rolled oats aisle and then spent an extra minute or so trying to assess whether the bag entitled “large flake whole grain oats” was indeed “rolled oats”. Good thing that Canada requires manufacturers to list the ingredients: “rolled oats, may contain wheat”.

Yay! I was back on my bike and back in no time to the kitchen to mix BBB bread dough.

14:38: We were just about to head out to get the pork butt and I thought I’d better check the bread dough. It had risen quite nicely – almost doubled so I pushed it down.

I’m pleased to say that the currants are very evenly distributed.

17:12: What beautiful dough! Shaping was a breeze! At the last minute, I decided to roll half the twists in yoghurt laced with water followed by unsalted roasted sunflower seeds and a scattering of coarse seasalt.

18:58: T just blanched when he saw that there were six twists on two trays. Only ONE tray fits into our barbecue. But I was way ahead of him. The twists were just resting there on parchment paper. We put the stone into the barbecue to heat up and then I cut the paper so each twist could easily be shuffled onto the stone and moved around without damaging the shape.

19:55: Ooops!! These took longer to bake that we expected. But they were worth the wait!! They’re fabulous! Sure, there might be a few char marks but that just adds to the charm.

Thank you, Pat!

We adore these twists! (Please forgive the repetition. But really. These twists are fantastic.)

Here is this month’s BBB Oatmeal Twists recipe. And here is what I did to it – I made just half the recipe. And good thing too. How would we have baked 12 twists in our little barbecue?

Oatmeal Twists
based on Farine’s recipe for “Morning Cuddles with Oats, Plums and Hazelnuts”

Starter (overnight rise)

  • 175 gm unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 175 gm lukewarm water
  • 3 gm active dry yeast ¹

Actual Dough

  • All the starter from above
  • 150 gm lukewarm water
  • 0.5 gm (1/8 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 160 gm unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 115 gm whole wheat flour
  • 58 gm rolled oats
  • 8 gm salt
  • 30 gm plain yoghurt ²
  • 28 gm olive oil ³
  • 50 gm currants4
  • plain yoghurt and water for after shaping
  • sunflower seeds, optional
  • coarse seasalt, optional
  1. starter: After dinner, on the night before making the bread, in a large bowl, whisk yeast into water until it has dissolved. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the flours well to form a smooth batter. Use a scraper to push any of the batter down from the sides of the bowl, cover it with a plate and leave on the counter out of drafts overnight. If your kitchen is particularly warm, after it has sat out for about an hour, put the bowl in the fridge overnight.
  2. actual dough Early the next morning, admire the bubbling starter. Then, put some of the warm water into a small bowl and whisk the yeast until it has dissolved. Pour the rest of the warm water, along with the yoghurt and oil into the starter. Stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. Finely grind rolled oats in a food processor (I used our coffee grinder) and set aside for a moment.
  4. Dump the flours into the starter, followed by the ground rolled oats and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough starts to clear the sides of the bowl. Stir in the yeasted water.
  5. kneading Turn the dough out onto your board. You probably don’t need to add any extra flour. Now wash and dry the mixing bowl; this cleans your hands AND allows the dough to rest.
  6. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes until it is soft and silky. Use the dough scraper to keep the board clean. Try not to add any extra flour. When the dough feels soft, flatten it out into a rectangle. Scatter the currants (or whatever dried fruits and/or nuts you are using) over top. Fold it in half and then knead until the fruit is relatively evenly dispersed. Place the kneaded dough into the clean mixing bowl and cover it with a plate. (The BBB recipe says to put the dough into oiled rising bowl or container, turning dough to coat with the oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. It is not necessary to oil the bowl or the dough.) Allow to rise until it has doubled. I put the bowl into the oven with only the light turned on; it took about 5 hours for the dough to double.
  7. shaping When the dough has doubled, scatter a handful of flour on the board and turn the dough out. It may be a bit sticky. Use the dough scraper to fold the sticky dough in half and gently pat it to remove the excess flour.
  8. Put a spoonful of yoghurt onto a large plate. Stir in a spoonful of water. Pour sunflower seeds onto another plate.
  9. Cut the dough into 6 even pieces. Push 5 of the pieces aside. Take the 6th piece and shape it gently into a rectangular shape. Gently fold it lengthwise in half and seal the edges with your fingertips. Fold it again lengthwise in half. Cut it lengthwise in half and roll each piece a couple of times to form ropes. Twist the two ropes together. Pinch the ends together and lay the twist in the yoghurt/water, making sure it gets completely covered. Now lay the twist in the sunflower seeds to thoroughly coat it with sunflower seeds. Place the finished twist on a parchment papered cookie sheet. Sprinkle with a little coarse seasalt, if you like.
  10. Repeat with the other five pieces. Make sure that the twists are set well apart. Cover the shaped bread with a clean teatowel followed by a large plastic bag and allow to rise out of drafts until double. (This took about 2 hours in our kitchen.)
  11. baking
    • baking in the BBQ: Put a stone into the barbecue and turn the barbecue to high to preheat the stone well. Cut the parchment paper so that each twist is on its own piece of paper. Lay the twists on the hot stone and close the lid of the barbecue. Turn the heat to medium hot to medium low. From time to time, lift the lid and use tongs or a spatula to move the twists around to account for hot spots in the barbecue. Check the bottoms of the twists to see that they are not burning. If they are getting too brown, turn them over. Remove any loose paper. Bake until the twists are nicely browned, light weight and hollow sounding on the bottom.
    • baking in the oven: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F when twists are almost doubled.
      Uncover, glaze with buttermilk with clean pastry brush. If desired sprinkle with finely chopped pecans, or preferred seeds or with sea salt.
      Ooops!!! I see that I was premature with my glazing…. Sigh. See??? Proof again that I can’t read. :lalala: Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. If browning too rapidly, turn down the oven temperature. Turn the pans back to front and bake another 10 – 15 minutes or until breads are 180 degrees inside.
  12. Allow to cool on a well ventilated rack before serving. The bread is still baking! 5


1.) Yeast: Farine’s recipe called for using a wild-yeast starter. Pat altered the recipe so that those of us without pets could still make the twists. In retrospect, next time, I’d use half the amount of yeast in the starter and/or none in the actual dough.

2.) Yoghurt: The BBB recipe actually calls for buttermilk. But we didn’t have any in the fridge. We DID have some lovely yoghurt that T made from 2% milk that I’m pretty sure worked equally well.

3.) olive oil: Irritatingly, I am still having to drastically restrict my fat intake right now, and have been instructed to avoid animal fats like butter entirely. Pat’s recipe calls for melted butter. I suspect that butter is great in the twists (T said they were great slathered in butter) but I’m very happy to say that olive oil worked very well.

4.) currants, sunflower seeds: Pat wrote: When you knead in the pecans you can knead in dried fruit like dried cranberries or diced prunes, apricots or dates to make a breakfast twist. If you prefer savory you can knead in herbs and/or Parmesan cheese and/or seeds. This bread loves to have you make your own combinations, so other nuts can also be used in place of the pecans or with them. I made my second batch without any nuts, seeds, fruit or herbs and they were yummy, too. I must say that we loved the addition of sunflower seeds. And now I’m thinking that pepitas would be good too.

5.) But I like warm bread!: If you wish to serve warm bread, reheat it after the loaf has cooled completely. To reheat UNsliced bread, turn the oven to 500F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread in the hot oven for ten minutes.

Having said that, I confess that we were very hungry and tried a just-baked twist almost immediately after it came out of the barbecue. It. Was. Spectacular.

Swedish Bread (BBB) Thank you, once again, Pat! These twists are keepers! I can’t wait to try them with hazelnuts. And/or raisins. Or….

Bread Baking Babes
Bread Baking Babes: June 2012 - Oatmeal Twists

Pat, aka Elle (Feed My Enthusiasms) is the host of June 2012’s Bread Baking Babes’ task. She wrote:

I know that we have a few days to the Summer Solstice, but around here it feels like summer has come. School is out. The heat has come, the garden plants are growing so quickly I feel like I can see them inch up (but I think they do it at night while I’m sleeping). […] As we gather around my kitchen table for the June bread, the bodacious Bread Baking Babes make a very friendly bread, inspired by another blogger.

For Valentine’s Day, MC Farine of the blog Farine made the cutest breads […] Darling twists with dried fruit, nuts and oatmeal […] My variation adds some buttermilk and melted butter, plus I figured out how to do the recipe when you don’t have a mature sourdough starter in your fridge. The thing that is still true is that these twists have a lot of oatmeal so I love ’em and call ’em Oatmeal Twists.

We know that you too will WANT to twist your dough to bake this bread!! To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: bake Oatmeal Twists in the next couple of weeks and post about them (we love to see how your bread turned out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 June 2012. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to email the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ Oatmeal Twists:


Yeastspotting - every Friday (wordle.net image)

Each week, Susan (Wild Yeast) compiles a list of many bread-specific recipes from across the web. For complete details on how to be included in the YeastSpotting round up, please read the following:

Bake Your Own Bread (BYOB)
BYOB is a monthly event hosted by Heather (girlichef)

that encourages you to start (or continue) getting comfortable baking bread in your own kitchen. Anything from simple quick breads to conquering that fear of yeast to making and nurturing your own sourdough starter. All levels of bakers are welcome to participate.

BYOB Badge For more information about BYOB, please read the following:


Oatmeal Twist (BBB)


10 responses to “Oatmeal Twists are Great for Dinner Too! (BBB June 2012)

  1. Ckay

    Your post is absolutely brilliant! I just couldn’t stop smiling and laughing and asking: “what’s next?” while reading it, and your descriptions and “how to make it” is perfect.
    I plan to bake them in the next days. So looking forward!
    All the best!

  2. Lien

    Ha I missed that starter thing the first time too, took me three days to remember it and make it on time :).
    Love those twist, they must taste extra special being BBQ-baked!

  3. Heather @girlichef

    If repetition due to marvelous-ness is the worst that can be said, I really must make these. It’s just been so darn hot in the house, even with the air, that I’ve shy-ed away from baking lately. Fingers crossed it cools down a bit soon!

  4. Elle

    Alway full of great surprises Elizabeth! Baking them on the grill is brilliant and I can just imagine how wonderful currants and oatmeal is with that pork. Sweetie makes pork butt on the grill all the time. Guess another batch of twists is in my future and now I’ll grill ’em. Isn’t parchment paper just the best? Love, love, love your posts.

  5. Katie

    I’m not sure which I want more – the Oatmeal Twists or to sit with you on a summer evening slathering them with olive oil, listening to the sounds of summer. Sigh….
    It rained all day today.

  6. Baking Soda

    Distant children.. at times I can so enjoy the sound of distant children…. and oatmeal twists of course. Which are distant in my kitchen this week. Bought the husband a portable grill for Father’s Day and I can see some bread in our holiday future! Will refer to your methods then!

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