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I wanted to switch to some type of bran in my white bread because my first attempt I tried adding oat flour (3 oz of the total 16oz flour), but it came out a bit heavy and chewy and didn't rise much in the oven, I did not like the result, texture or taste very much.

My question is - on my next attempt I want to try either wheat bran or oat bran and was wondering which one is more suitable to make bread so that it gives a better rise and lighter texture/structure to the crumb.

The recipe I'm using is pretty basic (used 16oz of flour for 1 loaf)

  • unbleached white wheat flour 100%
  • water 68%
  • salt 1.8%
  • yeast 0.6%
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  • Oat flour is typically ground oats, not just the bran… so it’s going to absorb some of the moisture
    – Joe
    Nov 29, 2023 at 23:44
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    Bran is usually pretty coarse, not the way to make bread lighter, are you asking which of those impacts the texture least?
    – GdD
    Nov 30, 2023 at 8:39
  • @GdD yeah that's right
    – erotavlas
    Dec 1, 2023 at 0:12

1 Answer 1

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Start with "Use less bran!" - 18.75% of the flour as bran is a LOT of bran.

100% whole wheat (which is hard to get "light" results from) only has 14.5% bran.

Any bran has the effect of cutting the gluten strands and making the loaf rise less. That can be mitigated somewhat by soaking it well, such as putting it in a sponge step before adding the rest of the flour.

If you used oat flour as you say rather than oat bran as your title suggests, it's probably down to needing more water as @Joe's comment suggests. If you're following baker percentage formulas rather than the feel of the dough, you need to stick with the ingredients of the formula you're following to get the expected results; or be ready to adapt if the dough does not feel/behave similarly to the product as done by formula.

I don't use "oat flour" in bread, but I put plenty of oatmeal in, at percentages that high, without negative impacts. My standard wheat flour is 14%, so I've got lots of gluten available. Oats, of course, contribute none, so if you're starting with a lower gluten flour and diluting it with oats, coming up short on the things gluten does for bread is unsurprising. I do add it all at the sponge stage, usually. Since I don't do baker's percentages I can't suggest an amount to change that - I'm strictly a "by feel" baker for going on 4 decades.

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  • just to clarify I already used oat flour once and did not like the result/texture and would like to try adding one of the types of bran mentioned (oat or wheat) - sorry for the misunderstanding, From what your saying then, any type of bran will degrade gluten structure so if I want to incorporate either of those types of bran into my dough I need to compensate by using less, hydrating the bran first before adding it, and also adding some vital wheat gluten to the flour if its gluten content is low. My flour is about 12% protein to start.
    – erotavlas
    Dec 1, 2023 at 20:41

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