Struan is an Irish harvest loaf that makes delicious toast. It’s a great way to use up any leftover grains or seeds you have in your kitchen. I’ve tried it with oats, grits, brown rice, sunflower seeds, flaxseed meal, wheat bran lentils, and I always love the results. In this video I set out to make struan for the umpteenth time, but got frazzled after I somehow strayed from my notes and used too much water. The loaf still turned out great, so I think you’ll find this struan recipe very forgiving. (Don’t worry, the measurements and notes below are all correct!)
The different grains in combination with the flour give the struan a complex flavour. They also make the loaf quite filling. If you’d like to try the recipe but don’t have any of the soaker ingredients listed in your pantry, just use what you’ve got! Although honestly I wouldn’t recommend lentils, as they continuously fall out of the loaf and make it crumbly, which is a real pain, especially when you’re slicing.
Hope you give it a try; after many years of baking lots of different kinds of bread, struan remains one of my very favourites!
- 6 tbsp rolled oats
- 3 tbsp grits
- 3 tbsp wheat bran
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 tbsp instant or active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk*
- 1/2 cup water
- sesame seeds, for topping
- Combine the soaker ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup. Leave covered for at least an hour, as long as overnight.
- Add wheat flour, bread flour, yeast, salt and brown sugar to a stand mixer. Stir on low to combine.
- Next add honey, the soaker, water and buttermilk.
- Mix the ingredients until they clear the sides of the bowl and form a sticky ball.
- On a floured counter, knead the dough by hand for 10-12 minutes.
- Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, an hour to an hour and a half.
- Deflate the dough and press into a rough rectangle, 6×8 inches.
- Roll the dough tightly away from you, tucking the ends under as you go.
- Pinch the seams together and place seam side down in a greased loaf pan.
- Cover and let rise until the rough crests the lip of the pan, about another hour.
- While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Once risen, gently brush or spritz the top of the dough with water. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden, rotating halfway through.
- Almond or cow’s milk with 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice will work fine in place of buttermilk. You could also use thinned yogurt.
- An 8 1/2 x 4 inch loaf pan is the ideal size for this loaf. If you have a larger size that’s fine, but your dough might not peek out over the edge of the pan.