Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Oatmeal Bread

Oatmeal Bread

This recipe has reached near-legendary status around my family. Brothers and brothers-in-law weep with joy when I come visit because they know I will make them some oatmeal bread. Their wives call me on the phone the night before Thanksgiving, begging me for this recipe.  Sometimes when I go visit my family,  I even take my vintage Bosch mixer along with me because it can handle a big double batch of dough (a word of warning: most Kitchen Aids can't do double batches of this bread. It can handle the single batch just fine, though). This recipe is a staple in the kitchen at The Happy House, an old and cherished friend and the work-horse of our baked goods.  



Single Batch: (makes 2 med. loaves or 1 1/2 dozen rolls)
2 c. boiling water
1 c. old fashioned rolled oats
3 T. oil
2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. brown sugar (or scant 1/2 c. honey)
1 T. yeast
1/3 c. water
5 - 5 1/2 cups flour
2 T. or so oil for large bowl

Double Batch: (makes 4 large loaves or 4 dozen rolls)
5 c. boiling water
2 1/2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 c. oil
1 1/2 T. salt
1 1/4 c. brown sugar (or 1 c. honey)
3 T. yeast
1 c. warm water
12-14 cups flour
2 T. or so oil for large bowl


Put oats, salt, oil, and sweetener in mixing bowl. 

Don't use quick cooking! I've tried and the texture of the final product isn't the same.

Real Salt is where it's at, baby!

Extra virgin organic coconut oil - yum!

Opted for local organic Tupelo honey this time around.

Pour boiling water over oats, oil, salt,  and brown sugar; stir.

Let the mixture stand until it comes to room temperature.

 When cool, dissolve yeast in 1 c. water and let proof.

Like magic, 10-15 minutes later.

Add yeast mixture to oat mixture + 1/2 of the flour; mix well.

Add in rest of flour until dough pulls away from sides of mixing bowl.  Knead for eight minutes. Go fold a load of laundry - that's just about the right amount of time for it to finish up. Don't scrimp on the time for this step, though. Kneading is important to the formation of gluten, the stuff that gives yeast breads their familiar loft and spring.

Place dough in large bowl that has been coated with oil; turn once. I love these food-grade polycarbonate containers with the snap-on lids (this one is made by NSF). Most restaurant supply stores will have them - I got mine online but I don't remember where! It makes it SO much easier to figure out if the dough has doubled during it's rising time. So. much. easier.

Place the dough somewhere warm and let it rise until doubled. (See how handy those marks are on the side? I also use these bins when I make 5-Minute Artisan Bread). 

After dough has doubled,  shape into what ever shape makes your skirt fly up. Place into greased pans (or on a Silpat mat). Today,  I did three loaves of sandwich bread and 8 hamburger buns (burgers for dinner tonight - the boys are happy about that one).  Depending on the menu for the week,  I might do two loaves and the rest dinner rolls or sometimes hot dog buns or garlic knots. This dough is pretty darn flexible like that.

Cover dough with a kitchen towel and then let rise until doubled in size, yet again.  Wouldn't you agree there are few things lovelier in the kitchen than a perfectly formed loaf of bread?

Bake the rolls/buns at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. 

Look at all that oatmeal-y goodness!

Piles of perfection, just in time for dinner.

Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. 

Cool on a wire wrack. Brush with melted butter if you are in the mood.  (In my house, when the bread comes out of the oven, I also have to hide anything that can be pushed, shoved, or toted to the counter where it is cooling. Otherwise, little Princess P. will take a couple of bites out the end of each loaf when Mom isn't looking.)


  1. Stacey Williamson gave me this recipe and I'm making it RIGHT NOW for the first time. She said it was AMAZING! Just a question, from your pictures it looks like you double up on pans. Is that just for pictures or do you bake 'em like that too? Just curious! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Hi Rebecca! When I make a double batch, I end up using 4 loaf pans, which is what I typically do. My family eats this bread so quickly it doesn't make sense to make the smaller batch. I hope yours turned out well - please come back and let me know!