Sharing Bread

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dairy free
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: two 9" loaves, or 4 smaller loaves

Recipe photo

This high-rising, moist bread features oats and whole wheat, along with a healthy percentage of bread flour, to increase its rise. It makes wonderful sandwiches and toast. And it highlights a lovely way to share fresh-baked bread: two loaves baked in a single pan, then pulled apart when cool.

This recipe comes from Gail McNeill, a veteran bread baker and King Arthur Flour fan. Gail uses Demerara sugar and kosher salt for all her baking; thus we call for those ingredients here. You may certainly substitute regular granulated sugar; and table salt, which you'd want to reduce to 2 teaspoons (from kosher salt's 1 tablespoon; table salt measures differently than coarser-grained kosher salt).

Read our blog about this bread, with additional photos, at Bakers' Banter.

Sharing Bread

star rating (30) rate this recipe »
dairy free
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: two 9" loaves, or 4 smaller loaves
Published: 01/01/2010




  • all of the starter
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 4 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt OR 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 6 tablespoons Demerara sugar or granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons instant yeast, SAF Red or SAF Gold preferred
  • 1/4 cup whole flax seed, ground; or whole flax meal
  • 4 tablespoons butter or 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • *The amount of water will vary here. If your starter has rested less than 2 days, and doesn't have any freestanding liquid at the bottom, use 1/2 cup water. If the starter is very liquid and soupy, use just 2 to 4 tablespoons water.


see this recipe's blog »

1) To make the starter: Combine the bread flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, yeast, and water in a large bowl. Mix to combine, cover, and let rest at room temperature for 4 hours, or up to about 2 days.

2) When you're ready to make bread, stir the starter to recombine it with any freestanding liquid it's generated. Mix the starter with the oats, 1 1/2 cups of the bread flour, and the remaining dough ingredients. Mix thoroughly, then add the remaining 3 cups of bread flour.

3) Knead to make a smooth, supple dough. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or other container; our dough-rising bucket works well here. Cover, and allow it to rise until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

4) Gently deflate the dough, and divide it in half. Shape each half into a 9" log.

5) Lightly grease two 9" x 5" loaf pans. Place one log in each pan. To make two loaves in each pan, divide each half of the dough in half again; and shape each of the four pieces into a ball. Place two balls, side by side, in each pan.

6) Cover the pans, and let the dough rise till it's crowned about 1" over the rim of the pan. This will take about 60 to 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 350°F.

7) Uncover the pans, and bake the bread for 20 minutes. Tent lightly with foil, and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the center of the loaf registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer.

8) Remove the bread from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool. After about 5 minutes, turn the loaves out of the pans to cool completely on the rack. If you've made two loaves in a single pan, wait till they're completely cool to gently separate, cutting with a knife if necessary.

Yield: 2 large loaves, or 4 smaller loaves.


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  • 01/05/2015
  • BonJon from Raleigh
  • My family wanted this again. So tried Elizabeth's suggestion below using sourdough starter. First thing in the morning, I subbed 1 pound of refreshed sourdough starter for both flours and yeast, used 8 ounces of water, and omitted the ascorbic acid in this recipe's starter. Let it sit 2 hours, then made the dough. Since I needed fed sourdough starter for another dish, it was nice not having 2 starters sitting there - I've gotten bowls of things like that confused before, don't ya know. Plus having no starter discarded makes me feel all virtuous and thrifty! They love it! I did need to add a lot of water in kneading. Great rise, great taste, great crumb. Think I liked the taste a bit more. Am sure we'll be making this sourdough version many times in the furture.
  • star rating 01/05/2015
  • BonJon from Raleigh
  • Our family could not get together for Christmas until January 1st, and I'm always supposed to provide the yeast rolls (KA's parker house rolls). With everyone already thinking of New Year's resolutions and diets, I decided to make a batch of these "healthier" rolls, too. Cooked exactly to the recipe with one notable exception: I misread and added organic whole wheat flour instead of white wheat. It still turned out awesome, but took longer to rise. Nice oven spring, too, and I got worried I'd not slashed the loaves. Made 1/2 into rolls, and then the half-loaf loaves - what a great idea! - to give to the two couples present as gifts - perfect for the empty nesters. Got rave reviews from everyone, and compliments on the crumb and rise from my chef daughter! Try this one, you won't be sorry!
  • 02/08/2014
  • Jackie from Texas
  • Really like this recipe as it's easy and has a good taste. Texture is also great. How can I make this with a sourdough started that I already have in my fridge? I have both a white and a whole wheat starters. Which would work best?
    This is a great recipe. Thank you for refreshing my memory, now I want to make it again! I am going to have to say the pre-ferment is a different flavor profile than your sourdough starter. This is not to say you cannot do it. If you were to try, use 1 lb. of your starter, plus 8 oz of water, sugar and yeast and omit the ascorbic acid. It will be an experiment! Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 11/03/2013
  • Diann from Mississippi
  • Wonderfully moist, my family loves it!!!!
  • star rating 09/05/2013
  • from
  • star rating 12/17/2012
  • easyquilts from KAF Community
  • I have made this bread many times, and it always comes out soft and moist. It makes wonderful toast. My six year old grandson loves it made into what he calls "swirly" bread....... With a cinnamon sugar filling. This has become my "go to " bread.
  • star rating 07/04/2012
  • jabutkowski from KAF Community
  • I have a love/hate relationship with this recipe. The first time I made it, perfect taste, rise, shape, etc. Second and third time, the loaves fell, either during proofing or in the oven. You need to be careful with the liquid measurements, as well as the proofing and rising times.
    Rising times in recipes are just benchmarks as they really vary from day to day, season to season! So many variables to consider when making bread. We like to say, allow the dough to speak to you! Not just the recipe. Elisabeth
  • star rating 02/26/2012
  • thefiverogers from KAF Community
  • Very nice, versatile bread. I used my bread machine for kneading and kept thinking that there was no way I was going to use all the flour called for, but in the end it was perfect along with the four ounces of water and starter that sat overnight on counter. We had this bread tonight with Sunday dinner, looks sturdy enough for lunchbox sandwiches tomorrow, and would make tasty french toast too. Rich, satisfying flavor and body.I will definately be making this recipe again.
  • star rating 03/17/2011
  • bigapple134 from KAF Community
  • When I read the comments that this recipe is "fussy" or that the bread has little taste I am dismayed. Anything THIS healthy has to be wonderful and i've now made this recipe three times and each time the loaves were fantastic. I used the exact same ingredients, not the substitutes or options and it's a keeper! Toast it...make French toast with will not be disappointed!
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