Back-of-the-Bag Oatmeal Bread

This tender, high-rising sandwich bread is soft enough for kids to enjoy, yet sturdy enough for all kinds of sandwich fillings. It also makes great toast, perfect with jam or buttered alongside scrambled eggs. The recipe was featured on our bread flour bag for quite some time and has become a perennial customer favorite for good reason: it's easy to make, uses simple ingredients, and we guarantee everyone in the family will love it!

Prep
15 mins
Bake
35 to 40 mins
Total
2 hrs 50 mins
Yield
1 loaf
Back-of-the-Bag Oatmeal Bread

Instructions

  1. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.

  2. To make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together all of the ingredients to form a rough, shaggy dough.

  3. Knead the dough, by hand or mixer, until it's soft and smooth, about 5 to 7 minutes. Note: You can also make this bread start to finish in your bread machine; see "tips," below.

  4. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow it to rise at room temperature for 1 hour; it'll become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk. If your kitchen is particularly cold (below 65°F), place the bowl of dough in your turned-off oven with the oven light on.

  5. To shape the dough: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface. Flatten the dough into a 6” x 8” rectangle. Fold the top down to the center (like you were folding a letter), pressing it firmly with the heel of your hand to seal. Pull the upper left and right corners into the center, pressing to seal. Repeat the first step (folding the top to the center and sealing) three or four more times, until you’ve created a 9” to 10” log. Tuck the ends under slightly, and turn the log over so its seam is on the bottom.

  6. Place the log in a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan, and tent the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap or the cover of your choice. Allow the dough to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it's crested about 1" over the rim of the pan.

  7. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 350°F with a rack in the center.

  8. To add the topping: Uncover the risen loaf. Beat the egg white with the cold water. Brush the beaten white all over the top crust (you won't need it all), then sprinkle with the rolled oats.

  9. To bake the bread: Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, until it's golden brown. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, cover it lightly with aluminum foil for the final 10 minutes of baking. When done, a digital thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf will register 190°F. If you don't have a thermometer, slide the bread out of its pan and tap its bottom with your fingers: you should hear a hollow thump.

  10. Remove the bread from the oven and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Store, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Add fruits and nuts for extra flavor: Mix up to 3/4 cup currants, raisins, dried cranberries or blueberries, diced crystallized ginger, chopped dried apricots or dates, chopped nuts, etc. into the dough once it's fully kneaded and before its first rise. Alternatively, substitute 1 3/4 cups (210g) of our cranberry almond muesli for the oats in the recipe plus any add-ins. Note: we don't recommend using fresh fruit as its juice can make the loaf soggy.

  • Want to make this loaf start to finish in your bread machine? Program the machine for regular/basic bread (or your machine's equivalent). About 10 minutes before the end of the second kneading cycle, check the dough and adjust its consistency as necessary with additional flour or water; the finished dough should be soft and supple. If you'd like dried fruit or nuts in your loaf, add them at the beep. Want to make the best loaf possible? Read Successful loaves from your bread machine: 5 tips for home bakers.

  • Want to make this loaf vegan/dairy-free? Replace the butter with dairy-free butter, and the milk with a plant-based beverage (e.g. almond milk, rice milk, etc.)

  • Easy ways to enhance the top crust:

    For a rustic look: Just before baking, spray the risen loaf with water then sift a light coating of flour atop the crust.

    For a touch of sweetness and spice: Just before baking, sprinkle the crust with cinnamon-sugar.

    For a satiny, buttery finish: When the bread is done take it out of the oven and brush the top with melted butter, either before or after you turn it out of the pan. This will both soften and flavor the crust.