Honey Oatmeal Bread

If you're going to make oatmeal bread, don't accept some watered-down version, more white bread than whole grain. This dense-textured, moist sandwich loaf includes a generous measure of oats. It slices beautifully for sandwiches, makes absolutely delightful toast and, due to the oats, honey, and applesauce, stays fresh for days in your breadbox.

Our guarantee: This moist bread has a light-tan, even-textured interior, and mild flavor. It slices nicely, and is about 3 1/2" tall at its center point.

Prep
20 mins
Bake
45 to 50 mins
Total
5 hrs 25 mins
Yield
one 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf
Honey Oatmeal Bread

Instructions

  1. Combine the 3/4 cup water and oats, and let rest for 20 minutes. This gives the oats a chance to absorb the water and soften up.

  2. If you're using active or "highly active" dry yeast, dissolve it in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar. It should start to bubble as the oats and water rest.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the oats (including the yeast/water/sugar mixture, if you're using active dry yeast), and mix and knead—by hand, electric mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle—until the dough feels springy; it will be quite stiff.

  4. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and allow it to rise, covered, for 2 hours; it's a slow riser.

  5. Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8" log. Place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. Cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap.

  6. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, till it's crowned about 1 1/2" over the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  7. Brush the top of the loaf with milk, and sprinkle with oats, if desired.

  8. Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Tent it loosely with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes. When the bread is done, it'll be golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register 190°F.

  9. Remove the bread from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Store well-wrapped at room temperature.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Because of its high oat content, this bread may have a slightly craggy surface, with minor hills and valleys in the top crust. Don't worry; that's the way it's supposed to look—rustic!
  • The type of oats you use DOES make a difference; quick oats absorb more liquid, more quickly, than old-fashioned rolled oats. If you don't have quick oats, pulse old-fashioned oats in the food processor several times, to break them up a bit before using.
  • When making yeast bread, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., "Let the dough rise till it's doubled in bulk."Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking (how you kneaded the dough; what kind of yeast you used) that it's impossible to say that bread dough will ALWAYS double in bulk in a specific amount of time.