Oatmeal Bread

Oatmeal bread is everyone’s childhood favorite. And this recipe, based on one from Certified Master Baker and author Jeffrey Hamelman (one-time head of the King Arthur Bakery) is no exception. Its smooth texture and mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it a perfect choice for all kinds of sandwiches — as well as toast, of course.

20 mins
35 to 40 mins
12 hrs 15 mins
two 9” x 5” loaves and 6 rolls
Oatmeal Bread


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  1. To make the overnight soaker: In a mixing bowl, combine the oats and water. Stir thoroughly, cover, and let sit overnight (8 to 12 hours) at room temperature. 

  2. To make the dough: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the overnight soaker with the remaining dough ingredients. Mix and knead to make a soft, elastic dough; if the dough seems dry, knead in an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons (14g to 28g) water. If you're using a stand mixer with dough hook, the mixing/kneading process will take about  3 minutes on low speed followed by 5 to 6 minutes on medium speed.

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a reusable cover. Let the dough rise for 1 hour.

  4. Uncover the bowl and, using a bowl scraper or spatula, run the scraper or spatula down the inside far wall of the bowl. Bring the dough up from the bottom of the bowl, and fold it over on top of itself. Turn the bowl 90° and repeat; repeat twice more (for a total of four times), turning the bowl 90° each time. This process, which helps develop the dough, is called a fold. Re-cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for another hour.

  5. To shape the dough: Gently deflate the dough. Portion off two pieces, 765g each; shape each piece into a rough log, and cover. Divide the remaining dough into six portions, about 70g each; shape these into rough balls to make rolls.

  6. Cover the dough and let it rest for about 20 minutes; this will make it easier to shape.

  7. After the rest, shape the two loaves into 9” logs; place each in a lightly greased 9” x 5” loaf pan. Shape the rolls into small rounds or ovals, and space them on a baking sheet.

  8. Brush or spritz the tops of the loaves and rolls with water, and sprinkle with rolled oats. Cover loaves and rolls with plastic wrap or a reusable cover, and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until noticeably puffy; the loaves should have crowned about 1” over the rim of the pan.

  9. While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 450°F.

  10. To bake the bread: Uncover the bread, place it on a middle rack of the oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 425°F and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes for the loaves, and 5 minutes for the rolls. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it lightly with aluminum foil for the final 5 to 10 minutes. When done, the bread will be a deep golden brown, and its internal temperature should register at least 190°F on a digital thermometer. 

  11. Remove the bread from the oven and, after a couple of minutes, turn it out of the pans onto a rack to cool.   

  12. Store cooled bread, securely wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Want to substitute quick oats for old-fashioned oats? There’s no need to soak quick oats overnight; a 20-minute soak prior to using is sufficient.

  • Join bread baker Martin Philip as he demonstrates how to make Oatmeal Bread from start to finish. Watch Episode 2 of the Isolation Baking Show now.

  • Here’s another way to add topping to your bread: Roll the top of each loaf and roll in a wet dish towel (excess water wrung out) to dampen. Sprinkle 1 cup rolled oats in a closely packed single layer onto a baking sheet or piece of parchment. Roll the top of each loaf (and rolls) in the oats, and place in (or on) the pan. Repeat with the remaining loaf and rolls.

  • To make a cinnamon-raisin oatmeal loaf: Roll one loaf portion of the dough into a rough 8” x 10” rectangle. Lightly moisten the dough by brushing it with a pastry brush dipped in water. Mix together 1 tablespoon (12g) of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon; sprinkle atop the dough. Spread 1/3 cup (57g) raisins on top of the cinnamon-sugar. Starting with a short side, roll the dough into a log and place it into a lightly greased 9” x 5” pan. Bake the bread in a preheated 425ºF oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it’s golden brown. Remove the bread from the oven and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.