Lightly sweetened with maple syrup and filled with oats and whole wheat, this bread is our current favorite for toast or for sandwiches. I’ve made it at least six times now and each time it has turned out very well. I’ve included several tips throughout the recipe for working with this dough.
This recipe is based on the Oatmeal Bread recipe in the book, Artisan Breads In Five Minutes A Day. I increasing the amount of oatmeal, added more fresh whole wheat and reduced the amount of AP flour. I also skipped the oat bran and wheat bran, just because I didn’t have them on hand the first time that I made the bread. I loved it this way, so I just went with my recipe each time I made it.
Read through the recipe and see how simple the actual directions are. They are wordy, but it’s mostly explanation. This recipe makes three small 1 1/2 pound loaves. (I’ve also made these in miniature loaf pans and loved that result as well. The taste and texture were the same. However, the look was different, as illustrated in the first picture.)
- 1 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup light flavor olive oil
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat I used freshly ground hard white wheat
- 3 1/4 cups AP flour
- Day One: Mix the water, milk, yeast, salt, maple syrup and oil in a large bowl or a lidded (not airtight) storage container. I use a plastic shoebox size container with a lid that simply clicks on and off. If you do not have a lid that is NOT airtight, you can drill or cut a small hole in the lid and vent it that way.
- Next, add in the whole wheat flour, AP flour and oatmeal and stir until combined. Let this rest on the counter, covered, in the non-airtight container, for approximately 2-3 hours. The dough should rise and then collapse (flatten on top). Store this dough in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- On Baking Day: Grease a 9x4x3-inch loaf pan and set aside. Sprinkle flour on a silpat mat or the counter. Sprinkle flour across the top of the refrigerator dough and then cut or tear off a one-third section of it. Flour your hands and quickly shape the dough into a ball and stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all sides, rotate the ball as you go around it shaping the dough.
- This is a very wet dough. I found that if I rounded the dough from the bottom and pulled the sides up on top that worked better for forming the rounded shape. Sprinkle flour as needed on the surface of the dough while you are working with it.
- Place the dough (folded ends tucked underneath) inside the loaf pan. Stretch it slightly to form more of an oval in the pan. Allow it to rise for 2 1/2 - 3 hours on the counter. (With the added oats and flour it took much longer than the suggested 1.5 hours each time I made this.) Sprinkle flour on the top of the loaf just before baking.
- Twenty minutes before it's time to make the bread, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place an empty broiler tray on the lowest shelf of the oven. I keep a baking pan in the oven that I use just for this purpose.
- Place your bread in the oven and then pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray (or pan) in the bottom of the oven. Quickly close the oven door. This is essential for breads with a cracked crust. The steam from the water creates the lovely crust.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until deeply browned and firm. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.