Oatmeal Buttermilk Wheat Bread

As a child, I would have hated this bread.  Back in those days I thought perfect white, fluffy Wonder Bread (which my family never bought) was the absolute best.  Instead, my family usually had some sort of wheat bread.  I wasn’t crazy about it – it tasted too healthy!  And the loaves of wheat bread that have little pieces of nut or seeds mixed in?  Forget it.  I’d spend an hour picking out every single nut or seed so my bread looked like Swiss cheese.

But now, I love wheat breads, and I love trying new variations.  I have another recipe that is still my favorite, but this version was wonderful and different from the usual.  The addition of the oatmeal gave it a really great flavor, and it had a gorgeous tender texture, perfect for sandwiches.  Not to mention, this loaf is a monster!  Seriously, I have never seen bread rise quite this high.  Now that’s partly my fault because I took a mini nap while it was rising, and it went a bit over the recommended time.  But I really started out with a lot of dough to begin with before the rise.  Ben was, of course, thrilled by the giant loaf of bread.  Next time I think I may try increasing the amount of dough by just 50% and then baking it into two loaves.  It’s always nice to end up with two loaves and then you can have one frozen for later.  And good news – even Andrew likes this bread.  Maybe he won’t be quite as picky a child as I 🙂

Oatmeal Buttermilk Wheat Bread
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1½ cups rolled oats, divided
1 cup boiling water
¼ cup room temperature water
2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. agave nectar (or honey), divided
2 tsp. instant yeast
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2½ cups whole wheat flour
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt

Set aside ¼ cup of the rolled oats.  Place the remaining oats in a medium bowl.  Cover with the boiling water, mix well, and let sit uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the soaked oats, room temperature water, 2 tablespoons of agave, yeast, buttermilk, olive oil, 2 cups of each flour, and salt.  Mix briefly on low speed until ingredients are combined.  Mix in the remaining ½ cup of each flour.  Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 10 minutes.  The dough will be wet, cling to the hook, and have a satiny finish.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, flattening it with your hands to release the excess air bubbles.  Form the dough into a 12 x 6-inch rectangle and position it so the long side is facing you.  Fold the two shorter ends onto the top so that they meet in the middle.  Starting with the closest end, roll the dough away from you tightly into a log.  Pinch the seam closed.  Transfer the loaf to an oiled loaf pan, pressing it so that it reaches all the corners.  Mix the remaining agave nectar with ½ a teaspoon of very hot water.  Brush over the top of the loaf, and sprinkle with the reserved oats.  Let rise for about 30 minutes, just until the loaf rises over the top of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Bake the loaf for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Source: adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride, originally from Macrina Bakery and Cafe Cookbook

37 Responses

  1. this is my kind of bread! I think I’ll try it today!
    At the end of the instructions it says, “Brush over the top of the loaf, and sprinkle with the reserved loaf.” Did you mean reserved oats?

    • Thanks, Melanie. I corrected that error. I was very tired when I typed this up!

      • 🙂 I made this bread this morning already! It was delicious! I actually divided the dough in half to form two slightly smaller loaves…which works wonderfully for just me and my husband.

  2. I love the oatmeal top and the height! I have been making breads lately since I got my new stand mixer, and it’s so much fun. The whole wheat one is on my list, and I made the American Sandwich Bread this weekend. It’s great; probably my favorite dough so far because it’s so smooth and ‘fluffy’ 🙂

  3. This looks delicious! A perfect everyday bread for toast and sandwiches. I love using buttermilk when baking, and will have to give this a try!

  4. That is one lovely looking loaf of bread. I would love to dive into it 🙂

  5. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and don’t think I’ve ever commented. I just wanted to tell you that I absolutely LOVE it. Aside from the great recipes and the way you write about them, it’s just so… PRETTY. And your photos are stunning. Keep up the great work!

  6. Hi Annie,

    Your recipes are wonderful! I have tried a few already and cannot wait to try more of them. Especially this delicious looking bread!
    P.S. What size tip do you use to pipe the black-forest cupcakes?

    Thank you!

  7. I’ve recently stumbled onto your blog and am loving it. This bread recipe looks like exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’m going to give it a try this week. Yum!

  8. Yum! I already had a bread picked out to make this morning, but then I saw your recipe and switched it. Can’t wait to try it. By the way, some of my friends and I who read your blog have decided you might be part human, part super-woman. You really get it done girl! And you do it so well! And on top of all this you’re a medical resident! Nice. Keep up the good work. Reading your blog is a bright spot in my day and a temptation to my stomach.

  9. This looks delicious! You bread recipes are always divine! What do you use to cut your bread?

  10. Can I use honey if I want to give it to my toddlers? I know honey is on the “no” list of foods to give to toddlers but I didn’t know if it is ok if it is baked.

    And I love your site. Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Amber,
      Honey is okay for kids 1 year and up. But, if they are under 1 year, don’t give it to them. Baking does not eliminate the potential botulism spores.

  11. Hi! Can you divulge information on “instant yeast”? I have looked for this in my Meijer, but haven’t found any. Is regular yeast the same as instant?

    • Karla,
      I responded to this question the last time you asked it. It is the same thing as rapid rise or bread machine yeast. Basically, it doesn’t require activation like active dry yeast, and I have much better results with it. I buy it at Meijer all the time, and any other grocery store would have it too.

  12. I’d love to make this today but am out of whole wheat flour. Do you think it would still work with all purpose or bread flour? Also, the rolled oats, are they the instant kind?


    • Hi Stephanie,
      It would probably still work, but the flavor definitely won’t be the same. You could Google for a substitution ratio. I used old fashioned oats. I’ve never used instant, so I’m not sure of the differences in baking.

  13. This recipe looks amazing. I love oatmeal bread, but have never found a good whole wheat recipe.

    Have you read up on agave nectar? I just found your site and am LOVING it, but I recently, thanks to Apartment Therapy, found out that agave nectar is at least 70% fructose. Making it higher in fructose than HFCS; and essentially just as processed.

    If you have a few minutes, this link is very thorough.

    • Emily,
      No, I haven’t really read about it. I had heard some of that talk recently but honestly, I almost never use recipes that call for agave so I’m not that concerned about it.

  14. There’s nothing like home-baked bread, and this loaf is gorgeous!

  15. It has taken me a couple day’s to view your entire blog, I would like to say that you are amazing!!!

  16. To the poster that asked about which knife to use, I use an electric knife to cut my homemade bread and it works like a charm!

  17. Annie,
    Such perfect timing! I was testing a recipe and thanks to a shopping error (my lovely husband) now have a FRIDGE-FUL of leftover buttermilk — I am so thrilled to have a recipe that not only will draw down that supply, but sounds divine!

  18. Ooh an electric knife. Sounds dangerous…but effective.
    I’m gonna have to get myself one!
    Beautiful bread 🙂

  19. I love the list of ingredients, I’m going to try this. Thank you! 🙂


  20. Hi Annie! How much is 1 cup of your ingredients in grams? I’ve googled it, but it seems that different ingredients have different measurements (flour, powder etc..) ?

    • Jane,
      It is different for each ingredient. Think about it – 1 cup of something dense and heavy (like packed brown sugar) is sure to weigh more than 1 cup of flour. So, they will all have different weights that equal 1 cup by volume.

  21. I love healthy breads! This looks fantastic!

  22. I was a big white bread fan myself when I was a kid. Then one day I decided to go cold turkey and switch to wheat bread and now I’m so used to it I don’t think I could ever go back to white. This looks delicious! I have never made wheat bread before but I will definitely have to try.

  23. I increased the ingredients by 50% and made two loaves. This is excellent bread! I am definitely making it again.

  24. I just baked this bread and took a bite. It. Is. Fantastic. My daughter is 8 months old so I left out the honey and subbed in 2 T. of organic sucanat. She is starting to enjoy bread, so thanks for sharing such a yummy wholesome recipe! I feel much better feeding her this than the gerber rice puff thingies 🙂
    I’ve also made the lemon poppyseed muffins from this site and they were delicious. You’ve definitely won a loyal follower.

  25. Hi Annie, quick question… Do you prefer to use the agave or honey in this recipe? I have both and can’t decide which one I should use. Thanks!

  26. This is fabulous! 😀

  27. Just made this loaf! My first attempt at Oatmeal Bread! It is a monster…. and I have to say it’s the MOST EXCITING thing I’ve ever pulled out of the oven…. thanks again for another awesome recipe, Annie.

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