Our Special Oat Bread

While we don’t always have this bread, every time we have made it, people ask for the recipe. So, here goes.

Special oat bread. The one that looks "dirty" has chia seeds on top.

Special oat bread. The one that looks “dirty” has chia seeds on top.

Note that it takes quite a while to make because it has three risings but, in return, there is no kneeding required. It is more moist than most breads and vigerous stirring will suffice. Note that this is not a high-rising bread.


  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 Tbs. butter (or olive oil for the vegan version)
  • 1 Tbs. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbs. honey (or sugar for the vegan version)
  • 4 cups of flour (we use half whole wheat, half white), divided
  • 1 Tsp. salt


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the boiling water, rolled oats and butter or oil. Set the bowl aside to cool (about 10 minutes).
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the yeast, warm water and honey or sugar. Set aside until it is frothy (5 minutes or so).
  3. When the oat mixture is cool, stir in the proofed yeast.
  4. Stir in one cup of flour, cover and let rise for an hour.
  5. Stir in the remaining flour and the salt. Cover and let rise for an hour.
  6. Put something in the bottom of two 8 x 5 loaf pans. It can be parchment paper, oil, coarse-ground corn meal or …
  7. Divide the dough in half and place each half in the pans.
  8. Cover the pans and let the dough rise for an hour.
  9. Pre-heat the oven to 175C
  10. Place the breads in the oven and cook for 45 minutes
  11. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove the breads from the pans and place on a wire rack until ready to serve.


As I continue to make this bread I think adding a bit more water if you are using half whole wheat flour makes sense. Maybe 1/4 cup more. Also, I made one batch without salt (by mistake) and it really didn’t come out any different. I would have expected it to rise more but it did not.

I just tried a version in a bread machine. It is not the same and still needs tuning (I used a bit too much water and the center of the loaf sank a bit) but in a few more tries it will make a decent bread. I use 1.5 cups each of oats, WW flour and white flour. I put the oats in the bread machine pan and added boiling water. When it had cooled sufficiently not to kill the yeast I added all the other ingredients and started the machine on the whole wheat setting. I am eating it as I write this.


Bread Machine Version

When we have a lot of guests, I prefer the hand made version but sometimes it is very convenient to have a version that doesn’t require the babysitting level of hand made. So, I have been working on a way to make the bread in the bread machine.

At this point I have a recipe that seems to work fairly well. One surprising thing is that the water quantity seems to be pretty critical — something that is not typical for a bread with lots of oats in it. As we are at about 1800 meters, you may need to adjust the water.


  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Note that we have made this with 1.5 C white and 1.5 C whole wheat flour. It is fine but just doesn’t rise very much. With the 2 cups of oats as well, this updated version should still be nutritions but a bit softer.


  1. Put the oats into the breadmaker pan
  2. Add the boiling water and mix just so all the oats are getting wet
  3. Wait until the mix cools — 15 minutes or so
  4. Add all the other ingredients are start the bread machine on the whole wheat cycle