Sunday, January 4, 2009

Featured Recipe from Kneadlessly Simple: Easy Oat Bread

To see the video on making this Easy Oat Bread recipe go here .

Easy Oat Bread


Kneadlessly Simple:
Fabulous, Fuss-free, No-knead Breads

Oats always seem to have a comforting, low-key flavor, and this bread does, too. The straightforward, easy recipe can be made with either honey or molasses and produces two homey, nice-to-have-on-hand loaves. (I always stash one in the freezer for later use.) Attractively flecked with bits of oats, the loaves are slightly soft and make excellent toast and sandwich bread. Dajana, who recently made this bread and said it helped her yeast baking fear, posted some great step-by-step pics of it on her Baker's Corner website here. Or see videos of Kneadlessly Simple bread making here or here.  Or take a look at a whole gallery of breads in the book--from sticky buns, to seeded breads, to rustic whole grain breads here.

If you're looking for my Crusty White Pot Boule (it's my own improved version of the one first published in the NY Times), click here. Or try another crusty, artisan-style loaf from Kneadlessly Simple, my rustic Crusty Seeded Pale Ale Boule here .

5 1/2 cups (27.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose white flour or white bread flour, plus more as needed
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick cooking (not instant) oats, plus 4 tablespoons for garnish
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Scant 2 3/4 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon instant, fast-rising, or bread machine yeast
1/4 cup clover honey or light (mild) molasses
1/4 cup corn oil or other flavorless vegetable oil, plus extra for coating dough tops and baking pans
2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

First rise: In a very large bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, oats, sugar, salt, and yeast. In a large measuring cup, thoroughly whisk the honey and oil into the water. Thoroughly stir the mixture into the bowl, scraping down the sides until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. If the mixture is too dry to incorporate all the flour, stir in just enough more water to blend the ingredients; don’t over-moisten, as the dough should be slightly stiff. Brush or spray the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. If desired, for best flavor or convenience, you can refrigerate the dough for 3-10 hours; this is optional. Then let rise at cool room temperature for 12-18 hours.

Second rise: Vigorously stir the dough. If necessary, stir in enough more flour to yield a hard-to-stir consistency. Generously oil two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Sprinkle a tablespoon of oats in each; tip the pans back and forth to spread the oats over the bottom and sides. Use well oiled kitchen shears or a serrated knife to cut the dough into 2 equal portions. Put the portions in the pans. Brush or spray the tops with oil. Press and smooth the dough evenly into the pans with an oiled rubber spatula or fingertips. Sprinkle a tablespoon of oats over each loaf; press down to imbed. Make a 1/2-inch deep slash lengthwise down the center of each loaf using oiled kitchen shears or a serrated knife. Tightly cover the pans with nonstick spray-coated plastic wrap.

Let rise using any of these methods: for a 2- to 3-hour regular rise, let stand at warm room temperature; for a 45-minute to 2-hour accelerated rise, let stand in a turned-off microwave along with 1 cup of boiling-hot water; or for an extended rise, refrigerate, covered, for 4 to 24 hours, then set out at room temperature. Continue the rise until the dough nears the plastic. Remove it and continue until the dough extends 1/2 inch above the pan rims.

Baking: 15 minutes before baking time, place a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 375 degree F.Bake on the lower rack for 50 to 60 minutes, until the tops are well-browned. Cover the tops with foil. Bake 10 to 15 minutes more until a skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out with just a few particles clinging to the bottom portion (or until the center registers 208 to 210 degree F on an instant-read thermometer). Bake for 5 minutes longer to be sure the centers are done. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out the loaves onto racks and cool thoroughly.

Yield: 2 medium loaves, about 12 slices each


Hanaâ on September 8, 2009 at 5:42 PM said...

Most no-knead breads I've seen are boules. I like that this is a loaf pan. And I love the chewy texture oats give to bread. I will have to try this. Have you ever used white whole wheat flour for this particular recipe?

Nancy Baggett on September 8, 2009 at 7:23 PM said...

You're right--many of the no-knead bread recipes in circulation are made into boules, but the no-knead method also works great with loaf pans. I have many such recipes in my Kneadlessly Simple book. In fact, many of my recipe go straight from the rising bowl into the loaf pan. They are just stirred down, then plopped into the pan and smoothed out a little on top. Yet they look very nice (and due to the long, cold rise taste exceptionally good!).

I have substituted 1 cup of white whole wheat for part of the white flour in the recipe. I think the loaf might be overly dense if all whole wheat were used, so don't recommend that, though

Hanaâ on September 9, 2009 at 1:26 PM said...

Thanks for the tip on the whole wheat flour. I'm not a big fan of dense bread. Guess who's making a stop at the library today to pick up Kneadlessly Simple? :o)

I've recently learned that you can add fiber to bread easily, without making it heavy and dense, by using wheat bran. I like wheat bran; it's much more light-weight than whole wheat flour. Have you ever played with that?

Nancy Baggett on September 9, 2009 at 5:05 PM said...

Another good way to add whole grain and fiber is to partially chop some bulgur wheat, or cracked wheat or flax seed in a processor. Soften by letting it stand a while in some boiling water, then let drain and cool well and add in when the water is added.

Hanaâ on September 10, 2009 at 2:48 PM said...

Great idea, Nancy. I have used flax seeds in bread before but never thought of using bulgur or cracked wheat that way. Thanks!

HerbyN on October 27, 2009 at 3:34 PM said...

Nancy, this looks great. i must give it a try. thanks for posting.

Missy May on November 24, 2009 at 1:58 PM said...

I just made this bread! I thought it was really easy, and it tasted great, too. I am a new baker (and new to blogging). I've never baked bread before and thought your book could make it easy. It has! My husband and I enjoyed this bread very much. I will be making it again. Thanks for the Kneadlessly Simple method. For a beginning baker like me, it has been easy and fun.

Nancy Baggett on December 2, 2009 at 11:28 AM said...

Great to hear you like the bread and the method--appreciate your taking time to tell me. Don't forget to spread the word all your friends! And don't forget to try the crusty bread from the book, too. It's totally different, yet also quite easy and gratifying.

Dajana on December 11, 2009 at 9:41 AM said...

I've just baked this bread. The smell while it was baking was fantastic, it's soft and fragrant. It just took me much less to bake (after 35 minutes the skewer came out completely clean, and I just proceeded baking it for 10 min. covered).
I'd love to blog about it too, with your permission, linking to your recipe, of course, because I really think others should find out about it. I'd also love to buy your book.

Nancy Baggett on December 13, 2009 at 3:21 PM said...

Thanks for your feedback. Delighted that the recipe turned out so well. It is always interesting to hear how different ovens perform--some seem to bake things faster than normal, others, slower. Which is why I always suggest other ways to check for doneness.

Please feel free to blog about the recipe and to link to it. And of course I'd be thrilled for you to buy the book. You'll notice a link right on my home page that takes you to the ordering page on I have found their service to be very good.

Heather on June 27, 2010 at 4:18 PM said...

I bought your book on a recommendation from a friend. I had decided to work my way through all the recipes. I made the basic white loaf, and then this oat bread... and stopped. Oh wow, this is the best bread I have ever eaten, let alone made!! But then I ran out of oats and I have the caraway beer bread in the fridge, now. Yea for no knead!!

Nancy Baggett on June 27, 2010 at 7:07 PM said...

Heather thanks for stopping by and posting. Always delighted to hear when folks are happy with my recipes. Happy Baking!

Anonymous said...

Do you have nutritional info to go with your recipes? Just made the oat bread and loved it, so did my four kids!

Nancycs on November 16, 2011 at 2:51 PM said...

Have you ever made these into rolls? If so do I just put them in muffin tins?

Nancy Baggett on November 16, 2011 at 5:56 PM said...

No, I haven't made them into rolls. I would think that would work just fine though. Do let me know if you try it--others might like to know, too.

Nancycs on November 17, 2011 at 1:10 PM said...

I made them into rolls. I put them in my cast iron skillet and made pull apart rolls. It worked great!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this Nancy, I really thought it had great texture and the flavor really good for a no-knead bread. It was not gummy like most of the no-kneads I have tried. Have you tried to retard it longer than 10 hours in the fridge? I like my bread on the sour side. I will make this regularly because it makes great toast(me)and is a nice sandwich bread (my Husband)and it works great with my schedule. Mine was ready at around 45 mins.

Phyllis said...

What changes should I make for glass bread pans?

Thanks so much.


Nancy Baggett on May 30, 2012 at 5:48 PM said...

I don't really think you need to make any changes--if the loaves seem to be browning too fast, you might turn down the heat 25 degrees F.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy,
Is it possible to halve this recipe? will be way too much for my family of I, me and myself! :)

Nancy Baggett on July 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM said...

Yes, you can halve the recipe. Not a problem at all. If you have freezer space, you could also freeze the second loaf or individually wrapped slices of it for no-fuss homemade bread later. I do that a lot!

David Altekruse said...

I have been making this bread for about two years, and love it. It is our daily home bread for most purposes. However the loaf is giving me trouble. The second rise fails to get to the top of the loaf pan unless I give it excessive rise time - 5 - 6 hours??? I some times combine the micro waved water with the regular, and then end up putting it in a warm oven, and it still bairly makes it to the rim. Used to over flow the rim if i did not watch it. Adding additional yeast seems to make little difference. The yeast has 3 months left on the exp. date and is a national brand, kept in its jar in the fridge. I make 2 to 4 loaves a week so it can not be to old. The loaves turn out good but a little squatty and more dence than I would prefer. Any suggerstions? As I write it is obvious - replace the yeast, it does not cost that much.

Trying to pick what I will make for thanksgiving from your great book. Thanks!

Nancy Baggett on November 17, 2012 at 4:57 PM said...

Yes, do try replacing the yeast. If that doesn't work, start thinking about what other ingredients have changed--different brand of flour, oats, even honey. If the yeast is not off, then there may be something in another ingredient that is inhibiting the yeast. Delighted to hear this is a go-to bread for you.

Would love to hear if new yeast solves the problem.... said...

Changing the yeast did not make much of a difference. However I paid attention to what I was doing while making, and relized I was adding quite a bit - up to a cup? - between the two rises. Since I mix by hand it seemed necessary to add more and more to get away from the sticky dough stage. Loafes I made today with very little added flower did raise a bit better, but still took over 4 hours and did not go beyound the rim by much. I hav e also cut back the whole wheat to 1 cup rather than 1.5.
I will look into my flours, as they have changed over time.
Lordy it smells good in here!

Nancy Baggett on December 3, 2012 at 2:02 PM said...

Using more whole wheat flour will definitely change the texture and amount of rising--the particles are heavier. It may absorb the moisture a little more slowly too, causing you to think you need to add a little more flour than you really need. I am wondering if maybe it is a little stiffer than it should be--it should be somewhat moist for the first rise as the moisture both encourages yeast growth and gluten development.

Anonymous said...

(Resending this as unsure whether the earlier one went through)

Hi Nancy
i have been fascinated with breadmaking since i was young. Eating bread for me an Asian is regarded as part of a healthy diet. i stumbled upon your book Kneadlessly Simple on the website The Fresh Loaf, and went to buy a copy. TQ for writing such a wonderful book-so much effort n commitment in the book. Plus i really like the type of paper - acid-free.
I have tried the All purpose light wheat bread. As the weather here is tropical - around 35-48C day, 27-30C night, i adjusted the length of the 1st and 2nd rises.
My question is - after the 1st rise (about 8hrs for the temperature here), is the smell of the dough very soury?

Tina Lee

Nancy Baggett on March 12, 2013 at 11:41 AM said...

Great to hear you are enjoying the book.

Normally the dough doesn't have that much sour smell at 8 hours. I'm guessing that the warmer weather is making the rise go faster than it should. The sour quality won't hurt anything though--and you may like it. But if you want to slow the rise down a bit I suggest that you pop the dough in the refrigerator for an hour, or set the bowl in a bowl of ice water for an hour.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your suggestion. May I know at which step do I do this – after the first rise? Another question - if the dough is too dry after the 1st rise, can some water be added to it?
Also tried the French walnut loaf. I add in a lot of seeds in my breads - got this nutritious idea from your book.

Nancy Baggett on March 13, 2013 at 12:01 AM said...

This would be during the first rise. The second rise will go much faster because the yeast is already so active. If the dough seems dry, definitely add a little more water. However, except in a few cases where the dough is not stirred down after the first rise, it is better to have the dough a little moister to start with and stir in more flour before the second rise.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. The dough has actually been refrigerated for 10 hours, then left outside overnight (as night is less warm) for the 1st rise. When I reduced the 1st rise to 6 hours, the dough smell is less sour but the bread is not as soft.

Anonymous said...

I have actually kept the dough in the refrigerator for 10 hours, then left it outside overnight (night is less warm) for the 1st rise.

For the next loaf, I reduced the 1st rise to 6 hours (after 10 hours in the fridge) - the dough smelled less sour but the bread turned out less soft.

Anonymous said...

what do you mean by a scant table salt? What's the difference crystal coarse salt? sorry, but this is the first time I encountered such an ingredient. Also, you always have in the recipe, unbleached all purpose flour. We only have all purpose flour, the white one. Can this be used instead? If no, what's the conversion? Thanks much

Nancy Baggett on January 16, 2015 at 10:59 AM said...

A scant tablespoon of salt is one where the salt doesn't come all the way to the top in the tablespoon measure--just a little less than a full tablespoon. Table salt is as fine as sugar; coarse crystal salt is in slightly bigger pieces--like the salt on crunchy pretzels. You can used bleached white flour--it has been bleached so has fewer nutrients, but will work if that's what you have.



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