100% Whole-Grain Oatmeal Bread From Scratch

Stack of sliced oatmeal bread
Barry Yee/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 95 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 loaf
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
109 Calories
2g Fat
21g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 109
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 196mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 101mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This bread is based on another oatmeal bread recipe in this collection. But this recipe uses ideas from master bakers to create a small loaf with wonderful taste and a crunchy crust.

You can double this recipe, but keep the loaves the same size because the bread is very moist. It requires rising time; starting after dinner the night before, you will bake the loaf the next afternoon.


  • 1/2 cup (45 grams) oatmeal

  • 1/2 cup (70 grams) whole-wheat flour

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 tablespoon molasses, optional

  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup warm water

  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups (about 200 to 250 grams) whole-wheat flour

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. M​ix oats and whole-wheat flour in a bowl. Add the boiling water and stir. Stir in the honey, molasses, oil, and salt and let cool to lukewarm (about 1/2 hour or more). It's OK if it's room temperature, too.

  3. To the bowl, add the 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast, the extra water and 1 cup of whole-wheat flour (e.g., whole-wheat white flour from King Arthur). Stir until flour is wet and dough is homogeneous.

  4. Add more flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, and stir until a firm but sticky dough forms. Knead in the bowl when the dough is too stiff for a spoon. If the dough is still sticky when you turned it onto a lightly floured board, wet your hands with cold water for easier handling.

  5. Pat the dough into a 1-inch high rectangle. Knead by folding the dough over into thirds (like a letter) and then patting or pulling it back into a rectangle. Don't turn the dough 90 degrees. You want the gluten strands to line up in straight rows, which is hard enough with all that oatmeal and wheat bran.

  6. Fold it 2 more times, then dust with flour and cover with a clean cloth on the board in a cool place in the kitchen. For example, you can leave it from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., folding it 2 more times at 2-hour intervals.

  7. After 3 to 4 hours at room temperature, gather the ungainly dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and place it in a bowl in the refrigerator for up to 16 hours.

  8. Take dough out of refrigerator and fold 2 times on a floured board. Let rise until the chill comes off the dough and you see it get bigger in size.

  9. Form into a boule (round) or batard (long) shape, pulling the dough from the top to the underside and pinching closed on the bottom. Because of the oatmeal, this will not be smooth and the dough is still sticky at this point.

  10. Place the dough, top-side down, in a bowl (or on the baking sheet) with a 1/4 cup of oatmeal in it and coat with oatmeal. Leave in proofing basket (e.g., a 2-quart Corningware vegetable bowl) until risen, about 2 hours. After the first hour, turn on the oven to heat to 450 F, preferably with a baking stone.

  11. Turn the loaf out onto a small piece of parchment paper or a floured baker's peel. Slash the top of the loaf with a sharp razor blade. You can slash a square pattern, for example.

  12. Place the loaf in the oven on the cornmeal- or flour-strewn stone and turn the oven temperature down to 400 F. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190 F.

Note: Those hard crusts you love are created with steam. You may create steam in the oven for the first 5 minutes. Heat an old roasting pan on the rack below the stone and pour 2 cups of boiling water in it right after you put the bread in the oven.

Spray water the sides of the oven with a squirt bottle 2 or 3 times in the first 5 minutes. Turn oven down to 400 F and bake for 30 minutes or more until the internal temperature reaches 190 F.

Bread steams itself dry, so let the bread cool for at least 2 hours before slicing or it may seem gummy inside.