You need this oatmeal bread recipe in your life. It rises beautifully, toasts well, and makes an excellent sandwich bread.

Made with rolled oats, butter, and a touch of maple syrup, it’s a welcome addition to any meal, and it makes an especially nice base for French toast.

For ease of browsing, you can find all my bread recipes in one place.

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Slices of oatmeal bread on a dark wooden surface and black wire rack with the cut loaf in the background.

Looking for other loaf sandwich breads? Consider my Tangzhong milk bread, grits bread, or soft potato sandwich bread recipes.

Oatmeal Bread, At a Glance

✔️Skill Level: Intermediate
✔️Skills: Mixing/Kneading, Shaping a Loaf, Baking
✔️Type: Loaf Bread/Sandwich Bread
✔️Number of Ingredients: 8
✔️Prep Time: 25 minutes, including kneading
✔️Combined Rise Time: 3-4 hours
✔️Baking Time: 40 minutes
✔️Yield: 1 loaf, or 16 sandwich slices

Related Reading: What Does Yeast Do In Baking?

Jump Straight to the Recipe

Why Make This Loaf

Many oatmeal loaves are rustic and/or made with whole wheat flour and other healthier ingredients.

While this bread does contain a hefty amount of oatmeal, it’s otherwise a pretty standard milk bread, which means it’s sweet and soft with an added, cozy, oaty dimension.

That means you can still make a mean PB&J or bologna and cheese sandwich that a kid would be happy to eat while still feeling good about yourself that you made bread, that it’s sweetened with a less-refined sugar (maple syrup), and that it has a bit extra soluble and insoluble fiber in it.

What I mean to say is this oatmeal bread isn’t necessarily health food. It’s healthier food. For me, it’s the best of both worlds.

If this kind of bread checks all your boxes and you make it, I have a favor to ask:

When you do make this recipe, it will help me and other readers if you:
✅Rate the recipes using the stars in the recipe card⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Thank you so much!😘

How to Make Oatmeal Bread

If you’re an old hand at making bread, feel free to jump to the recipe.

Otherwise, I’ll go over the ingredients with you, offer substitutions, and show you what your dough should look like every step of the way.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this bread. I’ll give substitutions where it makes sense to do so.

All the ingredients needed to make oatmeal bread: rolled oats, water, maple syrup, kosher salt, whole milk, all-purpose flour, and yeast.
  • rolled oats: I use old-fashioned oats. Quick oats should work just fine, although you may need to cut back on the water a bit. I wouldn’t recommend using instant oats just because they won’t add a lot of texture and chew
  • water: To par-cook the oatmeal and start softening it. It will cook completely as the loaf bakes, but it’s nice to get a start hydrating the oats straight off the bat
  • butter: Brings some fat to tenderize the crumb, carry flavor, and assist in browning
  • maple syrup: Adds a bit of sweetness and extra moisture to the dough. You can also substitute an equal weight of honey, golden syrup, or sorghum syrup. You can use molasses, but just know it will darken the crumb quite a bit
  • kosher salt: Helps moderate yeast growth and bring out the flavor in the oats, butter, and maple syrup
  • whole milk: Adds more liquid as well as some milk sugar (lactose) for a milky sweetness and milk solids to assist with browning
  • all-purpose flour: I use King Arthur, which is a high-protein all-purpose flour. If using a lower-protein all-purpose such as Gold Medal, decrease the water for cooking the oats by 1/2 ounce to 10.5. You can substitute bread flour, but in that case, increase the cooking water for the oats to 12 ounces
  • yeast: I use instant yeast, but either instant or active dry should do. As long as your yeast isn’t ancient, you shouldn’t need to proof it. Just add it on top of the flour before mixing and kneading

Procedure

This is a fairly straightforward loaf to make. It rises really well and the resulting bread has a lovely, soft, and moist crumb.

In a nutshell, here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Cook the oatmeal in some water.
  2. Add it to your mixer bowl and stir in butter, salt, maple syrup, and milk.
  3. Mix and knead.
  4. Let the dough rise until doubled.
  5. Press out the gases and shape the loaf.
  6. Let the loaf rise.
  7. Bake, cool, and enjoy.

Again, if you are familiar with the breadmaking process, you can jump straight to the recipe.

If you’re newer to baking yeast bread, I’ll go through the process and share some photo collages that will help you understand what to look for in a well-kneaded dough, what fully risen dough looks like, how to shape a loaf, and more.

Let’s start with making the dough.

Making the Dough

A collage of 6 images: 1)Oatmeal and water in a pan. 2)Cooked oatmeal in a pan. 3)Pieces of butter and the hot oatmeal in a metal mixing bowl. 4)The oatmeal mixture with milk, salt, and maple syrup mixed in. 5)The mixer bowl of oatmeal and milk with all-purpose flour and yeast on top in a large pile. 6)A very shaggy dough in a mixer bowl after all the flour has been incorporated into the dough.
  1. Add oatmeal and water to a pan. Note that you’ll be using less water than is called for on the back of the bag or box. Use old-fashioned oats, the kind that take about 5 minutes to cook on the stovetop.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook the oats for 1 minute. They’ll be very thick.
  3. Remove from the heat and scrape them into the bowl of your stand mixer along with the butter. Stir well until the butter is completely melted.
  4. Stir in the milk, maple syrup, and salt.
  5. Scale out and dump the flour on top and then add the yeast on top of the flour.
  6. Mix on low speed with the dough hook until all the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. The dough will be wet and sticky.

I do recommend you use a stand mixer to make this loaf. It requires a good 10-12 minutes of kneading and is a fairly wet dough, which makes it a bit challenging to knead by hand while resisting the urge to add too much flour.

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07/21/2024 04:36 pm GMT

Kneading the Dough

As I said, the kneading takes a fairly long time, so here are some photos of how the dough will change along the way.

A collage of 4 images showing oatmeal bread dough at different stages of mixing. In each successive photo, the dough gets more smooth as it's kneaded in the bowl utnil it is smooth and shiny with minimal sticking on the sides of the bowl and just a bit of sticking in the bottom of the bowl.
  1. The dough after 1 minute of mixing on low speed. It has no structure or stretch at this point.
  2. The dough after 3 minutes of kneading on speed 4 (medium/medium-low). Notice how much dough sticks on the sides and in the bottom of the bowl. The dough is starting to wrap itself around the dough hook and you can see the beginnings of some gluten formation.
  3. After 7 minutes of kneading, the dough is starting to clear the sides of the bowl and has a lot more structure. It looks much smoother than it did just 4 minutes previously.
  4. The finished dough after 10 minutes of kneading. See how it almost completely clears the sides of the bowl with just a bit of moderate sticking in the bottom of the bowl.

Lesson: Resist the urge to add more flour. If measured correctly, the dough will come together as the dough hook works to activate the gluten through agitation.

The dough will be soft and very stretchy. It will stick to your fingers. To prevent this, rub your hands with a teaspoon or so of neutral oil or spray them with a bit of pan spray before handling it.

Behold the stretchy dough:

A hand pulling fully-kneaded dough out of the bowl of an orange stand mixer. The dough is very stretchy.

Rising and Shaping

A collage of 6 images: 1)A hand holding a smooth ball of bread dough. 2)A metal mixing bowl covered with a turquoise striped towel next to a mug of hot water in an open microwave oven. 3)The dough, well-risen, in the mixing bowl. 4)The risen dough turned out in a smooth blob on a countertop. 5)The dough shaped into a rough rectangle with the two long sides folded in and overlapping a bit in the center. 6)The shaped loaf of dough in a gray metal loaf pan.
  1. Gather the dough into a smooth ball, and plop it back into your mixer bowl.
  2. Spray the top with pan spray, cover, and let rise in a cozy place until doubled in volume, 90 minutes to 2 hours. I set up my cozy spot by boiling a mug of water, sliding it to one side of the microwave, and putting the covered bowl in next to the hot water. Then I close the door to keep the heat inside.
  3. Once the dough has risen to double in size…
  4. …dump it out onto a clean work surface and press out the gases.
  5. Shape the dough into a rough rectangle, bring both long sides in to overlap a bit in the middle, then roll up the dough into a cylinder.
  6. Plop the shaped dough into a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, spray the top, lightly, and you know what comes next, right?

Second Rise

Yes, the second rise!

A collage of 4 images: 1)Shaped oatmeal dough in a bread pan. 2)The bread pan of dough covered with a turquoise-striped towel next to a mug of hot water in an open microwave. 3)The dough risen well above the rim of the loaf pan. 4)The dough with a shallow slit cut down the center right before putting in the oven.
  1. Cover the shaped and sprayed dough with a towel and…
  2. …let it rise in a cozy place until…
  3. …it rises about the rim of the pan by about an inch or so. This will only take about 45 minutes.
  4. Make a shallow slash along the center of the loaf, and then bake.

This bread bakes in about 40 minutes at 350F.

Variations

Please try this bread as a swirl bread. Add about a teaspoon of cinnamon to the dough along with 6 ounces of chopped dates (the bagged kind you can find near the raisins at the grocery store).

Add the swirl from my cinnamon raisin bread recipe, and you are good to go! Or just make the cinnamon raisin bread, because that’s excellent too!

Equipment You May Need

This recipe makes one large loaf of bread, so it is best made in a large loaf pan measuring 9″ x 5″, like this one:

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These pans are lightweight and easy to pick up with oven mitts on, thanks to the lip on either short end. They transfer heat efficiently so your loaves will be nicely golden brown all around. I have never had one warp, either. They should last you for years and years. I recommend handwashing these.

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07/21/2024 11:41 pm GMT

If you prefer loaves with nice, sharp corners, you may want to check out the USA loaf pans, which are made of folded metal:

Jenni's Pick
USA Pan 1.25 Lb Loaf Pan, Medium, Silver
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USA Pans will last you forever. This loaf pan is a great size for everything from pound cake to meatloaf. I recommend hand washing.

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07/21/2024 05:16 pm GMT

Option for an Overnight Rise

With almost any yeasted recipe, you can magically put the yeast to sleep by refrigerating your dough at any stage.

This makes yeast dough really forgiving if you have a tight schedule.

The most reasonable times to stop and refrigerate your dough are either

  • just after you make the dough and before the first rise

or

  • after you shape the dough and pan it up after the first rise.

At either of these points, simply cover the dough, either in the mixing bowl or loaf pan, and refrigerate overnight.

Pull out the dough the next day, let it come back to room temperature for an hour or so, then proceed with the recipe, making sure the dough doubles in the mixing bowl in a cozy place or that the loaf rises above the rim of the pan by about an inch or so.

Easy!

Serving Suggestions

Two slices of toast, overlapped on a round plate. A hand is spreading bright red jam on the top slice.

Anywhere you’d use a store-bought sandwich bread, you can use this oatmeal bread. It slices beautifully into thick or thin slices, making it great for hearty slabs of toast or a substantial sandwich.

It’s fantastic with salted butter and jam–don’t miss it with my cran-raspberry jam. That’s how I’ve been devouring mine! Or go super retro and enjoy it with peanut butter and homemade grape jam.

Closeup of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made on homemade oatmeal bread The sandwich is cut in half with the halves stacked on top of each other.

If it starts to get stale on you, turn it into bread pudding, or make French toast with it. The cozy oatiness plays well with maple syrup, especially since the loaf has maple in it.

If you find an especially luscious way to serve it, please let me know what you come up with!

Oatmeal Bread Q & A

Half of a loaf of bread, cut side facing the camera, on a wire rack with rolled oats strewn about on a dark wooden surface.
How long will this bread keep?

It should stay nice and fresh for 2-3 days, well-covered, at room temperature. If you have a big family, it may not last that long. If you need to keep it longer, freeze it.

How do I freeze this loaf?

I slice it with a serrated knife, then place the sliced loaf in a heavy-duty zip-top freezer bag, press out all the air, and then seal it. I pull slices as needed and thaw them either in the microwave for a few seconds or put them straight into the toaster oven if I’m making toast. If you freeze it as soon as it cools down, it will be soft and moist, so place a piece of parchment between slices to make it easier to get them apart once frozen.

Need a gluten-free oat bread option? Check out Sandi’s recipe. She’s a wizard with gluten-free baking!

Questions?

If you have any questions about this post or recipe, I am happy to help.

Simply leave a comment here and I will get back to you soon. I also invite you to ask question in my Facebook group, Fearless Kitchen Fun.

If your question is more pressing, please feel free to email me. I should be back in touch ASAP, as long as I’m not asleep.

A Note About Measurements

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07/22/2024 07:15 am GMT

Love This? Please Share It and Review It!

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Half of a loaf of bread, cut side facing the camera, on a wire rack with rolled oats strewn about on a dark wooden surface.

Oatmeal Bread Recipe

Jennifer Field
This recipe for oatmeal bread is hearty yet soft and moist. It impressively well, toasts beautifully, and makes an excellent sandwich bread.
5 from 2 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Combined Rise Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 160 kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 oz rolled oats not instant or quick-cook, 113 grams or 1 cup
  • 11 oz water 312 grams or 1 1/4 cups plus 3 Tablespoons
  • 3 oz butter divided use, 87 grams or 6 Tablespoons
  • 4 oz whole milk 113 grams or 1/2 cup
  • 1.5 oz maple syrup 43 grams or 4 Tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt I use Morton's, 10 grams
  • 15 oz all-purpose flour I use King Arthur, 425 grams or about 3 1/2 cups
  • 1 teaspoon yeast 4 grams

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan, bring oats and water to a boil, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. The oats will be very thick and stodgy.
  • Remove the oats from the heat and scrape them into the bowl of your stand mixer.
  • Add 2 oz/57 grams cold butter, milk, maple syrup, and salt, and whisk to combine and completely melt the butter.
  • The mixture should now be warm but not hot, about 100F.
  • Dump all the flour on top of the oat mixture, and add the yeast last.
    A collage of 6 images: 1)Oatmeal and water in a pan. 2)Cooked oatmeal in a pan. 3)Pieces of butter and the hot oatmeal in a metal mixing bowl. 4)The oatmeal mixture with milk, salt, and maple syrup mixed in. 5)The mixer bowl of oatmeal and milk with all-purpose flour and yeast on top in a large pile. 6)A very shaggy dough in a mixer bowl after all the flour has been incorporated into the dough.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix until all the flour is incorporated and you have a shaggy dough, about 1 minute.
  • Increase mixer speed to medium-low (Speed 4 on a KitchenAid) and knead for 10-12 minutes until the dough mostly clears the sides of the bowl but is still sticking in the bottom. Dough should be smooth (oatmeal notwithstanding), somewhat sticky, and very supple and stretchy.
    A collage of 4 images showing oatmeal bread dough at different stages of mixing. In each successive photo, the dough gets more smooth as it's kneaded in the bowl utnil it is smooth and shiny with minimal sticking on the sides of the bowl and just a bit of sticking in the bottom of the bowl.
  • With oiled hands, gather the dough into a smooth ball, put it back in the mixing bowl, spray the top lightly with pan spray or brush it lightly with neutral oil, and cover.
  • Let the dough rise in a cozy place (I like to use the microwave with a mug of boiling water next to the dough) until doubled in volume, about 90 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Spray a clean countertop with a little pan spray or rub it with some neutral vegetable oil
  • Scrape the risen dough out onto the prepared surface and evenly press out the gases and shape the dough into a rough rectangle.
  • Fold the long ends of the rectangle in towards the center and then tightly roll up from a short end. Place the loaf, seam-side-down, into a 9" x 5" loaf pan, and lightly spray the top.
    A collage of 6 images: 1)A hand holding a smooth ball of bread dough. 2)A metal mixing bowl covered with a turquoise striped towel next to a mug of hot water in an open microwave oven. 3)The dough, well-risen, in the mixing bowl. 4)The risen dough turned out in a smooth blob on a countertop. 5)The dough shaped into a rough rectangle with the two long sides folded in and overlapping a bit in the center. 6)The shaped loaf of dough in a gray metal loaf pan.
  • Cover and let rise again in a cozy place until the dough rises about 1" above the rim of the pan, about 45 minutes-1 hour.
  • Place a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350F/160C while the dough is rising.
  • Make a shallow slash all along the center-top of your loaf and place in the hot oven.
    A collage of 4 images: 1)Shaped oatmeal dough in a bread pan. 2)The bread pan of dough covered with a turquoise-striped towel next to a mug of hot water in an open microwave. 3)The dough risen well above the rim of the loaf pan. 4)The dough with a shallow slit cut down the center right before putting in the oven.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. The internal temperature of the bread should be between 195-200F. My bread was done in 42 minutes.
  • During the last 5 minutes or so of baking, melt the remaining 1 oz/28 grams of butter in the microwave.
  • Remove the baked loaf to a cooling rack and brush the top of the loaf liberally with butter.
  • Allow the loaf to cool in the pan *turned on its side* for 15 minutes. Then remove it from the pan to cool on a rack, right-side-up, to cool completely before slicing and enjoying.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Notes

To Substitute Bread Flour

Increase the water from 11 oz to 12 for cooking the oats and substitute 14 oz bread flour for the 14 oz of all-purpose.
Note I use King Arthur all-purpose which has relatively high protein for all-purpose flour. If using Gold Medal or similar, decrease the water to 10.5 oz.

For an Overnight Rise

Make the dough, let it rise, shape it, put it in its loaf pan, and then refrigerate it overnight.
Bring it out the next day and let it sit out in a cozy place for about an hour, or until it rises above the rim of the loaf pan by about 1″, before baking.
You could also make the dough, spray and cover it, and refrigerate overnight. Shape it the next day and let it rise in a cozy place until it reaches 1″ over the rim of the pan, and then bake.

Nutrition

Calories: 160kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 318mgPotassium: 72mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 100IUCalcium: 21mgIron: 2mg
Keyword bread, loaf bread, oatmeal
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

Thanks so much for spending some time with me today.

I really hope you enjoy this homemade oatmeal bread. It is so cozy and good!

Take care, and have a lovely day.

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